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View Full Version : Differential failure at 36,600 miles!?? 3,000 miles from home Help!


roachclan6
07-07-2010, 12:57 PM
This is my first post. Forgive me for any protocol breaches... {2007 Passenger 2500 diesel}I am in the middle of my cross country vacation (wife and 4 kids) and about 500 miles after the 36k warranty number rolled over the whirring sound started. I was in Canada and drove to my Sisters in Rochester N.Y. thinking it was another carrier bearing failure (my third). I called Chrysler and they advised me to bring it to Doan Chrysler Jeep a few miles away.
They tell me it's the differential. They want a $500 co pay and at least 5 days for the part. During one of the carrier bearing repairs the pinion seal was leaking and the dealer (California) fixed it under warranty about 10 months ago.
Maybe I'm delusional, but the dealer repair of the pinion seal may have tweaked it. Was the correct fluid used etc....
I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has had a differential failure and at what mileage? Based on my frequent scans of the forum I have not seen much on the radar.
Also , does anyone have any insight on negotiating the dealer/corporate H.Q. maze ? Any Magic contact numbers or key phrases?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. The Dodge /Mercedes worm hole isn't making things easier.
I find it sad that MB sells their vehicles with 5 year 50,000 mile warranty and our Dodge units only have 3/36K....
I'm currently leaning towards driving it back to California and dealing with things there. Any thoughts on putting another 3,000 miles on it? They seem to be talking about a unit remove and replace so the diff is a write off anyway.
Thanks in advance for your support.
Robert

piper1
07-07-2010, 01:32 PM
To be honest with you Robert, I'd pay the $500 and get it fixed. Here is why. Technically, Dodge can walk away from you and offer nothing, your warranty is up, you knowingly drove the van from Canada to Rochester with a problem (even though you thought it was minor) and, differential problems tend to get worse....quickly. There is a lot of empty open spaces between Rochester and Cali. Also, Dodge has a record that it is failed, made you an offer, and if you then drive back home ignoring their advice I really cant see them giving you the same deal once you are back home.

If the wrong oil was used at the pinion seal replacement it might have contributed to the failure but not likely. I know I preach about correct oils but in a diff it is way less critical than in the engine. If they failed to refill the diff to the proper level would be a more likely cause.

I know it stinks, but Dodge is offering you something when they really do not have to. Take it. $500 is a cheap way to get a brand new differential.

HappyFamilyVan
07-07-2010, 01:57 PM
Agree with Piper....when you get home take your receipt to your local dealer and if no satisfaction contact the regional rep in CA.
Regardless of the outcome....$500 is a good deal and a fair insurance price against damage that could strand you in the middle of no where,

Just curious...what is your wheel base...140, 170, or the extended?.

Good luck

kendall69
07-07-2010, 09:18 PM
Pay the $500 and fight when you get home the first dealer may pay 50% ...or nothing. Either way $500.00 cheap and will get you home any way.

jdcaples
07-07-2010, 09:53 PM
This saddens me to read, but I have to agree: cough up the cash, make the vehicle reliable again and get home.

Decide the next step when you're not considering/adjusting your vacation plans.

NCV3 differential failure reports are pretty rare in the NAFTA region right now.

If you can get a sample of the fluid in the diff housing, it might become handy evidence.... then again, it seems like everyone weasles out of obligations these days, a fluid sample might just end up being a "souvenir."



-Jon

roachclan6
07-08-2010, 03:58 PM
Thank you all for the advice- I have the 144 wheelbase standard roof pasenger model. The latest update is.... When I brought up the pinion seal replacement and mentioned I was waiting for the case manager to contact me the service manager seemed more willing to help. He basically said his regional guy would O.K. the repair no charge and allowed me to keep the vehicle to use while the part is shipped. He was not concerned with any further damage as the replacement unit would be swapped in and the old one written off. I will see if I can ask for a fluid sample. I may be pushing my luck....
I am wondering if they botched the pinion seal repair- too much or too little torque. The part is due to arrive in 4 days. I will update when all is said and done.
Thanks again for your help and insight.
It may be unrelated to the carrier bearing prop shaft issues, but I can't help but think that MB should do a recall and retrofit the updated shafts and bearing(s) to avoid future problems and ensure that Sprinter owners feel they have the best engineered and reliable vehicle on the market. Typically I am singing the praises of this machine, I hope to continue to do so without any reservations.
Thanks again forum members.
Keep on Sprintin....
Robert

jdcaples
07-08-2010, 11:51 PM
The latest word on recalls from MB of Lynnwood, WA: The dealership will not be re-imbursed for recall work - by MB - on pre-2010 NAFTA Sprinters. Warranty work is covered, according to MB of Lynnwood, WA and they have been re-imbursed for my warranty work, but all recall work must be carried out by Dodge dealerships.

