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View Full Version : MPG cost comparison Sprinter-vs-Domestic


tadeo1
11-18-2013, 06:59 PM
Hello, I hate to ruin our party but I did the following calculation:

10,000 miles trip in my 2008 Sprinter camper at 19MPG = 526Gl at $ 4.20Gl = $2.210
10,000 miles trip in a Domestic USA camper at 15MPG = 666Gl at $3.50Gl = $2,333
The cost difference is: $123.
The cost of maintenance in a Sprinter is a lot more expensive than a Chevy or Ford, the
drive in a Sprinter is nicer, turn ratio better. Problems?, I had a share of problems with my
Sprinter, an oil leak caused a major failure of the turbo charger, engine light comes on and
at random, lost AC-Blower-Heater temp control all at once, dealer fixed now I have the
engine light again, drove San Francisco - Las Vegas using cruise control and got 16MPG
the Tire Pressure light is always on, no matter what pressure you use unless all tires are
inflated at 80PSI. 3 dealers could not fix it. I am using "PUTNAM CHRYSLER" in Burlingame
Ca. and they do a decent job, all other 3 dealers I used are bad.
My question is: Do you have to love the Sprinter to have all these troubles? and are the
other domestic vans as prone to problems? are they cheaper to fix?
Comments please...thanks and Cheers.

pfflyer
11-18-2013, 09:05 PM
More domestic choices for campers than vans until next year when the Ford Transit will be offered. Mine is mostly a work van that I use to camp in so for me until the Ford is offered there wasn't a choice. Haven't priced any new campers so not sure how much more the Sprinters are verses Chevy and Ford chassis campers but in the used market sprinters are quite a bit more expensive than similar age and mileage domestic campers. So Sprinters hold value. I had pretty good luck with my first Sprinter but bought it with 387K miles. Hoping I will have good luck with the new van as well. One main reason I bought new is I didn't want to sink time and money in a 11 year old van 420k miles converting it to a camper. I didn't get the conversion bug till after I bought the first one and joined the forum months later. Love my Sprinter but in two years I may upgrade again and this time look at how well Ford takes off and how well the 4cyl MB engine performs. If I go Ford will look hard a gas versions. I will admit I really love driving the Sprinter and Ford will have its job cut out selling me.

shanemac
11-18-2013, 09:09 PM
I know how you feel... it's sick the amount of money I spent buying my sprinter plus all the downtime its been in the shop and aggravation. I just had rear brakes done, two tie rods, sway bar bushings, an alignment, oil change, fuel filter(I know basic maintenance)for what I spent I could have bought a used car. I guess any new vehicle nowadays can have issues and maintenance is higher in Fort Mcmoney.For me i'am pretty much over sprinters even if I had a MB dealer in my city I doubt I would buy another. Oh ya I have had plenty of warranty issues too to justify my attitude. :yell:

bryan11
11-18-2013, 09:34 PM
Have you considered safety? I'm not making assumptions but seems to me that domestic vehicles fall short often in that area. I transport kids. Domestics didn't even have headrests!

icarus
11-18-2013, 09:50 PM
I've got about 70 k miles on my 08. Other than oil and filter changes the only issue was a EGR issue early on in the warrantee period. (and a torn strut boot!) Life time fuel averge just at 20 miles per US gallon, and new tires, all driving at or near gross.

Wouldn't trade for a domestic to save my life.

Icarus

pgr
11-18-2013, 09:53 PM
How safe is suddenly going into LHM while going up a hill, starting out across an intersection? LHM is one of the most dangerous things I can think of!

I'm going replace my Sprinter in the next year but it sure won't be with a Sprinter!

showkey
11-18-2013, 10:49 PM
Not to throw the BS flag on this "domestic camper" MPG but my domestic camper class C got an avg 6.5-8.5 mpg with a best ever 10 and worst ever 4.0........

My Sprinter class C avg 13.5 pulling a trailer.

I get the Sprinter can cost more to service and maintain..........

aljimenez
11-18-2013, 11:00 PM
How safe is suddenly going into LHM while going up a hill, starting out across an intersection? LHM is one of the most dangerous things I can think of!

I am curious what you think a vehicle do when it detects a failure instead of LHM? I can only think of three things: 1) LHM, 2) Turn the engine off, 3)Keep going and risk a blown engine. Are there other possibilities, and if so which would you prefer?

pgr
11-18-2013, 11:08 PM
I'm only saying I've never owned a vehicle before (and I've owned a whole lot of them) that constantly, if ever, went into LHM! In fact before my sprinter I had never even heard of the term.

I love my a Sprinter but let's be real here they suffer from many, many problems, including serious rust, that should never happen! One only has to read the daily posts here about the same problems that occur over and over again.

I'll say it again and I think most posters here will nod their heads in agreement "I love my Sprinter but it's the most undependable vehicle I've ever owned".

pfflyer
11-18-2013, 11:35 PM
[QUOTE=pgr;268312]I'm only saying I've never owned a vehicle before (and I've owned a whole lot of them) that constantly, if ever, went into LHM! In fact before my sprinter I had never even heard of the term.

I love my a Sprinter but let's be real here they suffer from many, many problems, including serious rust, that should never happen! One only has to read the daily posts here about the same problems that occur over and over again.

I'll say it again and I think most posters here will nod their heads in agreement "I love my Sprinter but it's the most undependable vehicle I've ever owned".[/QUOTE

Did you buy new or used?

I disagree but I only have about 60k miles in Sprinters. Was towed twice but the van had over 415K miles and it was belt tensioner and a broken belt. Should have went with oem tensioner and replaced alternator the first time and would have only been towed once. Would have been comfortable driving cross country in a Sprinter with 420k miles than I would have in my F250 with that many miles.

icarus
11-18-2013, 11:46 PM
In ranked order, the most reliable vehicles I have owned (or still own,). 2007 Prius, 75k with no service save oil and filters, and one light bulb! 1999 Subaru Outback, 180,000 miles, EGR valve, timing belt, pads twice and rotors once, and a serp belt.

Fuel injection and Electonic ignition has made all vehicles way more reliable.

Icarus

pgr
11-18-2013, 11:59 PM
I bought new and have 160+k miles on it.

Perhaps it didn't state it well - It's the fact that these vehicles are always going into LHM unexpectedly that I consider unsafe. The fact that pulling over and restarting it corrects the problem is meaningless. When I step on the accelerator I expect the vehicle to move not just sit there and get center punched by some idiot running a red light of something else. I'd rather be alive and have a blown engine than dead because the computer just decided it was LHM time.

I've owned most models of US vans from Corvans to Astros in the past 50 years, and I'm well aware of their negative points as well as the positive and that's why a bought a Sprinter but that doesn't change the fact that Sprinters are not the "wondervan" people make them out to be. My next van will most likely be a Transit or even a ProMaster over a Sprinter although I've never even seen one in person.

Aqua Puttana
11-19-2013, 12:00 AM
...
I'll say it again and I think most posters here will nod their heads in agreement "I love my Sprinter but it's the most undependable vehicle I've ever owned".
I don't agree at all. Well... you're completely correct about the paint rust.

For one thing people often first come to a forum for help. A forum can make any vehicle look bad.

I bought my 2004 with 172,000 miles on it. I now have about 262,000 miles which included towing my boat to New Orleans a couple times and many other long trips. I know that I'm going to regret typing this. (knock/touch wood) My Sprinter has needed repairs, but it has yet to let me down. (knock/touch wood again)

I like my Sprinter for the space it provides and the driving response. So, in my experience, I will give you that Sprinters have their quirks, but I don't consider them unreliable. We plan to tow a trailer to Florida and back for our winter vacation. I'm a bit concerned because my 2004 is getting older, but I'm not afraid.

More unreliable vehicles than my Sprinter?

Listed by memory/year.

1964 MG Midget - Lucas. No further explanation needed
1967 Matchless (Norton) motorcycle - Ditto
1983 Cadillac (HT4100 engine)
1984 Dodge Omni (the Buckboard)
2001 Dodge B250 Ram Van (Used as a tow vehicle only. Not driven enough.)

Perhaps my last entry is a contributor to some of the posts found here requiring help. Many of the USA Sprinters are used for camping only, or otherwise are not daily drivers. In my experience it is more detrimental to reliability for a vehicle to sit too much without being driven than to get high miles with decent maintenance.

I do hate the paint. The body panels themselves and frame parts seem to hold up OK though. :2cents: vic

Lars1
11-19-2013, 12:06 AM
You guys are scaring the hell out of me. I just converted a 2010 which wasn't cheap. It has about 17k miles on it and I'm hoping to get a lot more before anything besides an oil change and fuel filter. I bought this thing under the assumption that it was a vehicle with longevity and dependability. The more I read this forum the more I'm ready to sell it...damn. Lars

notnowgus
11-19-2013, 12:58 AM
I purchased my first Sprinter, a used 2005, in 2008 with 256,000 miles. I knew the injectors were bad when I bought it, so I got a deal on the van. In the last 5 years this is what I have done to it, not counting routine maintenance.

Fuel injectors
Injector pump
water pump
Lower ball joints
Two belt tensioners
Turbo resonator upgrade

That 2005 now has 375,000 miles on it!

The van I replaced it with was Chevy that got 12 mpg, I put a new motor in the Chevy at 170,000 miles and sold it before it reached 230K miles.

That Chevy nor any other American made van, IMHO, would make it to 375K miles without a lot of work.

I now have a 2008 NCV3 that came with 172,000 miles. It has a Green Diesel Engineering tune and gets 22mpg, which bypasses the EGR and Swirl crap. It rides like dream, it's quiet as a mouse, fast as lightning and big as hell! I fully expect this van to last me ten years and 200,000 more miles. I am as happy as I can be with my vans, problems or no problems! I can't imagine that I would ever buy another domestically produced van! LONG LIVE THE MIGHTY SPRINTER!!!

Graphite Dave
11-19-2013, 01:17 AM
When you compare vehicle maintenance costs, MPG is only one of the items that need to be included.

Please include the interest value of the initial cost. A $10,000 higher initial cost is worth $400.00/year if the money was invested at 4%.

Fuel filter replacement every 10,000 miles.

13 quarts of expensive special oil.

Def fluid.

The difference in the cost per gallon of the fuel.

And the real killer is the cost of replacement parts. A Sprinter engine for $15,000 to $20,000. A transmission for $8,000 etc.

The MPG is only a piece of the whole. I am guilty as others and proudly state that it gets 20 mpg without detailing the other costs.

The bottom line is the Sprinter drives and rides very well but it is not the robust bullet proof commercial vehicle that I expected. I always drive with the fear of LHM and a failure without being next door to the mother computer that is required to diagnose a problem. I also have gone into LHM just after passing cars on a two lane road. I might not be here writing this if it had decided to save the engine and kill me while I was passing cars.

vitola231
11-19-2013, 02:31 PM
I have to agree with the reliability and LHM comments. The LHM in my case and I'm sure many others is always EGR valve related and I would state it as this!

"the van risks your life and the life of others for the sake of an emission device that in my case is always broken anyway" P.S., van died due to EGR and new one looks different this time and theres lots of turbo howl now. Anyhow I think this LHM should be disabled unless theres really a big emergency with vehicle. The wife's land rover (which has proven much more reliable and robust if you can believe) gives a pre warning something like " hay, get the heck off the highway and slow down to 30 I'm broken and going into limp mode in xxx seconds" Thats reasonable. And, the Land Rover costs less to run, go figure :bash:

I really do like the van and will keep it for a while but Mercedes wont get another penny of my money to be sure. The service is horrid
Rust leaching out under paint everywhere
EGR valves, battery, alignments, brakes, oil leaks, diff howles/ vibrations
etc, merc never ever managed to fix any of it since new.

