PDA

View Full Version : Ignition switch problem with a 2008 diesel


jfreeth
04-22-2011, 07:28 PM
Hi Folks,
Ignition switch problem with a 2008 diesel, luckily occurred in driveway, unluckily whilst packing for multiday camping trip.
Symptoms: Insert key in ignition switch and cannot turn. Instead of a normal electronic sound on key insertion(sort of short buzzing or motor whir) there is just a sequence of several double clicks that sounds like a relay clicking. The sound comes from behind the console, near the key, probably on the steering column. I mention this as it does not come from the several relays above the fuse panel. All the electronics operating normally otherwise. With drivers door open, 'remove key' occurs when normall displayed.
No other recent prior symptoms, use vehicle daily, in midst of RV conversion but have not touched the electronics/electrical circuits yet.
Things tried:
Checked drivers seat fuse panel and console fuse panel, all 43 fuses ok
Removed battery ground cable for minute to reset system.
Tried multiple keys, to check if key fob battery issue.
Rotated steering wheel, full lock in both directions against column lock whilst trying key.
Have not tried reading error codes as I do not have a OBD2 compliant reader.

I tried removing the console panels to gain access to switch and steering wheel column, but was stumped at the last step by the clear plastic instrument panel and surrounding black bezel, which I presume has to be removed to release the last screws or latch holding the larger panel. There are two slots in the black bezel, just above the reset and +/- buttons which I assume are used to release the bezel, but so far no luck. I cannot find a clear diagram or description on this last step and don't want to break anything. I did release the center console cover, lower shrouds, grey left hand shroud, cover near windscreen, left hand speaker cover, and left hand column cover. The latter few not necessary but wasn't sure.

So I have several questions:
1: Is the Service Bulletin "Steering lock locks up" related to my current issue.
2: Not sure what the service warranty covers as I purchased the van new in July 2009(less than 3 years), but have accumulated 60,000 miles so far(30k warranty). The dealership changed hands shortly after I made the purchase, and am concerned about taking it to a local dealer, aside from the problem of getting it there.
3: How do I release the instrument cover and/or whatever is holding the main console panel(the black plastic console on which the key switch is mounted.
4: If the electronic control module on the steering column is faulty can I replace it with new unit. I have been reading this board since purchasing the van and the several horror stories associated with similar problems.
5: Finally are there any workarounds so I can get it running temporarily.

Thanks,
Julian

jdcaples
04-22-2011, 10:46 PM
Hi Folks,
Ignition switch problem with a 2008 diesel, luckily occurred in driveway, unluckily whilst packing for multiday camping trip.

Symptoms: Insert key in ignition switch and cannot turn. Instead of a normal electronic sound on key insertion(sort of short buzzing or motor whir) there is just a sequence of several double clicks that sounds like a relay clicking. The sound comes from behind the console, near the key, probably on the steering column. I mention this as it does not come from the several relays above the fuse panel. All the electronics operating normally otherwise. With drivers door open, 'remove key' occurs when normall displayed.
No other recent prior symptoms, use vehicle daily, in midst of RV conversion but have not touched the electronics/electrical circuits yet.

Things tried:
Checked drivers seat fuse panel and console fuse panel, all 43 fuses ok
Removed battery ground cable for minute to reset system.
Tried multiple keys, to check if key fob battery issue.
Rotated steering wheel, full lock in both directions against column lock whilst trying key.
Have not tried reading error codes as I do not have a OBD2 compliant reader.

I tried removing the console panels to gain access to switch and steering wheel column, but was stumped at the last step by the clear plastic instrument panel and surrounding black bezel, which I presume has to be removed to release the last screws or latch holding the larger panel. There are two slots in the black bezel, just above the reset and +/- buttons which I assume are used to release the bezel, but so far no luck. I cannot find a clear diagram or description on this last step and don't want to break anything. I did release the center console cover, lower shrouds, grey left hand shroud, cover near windscreen, left hand speaker cover, and left hand column cover. The latter few not necessary but wasn't sure.

So I have several questions:
1: Is the Service Bulletin "Steering lock locks up" related to my current issue.
2: Not sure what the service warranty covers as I purchased the van new in July 2009(less than 3 years), but have accumulated 60,000 miles so far(30k warranty). The dealership changed hands shortly after I made the purchase, and am concerned about taking it to a local dealer, aside from the problem of getting it there.
3: How do I release the instrument cover and/or whatever is holding the main console panel(the black plastic console on which the key switch is mounted.
4: If the electronic control module on the steering column is faulty can I replace it with new unit. I have been reading this board since purchasing the van and the several horror stories associated with similar problems.
5: Finally are there any workarounds so I can get it running temporarily.

