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View Full Version : Why so many problems with our vans?


tadeo1
01-22-2014, 07:34 AM
My 2008 at 40,000 miles had many problems and I read about so many picky, picky requirements for our vans to run well. I read in the forum about the sale of Mobile oil and then all the requirements of the oil, that has to be "M" etc etc. and reacted to it, I drive my 2008 van waiting for the next thing to go wrong and I am begining to hate Sprinters, this is what I wrote reacting to all the bla, bla, requirements for a healthy Sprinter:

I am realy sick of Mercedes and the "M" type oil and the "@#$%$#@^" type fuel filter and all this "special" crazy gadgets to be used in their cars so something will go wrong tomorrow at 20K, 30K and now 40K miles. Fortunately I bought an extended warranty for my 2008, if I had to pay for everything that went wrong, it would cost me the value of the van.
I am seriously waiting for the Dodge RAM PROMASTER to observe a year or so and change it for
the Sprinter and this time it will be a gasoline engine, a Chrysler V6 that anyone can service and
if it comes to MPG, I calculated: if I get in a PROMASTER 18MPG at $3.75 against diesel at 20MPG, $4.29 I will be even. A $180 fuel filter change and $120 oil change is not acceptable to me.
I am sorry if someone's feelings are hurt with my comments.

Altered Sprinter
01-22-2014, 07:56 AM
Each to our option with the German Love affair for a Mercedes.
Some win, some lose,that's the inconvenient fact of life...
As FOREST GRUMP>>>>said!:yell: "It Happens''
I'm not a lover of the early NCV's one too many recalls, and one engine in particular that had a nasty habit of blowing a piston through the block, at under two hundred thousand kilometers.

However I have had a 99.9 percent fault free run with My Tin-In-A-Can, with maintenance just under 4 grand in 9 years.
I can't complain.
However I do feel for others, who have had a never-ending -story of woes to tell.
Chin up ,Chest out.....Brave men don't cry:cry.
Best of luck in the future. I call it the DOMINO EFFECT.
Cheers Richard57210

SullyVan
01-22-2014, 08:39 AM
Hmmm...

I only could afford the T1N, but my oil changes cost under $100 a few times a year and my fuel filter change was so cheap i don't even recall what the price was.. $30?

I fail to see where a gasoline engine that is all compter controlled and fuel injected is any easier to work on than a similar diesel.

My experience has been radically different.

Dingo
01-22-2014, 09:03 AM
I am sticking with my MK1 312D sprinter . Yes the pump is fly by wire & it does have the ability to decide LHM is required , but so far it has not occured ( hand on wooden head of mine )

At present i buy any brand semi synthetic oil & filter , fuel filter & air filter cost me less than 45 ( UK Sterling ) that is less than $75 USD , then there is my time ( big deal ) about 20 minutes all done .

In UK we have very few if any petrol (gas) powered commercials anymore so diesel it is , mechanics friends have viewed these pages & report far fewer EGR / DPF / injector problems than we read abouot in the U.S. . Maybe this is due to your different fuel quality than here & europe , not wanting a flame war about it though .

Mine has 300,000+ miles on the road & still on original engine , most things are easy to work on /get to . Lets blame eco-mentalists for all the pollution reduction crap ruining good engines

boardster
01-22-2014, 01:12 PM
if it comes to MPG, I calculated: if I get in a PROMASTER 18MPG at $3.75 against diesel at 20MPG, $4.29 I will be even. A $180 fuel filter change and $120 oil change is not acceptable to me.


A two mpg differential between a gasoline Promaster and a diesel Sprinter is not realistic. I'm guessing the real difference driven the same way would be more like 7mpg.
Also, any mechanic familiar with MB clamps can swap out the fuel filter for one hour labor max. Mine did it routinely for .7 hour @$80/hr. The fuel filters I ordered from Europarts for $28.
Total cost for fuel filter change: $84 rather than the $180 described above.
I also took a cue from the MB recommendation for fuel filter changes in the V6 in Europe at 30,000 miles due the cleaner fuel instead of ten thousand recommended in the U.S. and changed it every 20,000 as a compromise.
No problems up 'til the day it was totaled at 68,000 miles so too young a death to know how things could have gone right or wrong.

dr.ona
01-22-2014, 01:14 PM
I have mixed feelings on my 2008 Sprinter... it's been great so far.
I tell you one thing though... it's better that the VW Eurovan I had.

david_42
01-22-2014, 02:43 PM
Which is better, $120 for an oil change every 15K or $40 for an oil change every 5k? The latter is what my wife's Kia requires. I've spent about a grand on repairs in 9 years and that includes mouse damage.

boardster
01-22-2014, 02:51 PM
If there were an engine that did fine at $240 every 30,000 miles I'd take it. And if there were a 90,000 miler that was $200 more than three X $240 I'd jump for it. Time matters, as does not messing with systems.

lindenengineering
01-22-2014, 03:01 PM
The problems most of you are facing are not much different in the way of challenges (broad scheme of things) than those owners with comparable gasoline (petrol) powered vehicles.

Now remember that is a broad statement, as each platform and and power pack tends to exhibit its own foibles.