So, its a very nice, capable and comfortable van but not a quality or reliable vehicle. If nissan ever brought over their real full size van or toyota had one I would dump this thing fast. The cost comparison is hard, great resale in theory, very good to work out of, but sucks money on repairs, LOST TIME, need to repaint van $$$$ :idunno:

cahaak
11-19-2013, 02:34 PM
I can't speak for the newer vans as I have a 2006 T1N. I bought it used in the fall of 2009 with 113K on it and put it into service in the spring of 2010 (It got totaled in an accident about 6 hours after I purchased it and then I had it fixed). I had a fix a few things on the front of the engine going forward that were likely dinged up in the accident (water pump, O2 sensor). Right now, I just passed 200K on the van. We put about 25+K miles on this van each year and it is the daily driver for my wife as the kid hauler. We take at least one long trip each year in it - 3-5K miles. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the mechanicals of the van and how they have held up. I replace the resonator with the Q5 unit and I carry a Dorman spare. I also had a Serp belt shred in the middle of our last summer trip, but had a spare with me and had it replaced in about 1 hour. Last summer Dennis got my AC system charged and working correctly. I also wired the ESPAR to work from a switch which my wife uses every morning when it is cold (like this morning).

I fully expect the main mechanicals to last to the 400K mark (engine and trans and so on). As noted, the paint absolutely sucks on this van. I have a meeting set up with some guys from work here so I can figure out what I need to do to fix all the rust spots (which will includ pulling one of the rear windows). I just change my oil and filter twice a year, change the air and fuel filter every two years, and the tranny fluid about every 60K miles. All the maintenence is pretty simple actually. I look at this van and my other van - a 2001 odyssey more as working tools for our family, so I pay attention to them and learn about them and figure that you have things to do to keep them running. I'm at 237K on the ODY and have had to do a number of "things" to it also to keep it running.

I do my own work on the Sprinter, I don't think I could own it if I brought it in all the time. The service costs are just way too much if you are not doing it yourself. For a van with 200K on it, it needs the usual. My main issue is the body - I need it to last another 8 years to match the mechanical strength. It should not be this bad, they screwed up somewhere in the paint surface prep.

All things considered, the van is working well for my family and is going to get us through. Lots of memories and trips and so on. The time just flies by and this van is part of the equation.

Chris

icarus
11-19-2013, 02:54 PM
Come on guys, let's get real. First, yes there are some problemantic sprinters out there, but there are thousands of quiet operators who run hundreds of thousands of miles without major work, mostly beating American iron on the longevity if not the strict economy,

Second, a new MB engine, installed cost me about $12k from air filter to manifold, including turbo. ( lest anyone get scared, we blew the engine after striking a deer and blowing off the oil filter, striving the engine of oil!)

Are these vehicles "perfect"? Of course not, but they come as close as any other, IF you opperate the vehicle as designed, and take care of it as designed.

Icarus

Aqua Puttana
11-19-2013, 02:58 PM
You guys are scaring the hell out of me. ... Lars
I had the exact same reaction when I stumbled on this forum about 6 years ago. I had just purchased a 2004 Sprinter with 172,000 miles on the clock. The MIL was also lit. :bash: Some of my thinking was "It's a Mercedes diesel, 172,000 no problem." :thumbup: Then I found the forum.:thumbdown: That made me think "What the hell have I done?" :hmmm:

:crazy:

Anyway, don't let us get you down. My Sprinter has been great for me. There are many, many Sprinters giving reliable service worldwide. They can be expensive fo repairs, but a bit of DIY with direction from here can save some money and more importantly give proper direction as to actual repairs needed with some prevention tips.

As to my camper use comment, that is based upon long down times in the northeast over winter. Garage storage would help avoid issues. And... that is my observation and opinion as to affecting longevity, not anything based upon actual data. vic

vitola231
11-19-2013, 03:17 PM
As I always say, everything is good until its bad :shifty: My first two were good, I did have one issue with 07, none with 08, 2010 has been horrid. Its not the problems that bother me, with the emissions, electronics comfort and price points I think the vans are being squeezed from all sides. I use to run ford E-350 and F-350 diesels in mid 90's so I don't think these vans are expensive by any means. What bothers me is that when one of these develops a problem it seems your on your own, like the EGR valve issue, this latest valve is physically different looking, may be lucky, but I think the valve is a symptom not a cause, this 2010 puts out mega soot, she's in an almost constant state of regen, always has been. Regens are triggering at about 350km to 400km, a tank doesn't go by without a couple regens, from new. Missfiring etc has become an almost normal thing, cleaning egr every 2000km due to miss firing since summer 2010. Issue with the thing that nobody has the ability or will to fix, thats the problem to me.

pgr
11-19-2013, 04:08 PM
Actually I'm shocked there hadn't been a class action suit against MBZ in the US for the many problems that people keep having over and over again because of the poor emissions implementation and rusting issues.

I can't believe anyone would ever consider buying one of these with 200k miles on it and drive it across the country but people do. You can have the best designed power plant in the world but if all the support systems constantly fail and the body rusts apart in front of your eyes it doesn't matter.

The reality is Sprinters have an extremely poor reputation in NA because MBZ just doesn't seem to care about this market. I predict within the next two years the Ford Transit will end up being in first place, the Dodge ProMaster second and the Sprinter hanging on for dear life (when it comes to Euro styled vans) unless MBZ gets their act together and I just think they really don't care about NA.

showkey
11-19-2013, 11:33 PM
Actually I'm shocked there hadn't been a class action suit against MBZ in the US for the many problems that people keep having over and over again because of the poor emissions implementation and rusting issues.

.

Sprinter sales number are low relative to the total market......