Thanks,
Julian

OBD is largely emission system specific. You might get some codes off a generic reader, but a Sprinter-Specific scan tool is the best option for OBD diagnostics on your van.

I'm not sure which TSB you're talking about, but most include a list of vehicles - a range of numbers - impacted. If yours isn't on the list, it probably doesn't.

You're probably out of luck about the warranty repair. Warranty repairs aren't free; the cost goes from the dealer to the manufacturer and back to the dealer. It just looks free to the consumer because the consumer doesn't get invoiced.

Removing the console around the ignition switch is documented on www.sprintertekinfo.com and I recommend you subscribe to it and review the service info, which is muchly VIN specific.
Do not worry about the "2010 and above only" disclaimer. There is service info in there for 2002-2011 Sprinters. Another service is Chrysler's www.techauthority.com, but MB's service info is head-and-shoulders above what Chrysler offers.

If you have the time and the skill, you can use the service info to figure things out, otherwise, I'd get it towed to a dealership that you can talk to on the phone, establish some trust, get some expectations set and managed through out the repair process. If they can't be specific, call someone else.

-Jon

jfreeth
04-24-2011, 12:19 PM
Thanks for the response.
I am initially trying to diagnose what is the cause by careful disassembly and testing, but have limited funds and am consequently trying to avoid paid subscriptions and towing fees until I have a better understanding.
My current problem is the disassembly of the dash. From the list of specialized tools in the link you provided there is a clue as to how that is done, by the description of a couple of L shaped tools, presumably these are inserted into the slots in the clear plastic instrument cover, rotated, releasing the plastic latches, allowing removal.
This then provides access to the screw holding the lower dash cover to the upper cowling.
If anyone has access to the manuals, perhaps they could confirm this initial step.

Aqua Puttana
04-24-2011, 12:36 PM
You might find some information to help in general here:

NCV3 Cheap Tricks - Y'all need 'em too!
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7534

Specifically go to post #13. Good luck. vic

jfreeth
04-24-2011, 04:40 PM
Thanks Aqua, I had read that thread in the past but could not find it, being a little freaked without wheels. I remembered Andy's description of the electronic sequence, but had forgotten several of the possible causes, such as gear shift not being solidly in 'park'. I had the classic 'park on full lock' issue with the ignition interlock sequence a few months ago. That being resolved by jiggling the steering wheel while on full lock and inserting/turning the key. At least it eventually cleared after twenty minutes of various jiggling. Ever since then the electronic sound that occurs after key insertion and recognition sometimes repeats several times until I slightly rotate the steering wheel. I only mention this as the system is apparently not robust, exemplified by the Service Bulletin "Steering lock locks up" referenced by Jon, the fix for which is steering column replacement along with associated modules.
The key is definitely recognized on insertion(prior to turning), but instead of the usual electronic noise on insertion there is a double click of a relay throwing. I can't identify which module has the relay that clicks, which is why I'm trying to strip down the dash to gain access.
Easter calls, so will return to ripping the dash apart tomorrow.

jdcaples
04-25-2011, 03:32 AM
<snip>
I had the classic 'park on full lock' issue with the ignition interlock sequence a few months ago. That being resolved by jiggling the steering wheel while on full lock and inserting/turning the key. At least it eventually cleared after twenty minutes of various jiggling.

Ever since then the electronic sound that occurs after key insertion and recognition sometimes repeats several times until I slightly rotate the steering wheel. I only mention this as the system is apparently not robust, exemplified by the Service Bulletin "Steering lock locks up" referenced by Jon, the fix for which is steering column replacement along with associated modules.

<snip>
Easter calls, so will return to ripping the dash apart tomorrow.

Yep. US NCV3 Sprinters: a great ride, but not robust and not inexpensive to maintain; probably the best thing when compared to contemporaries (2007-current) alternatives (which are all high maint and fragile if you think about your most reliable, simple, older transportation). Good luck with the bug hunt. Let us know if we can help with info; tell us where you are (maybe a bit more specific than Northport, NY) and one of us might be able to help out in person.

