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View Full Version : Pre-purchase inspection codes deal or no go


Nuke
07-18-2013, 01:32 AM
I maybe in final stages of purchase of 2004 158" 166,616 mi in Tocoma WA
autotrader # AT-14E37102
zip 98409

I took advantage of casually talking to several diff people around the dealership and indications are owner was thinking of keeping it and had several things done to the engine.

I know you can't trust dealers, but owner said he was buying property next to his to expand so started turning it into a toy hauler and then decided to sell it. His teenage son was hanging around and talked about fixing it up and taking it with cycles in back. There was also a delivery guy that stopped by that had wanted to buy it earlier when owner was fixing it up but wasn't for sale then and commented to my wife all of the things he had done to the engine.

Stopped by O-Riley's because I wanted to look up codes the dealer gave me, and their reader showed nothing. I'm wondering if there might have been a MAF and Glowplug issue that he had fixed.

Just paid Larson Chrysler in Fife WA $267.15 for pre inspection

tech commented that eng & turbo noisey, tensioner installed incorrectly belt noisey
(sounds like a normal diesel to me)


dealer inspection said "stored" codes
ECM 2068, 2088, 2133, 2134, 1482,
TCM 2311, 2312, 2315, 2316, 2404
SLA 1817, 1876, 1925, 1927, 1928
ESP 5154, 5193, 5509, 563E???
SKREEM-RKE Circuit open
ACM 206-000 LOSS ING.IC
SRS LAMP.MSOT

Some are active - Would require diag.

A little oil leak, not too bad though, and some oil around the turbo, tranny looked clean, Diff good

Pulled injector cover and injectors look perfectly clean

So I am looking for some code help and advise

Have been looking for over a year, looked at some crap, and they all seem to be in high demand, not any room for neg. $15,938 and almost 10% sales tax
It looks in good shape, some nice add-ons
second AC unit mounted to ceiling behind seats, after market backup camera in rear view mirror, nice cattle catcher in front, front hitch with dimond skid plate, 4 front quad LED fog lights, interior partially done with carpet on sides and floor.

Took my wife to be the critic and she said it was mine to loose and is afraid if I dink around too much they will sell it from under me.

Sitting at computer trying to wait until quiting time so I have until tomorrow
they want me to close the deal tonight

Please help anybody

cahaak
07-18-2013, 01:53 AM
You need to look in the DAD section of the T1N portion of the forums to find a list of what the codes mean and then you can be more informed. Most of those code numbers are no familiar to me, so you will have to do some digging to look at the definitions of the numbers.

Chris

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 03:25 AM
You paid Fife $265+ and they didn't provide translations for the codes?
dealer inspection said "stored" codes
ECM 2068, 2088, 2133, 2134, 1482,
TCM 2311, 2312, 2315, 2316, 2404
SLA 1817, 1876, 1925, 1927, 1928
ESP 5154, 5193, 5509, 563E???
SKREEM-RKE Circuit open
ACM 206-000 LOSS ING.IC
SRS LAMP.MSOT
Which ones are active?

The "SKREEM-RKE Circuit open" would hint that the remote door-lock system may not be working.
(RKE= Remote Key Entry)

Some of the code numbers you're seeing are MB-specific, hence O'Reily couldn't help.
Some of the codes will have different definitions in different years.
The following are from a 2004 service manual:

Engine Control Module:
2068 MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR PLAUSIBILITY SIGNAL RATIO ERROR
2088 (don't know, but maybe A Camshaft Position Actuator Control Circuit Low Bank1 (but i doubt it... that's a "generic" translation i picked up elsewhere)
P2133-GLOW PLUG FAILURE-CYLINDER #1
P2134-GLOW PLUG FAILURE-CYLINDER #2
P1482-GLOW PLUG MODULE - COMMUNICATION ERROR.

TCM Transmission Control Module
2311, 2312, 2315, 2316, 2404 ... unfortunately, my manuals don't show numbers for TCM issues, only the DRB-III text messages.

SLA 1817, 1876, 1925, 1927, 1928 ... ditto for the Shift Lever Assembly
ESP 5154, 5193, 5509, 563E??? ... and the Electronic Stability Package

ACM 206-000 LOSS ING.IC --- airbag control module -- LOSS OF IGNITION RUN - START
If this is an active code, the "fix" is to replace the module($$$) (or a wire is broken)
If it's a stored code, the book says to clear it and see if it returns (and perform an airbag system test)

SRS LAMP.MSOT --- Supplemental Restraint System ... this means that the Airbag Warning Lamp is flashing.
(given the ACM code, i'm not surprised)

Are you planning to register and own this in Washington State?
If not, there are ways to avoid the sales tax
(if it's being bought through a dealer, they should know and have the paperwork)

For "casual sales" (i.e. from another owner), the sales tax is collected when you transfer the registration.
If you can directly transfer it to Florida/Tenn registration, then you'd "simply" surrender the WA plate.
(with paperwork to show the FL/TN registration)

added: i'm almost tempted to ask "how MUCH of a crash was this in?" (or: who hacked the safety systems?)