Class action lawyers like high volume cars or products with service issues no matter how small or large the problem is..............so they get very rich and cost the manufacture and consumer millions in the process.:bash::bash::bash:

No matter the class....... the vehicle owners and users are not going to benefit :thumbdown::thumbdown: and is not an answer to any of these service concerns........I totally agree the competition may cause more improvement but no real help for current owners. Most of the competition have more than their fair share of problems.....time will tell.

As as a side note EGR have been an issue on gas and Diesel engines for the past 30 years on almost every manufacture MB does not have the market cornered on EGR. They do seem to have poor paint and lack of double galvanized steel problems well above the norm.

Sprinter SS
11-21-2013, 02:32 AM
I have a buddy that owns a print shop and uses Chevrolet g3500 vans. He gets 300k out of, and has for the last 7 years, they get 300k in 3 years. He has never replaced anything more than a ac compressor. BUT...loading anything into it is like climbing into a culvert. So hard to put stuff in it compared to a sprinter. I use my 12 model for a dirtbike hauler so business payback is not so important, but even for a business mpg aside the Sprinter is so easy to work out of.

Compstall
11-21-2013, 07:59 AM
I also think the LHM steps in much too quickly. Even if a hose has a small leak, why LHM? Keep pouring on the boost, we'll get there!

One thing I like about my old '88 S10, it's OBD1. I don't get a check engine light until the thing is practically ready to blow! On the other hand, it can be difficult to diagnose small issues due to the lack of sensors, but I'm good with that (less crap to go haywire).

IMO any #1 new family primary driver is best off with an extended warranty. Every one I've purchased has been worth it, and I've made money on all of them. I easily eclipsed what I spent on the ext. warranty for our CX-9 recently with a faulty headlight motor ($1,100), a relay ($60), and a new timing cover gasket ($1,600, heh).

pfflyer
11-21-2013, 11:40 AM
IMO any #1 new family primary driver is best off with an extended warranty. Every one I've purchased has been worth it, and I've made money on all of them. I easily eclipsed what I spent on the ext. warranty for our CX-9 recently with a faulty headlight motor ($1,100), a relay ($60), and a new timing cover gasket ($1,600, heh).

And everyone thinks Sprinters are expensive to repair!

psalm66
11-21-2013, 11:56 AM
My Sprinter starts, runs, is dependable, has cute headlights, is Really green and I can stand up in it. :cheers:

Is it perfect? Not really - I have to fill it with diesel now and then ... and yes, I put air in the tires. Whew! That was difficult!

Nice job MB! :hugs:

pgr
11-21-2013, 12:04 PM
I suggest you put Doktor A's number on your speed dial cuz you're gunna need it someday!:hmmm:

vitola231
11-21-2013, 01:44 PM
The van is great for work and upgrading the seating has made it ultra comfy, 12 hour trip is nothing. Thats the shame of it, I really do like them hence this being my third. I have to say that although dodge has its faults and seem to be missing some information on repairs to these things they have a better feel for how important work vehicles are. If I would have walked into Dodge with the EGR valve in my hand stuck in the half way open position, they would have replaced the valve no matter what computer says. My 08 had that issue of rust around seam sealer and dodge immediately repaired at body shop, 2010 and Mercedes, forget about it. I have foreign objects trapped under the paint that are condensing and turning to rust and I finally had to take a dremel tool and gouge away the rust, almost dug though the metal on the door. I don't think the paint is bad because it is only the same exact spots it has always been since almost new, no new spots at all just they have grown to such a point that I had to dig them out. I think maybe the dealership is extremely important, the wife keeps getting vehicles from Land rover, Volvo of London the vehicles are nice but the service is remarkable. If theres an issue with vehicle they are calling you asking you to bring it in, they're friendly, honest etc. they treat you well. Merc here, parts are great. The service, well, they just couldn't care less. They don't call or really bother at all, you have to go there to see if your vehicle is ready usually to find out they just left it outside all day. When the van finally LHM for EGR valve I brought it in, the next day I went to check up on it and it was back outside. I talked to the service advisor and he said its faulty EGR Valve (no ****) and that they could clean it or replace it, I said "its under emissions warranty" Oh, we will try to get it back in this afternoon to replace EGR. either they couldn't even bother to look at warranty coverage or they were hoping I was to stupid to know :bash:. There is a dealer about an hour away I may try in Burlington. Also thought about a freightliner dealer, you know theres diesel mechanics there. Also VW is option but the may not be able to handle such a big vehicle.

tadeo1
11-21-2013, 10:37 PM
Hello, I hate to ruin our party but I did the following calculation:

10,000 miles trip in my 2008 Sprinter camper at 19MPG = 526Gl at $ 4.20Gl = $2.210
10,000 miles trip in a Domestic USA camper at 15MPG = 666Gl at $3.50Gl = $2,333
The cost difference is: $123.
The cost of maintenance in a Sprinter is a lot more expensive than a Chevy or Ford, the
drive in a Sprinter is nicer, turn ratio better. Problems?, I had a share of problems with my
Sprinter, an oil leak caused a major failure of the turbo charger, engine light comes on and
at random, lost AC-Blower-Heater temp control all at once, dealer fixed now I have the
engine light again, drove San Francisco - Las Vegas using cruise control and got 16MPG
the Tire Pressure light is always on, no matter what pressure you use unless all tires are
inflated at 80PSI. 3 dealers could not fix it. I am using "PUTNAM CHRYSLER" in Burlingame
Ca. and they do a decent job, all other 3 dealers I used are bad.
My question is: Do you have to love the Sprinter to have all these troubles? and are the
other domestic vans as prone to problems? are they cheaper to fix?
Comments please...thanks and Cheers.

Latest news, went to PUTNAM to fix the engine light-on issue, they reset the light in one minute, drove home 45 minutes and the light is on again, Putnam said there were no faults at the tester, well I have an OBD-II tester that I used in my old 2003 camper, so went ahead and
tested, it has a problem the code: Po726 means bad glow plug Cy.6, so PUTNAM is begining to
look as bad as all the other Dodge dealers, now that I found the problem for them they will fix it, one entire day to change the glow plug....I am not very happy.

sailquik
11-21-2013, 11:02 PM
tadeo1,
Are there no authorized Mercedes Benz Sprinter Commercial dealers anywhere near you.
Since your Sprinter is a Mercedes Benz, with a Dodge/Freightliner badge on it, MB would be my first choice.
Dodge dealers no longer get support from Mercedes Benz Sprinter USA Compliance and Engineering, so
at best you are getting whatever the Dodge dealers remember about Sprinters, and they do not have the
latest diagnostic hardware and software (MB SDS system).
Are you talking about Putnam Dodge in Putnam, CT....or Putnam Dodge in Burlingame, CA?
Hope this helps,
Roger

tadeo1
11-23-2013, 02:05 AM
Hello Sailquik, thanks for the question and suggestions.
I have an extended warranty up to 70K miles with Chrysler, so far they covered all problems
and I am tied up with Putnam in Burlingame. If you know of a better deal warranty wise please let me know, I agree with you Dodge is limited in knowledge and resources.
Years ago I had a 1973 GMC short wheel base van with 6cyl. in line, 15MPG, I installed a bubble top and convert it to a camper, I could fix that van with pliers and a screwdriver, I got 400K miles before I sold it for $1500....I miss my faithful GMC.

danski0224
11-25-2013, 10:26 AM
...one entire day to change the glow plug....I am not very happy.

I took mine in (2008) for a TPMS, glow plug and check engine light.

Purchased an extended warranty good for 7/70.

Glow plug and module were bad.

Long story short, van was in the shop for 4 weeks. Cylinder head replaced due to broken off glow plug.

Fortunately for me, it was under OEM emissions warranty.

I have no way to evaluate the capability/competence of the Dodge dealer I had to take the van to for repairs (extended warranty only good at Dodge dealers, OEM emissions only good at Dodge dealers).

I can say, if I run into this situation again, and if it is out of warranty, I'm taking/towing it to a Mercedes dealer.

jackpinner
12-02-2013, 03:21 AM
If you look below you will see how many I own at this time & out of all of them the gas engine model has been the most dependable which doesn't say much. These vehicles will be replaced with the Ford Transit with eco boost engines. I just got back from a 600 mile round trip & my heater went out, noise from under hood like a whine was really loud & then went away (probably idler pulley bearing), engine light on, glow coil light on & off and either the tranny slipped or wheels slipped but no traction control light. I like the design but if all MB were built like this I would never buy one of there cars. On top of this if I run under 50 mph with a/c off I get over 22 mpg but bring up to 65 mph & drops to 18 on my 2007 high top.

T.J.T
12-04-2013, 02:25 AM
I usually lose about 3-4 work days a year to sprinter issues. Normally I can get a rental van and continue with my work day so I dont really lose money just the convenience of being setup in my sprinter.

I just had a 3600$ bill on my suspension parts.. Rear U bolt, control arms front and back, all the bushings and some stabilizing bars or links. I normally do my own oil changes but in a pinch I will take it in for the 400$ a service and the 900$ b service.

The money I feel is even or less then a domestic for the 50,000 km a year I put on my van.

The ride and safty is far far superior.

It hurts paying the big service bills but in the end there isnt a van that can replace mine for what I need it for. Its perfect. And I just bought michelin ltx winter tires and the van is GREAT in the snow now. Its been rock solid reliable with only one day when it wouldnt start, and a few days of emergency dealer work (EGR, U Bolts)

ct-vt-trekker
12-09-2013, 02:29 PM
Interesting thread. I don't own a Sprinter but I'm considering getting one as an RV. What I'm finding is extremely high prices for good used models. Many owners are asking $60k+ for 6-8 year old models. No way I'd pay that since I can buy a brand new 2013 Winnebago ERA for less than $80K. The high cost of the used models forced me to look into domestic brands. I can buy a good low miles Domestic for a good $20K -25K less than a similar miles Sprinter. That will buy a lot of fuel! Plus Domestics are very easy to work on and cheap to get parts for. If you're out in the sticks and you have problems most local garages can also fix them.
It seems when comparing Sprinters to Domestics many of the pluses are on the Domestic side.

We prefer the layout of the new Sprinter though so we haven't ruled out buying one even thought I swore to myself that I'd never buy another German car.
From the posts here it sounds like Sprinters suffer from the same electrical issues plaguing Mercedes cars and Audis?

tadeo1
12-17-2013, 07:02 AM
This is Tadeo1, originator of this thread.
I take it back, PUTNAM found 2 Glow Plugs bad and in 3 hrs they replace them
did not cost a cent it was under the warranty, they did a great job and I am pleased.

ircsmith
12-21-2013, 04:13 AM
have an 08 with 62K. never had a LHM. did have a stutter shift from a clogged EGR once but once that was figured out has not given me any issues. I can tell when the EGR needs to be cleaned because i start to drop into 20-21 MPG range. changed the oil on schedule. put tires on it and just purchased trans oil, brake fluid and all the filters for this weekends project. only complaint is with the seats the van came with. that will be fixed soon.

on the other hand

07 Honda Civic hybrid by the time it had 68K on it
main battery, assist battery, both rear wheel bearings, rear wiring loom, rear A arm bushings, brakes, spark plugs 2X, tires 2X, horn (yes the horn went out), washer fluid pump, trans fluid 3X (because they are pron to going out at a cost of $6000) oil and filters per schedule. now the the passenger side front wheel bearing is growling and the assist battery is dead. fortunately honda fixed the assist battery by an "up date to the firmware" so it no long turns on the IMA battery light when it dies, that way honda does not have to replace it (class action lawsuit on that one, lawyers $2.9 mill and I got and offer for $100) easy fix. the equivalent to the LHM mode on the hybrid is it will "equalize" its battery level. this means the accelerator and the brakes never work the same. now that my assist battery is dead the car does this every 2-20 miles and lasts 2-5 miles. usually does it so you are in the most compromised position possible.

bottom line I'll look into the sprinter when the van needs replacement but this is the last f'ing Honda I ever own. everyone has a problem child. mine is not the Sprinter. love my van.