-Jon

BRANCALEONE
04-25-2011, 04:21 AM
Hi Julian.
First of all Happy Easter.
Regarding your problem I think I know the solution.
Stop right there, don't mess with the instrument cluster, there is nothing right there regarding your problem.
Your problem is in the steering column and precisely at the control module which is connected by a wire terminal.
It probably is defected and if you need one I could send one to you with a big discount (I'm not a dealership or store, I just have a spare part), just remember that after you install a new one you have to see a dealership to reprogram it.
I will give you more info tomorrow with the exact part number, or just visit a dealer near by for more info.

Good luck.

Mauro

jfreeth
04-25-2011, 12:00 PM
Thanks Jon and Mauro
I managed to remove the instrument panel by making an extraction tool, basically a modified allen key, that inserts into the slots on either side of the panel. On initial inspection there does not seem to be any specific latches or clips holding the panel in place. Removal is achieved by using the tool as a puller or hook to overcome a spring loaded friction fit. The problem with just pulling a piece of plastic is fear of breaking a simple clip. The electrical connector to the panel, for example, has a green plastic lever that rotates, lifting the connector out of the socket. This kind of clamping being common in computers, but not in older automotive applications.
We then had a very Polish Easter Feast at my in-laws, five different types of meat including a traditional stuffed cabbage that was excellent.
Time permitting I will be examining the ignition and steering modules next after removing the final fascia panel. The prime suspect is, as you suggest Mauro, the electronic module on the steering column. The problem with diagnosing issues like this is that you often rely on simple substitution to diagnose problems, fine if you are a dealership and have spare parts at hand. What I term 'black box' methods, you often have no clear idea what is embedded in a potted electronic circuit.
I checked whether the gear shift was solidly in 'Park' by removing the quarter sized cover on the grey plastic shift surround and inserting a tool, with foot on brake pedal, allowing release of gear shift lock and movement of lever. No change with ignition, but good to know for future.
I found out yesterday that there is a specialized Sprinter dealership a few miles away on the south shore of Long Island, Northport being on the north shore. The local MB dealer apparently only handles automobiles... but a local Dodge dealership has been very helpful in the past, but as I indicated before, funds are tight.
Thanks for the encouragement, Julian.

jdcaples
04-25-2011, 02:07 PM
It's unfortunate that we're resorting to the "when in doubt, swap it out" methodology. I prefer reserving that for 1980s laser printers and software patches that roll back properly.

I sent you a PM with some info of limited, but non-zero utility.

-Jon

jfreeth
04-25-2011, 08:53 PM
On getting better access (without removing the steering wheel yet) I inserted the key several times, with accompanying double click that sounds like a relay solenoid. When rotating the steering column I noticed that the electromechanical device that is attached just above the universal joint is made up of at least two parts. The main frame that is clamped around the column and a separate electromechanical module that slightly floats inside the other casing when the steering wheel is rotated back and forth between the stops. This unit warms slightly to the touch when the key is repeatedly inserted. From it's location this looks like it is the steering column lock, powered either by a solenoid or small motor.
Does anyone know specifically what and how this module functions ?
When the electrical connector is unplugged the solenoid/relay click stops. Is this the unit that makes the buzzing sound on key recognition. etc...
Mauro, is this the unit you were referring to.
As the key is recognized but the steering column does not unlock, could this be the root cause of the problem.
I will try and locate a mechanical drawing of this device meanwhile.

Next step after that I guess is removing the steering wheel, so the column can be removed or the electromechanical part disassembled to see if it is a strictly mechanical problem of parts jamming etc.

twistyroad
04-25-2011, 09:08 PM
Also look at this thread. (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=55063)

scubanw3
04-26-2011, 04:30 AM
Ignition switch module failure is common. The module is a gateway similar to the SKREEM in the 02-06 models. It unlocks the steering column, the trani shift selector and many other enabling functions. When it fails it exhibits symptoms similar to what you described. It does need to be programmed by the dealer or someone that has cloning capabilities. They run about $400 plus install and programming. Hope this helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846

jfreeth
07-04-2011, 07:13 PM
I was stymied in my dissassembly of the steering column by the main bolt holding the steering wheel, required way too much torque. So I applied small amounts of penetrating oil over a week, and the bolt released at a reasonable torque using a small breaker bar and a 1" dia. wood dowel. This was all so I could gain clear access to all the electronic modules around the steering column.

Then a brief hiatus of 6 weeks whilst my boys(10 and 13) and I section hiked the Appalachian trail, from PA almost to Vermont. Despite careful precautions I managed to contract Lymne disease, so now back to real world problems.

