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Sprinter2003
01-18-2013, 12:02 PM
Hello all!

I am having an issue with my 2003 Sprinter which is causing it to go into LIMP MODE.

Here it is:

It wont allow me to get out of 2nd gear. No limits on RPMs. Drives anywhere between 20mph-35mph. Mainly 20mpg. The codes that popped up are a right rear speed sensor and a plausibility code that came up for the Mass Air Flow Sensor. The MAF sensor was removed and cleaned. Took out gravel and dirt. Put it back it, reset the codes and it still came up.

Nothing came up for the transmission. Reading the previous posts, it looks like my LMH is the more severe and its related to the transmission. Its what my mechanic was implying that it may be.

I brought it to a MB dealer and they wanted to replace both RR Speed Sensor and MAF and couldn't guarantee me it'll work after that. Bill at that point was already $1300.00 with parts, labor and diagnostic report. I since took the Sprinter from MB dealer and brought it to a trusted mechanic. We are going over all the issues together.


Any one have any experience with this issue that can give me advice on how to approach this??

Thanks in advance!

Aqua Puttana
01-18-2013, 12:20 PM
First off the MAF problems won't/shouldn't lock your transmission into severe LHM which generally limits you to 2nd gear and reverse. For general information. When the TCM Transmission Control Module first sets LHM the design is that it locks you into the forward gear it is in at the time. The 2nd/reverse mode is enabled after an engine shutdown/restart.

You should not have gravel and dirt in the MAF. It sounds like your air filter was/is improperly installed, the filter got so dirty that the plugged media collapsed in, etc. Something is letting that junk in. Not a good situation.

You need a Sprinter specific scan tool to access the TCM codes. A Snap-on unit in the proper hands should do it. Did the MB dealership reset the TCM related code so you're not locked into 2nd/reverse? Are you certain it is only a wheel sensor code or are there speed sensor codes related to the transmission?

Edit: Once you are in TCM LHM locked in 2nd/reverse you need a scan tool that can access and reset both the ECM companion codes AND the TCM codes to get out of that restricted mode. A generic OBDII scan tool will not do that.

Good luck. vic

jmoller99
01-18-2013, 03:48 PM
Take a look to see if you have any transmission fluid / oil on the wires going to your TCM (Transmission Control Unit) - under the drivers seat - This can happen as a result of a leaky Transmission connector sleeve (if yours has never been changed, I would strongly suspect this) - The TCM can be cleaned by

1) disconnect battery
2) remove drivers seat
3) remove TCM
4) squirt spray electric contact cleaner into TCM (where the connectors connect)
5) slosh fluid around and drain
6) repeat step 4 and 5 at least 3 more times.
7) clean oil/trans fluid from wires under the drivers seat (I used brake cleaner)
8) re-install TCM
9) reinstall seat
10)reconnect battery

A replacement TCM is at least $900, so trying to clean it first is worth your time.

NOTE: You will likely need a Sprinter compatible ODBII reader to reset the transmission errors - a generic ODBII reader can't do it. The dealer will have a tool to do this, or if you know someone with a DAD unit - they can do it.

Make sure you replace the Transmission connector sleeve, otherwise this will just happen again. This part is under $15.

You might also have build up on the N2/N3 sensors on the transmission's Solinoid 'valve body' board - they are not hard to clean, however, you have to take stuff apart in the transmission to do it.

autostaretx
01-18-2013, 06:55 PM
As others have said, "gravel and dirt" in the MAF is a really bad sign... that implies that there's also "gravel and dirt" (or at least very coarse dust) being chewed by the turbo and ingested by the cylinders... and that can lead to (very) premature engine death

Open the air filter box and check/replace the filter (check out the cabin filter, too...)

--dick

sailquik
01-18-2013, 09:21 PM
Vic/Dick,
Since this is a T1N OM-612 I would seem impossible to my way of thinking for any grit/dirt/gravel or anything similar to get to the MAF sensor.
Am I correct in thinking that the MAF sensor is located in a manner similar to the OM-647?
If so, how could anything solid get past the filter, the turbo, through the charge air cooler (very small flat tubes) and back up to the MAF sensor box.
Even in a pressurized system like the intake of a Sprinter, small pebbles will not defy gravity...right?
Either the OP is looking at some other sensor and thinking it's the MAF sensor or the whole pressurized intake plumbing tract has been left open
at some point.
Roger

autostaretx
01-18-2013, 10:44 PM
Am I correct in thinking that the MAF sensor is located in a manner similar to the OM-647?
If so, how could anything solid get past the filter, the turbo, through the charge air cooler (very small flat tubes) and back up to the MAF sensor box
Yes... and emphatically no.
You are correct that it's similar to the OM-647
You are not remembering where it actually is.
As the diagram below shows, it's the first thing (item 1) past the air filter box, a thick hose *before* the turbo...

49647

--dick

Aqua Puttana
01-19-2013, 01:51 AM
What Dick said... and the air filter can be installed so that the seal around the outer edge is not properly seated. If the filter media gets so plugged up that it restricts flow the media can fail (especially in heavy humid conditions) or it can create so much pressure (think of the surface area) that the seal around the outside becomes distorted and unseats. Junk can be pulled in through the air supply grill. The drain feature on the bottom of the air box can also fail and allow crud into the chamber. If the filter is plugged then the negative pressure in that chamber is increased. Many different failure modes are possible. Regardless of the reason, noticeable gravel and dirt in the MAF is not a good thing. FWIW. vic

ductapedaddy
02-08-2013, 10:47 PM
[QUOTE=jmoller99;220249]Take a look to see if you have any transmission fluid / oil on the wires going to your TCM (Transmission Control Unit) - under the drivers seat - This can happen as a result of a leaky Transmission connector sleeve (if yours has never been changed, I would strongly suspect this)

A replacement TCM is at least $900, so trying to clean it first is worth your time.

