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SullyVan
10-02-2013, 03:20 AM
OK, I'm scared to even ask this!


Why does my Sprinter run perfectly with zero problems, as good as a Toyota or Hyundai?

It's a 2005 long and tall T1N, hauling an rv conversion around all day. I drive her very gently, but EGR, transmission, turbo, fuel system.... all perfect!

I am confident to fill up the tank and drive down to visit Argentina with this thing. I regularly drive from FL to Canada... like it's nothing! If you can afford to keep filling the tank, she keeps on going!

Does anyone else feel this way about theirs?

surlyoldbill
10-02-2013, 03:54 AM
At 200k I wouldn't hesitate to drive the spousal equivalent and kids across the country tomorrow. I don't know why a small percentage of people have so many problems.

riskydnb
10-02-2013, 04:42 AM
OK, I'm scared to even ask this!


Why does my Sprinter run perfectly with zero problems, as good as a Toyota or Hyundai?

It's a 2005 long and tall T1N, hauling an rv conversion around all day. I drive her very gently, but EGR, transmission, turbo, fuel system.... all perfect!

I am confident to fill up the tank and drive down to visit Argentina with this thing. I regularly drive from FL to Canada... like it's nothing! If you can afford to keep filling the tank, she keeps on going!

Does anyone else feel this way about theirs?

A lot of it has to do with how hard you drive it, my fleet is used for fed ex drivers who have 150 stops a day...stop and go 150 times a day as quick as you can. Even though I take great care of the fleet they have a lot of failures. But we also go thru brakes and tires at least once a year...

SullyVan
10-02-2013, 09:25 AM
A lot of it has to do with how hard you drive it, my fleet is used for fed ex drivers who have 150 stops a day...stop and go 150 times a day as quick as you can. Even though I take great care of the fleet they have a lot of failures. But we also go thru brakes and tires at least once a year...

I suspected this. I learned to drive very softly with my first car. 1980's Ford Mustang. Piece of garbage. It broke weekly. My solution was to drive it like a Ford Fiesta (saves a lot of fuel too) and it worked.

Since then, I have babied all my vehicles and it has worked, I think.

Your poor fleet. Ouch. As long as they are making good money though. :)

MikeHowe
10-02-2013, 11:40 AM
Don't worry fellas, I and my T1N will be joining you in trouble free, reliable, relaxed motoring land just as soon as all of the neglect of the previous owner (police) is rectified - I may even be there now, but I'm scared to speak too soon! It's good to know that there is such a place though.

MillionMileSprinter
10-02-2013, 11:49 AM
My first Sprinter was DOA at purchase. Once I got it's issues all sorted out, it gave us 50K happy, trouble free miles up and down the East Coast until a mis-labeled car wash destroyed the roof. Even after the roof was torn up, it still happily towed a 4500# trailer from Fla to Philly.
Our 2nd Sprinter was purchased with about 340K miles on it. Other than having to clean out the radiator(s) to keep it cool and a speed sensor that I accidentally knocked into the tone ring, it's happily hauling my wife and 7 kids around daily. This summer we put a couple thousand miles on it towing the same trailer all over the North East.
I have no hesitations about driving it anywhere.
I also drive carefully and relatively slowly. It is safer, saves fuel and keeps the wear and tear on the van to a minimum.

Aqua Puttana
10-02-2013, 12:02 PM
Ah. A love fest.

I'm very happy with my Sprinter and with over 260,000 miles on the clock I also use it for towing and trips . Driving style can help, but these are mechanical diesel powered computers.

For example, when my rear axle seal went bad and I screwed up the tone ring without my DAD to reset things I would have been driving around with the dash lit up and no safety systems operating until I either found a dealer or someone with the correct scan tool to help me.

I do like my Sprinter, but it can be difficult to access parts and good quality service. I won't even start on the quality of the Arctic whitewash paint.

vic

lindenengineering
10-02-2013, 12:26 PM
OK, I'm scared to even ask this!


Why does my Sprinter run perfectly with zero problems, as good as a Toyota or Hyundai?

It's a 2005 long and tall T1N, hauling an rv conversion around all day. I drive her very gently, but EGR, transmission, turbo, fuel system.... all perfect!

I am confident to fill up the tank and drive down to visit Argentina with this thing. I regularly drive from FL to Canada... like it's nothing! If you can afford to keep filling the tank, she keeps on going!

Does anyone else feel this way about theirs?

Sullyvan
You should have no problem scooting down to Argentina if the van is prepped for the trip.
If there's an issue it will be the road conditions and possible damaged wheels/tires/suspension etc in various parts of Costa Rica.
Once off the ferry to Guayaquil the roads are great from Cuzco south on the Pan American Hwy.
Andale Pues!:rad:
Dennis

MillionMileSprinter
10-02-2013, 01:12 PM
Sully, are you planning a trip to Argentina? Or do you just use it as an example of what you feel you *could* do, if you wanted?

surlyoldbill
10-02-2013, 02:42 PM
I've mentioned it before, but the sample of the population is skewed if you do an internet search for "reliability". People who have problems are motivated to complain about it. People who are just driving don't feel compelled to post their experiences of starting up and driving and parking day after day.

Also, I think modern technology to meet emissions standards has made vehicles a little more frail, so people used to their old Econoline or Suburban may be expecting to be able to neglect the Sprinter and have it continue to function from past experience with other vehicles.

ECU
10-02-2013, 03:46 PM
Mine runs great. I think I could point directly to a K&N air filter for all my issues.
After installing one I needed new injectors, A new turbo, EGR valve. I dumped the K&N and my fuel mileage has gone up.
I can't blame it for the ball joints, A/C or smoky Espar. I finally replaced my shocks at 330,000 and the back brakes made it that far too.
I use the cruse control to keep my driving calm.

david_42
10-02-2013, 05:05 PM
My experience has been much the same, a couple problems early on, all covered by the warranty and not much since. Only 88K, but other than routine maintenance I've only replaced the tires and battery, not the brakes or Konis. Even those, I'd call routine for a 9 yo van. I'll be driving it down to Pleasanton, CA in November and don't expect any trouble. I use cruise control even around town and engine braking as much as possible.

SoCalSprinter
10-02-2013, 05:16 PM
At 93,000mi my 04 is running strong.

I push it hard in Los Angeles commuter traffic as my daily driver. A/C blows cold, transmission shifts clean with power on demand. Only failures in the 5 years i've owned it was a cracked radiator and a split Turbo Hose. I've just started getting codes that my glow plugs are failing but it seems to reset itself every few starts.

I upgraded to Koni shocks, Roadmaster Anit-Swaybar and Riordan Turbo Resonator.
Mechanically she seems quite sound and pulls hard at highway speeds. I really enjoy the comfortable seats and elevated ride hight. It lowers my overall stress in traffic.

Complaints?? Body work!!
-Roof leaks water at rear A/C unit when it rains.
-Arctic White paint job flakes off and is rusting everywhere water collects. (roof & windshield)

I can live with body work issues as long as my van continues to drive strong.

Lets hear some more positive feedback from Sprinters owners who are racking up high miles with few troubles.
I need the encouragement.😉



2004 NAFTA T1N 140"
10-Passenger Wagon w/ rear A/C unit.
Los Angeles, CA

tblume
10-02-2013, 05:50 PM
At 200k I wouldn't hesitate to drive the spousal equivalent and kids across the country tomorrow. I don't know why a small percentage of people have so many problems.

^ This.:thumbup:

beachbum57
10-02-2013, 07:52 PM
Still love mine! Bought used in 2010 with 77,000. Have 115,000 on it now. Have put new brakes, shocks, alternator, tensioner and idler pulleys, serpentine belt, along with regular maintenance items. Only break-down occurred when a return fuel line popped off the fuel temp sensor. The white clip was probably not connected correctly when previous service was done. Has not popped off since connected correctly.

BTW, I traded-in a 2005 Hyundai Tucson when I bought the Sprinter. Sprinter gets the same gas mileage that the Tucson got so my van is my only transportation.

I trust my van to go anywhere and don't believe that it is anymore likely to break down than other cars or vans.

Enjoy your trip!

geoffs
10-02-2013, 10:31 PM
My T1N is still going strong but then at 90000kms, it's barely run in.
Other than a dead glow plug (or two), I've had no issues to speak of during the 30000kms that I've driven it.
Unlike MikeHowe, my previous police owners looked after it :smilewink:

glasseye
10-03-2013, 03:12 AM
Got my 04 with 9800 miles. Nearly 60K incident-free miles so far. Nothing but oil, fuel, tires and brakes.

My dad taught me to drive like I had a raw egg between my foot and the accelerator and an open chocolate milkshake on the dash. :thumbup:

ohlsonmh
10-03-2013, 03:28 AM
Sullyvan
You should have no problem scooting down to Argentina if the van is prepped for the trip.
If there's an issue it will be the road conditions and possible damaged wheels/tires/suspension etc in various parts of Costa Rica.
Once off the ferry to Guayaquil the roads are great from Cuzco south on the Pan American Hwy.
Andale Pues!:rad:
Dennis

The Pan American highway is in Chile, not Argentina :thumbup:

That being said, there ARE roads across the Andes - some good, some bad.

Curiously, although it's basically the ONLY long-distance road in Chile, it's called "RT5" ("Ruta Cinco") and when driving on US Interstate 5 in California, you would think you are on the same road: nice & wide, nice rest areas, snowy mountains to the east & big hills to the west.

Only real difference is that the Chilean "RT 5" is plagued with toll booths - in a little Chevvy mini-car we spent more on tolls than gasoline :rolleyes:

I guess they figure "Those who USE the roads, PAY for them".

-Oly

lindenengineering
10-03-2013, 04:00 AM
The Pan American highway is in Chile, not Argentina :thumbup:

That being said, there ARE roads across the Andes - some good, some bad.

Curiously, although it's basically the ONLY long-distance road in Chile, it's called "RT5" ("Ruta Cinco") and when driving on US Interstate 5 in California, you would think you are on the same road: nice & wide, nice rest areas, snowy mountains to the east & big hills to the west.

Only real difference is that the Chilean "RT 5" is plagued with toll booths - in a little Chevvy mini-car we spent more on tolls than gasoline :rolleyes:

I guess they figure "Those who USE the roads, PAY for them".

-Oly

Oly
I am aware of that! I worked in Chile for Daf trucks domiciled In Venezuela for 8 years where I provided product service support for that region.

I mentioned going to Argentina because I did the trip in a Pinzgauer a few years ago from Colorado to Argentina crossing off the Pan American Hwy in Chile to JuJuy crossing into the Salta area. (Saltingueno).
Our ultimate destination was San Miguel de Tucuman but we stopped off to see the folklore celebrations at Cosquin.
My goal at the time was to participate in the folklore celebrations and I would love to go back and see the vivacious Snrta Solidad Pastrutti sing this:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=073aHCCGLd0

I merely thought that Sullyvan might be doing the same thing in Jan 2014. If I could swing it that is what I would be doing in 2014.
Cheers Dennis