Have you run a CarFax on this Sprinter's VIN? Much may be revealed...

"...all of the things he had done to the engine." quite possibly incorrectly, given the next quote:
"tensioner installed incorrectly belt noisey" ...meaning the harmonic balancer might be about to self-destruct

I would not recommend becoming too "dazzled" by its quad headlights.

added: if you're just passing through, why not give McCoy Freightliner in Portland a call?
They're a very active Sprinter dealer (i bought mine there in 2005)
Sprinter Center
2323 NE Columbia Blvd.
Portland, OR 97211
Local: (503)735-1970
Toll Free: (800)538-7522

--dick (who would ask Fife for an "estimated cost to repair" said beast)

Nuke
07-18-2013, 03:27 AM
Thanks

I found ECM and TCM codes, looks like MAF and glowplugs and some ING coil numbers
Can't find SLA, ESP, ACM
I guess what I am wondering is if the Dodge dealer found a history of codes that may have been already repaired being the O'Riley's reader indicated nothing was present and something about a yellow light indicating they had been cleared.

Starts fine, I made sure I cold started it first thing this morning, I got there before they did. All approprate lights seemed to work before starting and nothing remained on after starting. Drove great, shifted fine, downshifted to pass at highway speeds fine, and drove up and down city hills fine. I was actually pleased with the pickup and handling, surprised about on ramp and exit ramp handling and curves.
I Am very mechanically inclined 38 year Army Maintenance Warrant, but still learning on how to find stuff in this site. I remember reading something and have it in my fuzzy memory bank but can't seem to recall where to find again.

I'm tempted to go for it, hoping my emotions aren't running away with me, and hoping someone with more knowledge than me can say go for it, or better think twice. My choice, but there are some with so much more vast knowledge that I would hope would give a slight warning or nudge towards deciding.

Nuke
07-18-2013, 03:47 AM
Yea I was a little irritated they didn't give me more data,
but Tacoma Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram wouldn't give me the time of day, said they don't sell them so they don't work on them, strange but if that is their attitude I don't want them doing it anyway,
Larson Mercedes-Benz in Fife said their computer won't go below 2008,
so sorry It was Larson Chrysler/dodge in Puyallup that did the inspection, and when I called yesterday they wouldn't give me any ideas if I could get it done today, so I just showed up and waited most of the day, so I wasn't at my best game for fighting with them, thought it would be an easy search here.
Roger on the key fob not working, they have an aftermarket one that works fine.
I am planning on having it tagged from FL because I get 1 vehicle tagged free for being in the FL National Guard, I was planning on registering it in FL too, and titled in FL, but the dealer told me I had to title in WA and pay their sales tax being I am driving it here for the year I am deployed. FL sales tax is much less than WA. I don't know the WA laws.
When I bought my tractor in TN I told them I was taking it to FL and so there was no Sales tax.
Shift lever seemd ok, I think I tried manually up and down shifting with the +/-, but honestly don't remember now,
no codes came back if they had been cleared
decisions decisions decisions

slem
07-18-2013, 04:32 AM
Thanks
I'm tempted to go for it, hoping my emotions aren't running away with me, and hoping someone with more knowledge than me can say go for it, or better think twice. My choice, but there are some with so much more vast knowledge that I would hope would give a slight warning or nudge towards deciding.

Hi Nuke. You and I have both spent a lot of time in the service......hate to see you buy a future deadline. The way I read it autostaretx, gave you the answer you need. Read deep.:thumbup: Wish you well.
mel

chromisdesigns
07-18-2013, 04:48 AM
I am planning on having it tagged from FL because I get 1 vehicle tagged free for being in the FL National Guard, I was planning on registering it in FL too, and titled in FL, but the dealer told me I had to title in WA and pay their sales tax being I am driving it here for the year I am deployed. FL sales tax is much less than WA. I don't know the WA laws.
When I bought my tractor in TN I told them I was taking it to FL and so there was no Sales tax.


