View Full Version : Sudden loss of power - no codes, engine restarts ok

09-18-2013, 01:43 AM
I'm driving to California to visit my daughter, and I've run into into a problem.

I'm currently sitting in a Service Area on the Ohio Turnpike I-80 (last area in Ohio, heading west) after driving about 300 miles. A while back on the highway I was driving with no indication of a problem when I heard a thud and the engine shut down. I pulled over to the side of the road, put the Sprinter into park, and restarted with no problem. The Ultragauge shows no codes, and MAP is apparently ok except of course when the engine shuts down it drops rapidly to atmospheric pressure. I drove on for about 20 - 30 minutes and the engine shut down again - no thud this time - showing no codes, and having no problems in restarting. I drove to the Service Area and will spend the night here. I'm not sure what my next move should be. So, first, does anyone know of a good local repair service? Second, can anyone suggest a cause, and maybe a fix I can try? Third, should I try to drive on in the morning, trusting the problem will either not recur or will reveal more info as the trouble develops further?

09-18-2013, 02:11 AM
Need more info.........

Shut down like it is running out fuel? Sputtering or misfire?

Loss of power or engine shutting off? Engine dies coast to the side of the road?????
Thud.......intake hose pressure side hose blown???? Would be loss of power not engine shutting off.

Is there electrical power to the dash, radio, lights, fan etc when the problem happens?

Will crank and start immediately after the shut down or must you wait some period of time?

In a side note........ did you get stuck in that accident backup where the UPS truck blocked the single right lane in the construction zone. Past there this morning in the left lane took over an hour, suspect the right lane was blocked for hours if not the entire day.

Aqua Puttana
09-18-2013, 02:17 AM
Model year and mileage? Any warranty?

Good luck. vic

09-18-2013, 03:37 AM
Model year and mileage? Any warranty?

Good luck. vic

Looks to be a 2007 from profile?

09-18-2013, 03:45 AM
Hmm. Thought I had more info in my sig. It's a converted 2007 high roof passenger 3.0l, 242434 km. so far with seats removed, added a bed and a dry kitchen. Power is from added house batteries (240 Ah) isolated from vehicle power, with charging done either by a Genius 3500 smart charger through a 300W inverter or an EFOY fuel cell. I toyed with the notion of some sort of cross connect between house power and starter power through the smart charger, but the electrical power on both sides is rock solid throughout the problem.

MAP currently runs from 24-34 psi so loss of turbo seems in likely. Engine itself shuts down as if I turned off, but power continues as normal. Putting the van back into Park and turning the key starts it up again. No codes before or after. No engine light but right front wheel sensor is intermittent - can't figure that as part of the problem.

Just gassed up a few miles before at a Sunoco station on the I-80 - maybe dirt in the fuel lines? Right now that's my best guess, but the cutoff is abrupt - no sputtering - so maybe not that either.

As for traffic jams, no problem in the morning, but there was a mess around the I-271 and I-90 around 2 or 3 o'clock with the road closed right at the junction so we had to drive around and then cut across the grass strip.

It's been a lousy day, starting in Buffalo/Amherst, where my Garmin tried to send me back into Canada to pick up the route from Toronto to Camarillo which I had chosen originally before deciding to hit a Chipotle restaurant in Amherst. I knew the way I wanted to go, but any time I went off the current Garmin route it couldn't complete the recalculation and told me there was no route (really, too complex a route, I think). I finally had to use the Apple maps application to navigate onto the 290, and Garmin was finally able to calculate a route (from scratch) after about 30 miles of further driving. After that I kept having to slow down for construction - very frustrating.

Anyway, it's too dark to see anything now, so I'm going to sleep on things and try to figure an approach in the morning. Any and all suggestions much appreciated.

09-18-2013, 04:01 AM
If I stagger further along the I-80, any good service locations around?

09-18-2013, 05:59 AM
Hmm. Just a thought - the fuel filter was replaced a couple of days ago. Could this cause or contribute to my problem? Bubbles in the line maybe caused by pinpoint leaks? There's no smell of fuel though, and no visible sign of leakage.
Any Ultragauge setup I could use to test this?

Aqua Puttana
09-18-2013, 01:41 PM
If I stagger further along the I-80, any good service locations around?
I presume I90 now? I know that I hate to go back, but Waynerodd is in the Toledo, Ohio area. Depending upon how far you are in Ohio maybe not too bad to go back.

Lindenengineering, Dennis, is way ahead for you.

