View Full Version : Electric motor noise on ignition, Sprintshift issues?

Peter s
01-18-2013, 04:51 PM
Hi all

This is my first posting to this group, I hope you will forgive me for starting off with a query.

Anyways, I have posted some pictures here of my 'new' pride and joy, a 2007 Sprinter 208CDI with 17000 miles on the clock. She is in great cond, some minor touch ups will be needed here and there on the body.

At the moment she runs well, although I have 2 queries to resolve:-

1. It's a Spintshift model - when going from 1st to 2nd gear and 2nd to third gear on auto or manually it's a little unsmooth, and makes a 'booming' sound. It's much better when fully warmed up, and smooth as silk sometimes. The other gear changes are silly smooth.

2. When ignition is switched on an electric motor can be heard. This will stay on indefinitely, I think this may be the hydraulic pump for the sprintshift model that I have read about on this site. I can't determine whether it stays on or not after I start the engine because of the engine noise, but it probably does - is this normal?
Also, I hear an electrical motor noise when I open and shut the doors, this only lasts for about ten seconds though, and it sounds like a different electric motor.

If anyone can throw any light on this, it might help me to stop worrying!

Looks like a great site, I think I will be spending a lot of time here.

Regards to all

Peter s

Peter s
01-18-2013, 05:42 PM
I should have mentioned that this is an ex motability vehicle and as such I have a full service history, two major services have been carried out since new.

Peter s

01-18-2013, 10:30 PM
Hi Peter. There's a good search tool in the blue bar above. Type Sprintshift into that and you'll find quite a bit to read up on.

The whine is your transmission's hydraulic pump rather than an electric motor. It creates the pressure to make the gear changes. If with ignition on (but not cranking) it doesn't stop whining at all it's tired. How long is yours audible for without cranking? A new one whines for around five or ten seconds or so.

Not sure about a booming noise during shifts. The clutch and transmission can be individually programmed, usually after a clutch replacement. Again, there's lots to read about it - you'll find it all with the search.

I did a few miles with Sprintshift over ten years!

Peter s
01-19-2013, 12:51 PM
It doesn't stop whining at all.

Are the pumps expensive, what's involved when fitting them? If I leave this, i suppose that one day soon I'll be unable to select a gear at all.

Any idea what the other sound is, when opening and closing doors?

I have tried the blue bar for searching but this doesn't work, maybe cos I'm using an i phone, I'll try the computer when I get chance.

Thanks for your help with this, much appreciated.

01-19-2013, 05:39 PM
Last time I bought a pump it was 200 but the price is probably nearer 250 now. Pretty straight forward to swap as it is externally mounted to the transmission casing on the near side (RHD). I found they lasted me around three years / 200,000kms in heavy commercial use.

I can't think what you're booming noise might be. As an ex-Motability vehicle does it have any ancillary kit which now doesn't function correctly?

Peter s
01-20-2013, 12:28 PM
Hi M I G
No ancillary kit that I think might cause this, just two electric lifts side and rear as per photos.

I was thinking that a transmission oil change, or top up might help. Maybe it's a symptom of the hydraulic pump being tired. Anyways, for now the gears all change and work correctly, so it might just be me expecting a lower gear change like one to two or two to three to be as smooth as three to four four to five etc, which even on a manual vehicle they never are.

If ever I improve these changes I'll post here.

I have managed to locate the search facility on the site, I now have found as you say an awful lot to read on 'sprint shift' that should keep me busy!

Now, I need to find out how to remove the nearside sliding window to repair a rusting area that is spreading down from the window seal - any ideas?

You have been a great help, I hope my van lasts as long as yours!!

01-20-2013, 01:56 PM
Oh, I'm not seeing any images on this thread Peter - have you posted some?

I wonder if your steps / lifts are installed to have some level of automation that relates to door operation, and that is the "booming" noise? I can't think of any other feature that could explain it, and it isn't something I can remember anyone asking about before.

When Sprintshift was released in late 1999 Mercedes-Benz stated that the transmission was "sealed for life". Call me cynical but I chose to replace the fluid every 100,000kms instead, the filler bung is hidden from view by the afore mentioned hydraulics. Not obvious at first but not impossible to reach either.

