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Old 03-26-2016, 10:50 PM   #1
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Sprinter Security

I have been following the Theft Protection: Ravelco thread. There has been some really interesting information there, but as a new Sprinter owner I wanted to know how the Ravelco might fit in. This prompted the following question to Matt at Custom Sounds in Austin. BTW, Matt does all of the sound/security/electronics installations at SMB Texas, thus he knows the Sprinter. My question to Matt: You commented that without the key with the chip in it the Sprinter isn’t going anywhere. Can you please expand on this with more detail as to what the lack of the chip does to immobilize the vehicle and possibly contrast this to what the Ravelco product does?

Matt’s reply:

"The keys for the Sprinter have a transponder chip in them that “tells” the vehicle that the key is valid and allows it to start. So, if you were to take the chip out of the key, it would turn in the cylinder but not start. Also, you can’t use the chip unless the blade portion of the key is the one made for the van. Multiple levels of security requiring the key be used to start and drive off the van.

The Ravelco prevents the van from being started - even with the key. You have to insert the Ravelco plug for it to be able to start period. Question is, where do you keep the plug? If you keep it on the keychain and a thief gets your keys, then the thief will be able to disable it and use the key to drive off. You could keep it somewhere else, but if you lose it you’re in trouble.

Bottom line, Ravelco or not, nobody is going to start and drive off in the van unless they have a key."

I found this interesting information and thought I’d pass it along. I am currently waiting for my build to start and the current plan is to have Matt install the stereo, speakers and a Viper alarm system with glass break and tilt/motion sensors. Any comments would be appreciated!
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:07 PM   #2
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Interesting info on the Sprinter key setup.

So, if someone stole your keys and you have a Ravelco without the Ravelco plug on your keychain, that would clearly work in your favor. If the dash portion of the Ravelco is well hidden, a thief would not immediately see it or feel the need to look for the plug. As far as losing the keychain part of the Ravelco, I suppose there's a thousand places to hide the second (included) Ravelco plug inside or outside the van. You could even hide that second one in a hidden lockbox, handgun safe, etc.

I've been thinking about installing one of these underneath my new van with a spare set of keys in it. I had to break in to one of these at work once. With proper tools, it took me a couple of hours. They make rubber covers to keep debris out...

http://www.amazon.com/Kidde-AccessPo...=sr_1_2&sr=8-2
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:57 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=gcvt;171978 I've been thinking about installing one of these underneath my new van with a spare set of keys in it. I[/QUOTE]

It might be easier to simply tape a key around something under the van. Enough tape and it'll stay clean and after the first dirt road it will be well hidden.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
It might be easier to simply tape a key around something under the van. Enough tape and it'll stay clean and after the first dirt road it will be well hidden.
For a few bucks more, I see an upside to the little lockbox and no downside as long as it has the dust cover on it. Ravelco install is tomorrow morning!
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:34 AM   #5
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For a few bucks more, I see an upside to the little lockbox and no downside as long as it has the dust cover on it. Ravelco install is tomorrow morning!
If you had a few more SMB's stolen, soon you will have a free one. Are you sure you want to disrupt the process?
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:11 PM   #6
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I am not convinced "chip keys" are invincible in any brand of car. There are more anecdotal and news reports of thieves getting inside and starting vehicles without any physical damage and without having the owner's key. Instead, they are able to reprogram the vehicle's computer to accept whatever key they have on hand.

A locksmith creating a second key fob for my Prius said if I lost both keys, the entire car computer could be flashed and reprogrammed to accept new keys -- without going to the dealership. So the tools exist for professionals, and are obviously available in the wrong hands too.

I don't see any U.S. data for the Sprinter, but several articles are listing it as one of the most stolen cars in the UK. Police in London believe 42% of car thefts are being done with key "spoofing" technology.
Quote:
Thieves use a device which bypasses the vehicle's electronic information as the owner locks it, or they break into the vehicle and connect a device to the OBD port, downloading the vehicle's information onto a blank key in a matter of seconds. The new key is then compatible with the vehicle, so it disables the alarm and the vehicle can simply be driven away.
Admittedly, Sprinters haven't always had the fancy chips (and I don't know how the European ones compare to the vans we get) so the numbers could be skewed by older vehicles still getting stolen. But it seems clear they are not as "theft proof" as Mercedes would like you to think.

Increasing numbers being stolen after thieves simply bypass security devices (Includes video of key reprogramming)


Keyless Thefts Account For Nearly Half Of Stolen Vehicles In London


HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM VAN THEFT
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:39 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Ned5555;172101]I am not convinced "chip keys" are invincible in any brand of car.

Wow, sobering info, thanks for the links.........
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile View Post
If you had a few more SMB's stolen, soon you will have a free one. Are you sure you want to disrupt the process?
So, what you're saying is, if I just lose a couple more and almost double my investment on each one...I see what you're getting at

Dammit, I gotta ship my shocks down to you this week. They're just sitting here in bubble wrap.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:53 PM   #9
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I couldn't find much in the way of stats, but what I did come across says that keys are used when Sprinters are stolen.

Looking a bit further, the sheer volume of Sprinters in the UK makes for a much larger market for security products.

Here is a website with some interesting options, including an OBD Port Protection Device: Sprinter MK1/2 Deadlock | TVL - Trade Vehicle Locks

I will keep looking and if anything interesting turns up I will be sure to report it here.
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