Seeing a broader spectrum of vehicles in my shop (Landrover/Jaguar---MB incl Sprinter----Toyota----etc etc, plus of course the usual diesel domestic powered PU's I can clearly state the majority of the modern vehicle issues are to do with layered emission control devices and the consequential failure of that vehicle in question to meet local E reqiuirments. A typical E compliance repair runs at about $800 to $2000 on average to fix

The other is of course following the manufacturers maintenance PM schedules as the recommendations; few follow it and then pay the ultimate price of expensive repairs.
I mention this because it is the number one problem facing the owners of modern vehicles which really do consume much Bigger Bucks to maintain especailly if you have a Pro Shop do it like me.

In the end the modern vehicle although very robust when all things are running as they should quickly falls on its face if you neglect it or wait until something goes "bang"!

Of course I have my favorites the least being Toyota!
NOT for its disgusting reliablity and ability to take abuse but its inability to fail and give my shop some good bottom line revenue numbers.

MB and the Sprinter is these days my bread and butter revenue earners as a middle of the road mechano electric good. The durable monster is the Landrover/Jaguar brands being the best with wiring and electrical circuits defects that most American mechanics consider being designed by Beelsebub!
I suppose when you understand the devil then everything falls into place as being easy!:bounce:
Dennis

lindenengineering
01-22-2014, 03:02 PM
If there were an engine that did fine at $240 every 30,000 miles I'd take it. And if there were a 90,000 miler that was $200 more than three X $240 I'd jump for it. Time matters, as does not messing with systems.

Then consider Toyota--ah so!
Dennis

boardster
01-22-2014, 03:13 PM
Wish Honda had a Sprinter class vehicle.

dr.ona
01-22-2014, 03:16 PM
Oh man, now you're talking Booardster!
I would get one for sure..

boardster
01-22-2014, 03:37 PM
This guy loved VW buses, but needed more room.

OrioN
01-22-2014, 03:44 PM
Something is amiss here....




57213
.

Graphite Dave
01-22-2014, 04:18 PM
I am seriously waiting for the Dodge RAM PROMASTER to observe a year or so and change it for
the Sprinter and this time it will be a gasoline engine, a Chrysler V6 that anyone can service and
if it comes to MPG, I calculated: if I get in a PROMASTER 18MPG at $3.75 against diesel at 20MPG, $4.29 I will be even. A $180 fuel filter change and $120 oil change is not acceptable to me.
I am sorry if someone's feelings are hurt with my comments.

I have come to the same conclusion as the OP about the Sprinter but do not agree about the Ram Promaster. The Sprinter is not very robust and does require careful maintenance. The Ram unfortunately will share some of the Sprinter negatives. Except for the gas engine with the minivan transmission, the rest of the Ram is Fiat. Probably nothing major wrong with the Fiat design except that it is like the Sprinter in that parts and service are not readily available. I also would be suspect about the durability of a minivan transmission being used in a much heavier vehicle. With the Sprinter we are locked into service by a dealer that has the magic mother computer to diagnose any failures. Because it is a low volume vehicle, there are limited places that have the mother computer. The same will apply to the Ram. The Transit has some advantages because all the major components are sourced from the F150 or Mustang. The exception is the 3.2 liter diesel engine which currently is not used in any other vehicle in the US. The diesel will most likely require service at a commercial dealer. I suspect the non-diesel Transit can be serviced by your local dealer except for items requiring a high bay lift.

I also have concluded that a non-turbo gas engine is better suited to my application. If you do a little spreadsheet analysis of the operating costs of the different fuel choices for your annual mileage, then you will determine that the diesel no longer has an advantage. That has changed since I bought my 08 diesel Sprinter. Then diesel was 30 cents/gal less than gas and now it is 50 cents/gal more. That has changed the operational cost calculation. I will not need to worry about the larger quantity of emission controls that are now required for a diesel. It will be nice not to have a turbo, turbo hoses, more sensors, DPF filter, DEF fluid and system, swirl valves, fuel filter, etc. Gas should be a more reliable engine simply because it has less stuff bolted onto the engine to pass emissions and its initial cost is at least $4,000 less.

The difference in mpg between a diesel and gas engine will be much more than 2 mpg. We have to wait to see what the real world difference ends up being. My guess would be more like 6 mpg. Even with the lower mpg, the operational costs are very similar.

The Sprinter has the known advantage that is drives very well and is comfortable. No one has driven a Transit so we do not know how it drives or what the mileage will be. We do know that a little competition may force Mercedes to change. Competition will be to our advantage.

lindenengineering
01-22-2014, 04:54 PM
Wish Honda had a Sprinter class vehicle.

Well they do in other parts.
Very successful platform and if you go down to Costa Rica; its a very popular people mover for American tour groups.
Dennis

surlyoldbill
01-22-2014, 05:33 PM
I wonder if Toyota will ever Americanize their diesel engines that do so well abroad. Toyota is also very market-driven for their American offerings, so I doubt they would offer an economical truck, Americans are obsessed with HP even when they have no use for it. If they were to offer a 4x4 Tacoma or FJ with a little 4cyl diesel, I would probably get one and just use the Sprinter for hauling and long trips.