Make sure you replace the Transmission connector sleeve, otherwise this will just happen again. This part is under $15. ]

I agree wholeheartedly. My 2006 had transmission devils, frequently causing it to go into LHM and sometimes getting stuck in Park. A new wiring harness plug adaptor and about an hour of my time to clean transmission fluid off the TCM wire harness connector did the trick. Check to see if there's any oil around the TCM (black box under the driver's seat) before doing anything else. I found out about this the hard way, although I did avoid buying a new TCM as I was able to clean mine and reconnect it without any problem. Dealer wanted $1500 for a new part that was totally unnecessary. Despite what the dealer might tell you the TCM is accessible and it's not sealed. It can be cleaned with electronic parts cleaner if needed. After doing this fairly simple job the transmission devils are gone!

RomSprinta
06-13-2014, 12:59 AM
On the road in the past 4-6 weeks, my 2006 Sprinter seemed to slip a gear, and then go in to LHM, but if I just pulled over, turned the van off, then back on, the problem went away. No check engine light.

The van got back home to Seattle, but on the last leg of the trip it went into LHM and would not come out, no matter what. Check engine light came on and stayed on.
So, I drove it the 12 miles to the dealership/shop where I bought it (closest to my home in N Seattle). Is that really bad? Should I have gotten it towed?

After a week of just sitting there at the shop, they finally got around to my van.
First thing they wanted to do is to replace the ignition switch, as it was faulty. Approx. $150.

Then, they discovered that in fact ATF fluid had wicked up to TCM.
Waiting for a new TCM to ship from MBenz in CA. Approx $700 (which seems lower than what others have posted about new TCMs).

But, the ATF fluid now looks pretty grey/dirty.
It was most definitely NOT like that when I visited the same shop 6 weeks ago, prior to this most recent 3500mile trip.

So, I guess I'm wondering if there's even a slight chance that the transmission is not totally wrecked...?

The dealership wants to: replace the TCM, replace the plug to the electrical connector to the TCM, ATF flush, new ATF filter, and then see if the transmission will still work. Is that worth doing?
Total cost, including ignition switch, TCM and install, plug, ATF flush and new filter: approx $1400.

Or is better to just go right to rebuilding the transmission, and not waste anymore time and money with intermediate steps, the next likely to be replacing the conductor plate inside the valve body?

At this point, having done a lower deck rebuild on the engine ($6500), and now this is looking like anywhere from $1500 to $4500, I am having serious doubts about this particular Sprinter van.

jmoller99
06-13-2014, 12:56 PM
I was able to flush my TCM out with electrical contact spray cleaner when mine had the problem. The Wicked up ATF will need to be cleaned and you can change the Transmission connector sleeve (where the O-Rings allowed the ATF to wick up in the first place) for around $15.00.

If the AFT has not been changed in a long time - you can order a kit from Europarts SD that has fluid, the filter and the gasket (you'll need a 5 mm allen key to drain the torque converter, and a 27mm socket on a breaker bar to adjust the engine so you can get to the drain plug on the torque converter - at most, a few hundred dollars to do on your own.

RomSprinta
06-17-2014, 07:32 PM
Okay, maybe it's not so bad. The shop/dealership dropped the tranny oil pan, and the fluid in there was more of a reddish/brown. The magnet had some silver/grey build up on it, and there were only a few very small flecks of metal in the fluid.

So, replacing the TCM, new ATF fluid, filter, and replacing the plug that leaked ATF to the TCM in the first place will correct the LHM. Still crossing my fingers.

However, the shop will not clean the conductor plate. They are not even recommending replacing it. This seems a little odd to me, but since the TCM had gotten wet, then maybe all the tranny devils were coming from there all along.

RomSprinta
06-26-2014, 11:19 PM
Update: van is stuck in LHM in E WA, where there are very few options for shops that are willing/able to work on these types of vehicles.

Codes that came up since the TCM was replaced a week ago:
P2225
P2203
P2310
P2311
P2312
P0715

There is only one shop in the Omak, WA area that has offered to help. They limped the van into the shop. They are only able to pull the codes, but not able to look into them much more to find out more specifics (guess that their scan tool isn't adequate enough).

The dealership back in Seattle is recommending that I just replaced the whole transmission.
But, I'm hoping that this shop in Omak might be able to remedy the issue with Dr. A's NAG1 Tech Alert service on the conductor plate.

Any other suggestions, ideas?

JLC1
06-26-2014, 11:43 PM
Update: van is stuck in LHM in E WA, where there are very few options for shops that are willing/able to work on these types of vehicles.

Codes that came up since the TCM was replaced a week ago:
P2225
P2203
P2310
P2311
P2312
P0715

There is only one shop in the Omak, WA area that has offered to help. They limped the van into the shop. They are only able to pull the codes, but not able to look into them much more to find out more specifics (guess that their scan tool isn't adequate enough).

The dealership back in Seattle is recommending that I just replaced the whole transmission.
But, I'm hoping that this shop in Omak might be able to remedy the issue with Dr. A's NAG1 Tech Alert service on the conductor plate.

Any other suggestions, ideas?

:mad: