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View Full Version : 2007 sprinter NCV3 to keep or not to keep


charles terrizzi
11-01-2013, 09:40 PM
Hello all, I just turned 118,000 miles and had first major repair, ECU computer and something that kept the transmission from shifting out of first gear. On top of this the brake calipers are binding up.

This has not exactly been a reliable vehicle, turbo problems early on, high volume fuel pump died last year....this last repair bill is $2700

For a work vehicle it seems like I can do better...maybe I can eBay the thing.

Is it just the year?

pfflyer
11-01-2013, 10:46 PM
That's a lot of problems with those miles. Did you buy it new? My 02 had some issues at first and then turned out to be a good van with some minor issues. I bought it with 387K miles and sold it with over 420k. As far as I know it is still running strong.

shanemac
11-02-2013, 02:06 AM
I'am in the same boat, I like my sprinter...when it works. My plan is to drive it into the ground as long as I can without me having to refinance my house to pay for the repairs...I mean a new sprinter is like 50 + grand I guess I can even sink 10 grand into repairs and still be way ahead.

My 07 has had plenty of "issues" I only have 78,000 km's

I may turn the sprinter into a weekand camper and start over with a promaster....:wtf: Not sure what to do to be honest I don't even feel comfortable selling my sprinter in a private sale it just doesn't seem ethical :shifty:

Graphite Dave
11-02-2013, 02:32 AM
I may turn the sprinter into a weekand camper and start over with a promaster....:wtf: Not sure what to do to be honest I don't even feel comfortable selling my sprinter in a private sale it just doesn't seem ethical :shifty:

Promaster may be just more of the same. Not a high volume vehicle with odd foreign parts with few service locations. Maybe the Ford Transit will be better with most of the parts pulled from high volume F150 and Mustang vehicles. Lots of reasonably priced parts and service in every other town. Buy gas for very similar operating costs compared to a diesel. Do the numbers and include higher initial cost, no fuel filters, no DEF fluid, no DPF, lower cost per gallon, replacement parts cost etc. Diesel only makes sense for high yearly mileage applications and for towing. A spreadsheet that reflects your use of the vehicle should be of interest. A gas engine in your climate with a block heater might be nice.

carnut
11-02-2013, 04:21 AM
... odd foreign parts with few service locations...

Promaster gas is the Pentastar v6 which they are putting in virtually everything. It's like the return of the k-car - one motor fits all. I'm not a big fan of the motor though even though it drove OK. Give me a GM pushrod for simplicity and low maintenance. But there will be millions of Pentastars in junkyards. Parts should be cheap.
Where I had a problem with Promaster is the sloppy build quality of the body shell. Mercedes wins hands down. And the price isn't that much cheaper. I really wish they had done a better job with it because I like the lower floor and fwd.

kendall69
11-02-2013, 08:41 AM
Hello all, I just turned 118,000 miles and had first major repair, ECU computer and something that kept the transmission from shifting out of first gear. On top of this the brake calipers are binding up.

This has not exactly been a reliable vehicle, turbo problems early on, high volume fuel pump died last year....this last repair bill is $2700

For a work vehicle it seems like I can do better...maybe I can eBay the thing.

Is it just the year?


Just think of $1,000.00 payments EVERY MISERABLE month for four years and spending $2,700 is chump change. This vehicle will do 800K miles of more , many have. BUT you will spend maybe an average of a hundred bucks a month in service.

You already paid for some big ones, unless you blow the engine repairs are cheaper than payments all day long.

Once my 2007 was paid off and I stopped my $1,000.00 a month payments I was a happy man. Since then for the last few years I've been putting that $1,000.00 a month in my pocket.

Aqua Puttana
11-02-2013, 01:32 PM
Promaster may be just more of the same. Not a high volume vehicle with odd foreign parts with few service locations. ...

Promaster gas is the Pentastar v6 which they are putting in virtually everything. It's like the return of the k-car - one motor fits all. ...

Just think of $1,000.00 payments EVERY MISERABLE month for four years and spending $2,700 is chump change...
You all make good points. In my case the Western New York inevitable rusting of my 2004 will likely make it an easier decision should a major repair surface.

Just yesterday I asked a friend of the family spring/suspension specialty shop owner if they had replaced any Sprinter transverse springs. He said he'd done quite a few, but added that they were all heavily loaded contractor type vehicles. He uses steel replacement springs. The comment which may be pertinent here is that he recently came across a Sprinter with rotted out frame parts for the spring. Something else for me to worry about. :rolleyes:

Charles is in a tough situation given the year and the miles. Unless there is a good dry dead storage location just using a Sprinter for occasional camping may set you up for more reliability issues. In my opinion, if you keep it you'd be better off to drive it regularly.

vic

shanemac
11-02-2013, 01:43 PM
Unless there is a good dry dead storage location just using a Sprinter for occasional camping may set you up for more reliability issues. In my opinion, if you keep it you'd be better off to drive it regularly.

Valid point I never thought of...god for bid if a sprinter sits more than a 3 weeks the battery may well be dead and or something will trigger a check engine light.

A gas engine in your climate with a block heater might be nice.

Ya i'am almost over diesels but the promaster diesel from what I read has a block heater...thing is price of diesel just took a jump to 1.30 per liter about 11 cents higher than gas. Like you mentioned all the BS that goes along with a diesel should spook me away.

Graphite Dave
11-02-2013, 02:35 PM
Promaster gas is the Pentastar v6 which they are putting in virtually everything. It's like the return of the k-car - one motor fits all. I'm not a big fan of the motor though even though it drove OK. Give me a GM pushrod for simplicity and low maintenance. But there will be millions of Pentastars in junkyards. Parts should be cheap.
Where I had a problem with Promaster is the sloppy build quality of the body shell. Mercedes wins hands down. And the price isn't that much cheaper. I really wish they had done a better job with it because I like the lower floor and fwd.

The gas engine and its transmission are high volume US sourced items. The rest of the van is Fiat. With the diesel engine and its transmission, the van is all Fiat. I would be a bit concerned about the transmission used with the gas engine. I think it is the same transmission used in the minivans. Heavy duty enough for a heavily loaded Promaster?

Nhuskys
11-02-2013, 03:01 PM
Tough call for sure, I had to make it last month.... My 2008 3500 144, had 190,000 miles on it. Best vehicle I have owned for my business in 35 years. It had been fairly trouble free vehicle. Mass air sensor replaced under warranty, later on a few glow plugs. Dealer service flat rating drove me crazy though, especially the oil and fuel filter change. Oh, but you're paying for expert Factory techs... Not! When I started doing it myself, I found how they used regular hose clamps on the fuel filter and zip tied the water sensor together, that they broke.

Dealer also told me I would need 4 new calipers, to get low brake pedal fixed. $2800 for calipers alone, $4000 for the whole job. I did it myself, for about $400 in pad and rotors, calipers were fine. Recently I had a caliper sticking, so I sprayed it down with Castle Thrust and it stopped sticking. I had some turbo plumbing leaks, that the dealer diagnosed as a bad turbo and replacement was $4500. Thankfully this forum set me straight and I fixed it myself, with $200 in parts from Europart. The van had been in a front end collision and on repair these damaged parts were over looked. It had been long enough after the accident, that no one would say it was related to the insurance claim. I got off cheap on that one. Drive shaft universal went out. I was shocked to find that they weren't serviceable. I didn't even call the dealer for a quote on the job or part. I just posted here and got the info I need for an aftermarket driveshaft, with serviceable U joints and did it myself. Less than $800 overnight to my door. Common thread.... dealer problems.

The 2008 would need new struts and shocks, new front tires, all the stabilizer bar bushings, a coolant leak and some major paint work to hold back the rust cancer, that really came on in the last year. I added up the costs and thought about breaking it into monthly payments for a short term. In the end I decided that the rust problem over ruled the other repairs, as you could never really root it all out in the salty North East. My 2008 van would never be worth more than now.

New van, but what... I couldn't go back to a E350 or Chevy after driving the Sprinter. I would drive my friends Chevy box van and cringe. I rented a Budget Chevy panel van and box van to move my late Mother in law's furniture and it just reinforced the feeling. Nissan is a gas hog and ugly to boot and if they are reliable as Nissan Titans, a Sprinter is flawless! Looked at a Pro Master and not impressed. A 3500 diesel, will cost the same as a Sprinter. Was a Ford guy for years, but Transit is another year off in the future. Not many options.

I decided to trade for a new 2014 3500 144. 2008 was paid off and dealer gave me a decent trade, with a discount on the new one too. Yes I'm back on the payment treadmill, but even at 6 years old and nearly 200,000 miles, the van had more residual value, than any Ford E350 box van I ever owned at that point. Price of the 2014 was about the same, as the 2008 and even if I got a V6 again it wouldn't be much more. Not many vehicles, especially pick up trucks can say this. With my equity in the 2008 and lower interest from M-B, my monthly payment is less and I'll pay it off a year sooner, than the 2008. The mobile shop set up, transferred right over to the new van, making for lower cost. I'm getting better fuel mileage and have longer service intervals too.

Not the right program for everyone, but works for me.

pfflyer
11-02-2013, 03:47 PM
Tough call for sure, I had to make it last month.... My 2008 3500 144, had 190,000 miles on it. Best vehicle I have owned for my business in 35 years. It had been fairly trouble free vehicle. Mass air sensor replaced under warranty, later on a few glow plugs. Dealer service flat rating drove me crazy though, especially the oil and fuel filter change. Oh, but you're paying for expert Factory techs... Not! When I started doing it myself, I found how they used regular hose clamps on the fuel filter and zip tied the water sensor together, that they broke.

Dealer also told me I would need 4 new calipers, to get low brake pedal fixed. $2800 for calipers alone, $4000 for the whole job. I did it myself, for about $400 in pad and rotors, calipers were fine. Recently I had a caliper sticking, so I sprayed it down with Castle Thrust and it stopped sticking. I had some turbo plumbing leaks, that the dealer diagnosed as a bad turbo and replacement was $4500. Thankfully this forum set me straight and I fixed it myself, with $200 in parts from Europart. The van had been in a front end collision and on repair these damaged parts were over looked. It had been long enough after the accident, that no one would say it was related to the insurance claim. I got off cheap on that one. Drive shaft universal went out. I was shocked to find that they weren't serviceable. I didn't even call the dealer for a quote on the job or part. I just posted here and got the info I need for an aftermarket driveshaft, with serviceable U joints and did it myself. Less than $800 overnight to my door. Common thread.... dealer problems.

The 2008 would need new struts and shocks, new front tires, all the stabilizer bar bushings, a coolant leak and some major paint work to hold back the rust cancer, that really came on in the last year. I added up the costs and thought about breaking it into monthly payments for a short term. In the end I decided that the rust problem over ruled the other repairs, as you could never really root it all out in the salty North East. My 2008 van would never be worth more than now.

New van, but what... I couldn't go back to a E350 or Chevy after driving the Sprinter. I would drive my friends Chevy box van and cringe. I rented a Budget Chevy panel van and box van to move my late Mother in law's furniture and it just reinforced the feeling. Nissan is a gas hog and ugly to boot and if they are reliable as Nissan Titans, a Sprinter is flawless! Looked at a Pro Master and not impressed. A 3500 diesel, will cost the same as a Sprinter. Was a Ford guy for years, but Transit is another year off in the future. Not many options.

I decided to trade for a new 2014 3500 144. 2008 was paid off and dealer gave me a decent trade, with a discount on the new one too. Yes I'm back on the payment treadmill, but even at 6 years old and nearly 200,000 miles, the van had more residual value, than any Ford E350 box van I ever owned at that point. Price of the 2014 was about the same, as the 2008 and even if I got a V6 again it wouldn't be much more. Not many vehicles, especially pick up trucks can say this. With my equity in the 2008 and lower interest from M-B, my monthly payment is less and I'll pay it off a year sooner, than the 2008. The mobile shop set up, transferred right over to the new van, making for lower cost. I'm getting better fuel mileage and have longer service intervals too.

Not the right program for everyone, but works for me.

Nice write off as well if bought through your company.

carnut
11-02-2013, 04:28 PM
...Heavy duty enough for a heavily loaded Promaster?

Who knows. It's a crapshoot. I can't even find torque ratings for it online. I certainly wouldn't tow with it.
I was hoping they would come out with an attractive lease deal to kick start sales. Then I can just give it back before the warranty runs out.

FWIW, I own a 78 Fiat spider and you can buy most everything for it. Long term parts availability is difficult to predict. As long as there is demand I think suppliers will support it. Even if GM or Ford went out of business I think you'd see the aftermarket completely supporting the F series and Silverado trucks.

Sprinter SS
11-06-2013, 01:25 AM
ugghhh....i will let someone else try the Promaster. The price is not attractive enough to justify the risk of a unknown product not to mention the learning curve of the dealers. I remember, i bought my first Sprinter in 03 and the dealers sucked for along time.

Plus, there is something about the ProMaster that seems not heavy duty?

carnut
11-06-2013, 04:47 AM
...The price is not attractive enough to justify the risk of a unknown product ...

The price is not attractive period. You can buy the tradesman (panel version of minivan) for $12K less and it has a fully finished interior in the back. The powertrain and features are nearly identical. Extra large body and heavy duty suspension should not add 50% to the price. It's just a little more steel and paint.