I finished dissassembly of the dash and was surprised to find that the electronic module attached to the steering column where it connects to the rest of the steering linkage does not appear to be bolted, at least the pins have flatish heads as though rivetted or are press fit. This is the part I presumed was the column locking mechanism, solenoid plus pin that is not disengaging. I had hoped by stripping and dissassembly I could then evaluate which of the modules had failed and whether it was electronic or mechanical in origin.

Has anyone had experience stripping the steering column ?

I have read elsewhere that one standard practice for MB mechanics when the ignition steering column lock fails, is to simply replace the entire steering column assembly.

showkey
07-04-2011, 08:30 PM
A guess is you maybe looking at anti theft bolts (fasteners) that are one time use and are removed by drilling the head's???

upnorth
07-05-2011, 12:42 PM
Hi Julian. I have been reading your posts about your problem and I know your frustration. I am having another problem with my van not starting (no glow plug light coming on) but when it does come on the van will start.

Jef, another member, had the same problem on his van and had it repaired. I am trying to find the relay he had replaced somewhere under or near the steering column. I have taken mine apart to a point, but did not want to go much further without knowing where it is. Since you have your apart do you see any such relay?? Below is his post about the fix. Unfortunately he does not know the exact location of the relay or it's part number. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Bob

Back from the dealer with some hopeful results. Found the same trouble codes as the last 2 times in for this problem, and it all pointed to a "CAN bus - No CAN message from control unit N70 (OCP [DBE] control unit)". This fault showed up in the OBF upper control panel, the SAM signal acquisition and actuation module, the ESP, the EGS, and a host of other smaller parts.

Turns out the fault led to a relay under the dash that is the point it all goes through, and after it was removed it showed corrosion on the terminals creeping down from inside the relay. I didn't get the part, but it was a $26 relay, and the tech said it's the 3rd time he's seen this.

Fortunately, this was not the first time i had reported this problem. It occurred exactly 1 month before the 3 years of the warranty expired, and once again after that, and McCoy recorded it both times. Because of that, they covered this repair on warranty. Unfortunately, i didn't get the part to examine, or the part number, though it looked like a standard relay.

My thanks to McCoy for pulling through with the service. I hope this fixes it. Being stuck along a deserted back road is no fun.
Jef

jdcaples
07-05-2011, 01:10 PM
upnorth,

It's worth noting that Jef uses his Sprinter as a camper. He's had moisture/condensation problems:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14075

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=119213&postcount=7


It's based on the knowing of his application that I'm not panic'd myself.

My van doesn't get wet inside like a camper's RV; so I'm thinking that since my van doesn't get turned into a wet sauna, my chance of corrosion is not great enough to go ripping through the electronics looking for corroded relay contacts.

Of course, if someone finds this relay, I'll go check it. I'm just not worried enough to start hunting for it as soon as possible.

-Jon

cedarsanctum
07-05-2011, 02:53 PM
Look for the relay at the top of the fuse panel under the dash, above where the drivers foot would be. It's behind the OBDII port, kinda hard to access. I didn't remove any, but the plastic trim looks like it will come down pretty easily. There are about 6 relays up there (hard to see without removing stuff).
I'm not sure my condensation problem was the cause of this. I asked the technician at McCoy and he didn't feel that was the cause. He said he's personally seen this condition twice before, both in working vans. Most all my condensation was up high in the roof, and that hasn't occurred since i started leaving the front windows open a bit.
My suggestion is to remove those relays, one at a time, and inspect the terminals, especially where they go up inside the terminal housing, for any signs of corrosion. If the part numbers match on any relays, try switching them around and seeing if that affects anything.
Jef

jfreeth
07-06-2011, 12:24 AM
All the electrical systems in the van are free of any corrosion, neither is condensation an issue.

Having opened up the dash, removed steering wheel and loosened the steering column mounts, I reassembled all the electronics... and have the same problem.

The pertinent section of Andy's note is : If the correct key is inserted the EIS/CGW unlocks the lock cylinder allowing rotation of the key. A message is then sent to the Electronic Steering Lock Control to actuate and unlock the steering column and allowing steering wheel rotation.

The problem I have could be caused by failure of the EIS/CGW, but there is a possibility the failure is in unlocking the steering column. On inserting the key the steering column solenoid is actuated (several times with short delay between them) but the column does not unlock. If this solenoid is jammed, and the EIS/CGW requires a clear signal indicating the column is unlocked then replacement of the steering column lock would be indicated. Unfortunately I have not yet worked out how to separate the steering column from the black lower steering rod(below the flexible joint) that goes through the firewall. If I could do that then I might be able to diagnose the steering column lock better. I am going to have to remove it if I have to replace the steering column assembly anyway.

Alternately if I could locate a functioning 2008 steering column lock, plug that one in instead and see if there any changes. If not then this indicates that the EIS/CGW has probably gone bad.

From other notes from Andy it looks like neither the EIS/CGW or the column lock require any program changes, the key information being stored elsewhere.

I should take up Jon's suggestion of subscribing to www.sprintertekinfo.com.
Thanks Folks
Julian

reromero
07-08-2011, 11:04 PM
I have some information that you are looking for, I just had this happen on a cust vehicle the other day, the steering colum lock module failed. I have some info that can help you in your quest to get the steering lock off the column. I will post the info on my next post, bear with me while I gather the info you need...

reromero
07-09-2011, 02:42 AM
I'm attaching a couple documents that give the proper diagnostic procedure and the best way to remove a seized steering lock module if necessary. Although you may need a StarMobile scanner to diagnose it and initialize the EIS/CGW to the new lock module before the key will turn with the new steering lock. :thumbup:

reromero
07-09-2011, 02:58 AM
If you end up needing to replace the EIS/CGW (ignition switch) attached is a document streamlining the processes needed for replacing several modules. :professor:

jfreeth
07-10-2011, 07:37 PM
Thanks Reromero,
that is precisely the information I needed. Specifically, if the EIS/CG recognizes the key it sends a signal to unlock the the Column Lock, and only after that is successful does it then allow the key to turn. So the root cause might be the column lock. The test sequence requires the use of a StarMobile scanner to first verify that the key is being correctly read. Then that the ECL unlocks, etc.
If the ECL is jammed it stops the EIS/CG completing the sequence.

This problem first occurred when parked with the front wheels turned on full lock, apparently enough to jam the ECL pin. By jiggling the steering wheel eventually the ECL unlocked, but from then on the sound you get when the key is recognized would repeat several times unless the steering wheel was moved slightly, a possible logical connection being a jammed ECL. I was hoping that by removing the steering column I would either be able to disassemble the ECL or clear the pin if it is jammed. However, I aslo learned from your posting that the ECL was made so that it could only be destructively disassembled. The ECL, also indicated by your posting, does not require reprogramming, so a new one could be substituted to test if it is the root cause.

Unfortunately, replacing the EIS/CG requires reprogramming, which means either getting a local mechanic to do a house call, etc or getting the vehicle transported to suitable shop, something I was trying to avoid.

There is one final mechanical problem I haven't sorted out yet, how to separate the steering column assembly from the steering rod, so it can be removed from under the dash to be worked on.

Thanks for all the info.

Julian

wildimaginations
07-12-2011, 03:15 AM
Julian, it sounds like you have the same problem as mine.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15815

I hope this helps.

reromero
07-12-2011, 03:21 AM
Julian, the Steering column lock is easily removed without removing the column, but if you want to anyway, you have to remove the steering shaft from the steering gear directly and then remove the plate that attaches the column to the floor and remove the whole thing. Here is an attachment for column removal...

PS.- I found it easier just to drill out the pins opposite the ones grinded off shown on the picture, after you drill through both pins, just use a small screwdriver to remove the cover then the gear and the pin will be easily removed, after those are removed then its easy to remove the retaining pin for the steering column lock.:rad: I just looked at wildimagination's link on the previous post, That's the easiest way to drill out the cover...oh yeah, I almost forgot, sometimes just plugging in a new Steering Column Lock without performing the "Steering Column Lock Replace" routine with the scanner, the EIS/CGW may not recognize the new Lock and may still not allow the key to turn, I ran across this problem when I just tried to plug in a column lock and the key still didn't turn, It didn't work until I performed that routine with the scanner. Just FYI in case it doesn't work when you plug in the new Steering Lock for the first time..

jfreeth
07-24-2011, 10:29 PM
Thanks Folks,
the ELV had failed. I removed the steering column assy and disassembled the ELV by drilling out the roll pins as suggested by Reromero, and sure enough the black ring gear had failed. There is a spiral slot that lifts the locking pin, and that had got distorted, probably when the pin was jammed when the wheel was on full lock, and just got worse over time. As someone mentioned, once it starts to jam it will eventually fail, and it did, in the most inconvenient circumstance.

I discussed this with a friend who is a senior BMW mechanic, they use a similar locking mechanism, and he said they have replaced 'hundreds' as has his friend who works for MB. Interestingly, he advised that it is no longer required by US DOT, and is being designed out.