-Jon

wayneskid
07-09-2010, 02:32 AM
.....but all recall work must be carried out by Dodge dealerships.

-Jon

Hi Jon, Do you know what the rules might be for my 2008 Freightliner/2010 AS Interstate??

Wayne

jdcaples
07-09-2010, 01:51 PM
Technically speaking, your 2008 Freightliner is still considered to be a "Dodge" by MB.

MB-licensed dealerships are independent businesses. As part of the license to sell and service NAFTA MB products, MB Dealerships use a system called "VMI."

VMI lists all pre-2010 Sprinters as "Dodge."

MB of Lynnwood is having enormous amounts of trouble getting re-imbursments from MB for recall work on Freightliner Sprinters.

I showed MB of Lynnwood, WA the data card with Freightliner execution code "ZX9 Freightliner Execution." As late as last week, their business mgr was going to challenge MB's refusal based on the data card that clearly indicates "Freightliner."

The problem is that your Freightliner Sprinter and my Freightliner Sprinter were still ordered on Chrysler computers because Chrysler owned the brand. From MB's perspective (as dictated by Daimler AG), they're all "Dodge."

I quipped that, " When you tell MB about the the ZX9 code, it'll just disappear from the NAFTA data cards very soon. Whoever put together the Sprinter info in VMI, probably just forgot about the data cards....."

MB of Lynnwood feels strongly that Daimler should just own up to it, but it seems either MB or Daimler AG really doesn't want to honor recalls of equipment order Chrysler and sold to us.

This subject has been discussed to death on Sprinter-Source. Someone as to pay the techs for their work and their time. If it's not Daimler or MB, it'll be the dealership or the customer.

I'm surprised MB of Lynnwood gets re-imbursed for warranty work on pre-2010 NAFTA Sprinters.


Those are the "rules," as of today.

-Jon

wayneskid
07-09-2010, 02:27 PM
The Certificate of Origin for my Freightliner is a Chrysler document, I guess this confirms that it is a Dodge. I can hardly wait for my first warranty claim! I gather you are saying that I will need to take my rig to Dodge not Freightliner for warranty work? In a way this is fortunate for me as the only Freightliner dealer in AK is just now getting up to speed on Sprinters while the Chrysler/Dodge dealer has multiple experienced techs and the service manager has already spent a good deal of time answering my questions and showing me around their Sprinter service bays and lifts. I was actually impressed with the staff and facilities and will probably use them for the first oil change. The MB dealership here is not Sprinter qualified, for now at least.

autostaretx
07-09-2010, 03:48 PM
discussed to death on Sprinter-Source
Among the discussions there also appears to be a distinction between "warranty" and "recall" work.
Evidently the folks with 2002/2003 Freightliners are being told to go to -Freightliner-, not Dodge, for the Intake Cooler recall.

--dick (2005 Freightliner)

jdcaples
07-09-2010, 04:25 PM
The Certificate of Origin for my Freightliner is a Chrysler document, I guess this confirms that it is a Dodge. I can hardly wait for my first warranty claim! I gather you are saying that I will need to take my rig to Dodge not Freightliner for warranty work?

In a way this is fortunate for me as the only Freightliner dealer in AK is just now getting up to speed on Sprinters while the Chrysler/Dodge dealer has multiple experienced techs and the service manager has already spent a good deal of time answering my questions and showing me around their Sprinter service bays and lifts. I was actually impressed with the staff and facilities and will probably use them for the first oil change. The MB dealership here is not Sprinter qualified, for now at least.

I think the best course of action is to call a dealership before you drive there and then get two employees (one manger, one non-manager) to confirm their answer to you about any particular service.

Dealerships are dynamic environments where the right hand sometimes doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

In fact, when I first started looking for a Sprinter, I was told by two Dodge sales guys that they could sell me a Sprinter and to come on in. I didn't see them on Dodge website as a "sprinter dealer," but hey, it's the web and it lies.


I called a third time, and asked for a manager who said, "what's a Sprinter?"

After about 10 minutes of research with me on the phone, she confirmed her dealership was not authorized by Chrysler to order Sprinters.

She called the two sales drones into her office.

Both sales guys than arrived, sat down and over the speaker phone with me, said "oh.... we thought (Jon) said 'Stratus.'"

Call first. Then call again. Get a manager to confirm the story you're told. MB dealerships are better, but the Sprinter-Source users are reporting inconsistent information about services available at MB dealerships for pre-2010 Sprinters. Any Freightliner dealership will probably accommodate all three "certificates of origin."

