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View Full Version : Should I buy a Sprinter?


zargian
04-14-2011, 02:47 PM
Hi all,

I have been reading many of the threads here but still have some questions. I am seriously considering buying a new (2011) Sprinter, but I am having doubts. I got vague answers from the salesperson, so I figured I would try here.

Getting these worked on by a qualified, experienced mechanic seems tricky. As I understand it, Dodge, then Freightliner, and now MB service centers have all taken their turn at servicing Sprinters over the last ~10 years. For comparison, my current (3) mechanics have worked on Subaru and only Subaru for the last 20 years. I have no doubt they know what they are doing with my vehicle. In your opinion, is there a serious deficit in knowledgeable service centers (SC) available?

Regarding the warranty, who is "qualified" to do the work? Will I be able to take it to all Dodge SC, some Dodge SC, or ONLY MB SC?

I understand the 10,000 mile oil change runs about $400 at an authorized service center? My current oil change (3,000 miles) runs about $30. How much more expensive can the oil and filter be? Is it more difficult to change the oil in one of these than any of the other 10 cars I have owned in my life?

How much does the 30,000 service required by the warranty cost? What is involved?

What kind of gas mileage can I REALLY expect carrying ~700 lbs of cargo?

Thanks a bunch for any feedback you can provide. $40k is HUGE for me, so I need all the information I can get!!!

flman
04-14-2011, 04:58 PM
Hi all,

I have been reading many of the threads here but still have some questions. I am seriously considering buying a new (2011) Sprinter, but I am having doubts. I got vague answers from the salesperson, so I figured I would try here.

Getting these worked on by a qualified, experienced mechanic seems tricky. As I understand it, Dodge, then Freightliner, and now MB service centers have all taken their turn at servicing Sprinters over the last ~10 years. For comparison, my current (3) mechanics have worked on Subaru and only Subaru for the last 20 years. I have no doubt they know what they are doing with my vehicle. In your opinion, is there a serious deficit in knowledgeable service centers (SC) available?

The knowledge is there, most repairs are diagnosed with a computer, on these complex machines, that are able to do most of their own diagnosis, with many on board computers.

Regarding the warranty, who is "qualified" to do the work? Will I be able to take it to all Dodge SC, some Dodge SC, or ONLY MB SC?

You are pretty much stuck with MB if it is 2010 or newer, if you buy a Freightliner they will be the place to take it to.

I understand the 10,000 mile oil change runs about $400 at an authorized service center? My current oil change (3,000 miles) runs about $30. How much more expensive can the oil and filter be? Is it more difficult to change the oil in one of these than any of the other 10 cars I have owned in my life?

I am a DIYer, I cant explain?

How much does the 30,000 service required by the warranty cost? What is involved?

:idunno:

What kind of gas mileage can I REALLY expect carrying ~700 lbs of cargo?

17MPG and up :thumbup:

Thanks a bunch for any feedback you can provide. $40k is HUGE for me, so I need all the information I can get!!!

Yeah, they are expensive, is your 700# that bulky that you need such a spacious van as a Sprinter?

piper1
04-14-2011, 05:09 PM
If you buy a 2011 and it is badged as a Benz....Mercedes Benz is the only outlet you have for authorized warranty work. If you buy it from a Freightliner dealer then they can do warranty work.

Many Dodge dealers and others will work on it...but will lack the proper training and tools to do so properly. When they don't know what they are doing...it is your $$ being wasted.

Yes the oil changes are that expensive. You can buy the oil and filters yourself but it will still cost you north of $100, $75 if you don't do the fuel filter at each service (which you better do each time while it's under warranty). The oil required is expensive..it has to meet MB229.51 spec...other wise you will have issues, issues not covered under warranty. Changing the oil yourself is actually very easy. A 2011 will also require DEF (AdBlue Urea etc..). Don't get hooked into buying it at the dealer, the stuff is available MUCH cheaper at truck stops and even some Wal-Marts. You won't need much of it anyway.

Fuel mileage depends largely on how you drive it but between 18 and 22 mpg seems to be the norm.

Good Luck!

zargian
04-14-2011, 05:30 PM
...is your 700# that bulky that you need such a spacious van as a Sprinter?

It will be mostly used for camping, so the space is crucial.

Will changing the oil myself (w/proper oil and filter) void the warranty?

piper1
04-14-2011, 05:35 PM
Will changing the oil myself (w/proper oil and filter) void the warranty?

