Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club
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Repair Questions and Answers.

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 #389804  by bkspain
Hi: New to the club, have a problem with the ignition key switch. Key was worn and would slide out in any position. Bought a new key/tumbler and installed it. Started the car, it cranked and started but died in a few seconds. After a few times it would not crank at all. Re-installed the old tumblers and the car starts and runs fine. Is three some kind of anti theft system that does not allow installation of a different key/tumbler? How do I disable or fix this?
Thank you for the help.
Stay safe, regards
Bill Kaltenekker
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 #389805  by LUNAT1C
Hi Bill. Is your original key a gray color? If so, you have the Sentry key system. When using a key that is not programmed to the car, the engine will run for a few sections and shut down when the system doesn't detect the correct key. It's the engine immobilizer.

You can install a new tumbler and use a new key, however it must also be a gray sentry key and it must be programmed to the car using the DRB-III tool (typically only a dealer will have this). A couple of years ago I had a stolen key replaced by my dealer and paid about $200USD for a new key and programming the new key, as well as reprogramming the old key so the stolen key would never work again (old key was stolen 10 years ago, but I moved to a different region of the country shortly after and procrastinated on getting a new second key made).
 #389807  by bkspain
Thank you for that. My original key is a brownish, does it still have key ststem?
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 #389808  by LUNAT1C
bkspain wrote: December 8th, 2021, 10:58 am Thank you for that. My original key is a brownish, does it still have key ststem?
Two keys were offered on the LH body, black non-chipped keys and gray chipped keys. Most 300Ms (perhaps all, not sure about exports to Europe) were gray chipped keys. After 20+ years of being handled every day, most gray keys have turned brown.
 #389813  by bkspain
Thank you again. So does the new key physically need to be in the lock? That means I have to get a new key and tumbler? Can I just hang the old key near the lock?
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 #389814  by FIREM
You can hang the old key under the cover of the steering column to “fool” the SKIM that the proper key is in use. You could also replace the tumblers pins to match the existing key and retain the anti theft function. My experience has been that the pins wear more than the key.
 #389885  by bkspain
Thank you for that. I was wondering if taping the old key to the steering column would work. I put the old tumblers back in and it runs fine. Problem is that the tumblers are worn out and the key can be removed in the accessory position which then drains the battery overnight. I will put the new tumblers back in and tape the old key to the steering column . Hope that works, Thanks. Happy New Year.
Bill Kaltenekker