View Full Version : 04 no start problems. HELP!

05-10-2015, 02:56 AM
I'm at my end. It's an 04 and I am now at a "start error" but I'll fill in the blanks.

I've had the start error a few times in the past but only after having to either jump or put a cheap charger on the van. I fixed eventually with pulling the battery for a bit then hooking back up. Then my wife got stuck at the mall with it not starting and without the "start error". No click, nothing, but way too many dash lights staying on and the electric fan running. I found the ECM wasn't getting power on fuse 16-17. I ran a temp wire to them and it ran fine. Drove it for a week like that with me doing research on the problem. I took the fuse box apart, didn't really find anything wrong, I re-soldered a few connectors but non of them looked bad. Put it all back together and re-installed the fuse box. Still no power at 16-17, fan on, and now a "start error."

Oh crap, and we are going on a road trip in 2 hours. I panic! tried pulling the battery, let it sit. no go. I realized this time and the last time with the "start error" that the remote locks don't work either. I read about pulling the 10 amp fuse under the seat so I started playing with that and some how it worked. So did the remote locks again. Whew! So put the temp wires and fuses back in 16-17 and we went on our trip.

So a week goes by again and I decide to pull the fuse box again. Still can't find anything. Test everything real good. All looks good. I put it back in and "start error". This time I can't get rid of it. I have read dozens of threads, and found the service manual and can not figure it out this time and this is our only vehicle that my family can use. I have good power at 7 fuse in block 1, good power at the SKREEM, tried several keys, I confirmed the key switch is working correctly, good power on fuse 5 block 2. I pulled the fuse block back out a half a dozen times and took it apart looking for anything. I took the SKREEM out and took it apart. I looked under the drivers seat at all those wires but didn't dig too much in there as it's getting cold and dark, we almost have 3" of snow again! WTH???? I'm sure I've checked even more but my mind is mush right now and I'm in a very bad bind. I was going to find the money to buy a fuse block but I'm not convinced it's that right now but I don't know!:thinking:
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, :bow:

05-10-2015, 02:59 AM
Oh and the central timing box seams to be working as I still have power locks from the switch on the dash. The wipers work, blinkers work......

05-10-2015, 05:33 AM
I had intermittent "start error" for over a year. Changed fuse block under steering column, did the SOS fix several times, checked grounds, etc. Finally got GDE tune with immobilizer delete ($700?) now it runs way better, saves fuel, and starts every time:thumbup:

05-10-2015, 03:48 PM
The fuse block itself gets "dry solder", cracked solder connections that look fine but aren't. (from past forum posts)

Solution is to replace the entire fuse block. Less than $100 and includes all fuses/relays.
For the intrepid and skilled solderer: touch up all the solder connections without melting any into neighboring solder.

05-10-2015, 04:09 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions,
DavisDave, I don't have that kinda money or time to try that right now :(

Surly, where do you find it for less than $100? I havn't called the dealer yet, going to tomorrow. The one's on ebay are more and most of them are used. Leary about buying something like that on ebay. I have nothing against ebay but just don't have the time or money to mess with that right now. I'm at a loss as to why the remote key's don't work when I have a "start error"...... I guess it still could be the fuse block but am a little concerned it's the SKREEM. Argh, not a good time to have this problem.....

05-10-2015, 04:33 PM
I have had this problem off and on. All warning lights would come on for about 5 seconds while driving and then turn off. The next time I tried to start the truck absolutely nothing would happen...no clicks... no engine turn over...no sound. I started to carry one of those portable battery chargers and simply connected it to the battery and the truck would start right up. I noticed on one of these misadventures that I touched the ground wire and then the truck started. Tightened the ground wire connections to the frame at the rear of the battery and I have not seen the problem in several months.

05-10-2015, 05:10 PM
pv, thank you. I will give that a try as well.

Well, I got it started. I did a dumb thing and did two things at once so I don't know what really worked. I brought the SKREEM in and put it on a heater vent to warm it up. I pulled the ground off the battery and put a charger on it for about an hour even though the volts read 12.3. It's fairly a new battery and haven't had any battery problems lately. I went out with a warm SKREEM and plugged it in. unhooked charger and hooked up ground. I tested the remote locks and they worked. I knew just from that that it was going to start. Sure enough it did. I did that several times and was ok. I unhooked my temp wires on the fuse box and the first time I turned the key the dash lights worked correctly and no fan sound. But when I went to crank there was a click and then all the dash lights and the fan sound came on and no start, not the "start error" though. I re-hooked up my temp wires to the ECM in the fuse box and it started just fine. So I'm feeling confident the fuse box is bad. I just hope that will fix it for good. I'm just re-leaved that I could get it started again. Hopefully this storm moves on and I can get a good deal on a good fuse box to make this a reliable family vehicle again.
Thanks for your help and I'm still not done so any input is welcome.

05-10-2015, 06:09 PM
I've never bought a fuse block, I'm just reporting what other forum members have posted.

LuckyDawgz Jim
05-10-2015, 06:21 PM
I've never bought a fuse block, I'm just reporting what other forum members have posted.

I don't want to diminish your fix, but to avoid getting stuck somewhere again. You may want to at least find out what the correct P/N for you vehicle is.

Remove the steering column fuse box again...
The correct P/N will be on the box, call or visit your local Freightliner/Mercedes, or LAST-ly a Dodge dealer with your VIN # handy and see what fuse box they recommend, cross reference the part # stamped on the one you took out.
There are sub part numbers, and an incorrect fuse box may or may not work and likely compound your troubles!

New box comes with all new relays and fuses, and was around $86 +tax as I recall.
A Sprinter mechanic tipped me off that they likely made them cheap(er) as it is a major point of failure.

Lastly, something you may try in the meantime:
As I have stated several times before, my 2002 is still having no crank (with the ignition key) issues even after the fuse box fixed my issue for a while.
I have wired in a dash mounted push button to the starter relay & battery that I use to crank my Sprinter over to start it, to this day.
I have plans to replace the ignition switch and the turn signal/wiper module in the near future... when money and time are on my side.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you. :thumbup:

05-26-2015, 12:36 AM
The van has been running good to this point with my jumper wires installed. I got a new fuse box and installed it. The first few times I tried to start it would just click, click, click as if the battery was dead. I would hold the key in the start and it would continue to click, click, click. After a half dozen try's or so it stoped trying to start and I got the cooling fan on and the dash lights staying on. It almost seemed like the ignition switch was the problem. I took it apart and found some black spots on the contacts but other that that it looked good. I put it back together and ohmed out the contacts and all looks good there. But still no start, I confirmed that there is no power at fuse 16 and 17 for the ECM. I jumped the ignition switch across and still no go. I took the engine control relay out and found I was not getting a ground on 85 but power on 86 and 30. If I jumped 30 to 87 it would start just fine. I have the schematics found on here for the fuse box but for the life of me I can't figure out exactly what gives 85 the ground to energize the coil. 8W-31-3 is a good picture of how the engine control relay is wired but it just states the "wiper/turn signal/engine start control module" is where the ground signal will come from but I can't find anymore information on this. Is this the actual turn signal assembly that the fuse box bolt up to? Is there a common failure with this? I now have a relay wired up to the factory relay location with the power to the coil coming from another switched circuit and ground of the coil going straight to ground and it's working but I don't like it. Anyone have experience with this problem? BTW I haven't had another "start error" which is good.