NBB
01-22-2014, 06:12 PM
Probably nothing major wrong with the Fiat design except...
...except everything Fiat has ever sent over here has been a disaster. Every attempt for them to get into the US market has ended in failure. Their vehicles are crap.

I therefore wish them upon anyone incapable of - reading the Sprinter owner's manual, following simple instructions, applying a wrench to an oil plug w/o destroying the vehicle - then whining here about it.

surlyoldbill
01-22-2014, 06:33 PM
...except everything Fiat has ever sent over here has been a disaster. Every attempt for them to get into the US market has ended in failure. Their vehicles are crap.

I therefore wish them upon anyone incapable of - reading the Sprinter owner's manual, following simple instructions, applying a wrench to an oil plug w/o destroying the vehicle - then whining here about it.

Not in my experience, my first car, a Fiat 128, was nearly bombproof. I abused the hell out of it and it still ran. Italian drivers are brutal on their cars, and the Fiats are designed primarily for them. Again, Americans are an odd market for vehicles. Both Mini and Fiat had to up-size their economy cars just so fat Americans could get in (Countryman and Fiat 500L). The Fiat line as sold everywhere else in the world isn't suited to the average mouthbreathing American, and I think the Ducato Master will be the same. With every company except GM going to a Euro-style van body, perhaps all the mouthbreathers will flock to the GM dealerships to buy the vans that haven't been redesigned in 30 years, because that's what they are familiar with. GM may be on to something by not moving ahead with the rest of the industry.

We're all oddballs for having Sprinters, anyway.:crazy:
They aren't very plentiful, and stand out in the parking lot.

surlyoldbill
01-22-2014, 06:41 PM
Toyota Hiace Diesel, you can't have one in the USA. :idunno:

Graphite Dave
01-22-2014, 07:07 PM
...except everything Fiat has ever sent over here has been a disaster. Every attempt for them to get into the US market has ended in failure. Their vehicles are crap.

I therefore wish them upon anyone incapable of - reading the Sprinter owner's manual, following simple instructions, applying a wrench to an oil plug w/o destroying the vehicle - then whining here about it.

I also had a 1960 Fiat 600 in my early twenties and thrashed it the way a twenty year old will. It was one of the best vehicles I ever owned. Only problem was blowing oil everywhere because the crankcase would get pressurized due to a clogged passage that was supposed to pull the crankcase air into the carb. Fixed that by adding a breather cap to the valve cover. I was a bad boy defeating the smog system. Only car I ever wrecked by sliding it off an ice covered turn in Napa, Ca. on a Jan. 1st. into the side of a hill. Not good to road race down a hill in cold weather. Fixed it and beat on it some more. The engine was easy to remove. Jack up car, lower flat oil pan onto milk crate, remove bell housing bolts and gas line, electrical etc.. Push car forward and leave engine behind sitting on the milk crate.

That said, most Fiats were generally not very good so I agree with your comment. That does not make the Sprinter so robust that all you need to do is read the manual and drain the oil once in awhile. The Sprinter and other new vehicles are now very complicated vehicles. The days when a reasonably capable owner could do their own work are over.

Karl2014
01-22-2014, 07:23 PM
We must get what nobody else wants... here's a 4X4 Honda Van:
http://www.honda.co.jp/ACTY/van/webcatalog/type/

pfflyer
01-22-2014, 07:30 PM
My first car was a 1969? Fiat Super Brava. It was a blast to drive and handled pretty well. Was a real hit in its latter days when in traffic several people said I had flames shooting 4' out the tail pipe. It had its issues and luckily found a good mechanic close by that would reluctantly work on it. Decided it was time to trade while it was still running.

Not that relevant to this thread just thinking back to what I thought was my first taste of freedom.

ircsmith
01-22-2014, 07:34 PM
Wish Honda had a Sprinter class vehicle.

why? hate my Civic. POS has nickel and dimmed me every chance it gets. The way Honda chose to deal with their screw up made me vow to never get another Honda. per mile the Civic has cost me almost 2X what my 08 Sprinter has. 62K miles on the Sprinter and one EGR clean issue. oh and my lumbar adjustment broke. one thing I never liked about the Sprinter are the seats.

Daybreak Express
01-22-2014, 07:35 PM
Toyota marketed a Diesel pick-up in the U.S. 1982-84; they also briefly, in '84, sold a turbocharged Diesel Camry, and if I'm not mistaken also had a Diesel or turbo-Diesel Forerunner around that time. I had a 1983 Toyota Diesel pick-up, which I drove until 1991 and almost 300,000 miles, when the body had completely rotted away. Though not impressive in terms of acceleration (4-cyl., 60 hp. naturally-aspirated), it gave me 40 mpg. on the highway, 37 if fully loaded. My only complaint about it, aside from the rust, was that it used a timing belt instead of a chain or gears. At about 150k, the injection pump drive-end bearing wore out. First, this caused the occasional air lock requiring priming of the fuel system; as it got worse, it resulted in the timing belt coming off; luckily I caught it before the engine got wrecked. A plus was that it was simple and easy to work on. It's ridiculous that we don't put more such vehicles on the road-I understand that in Europe, the "Smart Car" is available with a 3-cyl. Diesel; the fuel guage must look as though it's painted on the dash...

Daybreak Express
01-22-2014, 07:54 PM
In view of the fact that I've ordered a '14 Sprinter, I've been reading these posts with a certain amount of apprehension; that said, every Sprinter owner/operator I've talked to (and there seem to be a lot of them on the roads) has, with only one or two exceptions, sung their praises. Currently I own a '04 Chevy Astro with 324k on the odometer. It's been a relatively trouble-free vehicle, though I barbecued the original engine by falling asleep at a rest area not knowing there was a leak in the radiator; the new engine has 130,000 miles. I've always done my own oil changes, probably will continue to do so with the Sprinter (I use Amsoil synthetic, they make a MB-compliant oil which meets Sprinter specs). Fuel filter, we'll have to see; how difficult is it to acquire a shop manual? Anything else will, of course, have to be done by the MB shop. I'm sure that the key is to follow the maintenance schedule to the letter. Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., our E.P.A. has been given unbridled power to mandate anything it likes regarding emission reduction; this two-edged sword has resulted in a) much-improved fuel mileage, huge increases in power output from ever-smaller footprint Diesel engines and Diesel engines which last (mechanically) even longer than their legendarily long-lived predecessors, and b) more and more layers of increasingly unwieldy and complicated emissions-reducing devices which have compromised the legendary reliability of the Diesel powerplant. The new religion of "global warming-" er, I mean "climate change" (if that's what we're now calling it) promises to add yet more. The 1-cyl. Yanmar Diesel I have in my sailboat-which burns 1/2 pt./hour at cruising speed and can be hand-started- is now out of production, a consequence of this madness.

glasseye
01-22-2014, 07:58 PM
Toyota Hiace Diesel, you can't have one in the USA. :idunno:

In a heartbeat. No standup headroom, though. :bash:

Old Crows
01-22-2014, 07:59 PM
First car was a 1958 Fiat 1200 Spyder. Had to rebuild the motor in 61 when we got it. Oversize Hepolyte aluminum pistons....
It ran great and the old man shipped to France when he transferred there in 62. Ran the wheels off it in Europe. It when everywhere. Auto crossed it and I still have the trophy! It began rusting out in the rocker panels and the top was mostly duct tape,when we left it behind.

Like all cars back in the day it was high maintenance. But it was economical and forgiving of my slow learning curve.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kRsl_aFRWNU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkRsl_aFRWNU

Altered Sprinter
01-22-2014, 08:22 PM
Consider the Toyota it does not have the payload of a Sprinter 3 series as for the platform of which is now approaching 30 years plus.
They are popular by customer loyalty, but declining, but your still sitting on the engine, not a safe vehicle to be in with both front passenger or driver side side swipes as for a front end hit..Hello shorty.
Simply put! There is no front end collision protection.
57220

57221

Better off driving a Ford Transvestite. a wanna be Sprinter dressed in drag.:lol:
57222

pgr
01-22-2014, 09:24 PM
Other than the fact the Transit came before the Sprinter!:bash:

PaulDavis
01-22-2014, 10:51 PM
...except everything Fiat has ever sent over here has been a disaster. Every attempt for them to get into the US market has ended in failure. Their vehicles are crap.

My parents have been driving a Fiat-based conversion/camper around Europe for 5 years. They live in it 5-6 months a year. They are a common platform for EU-based conversion companies. I don't think that their judgement on Fiat quality would match yours.

rabblydoo123
01-22-2014, 10:55 PM
I certainly hope my '14 performs better.....I have high expectations given that it will be brand new, but I'm nervous...first new car and all...

Joe - NY

tgblake
01-23-2014, 12:18 AM
[QUOTE=boardster;279382]A two mpg differential between a gasoline Promaster and a diesel Sprinter is not realistic. I'm guessing the real difference driven the same way would be more like 7mpg.

In the Motor Trend Truck of the Year article, the Sprinter I-4 and V-6 diesels and the Promaster gas V-6 were all tested for "real world" MPG.

Sprinter V6 diesel rated at 15/19 (City/Hwy)
Promaster V6 gas rated at 13/18

Sprinter I4 diesel rated at 19/23

Here's the article:

http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/truck/1402_motor_trend_2014_truck_of_the_year_contenders/viewall.html

boardster
01-23-2014, 12:23 AM
That sounds pretty close, 70mph highway 5 mpg difference between the I4 and gasoline Promaster.

tgblake
01-23-2014, 01:14 AM
That sounds pretty close, 70mph highway 5 mpg difference between the I4 and gasoline Promaster.

Or...

If you are comparing the V6 diesel to V6 gas, the difference is only 1MPG.

Frankly that seems a bit low, but presumably the Motor Trend test was done under similar conditions for each vehicle.

You only get a 5MPG difference when you compare the 4 cyl diesel to a 6 cyl gas.

boardster
01-23-2014, 01:21 AM
Or...

You only get a 5MPG difference when you compare the 4 cyl diesel to a 6 cyl gas.
I was guessing that between those two standard engines the 4 cyl diesel w/ 7sp. auto would outperform the gasoline 6 w/minivan trans.
Not sure though, but figured it was a fair comparison.
We're all just guessing for now.

