Last post on Jan 15, 2013 at 3:26 PM
You are in the Dodge Sprinter
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Dodge Sprinter, Dodge Sprinter Cargo, Van
#25 of 87 I gave up!!!!!
Dec 06, 2007 (9:16 pm)
im a licensed electrician in nyc i bought a 2003 sprinter 3500 in jan 04 it was a leftover. i bought this van when i started up my business,i had waited for 2 years to make the jump from employee to employer and one of my happiest days was when i picked up my van from merrick dodge and drove it home,this is when the fun started.as i drove my van in january i couldnt wait to get the heat going to bad for me it was broken and did not function except for cold air, i learned this later because 2 miles from the dealer i ran out of fuel and the engine never had a chance to warm up, thats how the dealer sold me the van with no fuel.in my excitement i didnt realize the fuel gauge.the next day i drove back dropped it off to fix the heat 3 days!! later they called me said it was fixed.GREAT RIGHT, lets start to do electrical work and make money WRONG!!! the next morning my driveway was filled with diesel fuel there was a hole in the tank from the "factory", when a bracket was installed near the tank you could see a drill bit mark of some sort that penetrated the tank about an inch from the bottom.YAY MY FIRST ROADSIDE TOW !! funny how i didnt notice fuel leaking when i filled it up after running out on my first drive home, the van was towed to the dealer and they showed me the hole we were all shocked!!.now starts the breakdowns,the van performed very well for about 2 months, after that starting up in the cold or damp air was a real problem. from october to april of each year from 2004 to present day i have had about 10 no starts per the "no start season"well today was my first no start im very happy i made it to december last year this happened in september.each no start resulted in a tow back to the dealer and as always it was a "fuel"problem and a few times i was charged a few bucks because bad fuel is not a covered item.i have never had a real explanation from the service dept. its always a fuel problem or bad diesel or clogged filter once i was told it was the battery im an electrician and did a load test,it was fine. today was a wake up call this van has cost me alot of lost income while at the same time spending money for repairs. also i didnt even get into the other items like a 1200 dollar sevice from the dealer, and brakes that needed roters twice, i started off loving the sprinter that was until i owned one running an electrical contracting firm in nyc is tough enough, having a 40,000 truck that starts sometimes and dealer service that stinks is enough to give up.i purchased a new chevy it gets 12 miles to the gallon but it was almost half the cost, i cant stand up in it,it doesnt hold as much but it has ac,heat and it starts everytime. sorry for the sob story but its 100% true
#26 of 87 Re: I gave up!!!!! [jverrelli]
Dec 07, 2007 (7:13 am)
That's not a sob story, its a tragedy, and you deserved better.
Having bought a new 2004 in 2005 (last on lot sort of thing), I am more and more happy that mine was completely assembled in Germany and checked out thoroughly by someone (and delivered with a full tank)... I bought a wagon (passenger) model.
My dealership problems, however, have not been much better... however, i have never had a fuel problem, and am still on the original filter (39K miles). I have the new filter, and no time to install it... I won't pay over $120 for the dealership to install it!!!
No brake problems yet, but certainly we have seen forums mentioning the need to replace rotors and pads together for some people, especially heavy in-town drivers/delivery people.
Daimler Chrysler should be sorry that they sold you such a problem. I have driven Chevy, Ford (gas and diesel), and very seldom a Dodge Ram van... and now a Sprinter. For my good luck (knock wood) the Sprinter is the best, but it is not driven for work, just back and forth to work... My maintenance, on my van is working so much better than the dealership work.
#27 of 87 Engine dies at the most in-opportune time
Dec 14, 2007 (11:25 am)
Just signed on. It looks like I have company here.
2003 Freightliner Sprinter with just over 200,000 miles, but not without issues.
Current issue is the engines dies during any number of events some are very serious situations such as just passed a real truck at 75 mph and pulled back in front of it and accelerating. The first time this happened I just dived in to the emergency lane. It was good for me there were no other broken down vehicles in that spot or the sprinter would have been a hood ornament. Dash lights still lit but engine dead as a hammer. I had a long drive through eastern Tn. especially over the mountians, as passing gear and heavy throttle seemed to cause it to happen more readily. I learned to turn the key off and back on immediately to keep from getting run over.
Now, sometimes in the morning after starting, pressing the brake pedal kills the engine. I got smart and started the engine with my foot on the brake pedal. Once lowering the driver window killed the engine. Several times when the "engine dying" was happening frequently all of the analog gauges went to zero for a few seconds, then popped back up to normal.
Diagnosis, is a instrument cluster fault. Cost to replace and see if this really is the source, $718 part cost.
I bought this Sprinter new in late 2003. I never saw a "wait to start" light illuminate once or ever. Never saw a clogged filter light ever, but know I had clogged filters and replaced when there is a power loss at high speed.