PLUMMER
12-22-2013, 05:38 PM
All I can say is no GM, ford, or dodge van has ever come close to being as cheap to own or maintain as a Sprinter.
I will say this, in the hands of incompetent mechanics and dealers they can ruin this in short order. Had I stayed with any local dodge or Mercedes dealership for maintenance I'm not sure I would see the cost savings. I know of three fleets that dealt with dodge for their vehicles, and their sprinters cost per mile far outweighed their other non sprinter vehicles, even the gassers. A very sad story, indeed.
Thanks to this sites knowledge base and a local Hoekstra dealers proper maintenance schedule, I'm operating at 1/5 the cost of my best previous GM diesel van. All of my bad issues were with local dodge dealers. Sometimes it was lack of experience with the sprinter and sometimes it was management bean counter cost savings. Well it cost them something, many unhappy dodge branded sprinter owners. Now all I see around here are the Hoekstra Freightliners and the Novi Mercedes sold sprinters.
I do see a huge opportunity for a DR. A type mobile business here in southern MI. Especially with the huge number of RV sprinters in the state.

My biggest savings comes from fuel Milage, then maintenance schedule and correct diagnosis and service costs. Many times while under warranty at the dodge dealer, I had multi thousand dollar repair estimates from their general scan diagnosis. Only to have Hoekstra repair correctly for hundreds. Even the Mercedes dealers did a more thorough scan. Unfortunately our local MB dealer is in the richest city in MI , so their routine maintenance schedule was $1600-$7000 per visit. Not unusual since I was sitting in the waiting room with Detroit Lions, pistons and red wing players rolling in with. 6 figure AMG's and MB versions of stuff I had only seen in magazines or auto show prototypes......hahahaha

PLUMMER
12-22-2013, 06:11 PM
There won't be a class action lawsuit, because you can't sue your government. The problems that exists are a direct result of EPA mandated equipment requirements. As was back in the last gas crunch in the 80's the first thing to resolve a problem was to yank the emissions off and walla the engine ran.

MB did exactly what our EPA required them to do. Just like someone said, sprinters have a bad rep in North America.........hmmm wonder why only North America, our crap sub standard fuel? Our stupid power and economy robing emissions requirements. Nothing like pissing money out the tailpipe, oh wait they do require piss in our tailpipe. Supposed to clean things to EPA standards

We all see how long the EPA standards lasted for big rigs without issues

vitola231
12-24-2013, 01:40 PM
:lol: your right, never thought of that. We are literally pissing out our tailpipe now. Wonder if its maybe a great corporate joke :shifty: Hehe, lets charge them $20 for pee that we will inject into tailpipe. Funny thing is pee tank and lines have electric heaters in them to keep the pee from freezing, wonder how much that effects economy.

Trayscott
12-24-2013, 02:21 PM
All I can say is no GM, ford, or dodge van has ever come close to being as cheap to own or maintain as a Sprinter.
I will say this, in the hands of incompetent mechanics and dealers they can ruin this in short order. Had I stayed with any local dodge or Mercedes dealership for maintenance I'm not sure I would see the cost savings. I know of three fleets that dealt with dodge for their vehicles, and their sprinters cost per mile far outweighed their other non sprinter vehicles, even the gassers. A very sad story, indeed.
Thanks to this sites knowledge base and a local Hoekstra dealers proper maintenance schedule, I'm operating at 1/5 the cost of my best previous GM diesel van. All of my bad issues were with local dodge dealers. Sometimes it was lack of experience with the sprinter and sometimes it was management bean counter cost savings. Well it cost them something, many unhappy dodge branded sprinter owners. Now all I see around here are the Hoekstra Freightliners and the Novi Mercedes sold sprinters.
I do see a huge opportunity for a DR. A type mobile business here in southern MI. Especially with the huge number of RV sprinters in the state.

My biggest savings comes from fuel Milage, then maintenance schedule and correct diagnosis and service costs. Many times while under warranty at the dodge dealer, I had multi thousand dollar repair estimates from their general scan diagnosis. Only to have Hoekstra repair correctly for hundreds. Even the Mercedes dealers did a more thorough scan. Unfortunately our local MB dealer is in the richest city in MI , so their routine maintenance schedule was $1600-$7000 per visit. Not unusual since I was sitting in the waiting room with Detroit Lions, pistons and red wing players rolling in with. 6 figure AMG's and MB versions of stuff I had only seen in magazines or auto show prototypes......hahahaha

My first imported vehicle ever, well except retagged Izuzu and Toyota, Geo's. Familiarity and a good dealer is huge. Always a GM guy, put food on our table for years and still provides my dads pension. Well and paid taxes in the city I worked for. Anyway, glow plugs messed up, as you said forget about trying it yourself. I was so scared of some outrageous bill to do them. Finally called Hoekstra in Troy. If I replace all of them $388 in parts, couple hours of labor. Think Europarts glowplug kit is 365. No brainer when I finally get it over there. Super cool on the phone, answered my questions etc. Then before I purchased a sprinter I asked my good friend at the local Dodge dealer if the have a sprinter engine guy, friend does transmissions. He said yes then berated the sprinter like I had never heard before. Well I guess that explains the crappy service many have had at the Dodge dealer. I like to know who works on my stuff and willing to pay a premium for trust but with this attitude no way. I figure about 25 cents a mile to run my sprinter. That was with oil, new set of tires and some other maintenance stuff in there. That is at 4 bucks a gallon which currently I can get for 3.76. Low has been about 16 mph high of 22. Check it every time. I move cargo, run my vending business out of it, transport model airplanes and eventually plan on camping in it while towing a pop up. That new FIAT/DODGE thing is goofy and you still get the Dodge dealer attitude. The Transit looks cool. I respect what the domestics have done for our area and would consider one but not forking out 60 grand for a cargo van. Spent 20 on a used one and fairly happy so far other than RYDER who are Jack holes. Did have a LHM or at least lost power and turbo boost going across PA. Restart fixed it and ultimately making sure the intake hose stayed on the turbo was important..lol..dip **** RYDER folks. THANKS AGAIN PLUMMER