Graphite Dave
01-23-2014, 01:51 AM
My 144" WB 08 V6 diesel Sprinter averaged around 20.75 mpg when it was empty at 5300 lbs with about half city/half highway. It has now dropped down to around 20 mpg with the completed conversion with van weight at 7430 lbs without driver. Excellent mileage for that weight. I do drive it with a ScanGage as instructed by Sailquik. I shift manually to limit the load on the drivetrain and obtain better fuel mileage. A pain to have to shift an automatic transmission but you can feel it labor if you do not downshift manually. I would much prefer a manual transmission if it was available than a semi-automatic.

I have done about 2 mpg better than what Motor Trend states. The van now has 49,000 miles and I have logged every gallon of fuel added since 2400 miles. I did gain about 1/2 mpg by installing larger diameter 265 tires. Could also have been from a different tire brand. Original Continentals to new Michelin MS/2. Compared last 10,000 miles to the previous 10,000 miles.

rabblydoo123
01-23-2014, 02:01 AM
I meticously track my mileage and performance and will continue to do so when I get my new truck. I drive a Chevy express 6 cylinder gas and average just a tad over 15 mpg. It is an '03 and I always fill it with regular gas, no premium and no e85. My other work truck is a v8 Ford E-350, also gas. That truck does much more city driving and averages around 10 MPG. I am hoping for 23+ MPG with my new crew van, we'll see soon enough....

Joe - NY

Evzen
01-23-2014, 09:50 PM
I don't think that the original post had anything to do with MPG, but it is now. Common 1/2 gal more or less?
The more important point to me is Not to be stuck in the middle of Montana or Wyoming in a snow storm due to "limp mode" or other over engineered finicky, overpriced, high-bred truck. If I miss $ 7K job and save $20 on fuel what
I had '03 tall passenger version, payed $27 K. it was great! 20-26 MPG. Transmission leak-recall tire valve stems- recall, prematurely burned glow plugs- kill the fuse box, rust holes around windshield and all over the body.Other than that great van. Finally flipped it on black ice and totaled it. The van construction probably saved my life. (Had those recall Michelins on)
Bought new 2013 plain Jane tall cargo 40 K later 6 K miles 3 times at the dealer already with engine light on SRS light on. Without snow tires and weight in the back it gets stuck anywhere. 19 MPG so far, hoping it will get better after breaking in.
Germans were making some great diesels for long time now, you would think they would get it nailed down now. But we still worry about "black death, burning glow plugs" and now we are pouring urine into it and worrying what kind of oil to use so the $8 K part would not get plugged up. Not to idle to much? Now I see ambulances Sprinters driving around, they idle all the time, but also can go only 82 MPH?
Just read on this forum today, about the timing chain problem with the 4 cylinders. Always something.
Here the STAR emblem is still a status symbol. In the rest of the world every plumber and electrician and taxi cab is MB. It had a reputation longevity and durability. Next few years as they get some serious competition with Fiat and Ford will show if it is true.

tadeo1
01-25-2014, 03:34 AM
This is Tadeo again, I went to see the Dodge Pro Master....looks like a cheap imitation of the Sprinter, the floor is very high not as high as the Sprinter but still 22 inches, it looks cheap, I do not think the Fiat vans are as cheap, I sew them in Argentina and look much better. The Pro Master is a cheap Dodge imitation of the fiat built in Mexico...so....I was coming back home to write a SOOORRY note to everybody but on the way back I stopped for diner and the 2008 Sprinter developed a Starter problem at 40K miles and have to go to the dealer again........
why in the USA they do not have the large Toyota HiLux vans??? we are subject to marketing manouvers. "I WANT A RELIABLE VAN' dammit.

dr.ona
01-25-2014, 12:51 PM
DOT laws plain and simple.
I had a 1987 right hand drive diesel Toyota MasterAce van brought in from Canada.
Luckily the person I bought it from was a dual citizen and I registered it in a small town here in Oregon. The vehicle inspection wasn't needed according to them.

jdcaples
01-25-2014, 06:17 PM
DOT laws plain and simple.
I had a 1987 right hand drive diesel Toyota MasterAce van brought in from Canada.
Luckily the person I bought it from was a dual citizen and I registered it in a small town here in Oregon. The vehicle inspection wasn't needed according to them.

DOT laws are a large part of it.

The other part is that consumers are demanding "smarter" vehicles. In order to accomplish "smarter" manufacturers need to increase complexity.

Complexity creates increased opportunities for failure.

My 2007 Sprinter has 22 control modules in it. Most of these aren't even emissions related, but in the last 6-7 years each module has thrown at least one DTC for no apparent good reason.

-Jon

deeptissue
01-30-2014, 04:18 PM
I think it seems like there are a lot of problems with sprinter vans on this forum because the sample is tainted. People come here when they have a problem. I think if you polled all sprinter owners (not just the ones on this forum), you would find them to have a good reliability.

But of course, I could be wrong... I've had my sprinter a year, and the only thing wrong is the tire pressure sensors go off sometimes... other than that... its good. :)

jdcaples
01-30-2014, 04:29 PM
I think it seems like there are a lot of problems with sprinter vans on this forum because the sample is tainted. People come here when they have a problem. I think if you polled all sprinter owners (not just the ones on this forum), you would find them to have a good reliability.

But of course, I could be wrong... I've had my sprinter a year, and the only thing wrong is the tire pressure sensors go off sometimes... other than that... its good. :)


I think you're correct about the sample being tainted.

The forum has thousands of members, but only a few dozen regulars.

Generally speaking, people join this forum because they want to learn or they have a problem they can't solve.

There are plenty of problem-free Sprinters roaming the globe.

-Jon

OrioN
01-30-2014, 04:39 PM
I think you're correct about the sample being tainted.

The forum has thousands of members, but only a few dozen regulars.

Generally speaking, people join this forum because they want to learn or they have a problem they can't solve.

There are plenty of problem-free Sprinters roaming the globe.

-Jon

Yep...

I was at the MB 'Sprinter only' dealer yesterday getting me brakes & a cable replaced.

I was the only appointment in the bays for the morning. 4 'preparations' being done.

Dealer is the only one serving Vancouver and Burnaby.

I've not found any local 'independents' with Sprinter experience... who may be taking up the 'slack'. I don't see many Sprinters at the ol' dodge's anymore neither.





.

jjmretired
01-30-2014, 06:52 PM
I think it seems like there are a lot of problems with sprinter vans on this forum because the sample is tainted. People come here when they have a problem. I think if you polled all sprinter owners (not just the ones on this forum), you would find them to have a good reliability.

But of course, I could be wrong... I've had my sprinter a year, and the only thing wrong is the tire pressure sensors go off sometimes... other than that... its good. :)

Someone considering purchasing a sprinter who becomes aware of this forum could easly be scared off. I know I almost was. However I went ahead a purchased a new 2013 crew van and am glad I did. Not one problem yet.

surlyoldbill
01-30-2014, 07:38 PM
I think I've said it before, the number of online complaints and amount of whining is disproportionate to actual reliability of an item. People who are mad want to rant about it, people who have no problems don't feel compelled to shout it to the world. For me, the T1N Sprinter has been very reliable for the number of miles I have on it compared to other vehicles I or my circle of friends have had. The only other vehicle that approached these miles (204k) that I've had was one of my Toyota pickups, which I sold with 130k on it. The only repair needed was new ignition components.

OrioN
01-30-2014, 07:42 PM
I think I've said it before, the number of online complaints and amount of whining is disproportionate to actual reliability of an item. People who are mad want to rant about it, people who have no problems don't feel compelled to shout it to the world. For me, the T1N Sprinter has been very reliable for the number of miles I have on it compared to other vehicles I or my circle of friends have had. The only other vehicle that approached these miles (204k) that I've had was one of my Toyota pickups, which I sold with 130k on it. The only repair needed was new ignition components.

...coupled with the few folks who practice their 'bad' religion here... omnipresent & with their ongoing rants about the same issue they had... unable to 'let go' or 'heal', and move on.




.

Mein Sprinter
01-30-2014, 08:10 PM
...coupled with the few folks who practice their 'bad' religion here... omnipresent & with their ongoing rants about the same issue they had... unable to 'let go' or 'heal', and move on.




.

Hmmnn... had a 300TD that amassed 387k before the floor ate through due to salt corrosion in the East. All my former seconded M.Benz diesels ran past 200K, sold them because I got bored! 95% of us here are happy and contend...BUT don't always report here. 5% heavily report here because negativity sells and positivity is boring to report:rolleyes:.

Here we are taking the 144"-"fragile ???" Roadtrek SS Agile through the high desert of the Mojave...

Build like a Panzer Faust..eats dust...chuggs along... happy camper.

http://elsha.smugmug.com/Trucks/MojaveDeath-Valley/i-jdVbXGD/0/M/Mojave%20Desert%20020-M.jpg

Nothing facing West....

http://elsha.smugmug.com/Trucks/MojaveDeath-Valley/i-8MVr3gZ/0/M/Mojave%20Desert%20019-M.jpg

Nothing facing East..

Deeper into the Desert....:cheers:

http://elsha.smugmug.com/Trucks/MojaveDeath-Valley/i-tBB8sh5/0/M/Mojave%20Desert%20018-M.jpg

cheers...

OrioN
01-30-2014, 08:53 PM
Hmmnn... had a 300TD that amassed 387k before the floor ate through due to salt corrosion in the East. All my former seconded M.Benz diesels ran past 200K, sold them because I got bored! 95% of us here are happy and contend...BUT don't always report here. 5% heavily report here because negativity sells and positivity is boring to report:rolleyes:.

Here we are taking the 144"-"fragile ???" Roadtrek SS Agile through the high desert of the Mojave...

Build like a Panzer Faust..eats dust...chuggs along... happy camper.



Nothing facing West....



Nothing facing East..

Deeper into the Desert....:cheers:



cheers...