-Jon

gary 32
07-12-2010, 07:35 PM
Thank you all for the advice- I have the 144 wheelbase standard roof pasenger model. The latest update is.... When I brought up the pinion seal replacement and mentioned I was waiting for the case manager to contact me the service manager seemed more willing to help. He basically said his regional guy would O.K. the repair no charge and allowed me to keep the vehicle to use while the part is shipped. He was not concerned with any further damage as the replacement unit would be swapped in and the old one written off. I will see if I can ask for a fluid sample. I may be pushing my luck....
I am wondering if they botched the pinion seal repair- too much or too little torque. The part is due to arrive in 4 days. I will update when all is said and done.
Thanks again for your help and insight.
It may be unrelated to the carrier bearing prop shaft issues, but I can't help but think that MB should do a recall and retrofit the updated shafts and bearing(s) to avoid future problems and ensure that Sprinter owners feel they have the best engineered and reliable vehicle on the market. Typically I am singing the praises of this machine, I hope to continue to do so without any reservations.
Thanks again forum members.
Keep on Sprintin....
Robert

Robert,

My experiences and conclusions with Dodge have also been favorable.
Every repair Dodge ever did resulted in damage to either the component being repaired or any part needing to be removed to access the repair. They were always fair about the resolutions but I have no confidence in my local Dodge repair facilities.
Now the 2nd owner of the same Sprinter (past posts), I do all my own maintenance. I live in So Cal and have high hopes for Caliber Motors if I ever need them.
I love my Sprinter also, I even bought it twice...

Mrdi
07-16-2010, 12:13 AM
High hopes form Caliber motors.
I have e mailed their service dept several times and have received No Response.
Please keep us apprised of your experience.

Caliber Motors/Mercedes of Anaheim CA.


Robert,

My experiences and conclusions with Dodge have also been favorable.
Every repair Dodge ever did resulted in damage to either the component being repaired or any part needing to be removed to access the repair. They were always fair about the resolutions but I have no confidence in my local Dodge repair facilities.
Now the 2nd owner of the same Sprinter (past posts), I do all my own maintenance. I live in So Cal and have high hopes for Caliber Motors if I ever need them.
I love my Sprinter also, I even bought it twice...

gary 32
07-16-2010, 03:54 PM
Mrdi,
I also answered your pm about Caliber. I remember we spoke about Glenn Thomas Dodge and how fair they were with me when you purchased your vehicle. Circumstances with Chrysler, Mercedes and Sprinters have all changed, I assume your experience was also positive?
As for Caliber, I would just show up there when I needed to hire them, there are 2 other Sprinter dealers closer to me but without along explanation, Caliber was that good.

sarcasm alert:
(I have to pick the right time and person to utter these words to, hopefully you will only laugh)

I have been a business owner for 28 years and the day you can receive funds over the phone or in an email, that will become my primary focus. Until that time I produce products and services that I get paid for point of contact and that is my focus.

roachclan6
07-16-2010, 05:04 PM
Update-
For those keeping score at home....
I have my Sprinter back and the folks at Doan Dodge in Greece/Rochester, N.Y. did a great job. The tech- Rob, was well versed in Sprinterese and confirmed the carrier bearings are cheesy and require replacement way too often.
He said he has changed some differentials. He suspected pinion nut over/under torque....
The fact that they worked with me regarding prior repair/warranty was commendable. The final bill was $0. No charge.
Thank you forum members for your help.
We are about to make our 180 degree turn and head back to the West coast.
I look forward to many trouble free Sprinter miles.
Roach Clan

kendall69
07-16-2010, 05:22 PM
....and confirmed the carrier bearings are cheesy and require replacement way too often.

So should we all be concerned about this now? Is this now a maintenance we should be having the dealer look at? No one like being stuck on the road.

roachclan6
07-17-2010, 01:57 AM
Kendall- The carrier bearings seem under-engineered compared to the rest of the vehicle. The tech comments confirm what has been shared here on the forum. Compared to other vehicles with two piece driveshafts this Sprinter bearing seems less robust.
The good news is when they fail they make noise and to my knowledge don't cause immediate catastrophic failure. If anyone knows of catastrophic failure please chime in....
That being said, I believe the 09 and later models have a beefier bearing from the factory. I have a possible contact at a Freightliner dealership close to NYC. When I get down there I will pick their brains.
Call me Polyanna, but if I were an MB exec I would try to make things right on the 07 & 08 models to ensure the vehicles reputation as a trouble free work horse.
The Dodge/MB fiasco complicates everything.... I would think there would be a Dodge/MB database to track how many bearings have been switched out. I don't even know who to direct a complaint to. If we knew who to write to we might be able to mount a campaign to bring this to their attention.
Sincerely,
Vagabond Polyanna Sprinter owner

jdcaples
07-17-2010, 02:41 AM
That being said, I believe the 09 and later models have a beefier bearing from the factory. I have a possible contact at a Freightliner dealership close to NYC. When I get down there I will pick their brains.