Different states, different laws. Sucks when the destination state has lower tax/fees than where you buy it. Check with WA dmv and see if they will let you take delivery at the state line on your way out. If so, then you shouldn't have to pay any tax, just reg fees. We ran into this years ago, wanted to buy a car in SFO and drive home to DC. No reciprocity, so we would have had to pay BOTH taxes! Yikes. Dealer offered to deliver it at the Nevada state line, only would pay temp tag fee, no taxes. Wound up not doing it, but it was because dealer wouldn' meet our price.

You might be able to do something similar, even if you had to hire a driver.

We just bought a Sprinter rv in Florida and registered in CA, so we had to pay some more when we got home, but they credited us with what FL collected.

You do know if you still have it when you come back, you'd have to pay the tax anyway, right?

icarus
07-18-2013, 04:50 AM
Buy it in WA, Use your FL address to title and license. If your domicile is Fl it should be a problem and your Guard status should make it easy. Talk to your base HR people, but the dealer clearly doens't have a clue. There must be lots of folks on post who drive with plates from thier home states. When in doubt, call Sen. Murray's office!

Icarus

PS. you could also take it to Portland to be looked at, McCoy FL or there is another MB sprinter dealer with a good rep whose name escapes me.

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 05:11 AM
but still learning on how to find stuff in this site.
You can download a 2003 and 2006 service manual from: http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/
...something to read on boring evenings.
The 2006 manual set includes the Powertrain and Transmission diagnostic manuals
(the 2003 may, too) and that's where the ECM codes came from. (well, i have a 2004 manual here at home)
You can also download parts catalogs and owner's manuals.

It's quite possible the previous owner self-repaired the glow plug stuff (or they're still sick) but didn't bother to clear the codes.
If the glow plug coil light comes on for a few seconds (5 to 20 seconds depending upon ambient temperature) when you turn the key to the RUN position , then goes out and stays off (which is when you turn to START), then the glow plug system is probably OK.

Now that you have the dealer's list of codes, you could have them all *cleared* and see which, if any, come back.

There are a number of (near) dealer-level devices that can dig deeper than O'Rielly..
there are forum members kind'a near you that may have "DAD" units, which are really early CarSoft units with MB capability.
(me, for example, here in Seattle... but i'll be out-of-town for major chunks of the next two weeks)
AutoEnginuity packages ($500 total) can let a PC do quite a lot of Sprinter deep diagnosis.

WA may have favorable treatment for in-service people... as Icarus said, check with your base personnel.
For normal folks, you're supposed to register an out-of-state car in WA if it's here for more than 30 days.
But really pounce on the belt issue ASAP... it can damage other things (from the idler to the alternator's overrunning clutch to the fan's viscous clutch)
(how the heck *can* you install the tensioner incorrectly? I can see incorrect belt path (all too easy, use the under-hood sticker for the routing))

At least you've got a year to work on it before driving cross country...

good luck ...
--dick
p.s. WA doesn't charge sales ("use") tax on new vehicles brought into the state if you can show that you paid sales tax in *your* state. Or, at worst, they charge the difference 'twixt there and here.
added: Also down just a bit south of Portland is Upscale Automotive, also known as "The Sprinter Store".
http://www.sprinterstore.com/
..another member just reported spending $55 there to have his codes read (probably half of what Larson may charge, although Larson has (if memory serves) NOT received bad reviews from forum members).
They'd be another good resource (and may have installed the bully bars and lamps)
503-692-0846 (who knows? they may know your Sprinter's VIN)

chromisdesigns
07-18-2013, 05:12 AM
Buy it in WA, Use your FL address to title and license. If your domicile is Fl it should be a problem and your Guard status should make it easy. Talk to your base HR people, but the dealer clearly doens't have a clue. There must be lots of folks on post who drive with plates from thier home states. When in doubt, call Sen. Murray's office!

Icarus

PS. you could also take it to Portland to be looked at, McCoy FL or there is another MB sprinter dealer with a good rep whose name escapes me.

Ah, if you are domiciled in FL, and military, should be no problem at all, as Icarus notes. I thought you were domiciled in WA and deploying to FL.

icarus
07-18-2013, 05:42 AM
Regardless, if you purchase a vehicle out of state, you can get a temp registration and trip permit to drive to your home state without paying in state sales tax. The hang up sometimes is licensing in the "out" state with out the vehicle physically being in that state. I have done it several times. Some states require physical inspection for VIN and safety, others are pretty simple. WA used to require physical VIN inspection but he state patrol. I was able to by pass that with an affidavit from the out of state police agency. I think WA has abandoned the idea these days as on line VIN and title info is so much better.

