Understanding Aftermarket Mercedes Key Fobs: Pros and Cons

Mercedes key fob replacement


When it comes to replacing your Mercedes key fob, you may have the option to choose aftermarket key fobs instead of genuine ones. Aftermarket key fobs are manufactured by third-party companies and offer an alternative to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) key fobs. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of aftermarket Mercedes key fobs to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Aftermarket Key Fobs

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Aftermarket key fobs are often more affordable than genuine OEM key fobs. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly replacement option, aftermarket key fobs can help you save money while still providing the basic functionalities of remote locking and unlocking.
  • Variety and Customization: Aftermarket key fobs come in a wide range of designs, styles, and features. You may find options with different button configurations, materials, or additional functionalities such as remote start or trunk opening. This variety allows you to choose a key fob that suits your preferences and requirements.
  • Availability: Aftermarket key fobs are more readily available compared to genuine OEM key fobs, which may require specific ordering or access through authorized dealerships. If you need a replacement key fob quickly, aftermarket options can offer more convenience and accessibility.

Cons of Aftermarket Key Fobs

  • Compatibility Issues: One of the main drawbacks of aftermarket key fobs is the potential for compatibility issues. Since they are not specifically designed for your Mercedes model, there is a chance that the aftermarket key fob may not function correctly or may not fully integrate with your vehicle’s electronic system. This can result in limited or inconsistent functionalities.
  • Quality and Reliability: Aftermarket key fobs may vary in terms of quality and reliability. While some aftermarket options may provide satisfactory performance, others may have inferior components or lack the same level of durability and longevity as genuine OEM key fobs. It’s important to research and choose reputable aftermarket brands to minimize the risk of poor quality.
  • Programming Challenges: Programming aftermarket key fobs can be more complex compared to genuine OEM key fobs. Since aftermarket options are not standardized across all Mercedes models, the programming process may require more technical expertise or specific tools. Improper programming can lead to compatibility issues or even potential damage to your vehicle’s electronic system.

Considerations and Recommendations

When considering aftermarket key fobs for your Mercedes, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons based on your individual needs and preferences. If cost-effectiveness and customization options are your priorities, aftermarket key fobs may be a viable choice. However, it’s essential to ensure compatibility, quality, and reliable programming. Consider consulting with a professional locksmith or authorized dealership to help you select a reputable aftermarket key fob and ensure proper programming for optimal performance.


Aftermarket key fobs offer cost-effective options and a wide variety of choices for your Mercedes key fob replacement. However, they come with potential compatibility issues, varying quality and reliability, and programming challenges. Carefully evaluate your priorities and consider professional guidance to ensure a compatible and reliable aftermarket key fob. Alternatively, genuine OEM key fobs provide guaranteed compatibility and performance, but at a higher cost. By understanding the pros and cons of aftermarket key fobs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and budget when replacing your Mercedes key fob.


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