PDA

View Full Version : Really Need Your Advise


dougsrv4mx
12-21-2008, 03:43 PM
I'm looking for a 158WB/Hitop and I've narrowed it down to these 3.
2006 140K miles, cruise, power windows, private seller, has all service records. $18,000.00
2006 34K miles, no cruise, has power windows, used car dealer-no service history, bought at aucton. $24,00.00
2003 99K miles, no cruise, no power windows, used car dealer-no service history, bought at aucton. $21,995.00
All 3 are in good condition and were used for work/hauling. I'm planning on making my own RV/motorcycle hauler and will rack up the miles. I'm leaning towards the 06 for $18K, but I'm a little concerned about the mileage. Money is an issue also as my conversion plans will add up to $$$. I've been unable to find NADA/KBB values and that's where all of you come in. Thanks in advance. Doug

TimJuhl
12-21-2008, 05:12 PM
Only you can decide which van is best for you. In any case, I would make it a condition of the sale that you or the dealer remove the injector cover and make sure that the injector hold downs are not failing (black goo of death.) This is especially true of the higher mileage units. It might also be worthwhile to take a peek at the transmission pan and look for fluid seeping around the sensor. It's a minor thing but it should be fixed.

I purchased my 06 (with 27K on the odometer) from a dealer and had them install cruise before I took delivery. I believe it cost me $200 or so to have it done. If you plan to travel you'll want cruise. Some guys have done it themselves but since the install also requires some ECU reprogramming by the dealer I decided to have them do the job.

If you talk to the dealer they can use the VIN to pull up a printout of any service performed under warranty as well as the details on any remaining warranty on the vehicle. It will also tell you something about who originally owned the van. They can also generate the original list of installed options which is sometimes helpful. That won't tell the whole story but some info is better than nothing. Carfax can sometimes provide some info as well.

I converted a 06/158 high roof to a camper and have been very happy with it. I've put 8k miles on it so far with no problems but thanks to the forum I am aware of some of the issues and what to watch out for. I've also been able to change the fuel filter, air filter, oil filter and oil by using info available on this site, saving myself a bunch of money.

A sprinter isn't for everyone because it isn't one of the plain vanilla Detroit vans that everyone is so familiar with. It requires that the owner take a little time to educate themselves in it's operation and maintenance. The payoff comes when you step inside it's roomy interior and when you drive away from the diesel pump with a little more money left in your wallet than a vanilla van would have left you.

Good luck and have a great holiday!

Tim

rlent
12-22-2008, 04:17 AM
I'm leaning towards the 06 for $18K, but I'm a little concerned about the mileage.
Tim's advice is good.

I'd be torn between the two '06's - the lower mileage one is appealing .... but the additional cost is not - particularly if you could work a little better deal on the higher mileage one. The higher mileage one is single-owner I would assume ..... I'd have a look at all the service records and try and get a feel for the type of guy the owner is and how it may have been driven and cared for .....

Having said that, I have an '06 which is sitting at 153,899 as of when I parked it this evening .... I'd say it's just getting broke in :D:

dougsrv4mx
12-22-2008, 05:05 AM
Thanks guys, The 06 with 140K is a one owner. I'm going to stop by my local Dodge dealer tommorrow with the vin and see if they can supply any info. Carfax showed nothing, although the owner told me he had the rear door repaired when he backed into something. I'm going to test drive this van tommorrow afternoon. Is the injector cover something I can remove easily? I think $18K is his bottomline, he has it on Craigs list for $20K. Anyone else?

rlent
12-22-2008, 05:52 AM
Doug,

The $18K may well be a good price - back 9 to 12 months ago, it was hard to find much under $25K in a used long and tall Sprinter that was in pretty good shape from what I understand from friends that were looking. We bought our '06 for a little over $35K (I think it stickered out at a little over $38K) - my current loan balance is right around $19K (it was a no money down purchase) .... I consider it is worth a good bit more than that (at least to me)

There are 7 bolts (hex head/socket head IIRC) to remove the engine cover - it is pretty easy to remove.