I was hoping for a loose connection on the instrument cluster. I removed the instrument cluster last evening, but no loose connectors, but a strange "black box" "RKE-Immobilizer" attached to the back of the cluster with a big wire harness connection but no physical electrical connections to the instrument cluster.
Could this "Immobilizer" be what killing the engine?
I would appreciate any thoughts or proven solutions
Dec 26, 2007 (9:36 am)
Having this problem too. Stalled on the way to work today and I'm waiting for it to get fixed. It has happened first thing in the morning several times AND stalled on the side of the road. ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated as I think the dealship is going to need ideas too. (They currently service NO OTHER diesels)
Does anyone know a dealership that DOES work on these in the MSP/St Paul area, and not just a Dodge/Chrysler Dealer that sells them and claims to service them?
#30 of 87 Re: Stalling Issues [wisconnyboy]
Dec 27, 2007 (8:10 am)
More information would be helpful...
Fuel issues are common amongst diesels regardless of make/model.
1) Fuel filter plugging in cold weather,
2) filter clogging from dirty fuel,
3) clogged air filter (dirty or snow sucked up/in (powder)),
4) oil sensor/sender (tells computer you are out of oil or low on pressure),
5) some things that kick in the limp-home-mode could also either seem like a stall, or become a stall situation.
6) water in fuel (but not enough to setoff sensor)
7) computer/network failure
8) ECM (engine control module failure)
9) chaffed wires somewhere shorting out/crossing
10) EGR stuck open (clean/replace depending on age/condition)
This is a wide open field of inquiry.
A good Mercedes shop (I mean an independant garage, with crafts-persons doing the work) will be a good resource if they know CAN/bus and DRBII/III computer codes. They will have to have access to the diagnosis manuals for Sprinters.
It seems odd for a Sprinter dealer to not also have Dodge Cummins diesel pickups as well... Further looks for Spritner dealers/repair in your area should include Freightliner dealers who also sell (or did sell Sprinters).
#31 of 87 Dodge Sprintrer van
Jan 03, 2008 (12:29 pm)
I am having problems with fueling my van. The neck fills up and shuts off the fuel flow from the pump handle. I have pulled the tank and inspected the neck. The anti surge check valve seems free. Any ideas?
#32 of 87 Sprinter starting problems
Jan 04, 2008 (9:38 am)
My husband has an 04 Sprinter 2500 he uses for an Express Mail route. We have had numerous problems since purchasing this van in 2003. We've had anything from brakes, sensors, batteries, fuel/air filter problems, etc. We have a new problem that the mechanics can't seem to figure out so I'm searching this board in hopes of some kind of direction.
When the van is started the auxillary fan to the air conditioner kicks in and the motor sounds as if it is racing.....the van then dies. Restart the van and it will start fine, no fan running, no racing engine.....but you put the van in reverse and once again it dies......wait a few minutes and it starts and drives normally. This only happens when you first start it. There's no loss of power no lights come on and the mechanics have found no coding errors. Any ideas?
One bit of warning for those considering a Sprinter van......mechanics who are licensed or one who knows how to work on these vans are limited and regardless of the problem (in our experience) when you leave the dealership expect to pay $$ for any service on these vans. Our experience has always been at least $500 per visit and has been as much as $1700 and expect to be without the vehicle for at least one day if not a week at a time. Seems these "qualified trained" mechanics don't know where to start if the code reader doesn't detect anything. :
#33 of 87 Re: duplicate keys [kenbaker]
Jan 05, 2008 (6:26 am)
I long ago found that I must keep a key to critical locks in my wallet!
I had a key to 03 sprinter made at the best locksmith shop in town. They found a blank that had the same profile but was thicker, so they ground it thin enough to fit in the lock then cut the teeth the normal way.
After locking the key in the van several times this wallet backup has saved many precious hours and a lot stress. It will unlock the doors no problem.
#34 of 87 Re: Sprinter starting problems [ladydi007]
Jan 05, 2008 (6:43 am)
I am very sympathetic to your problems and issues with Sprinter electronics.
I have been having problems with my sliding side door from day one. Recently it doesn't unlatch. Yesterday, I used the dash mounted unlock button, got out and attempted to open the door, which was a mistake. after pulling on the door latch, I heard the unmistakable sound of all of the doors locking, clunk,clunk. As you may expect I had left the key in the ignition. These Sprinters can have a mind of their on. It was suggested to me that I should find a Priest and have an "exercism performed".
The local dealer who has very short term experience said that it was a faulty instrument cluster. But at $718 for the replacement cluster I am reluctant to put with that much precious green stuff. Maybe if I can find a dealer who will let me "try before you buy"?