So now I have to see if I can rebuild the ELV so that it returns the completion signal, not caring if it locks the column. Of course I could buy a replacement ELV module or complete steering assy, but...

jfreeth
07-26-2011, 02:47 PM
Re-assembled electronics, with column lock with cover, cam and pin removed. When key inserted it is recognized and activates the ELV motor which rotates to drive the cam wheel. This then lifts the pin in it's slot. There is a small magnet embedded in the pin slider which activates presumably a Hall Effect sensor in the slot. Sure enough there are two such sensors, one when pin in 'Park' and one when disengaged. To enable the EIC/GW the magnet has to move from 'Park' to 'Drive' position, when it does there is a click in the EIC/GW and the ignition is activated, enabling me to start the motor, etc...

So, to replace a plastic part that cost pennies to make I either buy the Mopar # 68010437AA MODULE. STEERING CONTROL. ( MB # A9064620123) and rivets for 320+$ plus whatever or get creative.

Huge relief to know the root cause but a sad reflection on the auto industry in general, and the cost of knowledgable mechanics in particular. If it costs over 500$ in labor just to replace this assembly, imagine the cost of rebuilding it. No wonder mechanics now just swap out entire modules, and manufacturers no longer bother to supply parts.

Actually: does anyone know of a source for the cam wheel. I carefully drilled out the roll pins that hold the cover plate, so could easily rebuild it if I could locate a source.

Alternately: does anyone know of a second hand unit for sale (cheap), or a good dealer that discounts parts.

Finally: took the last of my meds for Lymne disease today, and have finally got my brain and energy back. For anyone foolish enough to thru hike, and I recomend it, be warned Giardiasis and Lymne disease are astonishingly debillitating. Lying around groaning for a month is boring... for all concerned.

dr.ona
07-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Crazy!
We just got back from a long camping trip in Central Oregon and meet a couple from Bend Oregon whose Sprinter just had this problem while they were out in the mountains/woods hiking. Basically, their Sprinter left them stranded in the middle of nowhere and they were at a cafe in Frenchglen waiting for a tow truck.:yell:

This is so frustrating that the Sprinter has this and other problems. I bought the van so that we can take long camping/hiking trips and the thought of being stranded ( often without cellphone service ) is disappointing. I sold my Volkswagon Eurovan because of the history of "over-engineered" problems.:thumbdown:

If the couple we met is here on the forum, please post what your final outcome was.

B

jfreeth
07-27-2011, 04:44 PM
Reassembled vehicle without steering lock, put that back together and plugged everything back in and connected the battery last. Engine started etc... Now I'm looking for a replacement unit, Jon(jdcaples) noted that the part # on my unit has been replaced with a new part #, hopefully more reliable. Either way I can see no reason to install the unit as a functional column lock.
Julian

folzag
07-28-2011, 05:25 AM
Actually: does anyone know of a source for the cam wheel. I carefully drilled out the roll pins that hold the cover plate, so could easily rebuild it if I could locate a source.

Alternately: does anyone know of a second hand unit for sale (cheap), or a good dealer that discounts parts.


This site looks like it might be promising: http://www.autopartsfair.com/dodge-usedparts/sprinter_2500-catalog.html

Let us know if they work out for you.

Good luck.

jfreeth
07-30-2011, 01:01 PM
Status update: read and cleared error codes using standard ODBII compliant reader, an inexpensive unit that a friend had. Codes showing were listed as 2004, 2005 etc, and generic interpretation was input manifold related. As these codes were unlikely to be caused by ELV problem, except errors introduced by assembly sequence, it seemed appropriate to clear them and see what he current errors are. Check engine light was cleared and LHM mode cancelled, great! and no other standard (readable) codes returned.

ESP "visit workshop" however was still active. One further diagnostic clue was a slight judder that had occurred 3 or so times on driving after being parked for a while. It sounded like the brake was applied to a front wheel, momentarily locking it up, simultaneously flipping the display to ESP. On reflection a plausible explanation being that the steering wheel rotational sensor was reassembled in the wrong position indicating extreme lock. This would then be processed by the ESP system, interpreted as an ESP correctional event such as skidding, and the ABS system momentarily activated on one wheel. This then producing unexpected results, ie no change, and the ESP system would shut itself down, leaving the error display.

So, now I will try and 'calibrate' the rotational sensor. These used to be called clock spring sensors, for obvious reasons, but the current one simply spins... so probably requires reprogramming. Oy

Any helpful thoughts appreciated.