BaywoodBill
12-22-2008, 05:59 PM
The service records count for a lot. Timely oil changes and all that sort of stuff.

So does cruise.

The injectors... a very important part of your check list.

sikwan
12-22-2008, 07:24 PM
If you can haggle the 34k miles 2006 down to a lower 20k (20k-22k), I may even consider that one.

Are the two 2006's both white? If they are NOT white, it's something to consider as the paint (as suggested in this forum) is thicker and less prone to rusting for non-white Sprinters.

+1 on the injectors and making sure the glow plug light goes off before starting the engine. Those are the two things that at least you can do visuals to make sure they're ok.

KL2BE
12-22-2008, 07:28 PM
All the advise so far is good. Now for some financial advice.
With regard to the 34k mile unit on a Used Dealer lot, why not take advanage of the times.
We are after all on the precipice of a Depression and merchandise is not moving.
I would line-up the money in advance an go in with a check made out for 20k to the Dealer with a note on the check that is for "payment in full for the vehicle" (with vin #). Hand him the check and say he should hold onto it while he thinks it over. If he hands it right back your ploy has failed and you can continue the search; if not, you have him. He will, of course, want to go for a consultation with someone and disappear behind a door (could be a back room or even a closet) and come back with a counter offer. Reach to get the check back; if he pulls it back you know you will eventually get the van at your price.

rlent
12-22-2008, 08:10 PM
Good one KL2BE !!!

Here's another point to ponder - the 34K mile unit could still be under warranty - and if so I would think you ought to have the option to buy the extended Dodge warranty ....... not cheap ..... but might be worth it.

dougsrv4mx
12-23-2008, 02:21 PM
Thanks guys, all good advise. I drove the 06 with 140K yesterday. There are a couple concerns. He had it warmed up before I got there and when I went to start her up the glowplug light didn't come on? The check engine light was on for the entire test ride. He said it was not on before yesterday and he would take it to his mechanic this week to get fixed. I noticed the turbo wine, didn't notice it when I drove the 2003? The heater blower motor makes a loud rumble when on the 2 highest settings. I looked over all his service records and he has replaced the front pads twice in the past 50k miles. This was done by his local auto repair, do aftermarket pads wear this quickly? Overall the van looked in very good condition, clean, no dents etc. He is willing to have the check engine light fixed and seems willing to haggle on the price. I forgot my tools and didn't pull off the injector cover. If the injectors are leaking what am I looking at money wise to fix? Anyone have an opinion on the blower motor noise. Thanks, Doug.

sikwan
12-23-2008, 02:39 PM
Thanks guys, all good advise. I drove the 06 with 140K yesterday. There are a couple concerns. He had it warmed up before I got there and when I went to start her up the glowplug light didn't come on? The check engine light was on for the entire test ride. He said it was not on before yesterday and he would take it to his mechanic this week to get fixed. I noticed the turbo wine, didn't notice it when I drove the 2003? The heater blower motor makes a loud rumble when on the 2 highest settings. I looked over all his service records and he has replaced the front pads twice in the past 50k miles. This was done by his local auto repair, do aftermarket pads wear this quickly? Overall the van looked in very good condition, clean, no dents etc. He is willing to have the check engine light fixed and seems willing to haggle on the price. I forgot my tools and didn't pull off the injector cover. If the injectors are leaking what am I looking at money wise to fix? Anyone have an opinion on the blower motor noise. Thanks, Doug.

My 2006 glowplug light comes on regardless if it's warmed up. Only the ON duration is different (ON longer when it's cold).

Too bad you didn't bring an OBDII reader to grab some codes. When you took it for a drive, what was the top speed? The check engine light could cause the Sprinter to go into limp mode and your speed will be limited to I think 35mph. Hopefully, when the seller says he'll get it fixed, it doesn't mean he's going to just clear the light.