At just 17,000 miles your clutch and flywheel should still be in pristine condition. As such I don't envisage either a gearbox or clutch teach via software will yield much improvement in shift quality. Registered 2007 too - it must be about the latest registered T1N around. There's a lot to be said for T1Ns in terms of cheaper, simpler maintenance. This (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2915&highlight=reborn) is my old one.

A correctly functioning Sprintshift should feel like a manual transmission in the lower ratios: a brief loss of drive whilst the clutch disengages then engages again. Not quite the same as a true automatic. The shifts do become smoother the further up the cogs you go. Of course you get six ratios too!

Has it got cruise control? If not it's a fairly easy retrofit that 's worth doing - it works beautifully with Sprintshift in A mode.

Peter s
01-20-2013, 07:54 PM
Cruise Control, mmm..must look into that one!

No, both auto remote lifts work independently of the doors, so can't see any probs there.

Sorry, my photos of 'Thunderbird 3' are not on this thread, but are in my profile (still getting used to this site) I hope you will be pleased to see that she is GREEN!

Nice to know that your experience with sprintshifts lower gear changes is that they are not as smooth as higher changes - makes me even more sure it's just me expecting too much.

Anyways, as I have said, things improve a lot when fully warmed up. The first 15 mins seem to be best spent in manual, that way I (think!) seem to get better lower changes, ie foot off the gas just before gear change.

I love the drive of the van though - and, I'm pretty sure I'd love sprintshift as long as what I am experiencing is 'normal'.

This is definately no speed machine, but it's got something I really like!!

Peter s
01-20-2013, 09:00 PM
Hi Simon

MIG's CDI reborn - what a great story, and photos.

Did you manage the million then, or are you still on the way with this CDI? and does it have 'Sprintshift'?

01-21-2013, 01:09 PM
No, I didn't crack the million in it, but I did have a good go. Then I bought this (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9232&highlight=king+dead).

Peter s
01-21-2013, 05:13 PM
Hi Simon

Wow! - your new rig looks superb. I must say your outgoing Sprinter does also. Looks a bit like mine on steroids!!

I think you have written a superb account on your new vehicle, i enjoyed reading all of it, even though I really should be reading Sprintshift posts.

You certainly have prepared this one well - I think your definately going for the million here

Good luck


01-25-2013, 12:37 PM
Hi Peter

The motor noise upon turning the key may be the fuel lift pump located on top of the fuel tank. I can hear mine whine while driving and for a second or two after turning the motor off. Mine started whinig about a week ago. According to my mechanic the pump's bearing are wearing-out:yell:. I'm going to get it replaced next week.


Peter s
01-25-2013, 02:50 PM
Thanks Bill

I think you might be right there, because I'm now starting to think there are two different motors coming on when I turn on just the ignition. And I think one is stopping after a few seconds (which may be the hydraulic sprintshift pump) and the other carries on indefinitely. After I start the motor I can't hear them, but that is only because of the engine noise.. I suppose in the case of both of these they are always on with the engine running?

I am starting to wonder if the Sprintshift hydraulic pump is actually ok, and the poor change from 2nd to 3rd is oil related, as it improves a lot after warm up, and all the other changes and functions of sprintshift are fine.

There is not a lot of room to get underneath, not being the slim Jim I used to be! Plus I have an underfloor lift on the vehicle.

One thing I was thinking about the other day is something Simon said about the ancillary controls. The vehicle is fitted with Firetrace and an electronic handbrake and RSE autobrake (still not sure whether RSE autobrake is simply the electronic handbrake or not, but it has a separate switch and green on/off button) I don't think that these would contribute to a noise on ignition, but..not having experienced any of these before..

I appreciate your post



11-21-2014, 12:03 PM
Hi! i've got a 2003 316CDI with sprintshift.. the gearbox makes that little clunk (or boom) noise when changing from 2nd into 3rd gear! the rest of the gear changes are nice and smooth and you can hardly hear them.. but from 2nd to 3rd you notice the difference. It doesn't seem to be too bad for now but im wondering if that will develop to something bad!:thinking:

It doesn't change when is warmed up and I had already change the gearbox oil and also the hydraulic fluid to MB specs but made no difference to this noise..:thinking:

I treat this gearbox like a gentleman but still that gear change sound gives some worries..:idunno:
Any clues on what could be the reasons behind that.. or how to fix it before is too late?
Cheers from Spain..:cheers: