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View Full Version : Cheapest way to self diagnose sprinter fault obd


napster
10-31-2016, 12:05 PM
Hey guys
I have a sprinter 311 which starts but does not run and I have had no luck with diagnosing the fault for over 3 months.

I'm now looking to have it plugged in and diagnosed but I was wondering if there is a cheap enough way for me to buy the hardware and do this myself.

I have some diagnostics equipment buts it all for the standard obd connection not the circular Mercedes type one.

Now I so the converter cables on eBay 14 to 16 pin will these work with my regular obd tool.




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Cheyenne
10-31-2016, 12:15 PM
Hi Napster,

I bought this one from eBay and have been using it with my Scan Gauge II for 3 years. Have not tried it with any other tool yet though.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MERCEDES-SPRINTER-VW-LT-14-PIN-OBD-to-ODB2-16-PIN-CAR-DIAGNOSTIC-ADAPTER-CABLE-/250991204203?

Keith.

PS Hoping to get an Autel MD702 soon, or possibly borrow one to try before buying, and hope it works with the lead.

Eric Experience
11-01-2016, 11:06 AM
Napster.
You do not need a computer to diagnose simple problems. Can you explain what you mean by " it starts but does not run" I though if it starts it is running. Eric.

napster
11-01-2016, 07:11 PM
Hi Eric sorry i meant to say it turns over but does not start. Sometimes it momentarily sounds like it's going to run but just omits lots of white smoke.

I have had a thread on here previously but could not get to the bottom of it.

So to clarify sprinter 311 CDi turns over attempts to run occasionally but just cuts out ang gives out white smoke ( only when it attempts to start)

Regards and hope you can shed some light on things. To be fair to say it's a "simple problem" would be an understatement.



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Arnie_Oli
11-01-2016, 09:20 PM
I had a look this week; in short there aren't any. The pre 2006 UK 903 Sprinters such as yours and mine only have limited ODB support and I've had no luck pulling off errors with any basic diagnostic ODB kit. I used an adapter to plug a standard ODB into the round socket in the passenger footwell near the ECU. I tried out various diagnostic kits, including the all singing one that the RAC recovery guys carry (based on Snooper?). The RAC kit was a bust, the android application Torque, allowed me to read basic info off the engine, but not trouble codes.

You need it plugged into a proper Mercedes Diagnostic kit such as Star C3, and the cheapest option for the home user is a dodgy Chinese clone off AliExpress for around 400USD.

If you can find an enthusiast nearby who can help that'd be an option otherwise you'd have to find someone who would come out with the proper kit mobile to help you. I have seen people advertising diagnostic time on an hourly basis in a few places.

A friend has a professional Snap On it, we're going to try that but I don't hold out much hope. It appears Mercedes kept their diagnostic coding close to their chest.

If you find an option I didn't come across let me know as I'm desperate for a decent diagnostic kit to keep in the garage for mine!

Cheyenne
11-01-2016, 09:33 PM
I had a look this week; in short there aren't any. The pre 2006 UK 903 Sprinters such as yours and mine only have limited ODB support and I've had no luck pulling off errors with any basic diagnostic ODB kit. I used an adapter to plug a standard ODB into the round socket in the passenger footwell near the ECU. I tried out various diagnostic kits, including the all singing one that the RAC recovery guys carry (based on Snooper?). The RAC kit was a bust, the android application Torque, allowed me to read basic info off the engine, but not trouble codes.

You need it plugged into a proper Mercedes Diagnostic kit such as Star C3, and the cheapest option for the home user is a dodgy Chinese clone off AliExpress for around 400USD.

If you can find an enthusiast nearby who can help that'd be an option otherwise you'd have to find someone who would come out with the proper kit mobile to help you. I have seen people advertising diagnostic time on an hourly basis in a few places.

A friend has a professional Snap On it, we're going to try that but I don't hold out much hope. It appears Mercedes kept their diagnostic coding close to their chest.

If you find an option I didn't come across let me know as I'm desperate for a decent diagnostic kit to keep in the garage for mine!

How about an Autel MD702? (It appears to be the 'Euro' version of the MD802 used in USA).

https://www.autel.uk/products/mid-range-tools/maxidiag-md702/

Coverage for 2000 - 2006 Sprinters seams pretty extensive...

http://download908bak.auteltech.net:8080/Download/Veh/ELITE/Enhanced/Benz_sprinter/en_MaxiDiag_E_Sprinter%20FUNCLIST.pdf

Has anyone in the UK tried one?

Keith.

Arnie_Oli
11-01-2016, 09:38 PM
Those are mostly support codes for 906 models (NV3), obviously we need 903 (T1N) support. 200 ish isn't bad if it works.

Edit: reread it, and it looks like it would support reading the heater-booster and clearing codes there. That seems it may well work and support fixing the Espar pre-heater....

I'm emailing them and seeing what they say. I might have a punt and buy one.

Cheyenne
11-01-2016, 09:43 PM
Arnie,

There are over 20 entries for 2000 - 2006 Sprinter 90x on page 3.

Keith.

Arnie_Oli
11-01-2016, 09:54 PM
Apologies I re read the PDF you linked and saw them and edited my post to say I've seen them.

I'm genuinely interested in that unit you found, I've emailed them to ask where I can find a dealer to test it out as I'll buy one if it's any good. It looks like it'll diagnose and clear Espar issues which would be brilliant for us.

lindenengineering
11-02-2016, 03:33 AM
Hi Eric sorry i meant to say it turns over but does not start. Sometimes it momentarily sounds like it's going to run but just omits lots of white smoke.

I have had a thread on here previously but could not get to the bottom of it.

So to clarify sprinter 311 CDi turns over attempts to run occasionally but just cuts out ang gives out white smoke ( only when it attempts to start)

Regards and hope you can shed some light on things. To be fair to say it's a "simple problem" would be an understatement.



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Napster.
Hey Cocker I'm reading this post of yours!
So you've had the bloody thing jacked up for three months in some cobbled back street of Darren with no luck for three months!!!!
What have yah been doing?
Supping pints of Thwaites inth pub all this tyme ?:hugs:
Are you married ?
If I was in your shoes over thur I would have had the missus by now moithering me about the thing!~

Look white and grey smoke suggest something is wrong mechanically.
Trying to find the problem with a scanner suggests you are from bloody Wigan!
Crikey a Wiganer?--No!

Look first thing is to base line the engine with a compression test.
Whip out the glow plugs and try a tester FIRST.
You must have 350psi minimum to get a good fire going with or without glows working.
400 psi is optimum, its what you would get with a good Leyland bus engine in a Ribble Decker !
Anything below 320 and well it would be like climbing Pendle Hill and asking the witches to help it start!
Record what you get and remember you are allowed 10% variation between cylinders and a spread of 25% across the whole set of cylinders.
Let us know how you get on?

And I will be thinking of you and a foaming pint of Thwaites bitter fresh pulled from cellar!
All I can get here in Boddies in tins with a wiggit .
All the best
Dennis

Eric Experience
11-02-2016, 10:52 AM
Napster
It is a simple problem, You are getting fuel but no bang. You have not enough compression or the timing is wrong. What is the history of this motor? Have you ever seen it running? If you turn it over with a spanner does each cylinder have the same amount of resistance? Eric.

BenJohnson
11-02-2016, 06:48 PM
Napster,

To address your original question (Cheapest way to self diagnose sprinter fault). If you have a few sprinter friends why not pitch in together and get a good MB/Sprinter specific code reader?

Lowkeyfilms
11-02-2016, 09:49 PM
Went down this same road.

Tried a bunch of OBD tools with no luck.
I tested the injectors with a volt meter and 2 toothpick size spikes hooked to it and to the injector. I forget the specs (.05v+?) but had the book in hand and mine read OK. Turns out that may have been wrong as dealer told me it was ECU not sending enough signal to injectors.

Update us if you find one.

napster
11-03-2016, 09:24 AM
Hey guys
Thanks to all those who confirmed my suspicions about the obd tools.
Arnie_oli thanks for saving me a few pennies as I was going to order the circular mb adapter and stick it on some of the readers I have.

I have heard about this autel stuff mentioned but I'm yet to read about any success.

Linde Engineering absolute class post your right ive been blowing the froth of a few down local and fattening up for winter on the hollands pies.

Luckily my van isn't in Darwen as I suspect key components may well have been stolen right now especially wi scrap going up again.

No Mrs just yet just a load of dodgy motors to keep me company.

I will borrow a compression tester and get the reading although I remember on an old sprinter taking the plugs out was not so easy but yeah I guess I'm just a lazy bugger but with Christmas coming I need my biggest van running.

Eric experience:
With regards to the history of the van it's not so simple really but as you asked I will explain its one hell of a story!

I bought the van off a fella from Bolton who said it had been stood for ages because he had lost the key miraciously he found it I bought it.

Driving home I identified some issues with the van one with the brakes and one that the thing didn't boost like a sprinter should (linde engineering if your reading I realised this along the a666 from Bolton to darwen)

So I got her home and I was really happy as I thought I'd still got a bargain as the engine and transmission seemed flawless no leaks no nothing. Great so I thought give her a good old scrub and wash, so I have the engine running and I'm jet washing the back of the van near the bulkhead (prior I did jet the engine bay) and I realise the van has gone off. Nearly had a heart attack at this point.