No...as long as you keep the receipts showing exactly what oil you used (to verify the MB229.51 spec).

icarus
04-14-2011, 05:47 PM
Oil and oil filter change is quite easy for DIY, but you must be very careful to use the correct spec oil. (I am not convinced that the dealer always does so!) That oil runs ~$8-10 quart and you need 14 quarts. ( and no, you don't void the warrantee as long as you can document your service, this is federal law on any car. Unless they do the work for free, an automaker can't mandate who does routine service)

Fuel filter (change interval of 10k) is also very easy to DIY.

MB will do warrantee work on a FL, I am not sure that FL will do MB however. Qualified people and service centers are scarce, but not impossible. Do a google search of the areas where you expect to regularly travel and see where the service (warrantee) centers are.

These beasts are quite reliable, but they are quirky,

Good luck,

Icarus

slowstride
04-14-2011, 07:48 PM
MB is the place for warranty work. They have the SDS scanner and other special tools, and more importantly, the training. They are also used to working on MB vehicles, which is what a Sprinter is, regardless of the grill which was stuck on it.....
:2cents:

sunlimits
04-15-2011, 12:08 AM
I'm on my third one 04,06, & current 2010 and I am thinking it may be my last. The money to repair and keep them running is just too much. If you must have the space you don't have much choice but they are not cheap to maintain. Gas vehicles are so much cheaper to work on and you still get a lot of miles on them before trading. Plus you figure in the cost of diesel and it just doesn't make much sense. They are nice though, obviously, or I wouldn't have stuck with them for so long. :2cents:

Aqua Puttana
04-15-2011, 12:22 AM
I apologize up front to our female forum members for this one. :hugs:


...
Plus you figure in the cost of diesel and it just doesn't make much sense.
...


Kinda like keeping a beautiful good woman who loves fine jewelry.



They are nice though, obviously, or I wouldn't have stuck with them for so long. :2cents:

Don't buy your first Sprinter because you are very likely to be seduced by the driveability and roominess to the point that you're willing to put up with most anything. Kinda like a beautiful good woman... I'm repeating myself now aren't I?
Have fun. vic

gary 32
04-15-2011, 12:44 AM
not kinda vic...

Kat
04-15-2011, 02:46 AM
It will be mostly used for camping, so the space is crucial.

Who's going to convert it to a camping van? Do you plan on having a van conversion company do the work or are you planning on doing it yourself? I'm guessing it will cost you at LEAST $20k for a simple conversion (someone can pipe in here if I'm wrong). There are many things to consider in converting a sprinter to a camper like the layout, the wiring, any plumbing, etc.....and it can not only be mentally & physically challenging but it will cost you some bucks to finish it out.

I can't tell you how many little cuts and scrapes I've gotten while just trying to insulate my van... If you do it yourself, keep some bandaids and antibiotic ointment nearby. Today while trying to install the upper panel behind the driver's seat (I really needed another pair of hands!), something went out in my back. Spent a while on the floor twisting & turning...then limped out to the garage where I found my back brace... Then, when bending down to screw the panel on, I hit my knee against a metal thing that holds my Espar heater... I have to ask..is it possible to break a knee cap by jamming it into a hard metal object? Well, I'm still limping but it hurts all the way up to my hip. Then I just jabbed a screw driver into my left hand...

Anyhow, my Sprinter is too new to know what my mechanical problems or costs will be. My Sprinter is sitting in my driveway until I get it finished enough to be safe while driving. If you are doing your own conversion I think you must have time, patience, determination, skill or mechanical aptitude and more money. I've decided that I'm going to finish out my van even if it kills me... and after today, I'm thinking it very well might.

Kat

I'm really just starting on my van conversion, and from what I can tell you so far, it is not for the faint of heart.

Altered Sprinter
04-15-2011, 02:54 AM
Who's going to convert it to a camping van? Do you plan on having a van conversion company do the work or are you planning on doing it yourself? I'm guessing it will cost you at LEAST $20k for a simple conversion (someone can pipe in here if I'm wrong). There are many things to consider in converting a sprinter to a camper like the layout, the wiring, any plumbing, etc.....and it can not only be mentally & physically challenging but it will cost you some bucks to finish it out.