Call me Polyanna, but if I were an MB exec I would try to make things right on the 07 & 08 models to ensure the vehicles reputation as a trouble free work horse.
The Dodge/MB fiasco complicates everything.... I would think there would be a Dodge/MB database to track how many bearings have been switched out. I don't even know who to direct a complaint to. If we knew who to write to we might be able to mount a campaign to bring this to their attention.
Sincerely,
Vagabond Polyanna Sprinter owner

2009+ Sprinters have an improved design. It's not backwards compatible. SprinterWIS (http://www.sprintertekinfo.com)documents make it very clear that the technician is not to try to install the improved design because it won't fit on the the old style (2007/2008) propeller shaft (which is Daimer for "drive shaft").


Yes, we got the shaft.

-Jon

Froggy
07-17-2010, 03:26 AM
Does any know if it possible to make a drive shaft for a 2007 2500 does not require the intermediate bearing? Seems to me one reason for the intermediate bearing is different wheelbase options. Thanks!

HappyFamilyVan
07-17-2010, 03:31 AM
...carrier bearings seem under-engineered compared to the rest of the vehicle. ...vehicles with two piece driveshafts ...


Do the 144s have a two piece driveshafts or are they found only on the longer Sprinters?

kendall69
07-17-2010, 03:56 AM
..2009+ Sprinters have an improved design. It's not backwards compatible. SprinterWIS documents make it very clear that the technician is not to try to install the improved design because it won't fit on the the old style (2007/2008) propeller shaft (which is Daimer for "drive shaft").


Yes, we got the shaft.

You mean we got PROPELLERED!!!
Bwahahahhahahahah:lol:

qualityair
07-17-2010, 10:35 AM
Do the 144s have a two piece driveshafts or are they found only on the longer Sprinters?

144 = 2 shafts

roachclan6
07-17-2010, 12:55 PM
Ultimately a retro-fit of an updated 2 piece propeller shaft replacement with improved bearing installed is the proper long term fix. Not sure who needs to raise their hand and say "I'll do it".... Somehow I feel MB should be the one to step up.
My passenger 144" was built in Dusseldorf, I feel it is their baby....
I can only imagine the headaches when the 100K warranty on emissions expires.... Anyone else looking forward to EGR issues every 30K?
Hopefully they will have it sorted out by the time most of us get there....
I will always love my Sprinter... Only a few issues to iron out.
The Roach Clan

Altered Sprinter
07-17-2010, 01:16 PM
Ultimately a retro-fit of an updated 2 piece propeller shaft replacement with improved bearing installed is the proper long term fix. Not sure who needs to raise their hand and say "I'll do it".... Somehow I feel MB should be the one to step up.
My passenger 144" was built in Dusseldorf, I feel it is their baby....
I can only imagine the headaches when the 100K warranty on emissions expires.... Anyone else looking forward to EGR issues every 30K?
Hopefully they will have it sorted out by the time most of us get there....
I will always love my Sprinter... Only a few issues to iron out.
The Roach Clan I appreciate your concern but it's in part common with all of these vans Mercedes Fiat Ford Peugeot Citroen,however in saying this it is based on final differential ratios 3.9 auto is not the best option as to 4.1 4.3 4.7 4,9 type differentials ratios.
As you have SCR your EGR is having a hard time dumping unburnt fuels resulting in excess soot:shifty:
There is a difference in the two emission systems EGR and SCR transfering to the new Bluetec and adblue both are different in design yet similar and both have issues. that are a result of fuel quality.
Think your self lucky your not in Eastern Europe they are having a nightmare.

Richard

NBB
05-06-2011, 03:35 PM
I thought I would bump this thread.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13223 is locked, but has a procedure in there for a carrier bearing retrofit.

Mine failed at 16k, maybe 20-30 miles of dirt roads. It's a 2008, with no dust cap on the bearing.

I brought the vehicle to local MB dealer, along with the spec linked to above and stated that I wanted exactly this work done, under warranty. They did it, no charge. It took 1 full day to get the parts.

Just an FYI and yet another story about how useful this forum is.

Suggest if you are nearing the end of your warranty, to listen very carefully for any noise seeming to be coming from between the seats. It sounded like really worn brake pads - except when I stepped on the brake, the noise didn't change. It was most noticable under 20mph.

Good luck,