Can't comment on the turbo whine because I don't have another Sprinter to compare it to. I don't hear mine, but that just means I've gotten used to it.

My blower fan does not rumble. At least your blower is not stuck at one speed; high. This would mean the blower resistor needs to be replaced.

Pad wear seems to be normal, but this will depend on how's it's driven, stop and go, etc. Is this for just fronts or did the second replacement include rears?

On the injector leak, this will depend on how bad it is coked up or not. If it's not bad, then it will depend on whether the injector hold down bolt can be removed without breaking. If the bolt breaks then you know how bad that will be.

Some info here...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3750&highlight=injector+leak

A picture here...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3326&highlight=injector+leak

KL2BE
12-23-2008, 05:41 PM
Thanks guys, all good advise. I drove the 06 with 140K yesterday. There are a couple concerns.
I noticed the turbo wine, didn't notice it when I drove the 2003?

Have you read the Turbo Resonator threads?
The '03 does not have a TR. The TRs in '05s and '06 are prone to failure; like about 50% on those with TRs labled "Q2, Q3 or Q4". Those with a "Q5" TR do not seem to fail (it's a $5 plastic part that retails for $50 at the Shop).
With that kind of mileage the TR has probably already been replaced; or he lucked out with a good one. You can check it out with a mirror to see the if it has a Q5 sticker.
He may have replaced the TR with a straight-through aluminum tube :thumbup:; if so that could account for the whine.
:professor: The Sprinter should go 250,000 miles easy; I'm expecting that out of my '06. Still, in typical Mercedes fashion there are quite a few week points; Turbo Resonator (cheap-fix), Fuel injector hold-down leakage (expensive fix), Transmission (varies form inexpensive fluid replacement to much more if shaft holder is routed out), Suspension (springs can wimp-out from fatigue). And for good handling you will want to upgrade to Koin shocks and an oversized anti-sway bar ($700 plus).
Vehicles from makers like Toyota and Honda are far more bug-less and are generally good buys with over 100k on the clock. Mercedes NOT. There is a reason that "Consumer Reports" has long rated Mercedes an one of the least reliable brands (base on owner surveys).
I like the Sprinter because it is the best alternative in a van for RV purposes; but I recognize I'll be busy keeping it up. The price to pay for the best van-design for RV use in North America. That said, I would not be looking for a Sprinter without a maintenance record; or one with over 40k miles. There is just too much likelihood of spending $2-5k on repairs over the next few years.
In your shoes, I'd be trending to a low mileage unit WITH maintenance records. Use the RECESSION to get a good deal and then copy the many write-ups on this forum on how to fix the many bugs Mercedes has saddled us with.

abittenbinder
12-23-2008, 06:30 PM
"Q5" TR do not seem to fail (it's a $5 plastic part that retails for $50 at the Shop). Fuel injector hold-down leakage (expensive fix)

My injector hold down leakage fix brings a reasonably priced alternative to the dealers big $$ estimates for replacing the entire head.

Regarding the turbo resonator- it is not a $5 plastic part. Inside is a corrosion resistant metal sound damping core. $50 retail is not outrageous- have you priced a small muffler for your garden equipment lately? Doktor A

rlent
12-23-2008, 07:56 PM
Thanks guys, all good advise. I drove the 06 with 140K yesterday. There are a couple concerns. He had it warmed up before I got there
Hmmmm .... I'd wanna see it cold start.

He said it was not on before yesterday and he would take it to his mechanic this week to get fixed.
Is this a repair being done under warranty ? (BTW, is the vehicle still under warranty ?)

I'd also wanna know who the mechanic is - dealer or independent ? (more points if it has been maintained by a dealer's service department ..... unless the independent was Doktor A, in which case double bonus points :eek:)

The heater blower motor makes a loud rumble when on the 2 highest settings.
Rumble ? ... or just alot of noise ? (Have you heard another Sprinter's blower on high - so you have a reference to compare it to ?)