Julian

jfreeth
08-02-2011, 12:46 AM
Hi Folks, problem solved, that is the "ESP Visit Workshop" error.

I was looking for ways that the rotational sensor could malfunction or be 'reset'. When not connected to the airbag module it freely spins in either direction. So I was trying various methods used by MB in the past, such as rotating full lock in one then the other direction... no benefit. Then I noticed that the ESC/ESP mode was triggered with the vehicle stationary with engine running by turning one and a bit turn counter clockwise, but not when rotated clockwise, even full lock. So the system must recognize a simple codeing not just for angular rotion, but also the number of rotations, but that would have to be independant of starting position if the vehicle was parked on full lock. Previously I thought the vehicle had to be in motion to trigger ESP/ESC, apparently not.

So, guessing, I disconnected battery, removed steering wheel, rotated sensor one turn clockwise, reassembled, and no ESP/ESC mode. Test drive... no ESP/ESC mode... problem solved.

This problem was simply one caused by my reassembly sequence, primarily ignoring the admonition not to rotate anything. So it would seem that if dissassembling the steering column, a key step, presuming that the wheels and steering wheel are centered, is to temporarily tape the rotational sensor together after removing the steering wheel to prevent it rotating before reassembly.

In hindsight the Clock Spring Sensor, is not actually an 'obvious' description, it is apparently another way of describing a commutating connection. I thought it meant it acted as a multi-rotation limiting device, as was used in some old solenoid actuated devices I'd used in the past.

jdcaples
08-02-2011, 01:23 AM
Nice sleuthing.

Update the thread if the fix is not as durable as we hope.

-Jon

jfreeth
08-04-2011, 12:34 PM
Clockspring corrections (that apply to earlier vehicles, not to 2008 NCV3):

In reviewing old posts I came across a 2003 manual http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19672761/05%20service%20manual.pdf that includes a description of the "Clockspring" on page 80-12. It does
NOT have a commutator ring, instead it describes the following:
"Within the plastic case and wound around the rotor spool is a long ribbon-like tape that consists of several thin copper wire leads sandwiched between two thin plastic membranes. The outer end of the tape terminates at the connector receptacle that faces the steering column, while the inner end of the tape terminates at the connector receptacle on
the hub of the clockspring rotor that faces the steering wheel."

The following caution applies:
"Like the clockspring in a timepiece, the clockspring tape has travel limits and can be damaged by being wound too tightly during full stop-to-stop steering wheel rotation. To prevent this from occurring, the clockspring is centered when it is installed on the steering column. Centering the clockspring indexes the clockspring tape to the movable steering components so that the tape can operate within its designed travel limits. However, if the clockspring is removed from the steering column or if the steering shaft is disconnected from the steering gear, the clockspring spool can change position relative to the movable steering components. The clockspring must be re-centered following completion of this service or the tape may be damaged. "

The following excerpt describes the centering procedure:
(1) Place the front wheels in the straight-ahead position
(2) Remove the clockspring from the steering column. (Refer to 8 - ELECTRICAL/RESTRAINTS/ CLOCKSPRING - REMOVAL).
(3) Tighten the two clockspring mounting screws all the way into the clockspring case.
(4) Rotate the clockspring rotor counterclockwise to the end of its travel. Do not apply excessive torque.
(5) From the end of the counterclockwise travel, rotate the rotor about three to three and one-half turns clockwise, until the clearance holes in the clockspring rotor are aligned with the two mounting screws in the clockspring case. The clockspring is now centered.
(6) Loosen the two clockspring mounting screws far enough so that they extend into the clearance holes in the upper surface of the clockspring rotor, preventing the rotor from changing position relative to the clockspring case.
(7) The front wheels should still be in the straightahead position. Reinstall the clockspring onto the
steering column. (Refer to 8 - ELECTRICAL/RESTRAINTS/CLOCKSPRING - INSTALLATION).

I posted this just in case someone reassembled a steering column without either taping or centering the clockspring. Could be an expensive error.

I have not yet found a relevant description for an NCV3.

jfreeth
08-06-2011, 05:00 PM
Finally:
rebuilt ELV by replacing roll pins that hold the ELV cover plate in place with 8/32 3/8" allen screws(do not have metric tap set) modified with tapered ends. Drilled out main body with #29 drill(approx 1/8" dia) then tapped. Then clamped ELV back on steering column using an appropriate metric allen head screws.