Amein! :bow:

Nhuskys
01-31-2014, 12:29 PM
On my second Sprinter and compared to my 8 previous Ford's, as or more reliable. Absolutely trouble free... No, but very few issues. The most problems I had with the '08 Sprinter, which I drove 200,000 miles, were related to mechanical damage from a front end collision. Body shop had no clue of making sure AC and intercooling/turbo plumbing problems from accident were fixed. M-B dealer put it right and was very helpful with a loaner and other things. Even though it was badged "Dodge", their attitude was.... It's a Sprinter, so you are the same as any other M-B owner. It should have gone to them in the beginning.

Turbo John
02-11-2014, 12:26 AM
I think it seems like there are a lot of problems with sprinter vans on this forum because the sample is tainted. People come here when they have a problem. I think if you polled all sprinter owners (not just the ones on this forum), you would find them to have a good reliability.

But of course, I could be wrong... I've had my sprinter a year, and the only thing wrong is the tire pressure sensors go off sometimes... other than that... its good. :)

Your right about that comment..........not sure about when this forum was started........having said that I never came here until about 2 years ago......no need to because my Sprinter was nary a problem. I never looked at it. My employee drove it took it home sleet snow or rain and never called with a problem for 9 years, all I did was change the oil and do the factory specified maintenance

I get in it and now it wants to kick my butt..........thanks to this forum the A-- whippings are tolerable....:bow:

SullyVan
02-11-2014, 01:17 AM
And I am seeing a lot of them serving as airport shuttles. A truly harsh life!

Nothing but stop and go, barely warmed up to temperature. Nothing like the luxurious highway miles I put on mine.

Daybreak Express
02-11-2014, 01:42 AM
Toyota Hiace Diesel, you can't have one in the USA. :idunno:

I remember with fondness the '83 Toyota Diesel pickup I had; I only got rid of it 8 years and nearly 300,000 miles later because the body rotted out. Only bad thing about it was the fact that it used a timing belt instead of a chain or gears. When I was on my 2nd belt (about 160,000 miles) the injection pump bearing wore out and caused it to throw the belt-fortunately I was parking the vehicle when it happened so I didn't hammer the valves through the pistons. Had loads of fun dismantling the front of the truck to change the belt, get the pump rebuilt, etc. but it ran great after that. That said-I can't wait to take delivery of my Sprinter. Based on everything I've read here and heard personally from those who drive them, I'm looking forward to a great experience provided I maintain it the way I've maintained my other vehicles-all of which (except the Toyota) have racked up well in excess of 300,000 miles.

Daybreak Express
02-11-2014, 01:59 AM
Very interesting thread, great contributions from everyone as I anticipate the arrival-hopefully next month-of my 144" std. roof crew. The chief impression I am left with is that the Sprinter is likely the best I'll get given the lineup of vans available today, and that my instinctive feeling-nurtured over decades as a mechanic working on hvac, restaurant equipment, electrical machinery and some experience on marine Diesels, is that as we add layers of complexity, we increase the odds of failure. While I certainly support doing what we can to reduce negative contributions to our environment, putting regulation in the hands of bureaucrats who have absolutely no knowledge of internal combustion engines and how they work, is how we've ended up with multiple layers of technology on what were once the most reliable machines in the world-Diesel engines. Not to mention engines which can no longer be run on renewable resources such as vegetable-derived fuels, which seems to be a self-defeating result if the object is environmental protection and emissions reduction. That said, credit must go to the manufacturers and their r & d people for the fact that the modern equipment is as reliable as it is, given its complexity. Also-15,000 mile maintenance requirements? Hardly a hardship.

Graphite Dave
02-11-2014, 02:08 AM
If we could just get the bureaucrats to work on our health care system, we could have health care just like the emissions crap they have added on a diesel. Very complicated with many layers of unnecessary stuff.

OrioN
02-11-2014, 02:23 AM
Very complicated with many layers of unnecessary stuff.

Details please... for both A:complicated & B:unnecessary...

Graphite Dave
02-11-2014, 02:33 AM
Not on the subject but: How do you expect to lower health care costs by adding another layer of government employees whose sole job is to shuffle paper?

On the Sprinter: What was once the best engine design because it was the most efficient and bulletproof, is now burdened with DEF, DPF, swirl valves, catalytic converters, turbo's and multiple sensors to detect when all this added stuff does not work.

I guess you can say this is all necessary, but you have to admit the old way worked and the new way is marginal.

OrioN
02-11-2014, 02:43 AM
On the Sprinter: What was once the best engine design because it was the most efficient and bulletproof, is now burdened with DEF, DPF, swirl valves, catalytic converters, turbo's and multiple sensors to detect when all this added stuff does not work.

I guess you can say this is all necessary, but you have to admit the old way worked and the new way is marginal.

No... I can say & wrong!

The old way didn't work... it was poisoning our environment to greater degree. We're not turning back the page.

So, currently, the 'stuff' is necessary. And, more importantly...

1) There aren't alternative clean air technologies in play. I hear there are others being developed.

2) Most, if not all the issues from the 'complicated' equipment are related to a) sub-par fuels from misguided regulation s (USA), b) bad/wrong or negligent maintenance, c) wrong driving/operating techniques (idling).

All the above lead credence to the topic matter.




.