shortshort
10-03-2013, 05:47 AM
I push mine so hard I split a turbo hose every 50k and I'm lucky to see 22mpg. Other than that, just wear out parts: Brakes, a water pump at 150k and a couple of glowplugs about the same time. Oh, and like ten sets of rear door checks and brackets. The new gen of check arms are a huge improvement, but the brackets are still a piece of under-engineered crap. I recently washed it. Something I do every few years whether it needs it or not. Paint was badly oxidized but cleaned up nicely with TR3. Maxima SC1 made all the badly weathered exterior plastic look showroom fresh. Every spot weld on the roof is rusting, though only light surface corrosion. Stained paint really. What else... The HVAC control knob is really stiff, I need to lube that one of these years. Cracked the nipple off a vane on one of the vents but it was an easy fix with a bit of brad nail. The left/right mirror selector is balky on the drivers side. I have to rock it back on forth a few times to make that work. The OE speakers took a crap. What a shock that was. Speaking of shocks, when I put the Konis on I noticed one of the front struts was weeping. Over 7 years and 185k later, I still wish I'd bought two of them. Mercedes does really well with the simpler vehicles. It's only the really high end stuff that is such over-complicated, unreliable garbage (not my opinion, a documented fact backed up by my mechanic customers). You only hear so much bad news here about the Sprinter because this where people come to get help, not to brag.

Boater
10-03-2013, 10:00 AM
Mine is 17 years old and at least more recently has not been well maintained with repairs that have been carried out not to the required standard, and obviously run with water for coolant for a while too, I'm sure the head only cracked due to rust blockage of coolant lines.
Needless to say I have had some problems with it, but when it was running it ran well, and I think it still runs OK, must have passed emissions in March but failed on a whole load of rust which I am still working on, when my damn car stops falling apart and demanding I work on it instead.
mpg was better than I expected for something so large.

I can't report that it's always been good because it has been off the road more than on it, but like I say, all due to abuse from previous owners rather than an inherent problem with the design. I expect several more years motoring with it if I ever find the time to fix it!

NetDoc
10-03-2013, 12:24 PM
I just bought mine and am working through a number of issues. It's replacing a 2006 Honda Ridgeline that had 230,000 miles on it and was strong. This one is a year older with 20,000 fewer miles, and I hope to make it into the ultimate Scuba Support Vehicle. I'm heading up to Cave Country this next week if I can get all my mods done.

SullyVan
10-03-2013, 01:30 PM
Sully, are you planning a trip to Argentina? Or do you just use it as an example of what you feel you *could* do, if you wanted?

Not by land vehicle. I'd go by boat if I were heading down that way.. skip some of the stuff in between.

lindenengineering
10-03-2013, 02:36 PM
Not by land vehicle. I'd go by boat if I were heading down that way.. skip some of the stuff in between.

Sullyvan
Wot mate skip Brazil---Bolivia---there's so much to see and do!
Like:-
This in Receife
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x4ACUuzNDU
Check out the black guy in the white pants--great lambada moves!



Or Tarija on the Argie /Bolvia border.
Tested a fleet of Leyland Marathon trucks here in my youth for nine months in the Andes--learned a lot!:thumbup:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS3cIXkTN1M
Ah if only I was 30 years younger and I know what ! know now.:lol:
Dennis

mbsprinter
10-04-2013, 03:30 AM
After I sorted out the abuse of the previous owners mine has given me 60k miles of really enjoyable, trouble-free driving. My previous van was a Vanagon so I know from problems. And I, too worry about saying things like this about how great it is without knocking wood or something. My wife would say I'm putting the evil eye on it for sure.

NetDoc
10-04-2013, 12:41 PM
After I sorted out the abuse of the previous owners This seems to be a recurring theme here. Kind of phunny.

SullyVan
10-05-2013, 09:47 PM
Don't post here!!! I knew it!!!

On the way back from Miami today, the Sprinter electrical system started consuming 30 amps per hour out of my house bank!

I disconnected the house bank, and though the idiot light that tells you an alternator isn't charging never came on, the wipers moved more slowly, then lights for all the systems stated coming on: Asr, anti lock, engine light, basically all the yellow ones.

So, remembering it's an electric fuel pump, I pulled over, started my generator and battery charger, reconnected the house bank to the starting battery and drove back without any problems.

As the power died, I lost turbo 3x (came right back after turning the engine off) and I thought I could hear just a little rattling at idle, but that smoothed out at high rpms. Alternator is turning.

Thoughts?