For the most part air in the fuel lines is a 2001 - 2003 thing. Your 2007 with in tank fuel pump should not have that problem. Most all your fuel lines are under pressure so any leaks should show. About 65 psi on the low side, tens of thousands pounds on the fuel rail and injectors. The Ultragauge doesn't directly check fuel pressure. vic

09-18-2013, 09:36 PM
I struggled along to the Chicago area and I'm now at Jack Phelan Dodge with my fingers crossed. Getting here involved engine shut down on average every 25 or 30 miles, once getting only a few feet, at all kinds of speeds and other factors. In the city, no problems at all though a couple of times it felt as though the engine was losing power - but turbo pressure was generally up between 25 and 30 pounds, with a couple of forays into higher territory. Engine starving out after high speed runs, but not after lower speed runs? I dunno - it's all very mysterious...

09-19-2013, 11:21 PM
Curious........any updates?

09-21-2013, 04:31 AM
I'm back on the road, and in fact well down it - I'm writing from the parking lot of a Walmart store in Frisco, CO. turns out the mechanic who was supposed to fix my Sprinter before the road trip doesn't seem to have finished the job - there was a problem with one tire which - touch wood - seems to be fixed, but the tune up, which was supposed to include a fuel filter change, was not done. Worse, the engine check light bulb seems to be missing. With a change of the filter, everything seems to have been resolved, at least as far as the engine quitting is concerned. The engine light is still off - haven't replaced the bulb - and apparently the ECM is throwing codes but they aren't showing up on the Ultrascan. The mechanic at the dealer tells me I should get them resolved quickly, but things should be ok for the trip. I'll go to a local mechanic when I get back to Toronto and get anything outstanding resolved. Suggestions for the Toronto area will be useful and appreciated.

Meanwhile, the Ultrascan is not showing codes, perhaps because they are known to the Ultrascan. Any recommendations for a scan tool which can show codes even if it doesn't recognize them? For driving around the Ultrascan shows me useful info, but I'd like to be able to see all codes however obscure, not just generic ones.

09-21-2013, 05:08 AM
Since you have a 2007 NCV3 with the OM-642 V6, the Ultra Gauge EM that you seem to have is about as good as you will find.
The only better scan tools are only available to dealers.
Dodge/Freightliner had something they used back in the early NCV3 days, but the only fully comprehensive scan tool that will give you really
accurate codes and sub codes is the MB SDS diagnostics system (Star Diagnostic System....SDS).
This unit is only available to authorized Mercedes Benz dealers. There are some add on modules and cabling required to diagnose NCV3 (2007 and later)
The Scan Gauge II, Ultra Gauge EM, Dash DAQ are all "generic" scanners and won't give you the full diagnosis and certainly not down to the component and
sub code level.
Sorry, it is, the way it is!
I would get the bulb fixed ASAP, and if the engine is acting up enough to register codes in the ECM you need to get that repaired, sooner rather than later.
Glad you are back on the road, and that the fuel filter was an easy fix.

09-21-2013, 09:19 PM
I'm thinking more in terms of an additional scanner to check codes while I'm at the side of the road rather than on the road itself. For driving around the Ultragauge seems fine.

09-21-2013, 10:46 PM
You wrote:
"I'm thinking more in terms of an additional scanner to check codes while I'm at the side of the road rather than on the road itself. For driving around the Ultragauge EM seems fine."
If you find a fully capable and affordable portable scan tool, please let us know.
As far as I know, there isn't one!
The MB authorized Sprinter dealers have the only fully capable scan tool (the Mercedes Benz Star Diagnostic System with Sprinter ancillaries).

09-22-2013, 11:03 PM
No, I wasn't figuring on the SDS, just a capable system which shows raw codes, and perhaps the ability to decode a few of them. The fact the Ultragauge only shows codes it knows is annoying.

Now I'm about 4 hrs from my destination, and the water pump has died, leaving the serpentine belt dangling. Now I'm sitting at the Dumont Truck repair location in Baker CA hoping we can get parts tomorrow. We tried the local suppliers as far as Barstow with no luck - and since it's Sunday we have to wait until Monday to try a dealer.

09-28-2013, 04:04 AM
Just to finish the story, got a tow to the Dodge dealer in Barstow (thank you AAA) and let them take a look. The viscous fan clutch had seized up, come apart, whatever, and took out the fan belt and a few nearby items, but left the rad and water pump alone. Fortunately we didn't go any distance after things fell apart. I left the van at the dealer's, drove on to my daughter's place in a rental, and a couple of days later the dealer got the parts and completed the repair. Dealer prices, but at least I got back on the road. I resolve to slow down on grades, going up AND going down. I guess the Sprinter is a little more delicate than I thought, and I didn't respect the mountain roads enough.

Aqua Puttana
09-28-2013, 12:55 PM
Earlier you mentioned an affordable scan tool.

There may be some info for you here.


There were more hits that should provide even more information if you duplicate the "star clone" search.

Note that to the best of my knowledge none of the clones allow updates. If you try to update them they will likely be rendered useless. vic