Once again, talk to the base folks, I'm guessing that you are not the first to run into this.

Icarus

PS I register vehicles in two states in the US and one province of Canada. you don't actully have to live there, it is where the vehicle is "garaged". The bottom line is every state want to get the registration and fees. I know when WA had very high licensing fees, lots of folks from WA would illegally register in OR, even though they lived in WA. a bunch started to get caught after the local police kept seeing the same cars parked in the same neighborhood all the time.

chromisdesigns
07-18-2013, 06:40 AM
Regardless, if you purchase a vehicle out of state, you can get a temp registration and trip permit to drive to your home state without paying in state sales tax. The hang up sometimes is licensing in the "out" state with out the vehicle physically being in that state. I have done it several times.

Some (most?) states, FL and CA are two of them, IF you are going to drive the vehicle in the purchasing state AT ALL require payment of taxes and fees at the time temp plates and title are issued. Most (but not all) states are members of interstate compacts which grant reciprocity, so you don't pay taxes twice. However, there are still exceptions, as in the CA vs. DC instance some years ago.

To get our title and temp tags in FL for the new rv, we had to pay FL taxes and fees, because we were going to drive it IN Florida on our way home. Ditto when we tried to buy in CA and go home to DC back in the day. Only way to avoid paying FL tax would have been to take delivery at the state line. Didn't matter any, because it was lower than CA tax and we got credit for it from CA, thanks to the interstate pact.

Nuke
07-18-2013, 07:20 AM
Well because I'm TDY here until next April/May it is going to be operated in WA over 90 days so no sales tax exemption. Integrity issue, can't lie about it now. Can register and tag in FL, have to check on base or USAA which has the loan about title.

Searched ING switch issues and found a discussion about powering a backup camera, seems how that is done could cause ING Switch issues and maybe shift lever issues if wired through that, something I think I can diagnose and research depending on if wired through back up light, ignition switch or backup switch in shift lever, makes relationship sense with some of the codes. Dang computers make something simple a problem. Goes to show spend the time to do research B4 just doing what makes sense.

I've read about the glow plug mod, so that doesn't scare me.

They took it to get the AC purged and charged this afternoon and ended up needing a part so I have until tomorrow afternoon. That AC mod seems odd. Looks like they added a big under dash condenser but I didn't see any changes to the compressor. There is a separate blower switch and a blue push button switch on the center console, blower switch I can figure out, but I didn't see a second compressor so I don't know. Something else I'll have to research and chase down.

Will definitely chase down belt tensioner, service manage said they bent a pin during the install???

Fortunately I have access to 2 base auto shops with lifts and most tools.

Will have to chase down someone with a dad (wink wink) and try to match schedules for an afternoon and a bottle of Crown Royal and pick their brain after I have more of an idea of issues etc.

I quite often find I am reading threads from 2008 and am wondering relevance and currency.

Nuke
07-18-2013, 07:25 AM
sorry log in timed out and I forgot to add that if I make the deal I will add pix to profile and list of RV mods thinking about. Lots of ideas and options in this site just have to pick through them and decide which ones I want

thanks for all of the info

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 03:27 PM
Searched ING switch issues and found a discussion about powering a backup camera, seems how that is done could cause ING Switch issues and maybe shift lever issues if wired through that, something I think I can diagnose and research depending on if wired through back up light, ignition switch or backup switch in shift lever, makes relationship sense with some of the codes. Dang computers make something simple a problem. Goes to show spend the time to do research B4 just doing what makes sense.
The shift "lever" on a US Sprinter is really a complete joystick-and-computer in a single module.
Theoretically you should never open it. It talks to the rest of the Sprinter via a computer messaging bus (CANbus).
(there is a mechanical cable link for the PARK position to the ignition lock an a pre-2007 Sprinter)
If you're adding an aftermarket camera, about your only choice is to tap into the reverse light circuit.

Yes, i figure you'll find the on-base "hobby" facilities pretty handy...

good luck
--dick

Nuke
07-18-2013, 04:57 PM
Someone already added a camera and it looks like it is wireless to a fancy rear view mirror,
so I was speculating how they might have wired it thus maybe causing some of the codes.
There are also 4 quad LED after market fog/driving lights on the bully bar cattle catcher on the front, ditto on how they wired those.
I read somewhere that the computer monitors all of the running and side lights and if things are added using any of them for power that could throw codes.
This is a BIG LONG Van, (every man's wish), but driving around town I found it hard to get people to let me over,
so I am contemplating LED mid-side and side mirror AUX turn signal lights,
but I don't want to cause more code issues.
I'm going to shoot the guy an e-mail asking for some specific information about what and how he did it,
probably mention I'll wait until after the sale,
as I see issues, but they don't seem to be show stoppers,
but knowing about them up front I already know what I have to start looking at to determine if they are determental.