ECU
10-06-2013, 05:18 AM
That sounds just like an alternator. It drains your battery. A generator would only not charge, bad alternators draw down the battery.
Are Merc alternators all in one? In the old days we had a voltage regulator that was separate from the alternator. You could even replace a diode.
Do I remember it right? The draining is caused by a dead diode or two?:thinking:

SullyVan
10-06-2013, 10:58 AM
I guess I'll have to get the meter out and see what's going on. I didn't know if this sounded familiar to anyone. The part that confused me is that the red idiot light that shows you an alternator isn't charging never came on.

Aqua Puttana
10-06-2013, 12:18 PM
Don't post here!!! I knew it!!!

...

Thoughts?
Burn some incense, knock/touch wood, offer up your first born...

Test for proper voltage output at the alternator. I'd be looking for around 14 volts. I seem to remember other alternator failures mentioned here which didn't trigger the dash alternator light warning.

Don't discount that it could be a cable or connection problem. There's a couple threads here with some testing details if you need them. Good luck. vic

NetDoc
10-06-2013, 04:14 PM
offer up your first born... I'm leaning towards offering my second born. He's the reason my Honda Ridgeline was stolen and totaled. :cry: :bash: :yell:

Aqua Puttana
10-06-2013, 11:56 PM
I'm leaning towards offering my second born. ... :cry: :bash: :yell:
I love both of my children dearly and completely. That said, there have been times in our lives together that I would offer up one, the other, or both in a heartbeat.

Small children, small problems. Bigger children, bigger problems, but then you get to babysit the grandchildren and hand them back somewhat over-tired and all spoiled. It's a bit of payback. :cheers:

vic

Greatdane
10-08-2013, 02:37 PM
I just bought (yesterday) a 2006 10 passenger regular roof Sprinter. It has 75K on it and Carfax and the dealership that regularly maintained it said it is in great condition... I'm really hoping to join this love-fest and that this van proves reliable! I have faith... but I am also going from a Toyota mini van that had zero issues for the last 5 years... Now I just need to figure out all the counter-intuitive German dials, gauges and sound system!

surlyoldbill
10-08-2013, 03:00 PM
I just bought (yesterday) a 2006 10 passenger regular roof Sprinter. It has 75K on it and Carfax and the dealership that regularly maintained it said it is in great condition... I'm really hoping to join this love-fest and that this van proves reliable! I have faith... but I am also going from a Toyota mini van that had zero issues for the last 5 years... Now I just need to figure out all the counter-intuitive German dials, gauges and sound system!

After 7 years, I'm still discovering features that I didn't know I had. I discovered ESPAR last year.
Note: The temp dial is more like a thermostat than a direct control over heat. Having warm air even though the dial is down in the blue is normal.

SullyVan
10-08-2013, 04:37 PM
I do find that thermostat annoying.

On mine, if you crank it to full heat in the winter, it puts out full heat all the time and gets too hot. Then, if you nudge it down a billionth of a degree of rotation, it cuts the heat and gets too cold.

MillionMileSprinter
10-08-2013, 04:41 PM
I do find that thermostat annoying.

On mine, if you crank it to full heat in the winter, it puts out full heat all the time and gets too hot. Then, if you nudge it down a billionth of a degree of rotation, it cuts the heat and gets too cold.

ha ha ha :lol: too true! :lol:

SullyVan
01-02-2014, 12:56 PM
Well,I'm in love again!

181,000 miles and everything is running perfectly.

Am in the middle of a trip from NY to Tampa, to Miami and back. Just put the cruise control on and watch the miles tick away....

The alternator is working great, the new serpentine belt gives me peace of mind and the changed fuel filter has created more power and eliminated those random engine shutdowns.

I can see this thing making 500,000 easy.

Sprinter life is good!

Shannon Kelly
01-12-2014, 08:09 PM
Hello everyone , new to the site. Need feedback in regards of replacement of 2.7 motor in my 2003 3500 dually. What year(s) application of blocks can be used on my vehicle. I understand that 02-03 motors or slightly different from the 04-07. Rod came through side of block....would appreciate any response