View Full Version : 03 stuttering after corners when hot and stalling at idle

02-20-2014, 03:37 PM
I just got a 2003 Sprinter with 170k a couple weeks ago. We are on a family road trip and having weird issues. After getting a new EGR, engine computer, fuel hoses, and crank shaft sensor and cam shaft sensor, it ran beautifully for about 3 hours on the freeway. Then as we came off the freeway and turned left it stuttered or bucked. The fuel tank was at half so we topped it off and then got back on the freeway. For the next hour it occasionally and sporadically would stutter till we decided to pull off and get a room. Coming off the freeway and turning it did it again and again so we barely got to the hotel. When my wife went in to check in, the van stalled while idling. After many tries and about 20 minutes it restarted barely and stalled 3 more times before I got it parked for the night. I checked but saw no air bubbles in the fuel.
This morning it started and ran fine in town. It ran fine up and down the freeway, too, till I got off. Then it started stuttering again and stalled a few minutes later at a stop sign. I sat there in the way of traffic for about 20 minutes till it cooled down again and I was able to drive it the remaining half mile to a dealer. The check engine light did not come on. They will look at it later today.
Any ideas? I am leaning towards a wire harness chafing, but the previous mechanics didn't see anything like that. Could it be the DPF? A cracked tube in the fuel tank? The EGR couldnt have gotten dirty in 300 miles, could it? The injectors looked fine a few days ago, according to the diagnostic software.

02-20-2014, 04:29 PM
I'd start with the leak off test (search this forum), and if possible check the fuel rail pressure.
Hot fuel is thinner, and is more likely to leak through the fuel return system. You're able to re-start when the engine is at operating temps?

It may be completely unrelated to fuel, and is a loose ECU relay on the fuse box below the steering wheel, or bad intake air temp sensor, or bad connection at the fuel pedal position sensor, or the recently learned brake pedal position switch being stuck/sticky. Use the search feature on this forum to find out more about these things. Bad intake air temp sensor (located in last plastic fitting before the hose going into the EGR/Intake) has been a known problem, but I don't know the exact symptoms, maybe taking it out and cleaning it with electronic parts spray would fix it, I don't know. It seems like a bad intake air temp (IAT) would throw a DTC.

2003 does not have a DPF.

02-20-2014, 05:34 PM
It does restart at running temp. Last week it wouldn't, which is part of the reason for all the new parts. Even today, though, if I turned it off I could restart it. If it stalls, it is not so easy to restart.

02-20-2014, 06:23 PM
I ask about the re-start because that was a symptom on my 03 which was corrected by replacing an injector that was leaking hot fuel back to the return line. Mine WOULD restart within 5 minutes or so of shut down, but give it 15-30 minutes and it would not. It would run perfectly fine once started, though.

Probably fuel related, but it might be a sensor. I recently put in a new high pressure fuel pump, but the symptoms were dripping fuel onto the serpentine belt when first starting in cold (below 40) temps; again, it ran perfect after started and engine up to temp.

02-20-2014, 06:25 PM
Have you looked for any signs of boost pressure leak? Oily marks or stains on or around the hoses and connectors? Getting hot may allow them to flex more, creating the leak only after hitting a certain temp. Check all the ring clamps to see if they are tight.

02-20-2014, 09:06 PM
The hoses all look good. We checked that out thoroughly. The dealer said they got a code about csmshaft and crankshaft synchronization, but since those sensors were just replaced, and because it only shows a problem while hot and turning, it is probably a wire problem and they don't want to troubleshoot that because it is just hard and expensive. So now I am stuck wondering what to do. I am in Mobile AL and I coukd go back to Tallahassee where some good mechanics are, or I could go north towards home in Minnesota fairly certain that I will need to stop somewhere for more help.
Where is the crankshaft sensor and where does the wire run? Maybe I can inspect it myself for chafing.

02-20-2014, 09:49 PM
Left turn issue: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7653 post 11

02-20-2014, 11:12 PM
I called the friendly mechanics in Tallahassee and they told me where the sebsors were. Then I went to walmart, bought a nice work light, and scooted under the van in the damn hotel parking lot. Lo and behold, when I lightly touched the crankshaft sensor wire, the engine quit. Then it did it again and again! Woohoo! Now I know what to ask the local dealer to fix for me.

02-21-2014, 12:24 AM
Probably some bad solder in the sensor holder or something, maybe bared wires touching each other or grounding out. I wouldn't trust the local dealer to work on it if I were you, because they will tell you that you need to replace the entire wiring harness (not exagerating too much). If you can find a local mechanic that can troubleshoot this, EASY electrical problem and repair it, do that.

You might even be able to fix it yourself with just some electrical tape and/or that "liquid electric tape".

02-21-2014, 12:27 AM
And THANKS for adding to the symptom/solution database!

02-21-2014, 12:51 AM
id check the fuel return line which runs on top of the injectors for leaks.

02-21-2014, 02:30 AM
Another thing to check, from arcane knowledge gleaned from another site;
Take out the crank sensor and look at the tip for signs of impact with the gear ring. Someone who discovered this used a washer on the outside as a shim to move the crank sensor away from the gear ring JUST ENOUGH to prevent it from being hit/scraped. THIS may be your issue, because when it gets hot the metal expands, loosens, etc. and the added inertia of a turn or bump may be the straw that broke the camel's back, messing with the sensor.

Thread to start looking for info: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28458&highlight=crank+ring

Also, defective flywheels on 02-03 Sprinters, look that up.