If/when the ELV jams again I can quickly take it apart, clear the jam and not be stuck by the roadside.
Meanwhile I am on the lookout for a replacement part, preferably just the cam from an old ELV. Total cost so far approx 3$, and an insane learning curve.

jfreeth
08-22-2013, 06:26 PM
Checking my old posts and realized I had not given a long term status as to my 'temporary' fix. Turns out the ELV is still working fine after two years and several hundred cycles, although the van was off the road for a year due to lack of funds.

I haven't found a source for a replacement ELV, but as I can now strip and fix in a few minutes I don't have much incentive to spend more money.

Thanks all for input

Neil2
11-04-2013, 08:09 PM
I had issues with my Sprinter sporadically over the last year or so but just minor in symptoms so I didn't recognize it as an actual developing problem. Today, while on holiday, out of state, my ignition key refused to turn. Tell tale signs of relay cycling and the tire pzr lamp was asserting for a fraction of a second periodically whilst I tried to turn the key. Ended up towing it after having the tow driver showed me how to unlock the transmission (via the access hole just below the Tip Shift lever). Apparently, I wasn't pressing on the 'device' inside the hole firmly enough since he did so quite readily.

Thanks to this post I now can expect to cancel our vacation and know what to expect in repair time and such. I appreciate your taking the time to post it and the pics. :thumbup:

tigerwillow1
04-05-2014, 12:36 AM
How is a working ELV removed from the steering column? I see the retaining pin but can't figure out how to remove it.

tigerwillow1
04-05-2014, 01:58 AM
How is a working ELV removed from the steering column? I see the retaining pin but can't figure out how to remove it.Figured it out: Just turn the retaining pin 1/4 turn and it pops right out. It's a torx head but I turned it with an allen wrench. The main obstacle is restricted access, helped by removing the lower dash trim panels and removing the screw that holds up the end of the heater duct.

bauer_san
10-20-2014, 01:58 PM
Hi everyone.
I am having a similar problem with my 2007 Sprinter based RV: No whirring noise when I insert the key and most of the time no chime and key won't turn. In my case, the steering is unlocked. I have an active code "9005 ECU Loss of communication and ECU timeout during unlocking".

Another forum member helped me do the Chrysler diagnostics steps (check fuse and wire continuity) to determine the steering lock module is bad.

I do not have access to another Sprinter and would prefer to do one more check to confirm the ELV module is the problem before spending $300 on a new one and finding out I need the EIS instead. The part number of my steering lock module is 9064620030. Would anyone be willing to (hoping wire color is same through the years):
1. With key out of ignition, measure voltage on the white+red wire. (I get 12v)
2. With key out of ignition, measure voltage on the red+dark green wire. (I get 12.5v)
3. With key in ignition, repeat 2. (I get 12v)
4. With key in ignition, repeat 3. (I get 12.5v)

I was expecting one or both to change when the key was installed. Since they don't change, it makes me think the EIS could be bad. Any other thoughts?

@Julian, do you have any photos of your ELV modification to change the roll pins to screws? Or of the guts of the ELV?

Slowerone
10-26-2014, 04:26 AM
My van is in the shop now, key goes in but won't turn, tranny won't move from park position so we disconnected the driveshaft to tow, can't access codes without powering up ignition. Tried bypassing fuses but to no avail, dealer is awaiting a new ignition lock and steering column, I have doubts this will solve the problem

BobKos
10-26-2014, 05:15 PM
My van is in the shop now, key goes in but won't turn, tranny won't move from park position so we disconnected the driveshaft to tow, can't access codes without powering up ignition. Tried bypassing fuses but to no avail, dealer is awaiting a new ignition lock and steering column, I have doubts this will solve the problem

You can access codes for the ignition switch (EIS) while the key is inoperative. With a StarScan anyways...

FWIW - it will probably solve your problem.

Curious to know estimated cost of their recommended repair.

jfreeth
04-27-2016, 10:44 PM
Long term outcome: still haven't bothered to replace anything as temporary fix, as described above, still works fine after 5 years of continuous usage.

STGSprinter
12-26-2016, 07:58 PM
Thought I would add my ignition problem experience to the thread:

2 weeks after taking delivery of a 2016 4x4 I started intermittently experiencing two ignition lock problems. 1) After inserting the key in the ignition lock no "whir" sound and ignition/steering will do not unlock. 2) When turning off the vehicle and removing the key also no "whir" sound, "remove key" message still displayed, no steering lock, unable to lock vehicle with fob.

Dealer ended up replacing the EIS (took a week to get). No ignition problems in the 3 months since.

Steve