I can't tell you how many little cuts and scrapes I've gotten while just trying to insulate my van... If you do it yourself, keep some bandaids and antibiotic ointment nearby. Today while trying to install the upper panel behind the driver's seat (I really needed another pair of hands!), something went out in my back. Spent a while on the floor twisting & turning...then limped out to the garage where I found my back brace... Then, when bending down to screw the panel on, I hit my knee against a metal thing that holds my Espar heater... I have to ask..is it possible to break a knee cap by jamming it into a hard metal object? Well, I'm still limping but it hurts all the way up to my hip. Then I just jabbed a screw driver into my left hand...

Anyhow, my Sprinter is too new to know what my mechanical problems or costs will be. My Sprinter is sitting in my driveway until I get it finished enough to be safe while driving. If you are doing your own conversion I think you must have time, patience, determination, skill or mechanical aptitude and more money. I've decided that I'm going to finish out my van even if it kills me... and after today, I'm thinking it very well might.

Kat

I'm really just starting on my van conversion, and from what I can tell you so far, it is not for the faint of heart.
Redemption Time.
32219

Times like these you need minties or in Kit-to-Kat, time for break have a Kit Kat.
:rolleyes:

Kat
04-15-2011, 03:12 AM
Yes, some DARK CHOCOLATE would taste really good about now...plus a little extra energy to keep the Kat going.... Oh and LOVE... chocolate is supposed to make you more loving. Since I want to keep loving my van, had better stock up on C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. :drool:

And for a van conversion...I don't think I would do this again.... Would probably look for a good low mileage Sprinter RV...one of the name brands or just get the cab part and take it to Tri-Van Truck Body (or somewhere like that) and let them build a camper onto it.

Kat 32220

Altered Sprinter
04-15-2011, 03:18 AM
Yes, some DARK CHOCOLATE would taste really good about now...plus a little extra energy to keep the Kat going.... Oh and LOVE... chocolate is supposed to make you more loving. Since I want to keep loving my van, had better stock up on C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. :drool:

And for a van conversion...I don't think I would do this again.... Would probably look for a good low mileage Sprinter RV...one of the name brands or just get the cab part and take it to Tri-Van Truck Body (or somewhere like that) and let them build a camper onto it.

Kat 32220 And that would be another Kat thread, with kitty Kat spitting fur balls from thread to thread [Don't go down that route. or you'll go nuts.]
Good Kat's have a liquid diet with pure Golden Fluids' Keeps their systems flushed and felling good.
:rad::rad:
32221
MADE IN THE U>S OF A

slowstride
04-15-2011, 04:40 AM
Have you done enough for a mallowpuff?

michaelrking
04-17-2011, 02:35 AM
My 07 long/high has been keeping track of mileage for over 16K miles, the computer says 17.9.

zargian
04-19-2011, 03:08 AM
Kat, I would be doing the conversion myself. I had a 1983 econoline that I converted... 4 different times! I enjoyed the challenge and made many, many improvements each time. I think I have it pretty dialed in at this point. But if I don't feel comfortable with the vehicle itself, it isn't going to be worth it to me.

Thanks for the input.

ash
04-19-2011, 01:33 PM
Hi all,

I have been reading many of the threads here but still have some questions. I am seriously considering buying a new (2011) Sprinter, but I am having doubts. I got vague answers from the salesperson, so I figured I would try here.

Getting these worked on by a qualified, experienced mechanic seems tricky. As I understand it, Dodge, then Freightliner, and now MB service centers have all taken their turn at servicing Sprinters over the last ~10 years. For comparison, my current (3) mechanics have worked on Subaru and only Subaru for the last 20 years. I have no doubt they know what they are doing with my vehicle. In your opinion, is there a serious deficit in knowledgeable service centers (SC) available?

Regarding the warranty, who is "qualified" to do the work? Will I be able to take it to all Dodge SC, some Dodge SC, or ONLY MB SC?

I understand the 10,000 mile oil change runs about $400 at an authorized service center? My current oil change (3,000 miles) runs about $30. How much more expensive can the oil and filter be? Is it more difficult to change the oil in one of these than any of the other 10 cars I have owned in my life?

How much does the 30,000 service required by the warranty cost? What is involved?

What kind of gas mileage can I REALLY expect carrying ~700 lbs of cargo?

Thanks a bunch for any feedback you can provide. $40k is HUGE for me, so I need all the information I can get!!!

dont buy mate... i have had nothing but problems...for the money its not worth it