I looked over all his service records and he has replaced the front pads twice in the past 50k miles.
This might indicate a change in how the vehicle is being driven (from all highway to city stop-n-go) - I have around 154K on my '06 and am still on the original pads/rotors - but then I drive probably 97% highway.

This was done by his local auto repair, do aftermarket pads wear this quickly?
Were the rotors replaced at the time the pads were ? The recommendation in the service manual is for the rotors to be replaced if they are out of spec, and not to be resurfaced.

Overall the van looked in very good condition, clean, no dents etc.
A possible indication that it's been relatively well cared for.

He is willing to have the check engine light fixed and seems willing to haggle on the price.
I'd skip having him fix the check engine light and just barter the cost of the repair off the price - that way you can take to someone you feel comfortable with to have it repaired. You might also be able to do the repair yourself (for less)

I forgot my tools and didn't pull off the injector cover. If the injectors are leaking what am I looking at money wise to fix?
You need to get the injector cover pulled and do an inspection before you actually commit to the purchase.

Anyone have an opinion on the blower motor noise.
If you have to replace it, it's gonna run ya a minimum of $180 for the parts only. Good news is it's easy to replace and you can do it yourself.

hoyt
12-24-2008, 03:47 AM
The best advice I can give you is to take which ever van you are interested in and get it inspected by the local Sprinter dealer. Cost you a couple hunder dollars, but you will know alot about the van.

05highroof
12-24-2008, 11:21 PM
At least Look around the injector cover. If it has a leak the coking can build up an start to ooze out from under the cover.That's how mine was when I bought it.I thought it was an oil leak.:bash:Sorry to say I didn't know any better at the time.I may have still bought the truck but it would have been a great bargaining chip. Check to see that the AC blows cold also. Mine didn't when I bought it,had a hole in the condenser. This is a common failure do to the condenser being so low to the ground especially with the high mile unit.Lots of opportunity for road debris to do damage.

contractor
12-26-2008, 05:32 AM
I would go after the '06 with 34K ... that is low mileage vs. an '06 with 140k that has been in an accident and I believe is overpriced at 18k. I also would be very cautious about dealing with someone who warmed-up the truck before your visit. The vehicle with 34k has needed very little PM other than two oil changes so I believe the lack of records is no big deal. Dealerships are dealing ... I just bought an '06 volvo from a dealer and practically stole it! Try to buy from the dealer

Douglas Hicks
12-29-2008, 05:59 AM
Thanks guys, all good advise. I drove the 06 with 140K yesterday. There are a couple concerns. He had it warmed up before I got there and when I went to start her up the glowplug light didn't come on? The check engine light was on for the entire test ride. He said it was not on before yesterday and he would take it to his mechanic this week to get fixed. I noticed the turbo wine, didn't notice it when I drove the 2003? The heater blower motor makes a loud rumble when on the 2 highest settings. I looked over all his service records and he has replaced the front pads twice in the past 50k miles. This was done by his local auto repair, do aftermarket pads wear this quickly? Overall the van looked in very good condition, clean, no dents etc. He is willing to have the check engine light fixed and seems willing to haggle on the price. I forgot my tools and didn't pull off the injector cover. If the injectors are leaking what am I looking at money wise to fix? Anyone have an opinion on the blower motor noise. Thanks, Doug.

1. The glow plug light should come on even if the engine has been running.
2. The check engine light is worrisome. Who is his mechanic and what does he know about a Sprinter? Is this a dealership or an untrained person? Does the bulb light up when the key is turned on? Check for an owner's manual, that dash looks like a Christmas tree when all the lights are on.
3. my brake pads last 45,000-50,000 miles. Did the rotors get replaced/turned? Worn rotors can wear the pads quickly, as can certain driving habits
4. Pull the cover, injectors are not cheap. Dr A has an extensive post on the injectors.
5. I did not address the blower motor, as I have not had any problems with mine.