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 05:38 PM
I read somewhere that the computer monitors all of the running and side lights and if things are added using any of them for power that could throw codes.
The 2004 model year is a bit earlier than the truly weird computer systems regarding the exterior (and interior) lights.
2006 was the paw-in-the-door, and 2007+ sees the full "i know better than you do" attitude of the lighting system.

For example, in your model year the supplied-by-MB trailer socket tapped into the driver's side taillight unit *but* added a diode block in there to keep trailer mis-wirings (or dunking in salt water) from feeding back to the Sprinter's lights.

There are designated "tap points" under the driver's seat for aftermarket electrical additions.
Does your baby have an auxiliary battery under the passenger seat (access panel on door-side)?
Does your baby have the driver's seat side fuse cover? DON'T LOSE IT! It has your vehicle-specific fuse layout list. Copy it down.

The schematics in the 2003/2006 service manual (or if we ever meet, the 2004 manual's) are 99% accurate for your model year.

--dick

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 06:36 PM
Well, i was a bit too casual about excluding the Shift Module from backup light/camera issues.
Here's one of Vic (AquaPutana)'s training manual posting on the backup light, showing a direct connection:

53531

and the 2004 Manual shows:

53532

so much to learn, so much to forget...
--dick

Nuke
07-18-2013, 08:00 PM
Thanks Rich

I use that name rather than the other one :censored: for people I think I might like.

Went in early to work yesterday and got seen, then snuck out :shhh: and was gone most of the day at the dealer getting the pre-inspection.
Went back in to work late afternoon and called my wife and said I needed to stick around late, stayed until 8PM :bow: searching
Got home fried :snore: (this is an emotional stressful event)
She had saved supper for me :clapping: and I said I wasn't going to do any more research.
She then put in John Wayne McClintock and I opened up the laptop. :yell:
Not a smart move. :bash:

I've looked at a lot of crap :turd: for a long time, and this one has already had some things done to it I wanted to do, less mileage than the next day delivery vans in the 200-300k range Iíve been seeing.

They don't seem to last long in this kind of appearance shape. Like I said earlier, it gets frustrating :wtf: when you read into a thread from 5 years ago where someone says they bought a few year old model with less than a 100k mi for a reasonable price.

I was looking in the 10-12K range :2cents: figuring I could fix it up, this one's higher than that, but I am lucky my wife is up visiting me from our 1 year separation due to military duty and she's the one encouraging me. :hugs: So just got to bite the bullet. I appreciate the insight to the 2004 computer. I was almost considering only 2003's, but definitely a T1N.
I had a 5 cyl diesel in an old Mercedies 300d, liked that engine.

Fortunately we have the same vision of retirement in a couple years and traveling around in this. We just finished a 4-day trip around the Olympic Peninsula staying at B&Bís. Traveling along the back roads through mountain passes. But we talked and dreamed about how we could be doing this in our Sprinter.

I want to do some kind of fold down bed platform in the rear that I can leave folded up so I can load HD supplies in the back. Marine port-a-potty for mother, I'm leaning towards some sort of bigger removable RV fridge DC or Propane powered. Not too sure if I want to go the onboard power route or plug-in. Side awning so we can cook and eat outside. Solar shower bag, we currently heat water on our wood stove in our cabin in TN and mix hot water with stream water in a milk jug. I want to try to get a couple side-by-side bench seats from maybe a smaller van and mount 1 sideways behind the driver's seat and another facing forward that might sit at a table. Saw a mention of a conversion but never saw pix of the tracks or hold down gear. Oh and running boards, my wife had a brain tumor years ago and has trundle nerve damage and can't step up.

autostaretx
07-18-2013, 08:25 PM
and can't step up.
As you've seen, the Sprinter involves quite a climb.
We've added outboard armrests (the inner ones fit on the opposite seat's outside), and they serve as strong assist handles.
There are swivels available for the front seats, and then automatic steps for the sliding door. Captain's chairs.
You can get/make assist handles for the rear doors. If the Sprinter has a trailer hitch, there are steps that will plug into the receiver.
SprinterSTore/Upscale Auto in Portland can handle/supply steps, there are also many "mobility" shops that know Sprinters.

good luck
--dick