Smiling
06-13-2014, 07:49 PM
I had an old econoline van back in the 80's that was good for 10 MPG. The servicing of my van was so simple and inexpensive. My 2011 2500 high roof 170 WB avg is 19 MPG. Servicing and parts are expensive. However, I love my Sprinter's ability to maintain control on ice and snow. This winter in NA was something terrible. My old econoline would have been in the ditch with damage, me with injuries. All things considered, my van is outstanding as long as I wash the road-salt off after each venture north. I agree that there must be many unsung praises from fellow expediters about their Sprinters. 249k miles and counting in 2 1/2 years. I have a current DPF problem that I will remedy and update y'all. :rad:

DaveS
08-02-2014, 08:52 PM
The long and the short of it through my experience as the owner of a 2007 Dodge Sprinter 2500 with 126K miles on it is that you buy your Sprinter and then buy it again through the cost of repairs. I have been spending 2-3 thousand dollars a year keeping mine on the road over the past 4 years. Just put another 3k in it last week and was told they found metal filings in the transmission pan when they went to replace the shifter plate in it. Got a quote of 12,600 dollars to replace the transmission from the dealership. I think it's time to say "uncle" and look for something different. I'd not recommend buying a used one and if you buy a new one,
get best extended warranty you can buy.

kendall69
08-05-2014, 05:27 AM
Not to throw the BS flag on this "domestic camper" MPG but my domestic camper class C got an avg 6.5-8.5 mpg with a best ever 10 and worst ever 4.0........

My Sprinter class C avg 13.5 pulling a trailer.

I get the Sprinter can cost more to service and maintain..........

OK let's use your math and numbers. I just drove 7,500 miles in a 2007 Sprinter van and 7,500 miles in a 2014 gas guzzler Ford E350 Class C last June/July.

Using your math which I'll even better by a few MPG, let's say you get 15 mpg, and my gas hog gets 10mpg, being generous on both here.

7,500 miles with the gas guzzler paying $3.50 gallon average for gas ( sometimes it was lower sometimes a bit higher) cost $2,625.00 - agree?

Now my Sprinter, 7,500 miles paying $4.00 gallon average for diesel ( sometimes it was lower sometimes a bit higher) cost $2,000.00 - agree?

Now I needed to take my Sprinter PIG into the dealer for service last month to clear a code and that cost me $2,000.00 so we deduct that from the $2,625.00, that I didn't spend on the gas guzzler and my total cost was $625,00, vs the sprinter cost of $2,000.00 for the fuel, $2,000.00 to clear the code total Sprinter cost for the same 7,500 miles........WAIT FOR IT........$4,000.00.

Grand total INCLUDING MB insane dealer charges and absolutely NO domestic charges, the Domestic cost me $0.08 cents a mile while the Sprinter cost me $0.50 cents a mile. Orrrrrr more than six times the price of the Ford E350 Gas Guzzler.

Even if I don't take the 2K credit I still beat the Sprinter $0.53 vs gas guzzler $0.35 a mile

So for all you fan boys out there play fair when calculating your "AMAZING" fuel costs by including the added price for fuel, added INSANE dealer prices, and the disco style engine codes that come on every time you turn around.

showkey
08-05-2014, 01:43 PM
^^^^^^^^^^
Many of us have not had the $2000 repair........yet..........and it maybe coming. I have only been to the dealer twice for warranty repairs. Crank sensor and seat belt. Knock on wood......

I am thinking buying a new RV right now.......Gas vs diesel) versus larger longer rig..............still having trouble with fuel cost going up 50-150 %. I get the math, even the exaggerated version........of total cost per mile.

Diesel vs gas pricing near me NOW is .12 difference.......or less than 4%.

The ill mannered chassis handling, low pulling power and driving comfort are still issues that come to mind when I test drove two units last week. I am not looking at Sprinter chassis this time because I am upsizing to gain a separate bedroom. Considering a small class A chassis to avoid some of the issues.

In the end I may stay with what I have for now......? On the up sided my Sprinter is worth a pretty penny when trading in ;)

On the other side have you had the caster fix on the Ford chassis helps with the ill manners but can cost upwards to $500. ( Not warranty )

If you purchased a RV to save money you will be disappointed but .........they are not as bad a boats.......been there too. To enjoy the life style cost big money.......remember you can't take it with you. If I used a Sprinter for day to day business I really would consider the other choices.

icarus
08-05-2014, 01:56 PM
Kendal,

The problem is your anecdotal numbers are wrong, at least for many of us. My'08 has averaged just over 20 mpg over it's 70 k mostly road miles. I have spent money for tires, for DIY oil changes and a brake bleed and tranny service, for a total cost und $3k.

The problem with anecdotes is they are just that...anecdotal.

Icarus

Cvollmar
08-05-2014, 10:58 PM
I have a 2011 on the lift as we speak. It came in for routine pm inspection at 61,000. Unfortunately they are never routine inspections. Has glow plug light on (no. 4 is bad) has code for DEF heater at 950.00 SRS light is on (seat belt buckle) and TPMS light is on yet all the tires are at correct psi. Yesterday I did the same pm on an Econoline with 90,000, in and out of the shop in about two hours. Basically all it needed was an oil change. On the bright side when I send a Sprinter to the dealer they wash it vac the insides so that makes it all worth it! Not to be a wise guy I cannot understand what you see in these things.

showkey
08-05-2014, 11:39 PM
Glow plug and DEF heater should be emissions warranty ..................as in free

TPMS and seat belt buckle ........that's your $$$$$

Industry wide TPMS sensors last 4-5 years. Every model every manufacture Get ready they have batteries and every thing that uses batteries need batteries sooner or later.
TPMS is another government requirement..........they are looking out for you. ;)

Graphite Dave
08-06-2014, 01:01 AM
TPMS can be ignored. Never had it before. I rotate all 5 tires so have the TPMS light on for 4/5ths of the time. Have an old fashioned air pressure gauge that works just fine.