Graphite Dave
02-11-2014, 02:59 AM
Propane & natural gas burn clean. Comments please. Do you really want to help the environment?

edgefinder
02-11-2014, 03:27 PM
There isn't anything wrong with the emission controls other than the way our government allowed them to be implemented. I give a big thumbs up to the engineers that developed the systems so future generations can breathe air like I have my whole life. From what I read DEF DPF is being retrofitted to old trains and trucks in a reliable and serviceable manner. With the knowledge base here we should be able to develop a home garage mechanics manual to diagnose and fix the real issues so we can keep systems functioning.

gary 32
02-11-2014, 04:05 PM
My 2008 at 40,000 miles had many problems and I read about so many picky, picky requirements for our vans to run well. I read in the forum about the sale of Mobile oil and then all the requirements of the oil, that has to be "M" etc etc. and reacted to it, I drive my 2008 van waiting for the next thing to go wrong and I am begining to hate Sprinters, this is what I wrote reacting to all the bla, bla, requirements for a healthy Sprinter:

I am realy sick of Mercedes and the "M" type oil and the "@#$%$#@^" type fuel filter and all this "special" crazy gadgets to be used in their cars so something will go wrong tomorrow at 20K, 30K and now 40K miles. Fortunately I bought an extended warranty for my 2008, if I had to pay for everything that went wrong, it would cost me the value of the van.
I am seriously waiting for the Dodge RAM PROMASTER to observe a year or so and change it for
the Sprinter and this time it will be a gasoline engine, a Chrysler V6 that anyone can service and
if it comes to MPG, I calculated: if I get in a PROMASTER 18MPG at $3.75 against diesel at 20MPG, $4.29 I will be even. A $180 fuel filter change and $120 oil change is not acceptable to me.
I am sorry if someone's feelings are hurt with my comments.


Owning a Sprinter successfully is about finding simple service solutions for any issue that arises and yes you need to be proactive.
I solve mine with diy fluids and brakes and extended warranty for the rest.
There are so many different approaches on this forum, find yours.
Welcome back to Jon, thanks all the help.

ps Driving the NV, Promaster and I suspect the Transit is a step down from your Sprinter.

lindenengineering
02-12-2014, 04:20 PM
Propane & natural gas burn clean. Comments please. Do you really want to help the environment?

Well currently I'm looking to get Linden Engineering certified to install LNG systems on motor vehicles.

This is the new fuel system for the future, and with an abundance of LNG being fracked plus low US gas NG prices this is very attractive as a new fuel source. Especially for delivery vehicles and the newer generation of hybrid/fuel cell electric vehicles just coming over the horizon.
Its going to be a game changer!
Hold on to your hats.
Dennis

Graphite Dave
02-12-2014, 05:12 PM
Well currently I'm looking to get Linden Engineering certified to install LNG systems on motor vehicles.

This is the new fuel system for the future, and with an abundance of LNG being fracked plus low US gas NG prices this is very attractive as a new fuel source. Especially for delivery vehicles and the newer generation of hybrid/fuel cell electric vehicles just coming over the horizon.
Its going to be a game changer!
Hold on to your hats.
Dennis

That is the way it looks to me also. Would want the option of gas or propane. Hard to understand why the federal government can not see it. Instead of supporting corn they should be pushing the infrastructure to support propane. With fueling stations available the switch would happen quicker. My next van will be gas with the option for propane. I like the idea of a 700 mile range between fill ups and very clean engine internals without all the emission crap hanging on the engine.

OrioN
02-12-2014, 05:26 PM
Hard to understand why the federal government can not see it.

Gov does see, loud and clear, I'm afraid.

Gov doesn't do what the people want or need, or what's right... they do what's best for their pocket books & the interest groups who pay them. Sadly, that's the type of 'democracy' that has devolved.

lindenengineering
02-12-2014, 05:45 PM
Well government and farm subsidies are a big player in all this and the Gov has forced the major blenders like Suncor to blend so much bio fuel into gasolines and diesel pump fuels.

The general consumer trends tend to believe this theory of green is good, but it covers another story!

Propane is a by product of producing gasolines and is subject to supply and demand fluctuations.
As we have seen just recently the "unexplained" sudden rise of propane a therm or to about about $4.10/gallon equivalent. In short to volatile for MV usage today,

CNG or liquified by chilling to minus 255dbf on the other hand is not subject to these price, supply, and demand equations being in abundance and commanding prices of about $3,10 per cu ft mtr. The Euro folk by comparison are buying the same for about $15/17 from Gazprom or other Russian cartel coperative suppliers.
Of course if the US starts liquifying and exporting LNG this might all change. Only Cheniere Energy in Lousianna has such a licence.
Interesting stuff and I follow all this very carefully since the US is going to be a major world energy suppliers very shortly.
Dennis

jdcaples
02-12-2014, 06:05 PM
Apparently Mexico is making motions to open its oil fields to foreigners now.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-08/end-of-95-billion-mexico-oil-monopoly-nears-with-senate-deal.html

Using food for fuel isn't a good idea unless there's a mechanical advantage, like 2% soybased biodiesel to enhance the lubricity of diesel fuel. Alcohol in gasoline vehicles makes zero sense to me.

-Jon