Are you interested in buying a tool for Mercedes Key programming? Which Tool is easy to work? New update, support and more cars?
Here is a brief review of some common MB key programmers: Xhorse VVDI MB, CGDI MB, Autel IM508/IM608 and AVDI.
VVDI MB ($849) is probably the best of the ‘low cost’ tools. You can buy adapters and such to make the connections fast and easy, it’s reliable the only issue is the token system, it’s a pay per use model, however most come with 1 free token per day for a year.
VVDI Key tool plus ($2,095) is more expensive but you get a fairly well featured key programming tool for other purposes, and is standalone with no laptop required.
CGDI MB ($579) offers 1 free use per day in perpetuity, however you must be more familiar with how these cars work and be confident in wiring up the EZS manually. It also appears to generate the key EEPROM or write the keys poorly at times, especially with early cars you’ll have a key working but the dashboard will say key is calculating.
Autel im608 with G-Box ($2,579) offers good coverage but it can be really, really finicky for password extraction. No usage limits, however you’ll need to keep your update sub current for the online service required for generating keys and extracting passwords.
AVDI has excellent coverage, and doesn’t require you know the system quite as well as some of the others. But it’s expensive and the error handling if the internet drops during extraction is frankly terrible (it’ll sit there spinning it’s wheels forever if it drops at the wrong time). The manuals can be a bit useless though, especially for wiring diagrams.
CGDI MB vs VVDI MB which is better?
Much the same coverage, VVDI MB expects you to have a VVDI prog or use their accessory cables(or make your own) to get the data by IR. CGDI comes with a little bunch of wires that you connect according to the provided schematics for password extraction, can work from programmer dumps as well.
VVDI uses a token system or a yearly sub for password extraction, but you get free tokens if you use their keys. CGDI membership comes with 1 free password per day for the lifetime of the unit, they sell tokens as well but are very cheap.
VVDI writes keys fine, CGDI I find writes keys poorly at times, especially on 202/208/210 vehicles.
Neither one offers Gateway emulation for 209/211/169/245 vehicles, Poldiag and Autel offer that function which means you don’t need to wire up a gateway with the EZS on the bench. Neither VVDI nor CGDI are really designed to work in the car for AKL(though they can but not well), that’s a AVDI/Autel function.
Some people generally use the CGDI for getting the password, then read the car with Xhore VVDI, input the read password and write keys with VVDI. When writing replacement ESLs or EZSes some will usually do that on the bench with CGDI, the octopus of wires is far easier to do than finding the right adapter for what you’re working on.
Some solutions are more streamlined for certain cars than others, some are quicker than others at certain cars. And you’ll need to get an appropriate programmer such as smok/vvdiprog etc if you want to be playing in this space anyway because occasionally it’s 100% necessary to go back to the old way and get a dump out of a EZS. You need to decide on the mercedes coverage you need and your realistic budget and fit a tool to your needs and hopes.