PS: I also have rollup windows in my truck, manual transmissions (except for Sprinter), a rotary dial phone, a blueprint machine, a drawing board, paper maps and all my drill motors have cords.

sunnyside
08-06-2014, 01:30 AM
PS: all my drill motors have cords.

Dave, you said once, ''At my age I realize that fuel economy really doesn't matter'' For god sake before its to late buy yourself a brush less cordless drill, you deserve at your age.

You will thank me.

Graphite Dave
08-06-2014, 01:37 AM
Actually I have two but both have dead batteries. Corded ones work every time.

When you are old you tend to use things that work.

Now I have to begin being concerned with my battery.

sunnyside
08-06-2014, 01:44 AM
Actually I have two but both have dead batteries. Corded ones work every time.

When you are old you tend to use things that work.

Now I have to begin being concerned with my battery.

UNCLE, UNCLE, UNCLE.........:bash:

johnshmit
08-08-2014, 01:26 PM
I have a 2011 on the lift as we speak. It came in for routine pm inspection at 61,000. Unfortunately they are never routine inspections. Has glow plug light on (no. 4 is bad) has code for DEF heater at 950.00 SRS light is on (seat belt buckle) and TPMS light is on yet all the tires are at correct psi. Yesterday I did the same pm on an Econoline with 90,000, in and out of the shop in about two hours. Basically all it needed was an oil change. On the bright side when I send a Sprinter to the dealer they wash it vac the insides so that makes it all worth it! Not to be a wise guy I cannot understand what you see in these things.

When i was a Sprinter tech i once had an Econoline with a blown transmission $1548.30
and a Sprinter van with a blown third brake light bulb $7.50
I cannot understand what you see in these things.:thinking:

kendall69
08-11-2014, 05:07 AM
Kendal,

The problem is your anecdotal numbers are wrong, at least for many of us. My'08 has averaged just over 20 mpg over it's 70 k mostly road miles. I have spent money for tires, for DIY oil changes and a brake bleed and tranny service, for a total cost und $3k.

The problem with anecdotes is they are just that...anecdotal.

Icarus

I was comparing know numbers for two class "C" Rv's. I know my 2007 sprinter EMPTY is lucky to get an average of 18mpg.

Here's further proof of my numbers....

"Just purchased 2011 Solera with Mercedes Benz turbo diesel. It now has 4,000 miles on engine. Dealer stated it should get 18-20 MPG. Best I can get is 14 at 60 mph on flat road. Did I get a lemon? Any thoughts or suggestions?

"http://forums.motorhomemagazine.com/Index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/24928634

Now having said and proved the MB numbers please realize I OWN both vehicles. 1) 2007 MB Sprinter that gets best 18mpg, 2014 class C Ford V10 that gets bets 10mpg.

So my numbers are pretty close to prove my point, which is when MB Sprinter people tout "GREAT MPG" they never ever calculate HIGH REPAIR costs which are real dollar bills that either ADD or SUBTRACT from fuel costs in any particular vehicle cost of ownership.

Also I'm not talking tires oil changes etc as all vehicles need tat. I'm speaking of the EXPENSIVE emission problems inherent in ONLY Sprinters.

I have (4) Hino 30ft 36K Medium duty trucks for the last 25 that get beat up daily by moronic employees and I have never spent one dime in repairs, other that tires, brakes, blades, oil etc. Yet with the sprinter the dealer repairs are never ending with any number of "engine" codes.

Now I get the people that say " I have (XXXXXXX ) mile son my sprinter and never a problem, but in reality as you search teh internet you will see many fleet buyers of Sprinters that are fed up with the repairs and down time.

Not that this is an indicater but the TV show pickers complained about the down time with thir Sprinter and went with the new Ford. Yes I get Ford paid them $$$$$, but if one is happy with a product they would stick with it.

I had the choice to spend 85K on a Ford V10 chassis or a Sprinter chassis for my 2014 Class "C" RV, I went ford V-10. If I was happy with the Sprinter I would have gone Sprinter to "save MPG".

For me reliability and dealer availability is far, far, far, more important that saving money on MPG.

Last month my Sprinter spent 10 days in service to clear a code. In 2007 my Sprinter was in twice for a leaking roof, now in 2014 IT STILL LEAKS. That's the MB quality I'm speaking of.

showkey
08-11-2014, 12:42 PM
I was comparing know numbers for two class "C" Rv's. I know my 2007 sprinter EMPTY is lucky to get an average of 18mpg.

Here's further proof of my numbers....

"Just purchased 2011 Solera with Mercedes Benz turbo diesel. It now has 4,000 miles on engine. Dealer stated it should get 18-20 MPG. Best I can get is 14 at 60 mph on flat road. Did I get a lemon? Any thoughts or suggestions?

"http://forums.motorhomemagazine.com/Index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/24928634

Now having said and proved the MB numbers please realize I OWN both vehicles. 1) 2007 MB Sprinter that gets best 18mpg, 2014 class C Ford V10 that gets bets 10mpg.

I had the choice to spend 85K on a Ford V10 chassis or a Sprinter chassis for my 2014 Class "C" RV, I went ford V-10. If I was happy with the Sprinter I would have gone Sprinter to "save MPG".



Not to argue, want more info........ ........I am considering going back to a Ford chassis as well........are you getting real world 10 MPG. Because the dealers say that too.......but my part experience real world was 4-8 mpg. With that I am considering opting for the small class A chassis and skip the class C and enjoy more space.