Anyway trying to crank her up nothing just loads of white smoke coming out my mate who happened to be walking past is also a have a go mechanic and said I'd fooked the engine or turbo up. To be fair I didn't buy that so I left it for a few days then went back to it armed with easy start and eventually I got it going. It would splutter and cut out at certain intervals but eventually the plague cleared ( or so I thought)

Now next step I got her booked in for her mot and got a list of failures with the brakes being the main problem, got a new servo from dronsfields and that cured the problems with the braking. Got all brand new oil brand new filters basically spent some cash on her.

So I'm now fully legit with a 12 months mot and a good few hundred spent on my new sprinter. So i land a job 325 miles away in Brighton so I'm off there the next day and notice she won't go over 70 and sometimes losing power so back down to 50mph etc but I knew it was underpowered from the start so no biggy for me. When I get further south I get a notification coming on "oil too high" I just thought the garage man probably put a litre too much in.

Anyway so I'm working on my job and the van is running ok for 3 days down there so I finish up one day and decide to drive to the coast park her up get back to her start her up and literally 1 minute down the road it cuts out so I frantically try and start her up again and it did start but cut off again after half a minute.

So then I'm 325 miles away from home Ina clapped out sprinter which I should never have trusted so I get her recovered home.

Once home I managed to get it started with easy start after loads of repeated start attempts and I leave it to idle outside my house I then rev it and it cut out and after that it would not start.

Me being impatient and annoyed I ended up burning the starter motor out so had to also get a new one of those.

This is where I am at now I went down the lines of it sucking in air so changed the plastic pipes from the filter that didn't do jack crap.

/////////
Amazing story huh. But that's the history.

Nb; forgot to add on the day it did break down it seemed like the boosting problem had cured as I remember flying up some big hills not sure if that's relevant and it might have just been me imagining.




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Eric Experience
11-03-2016, 11:41 AM
Napster.
Thanks for the story. What you say is very interesting. You started of with a vacuum leak and then converted it to a much bigger problem. Start of by removing and drying sensors under the bonnet. If you can get hold of a vacuum tank to dry the sensors that would be ideal. Next you need to replace the "O" rings on the fuel intake lines, the one going into the low pressure pump is most likely worn. The plastic pipes you replaced in the fuel lines must be fitted with the correct type of clamps, if you have used worm drive clamps that will prevent it starting. Once it starts you will have to address the original vacuum leak, start by measuring the vacuum at the "T" on the booster then measure at the back of the heater blower control flap, then the input to the boost control relay if they are all good then measure the vacuum to the boost control it should rise with throttle setting. Let me know what happens and I can talk you through the next step. The most important thing is to not get angry with the car, just work out what you have done wrong and fix it. Eric.

Arnie_Oli
11-03-2016, 10:27 PM
I've bought the "all modes" Autel MD802 as it as on offer and supports all the features of the combined MD70* models. I will report back when I have tried her out.

napster
11-05-2016, 09:51 PM
Hi Eric I will work through your post and post the prognosis.

but I'm slightly skeptical on my own capability as I have never measured pressures do have a gauge somewhere but will need to look into the fittings etc.

Sodding van. Thanks again you are obviously extremely knowledgeable and I respect that very much.


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Aqua Puttana
11-05-2016, 10:30 PM
...

Great so I thought give her a good old scrub and wash, so I have the engine running and I'm jet washing the back of the van near the bulkhead (prior I did jet the engine bay) and I realise the van has gone off. Nearly had a heart attack at this point. ...

... Start of by removing and drying sensors under the bonnet. ...

The most important thing is to not get angry with the car, just work out what you have done wrong and fix it. Eric.
I was thinking the same thing after jet wash was mentioned.

vic

BenJohnson
11-05-2016, 10:57 PM
I never suggested an OBD reader.

To work with injectors you need a good MB specific diagnostic tool. DAD, Xentry/DAS or DRB.

I have the MB Star/DAS C3 clone and it has full injector disgnostics and testing. No hunting around in the dark, no guessing, no theories. Points to the problem and then you fix it.


They are not cheap ($600USD), so spread the cost across a couple of friends. In my book I would not buy a vehicle without one. Just as important as duct tape and a big hammer.

napster
11-06-2016, 07:26 AM
I was thinking the same thing after jet wash was mentioned.



vic



Hi yeah but the jet wash incident was now at least 3 months ago and it run 400 miles so I'm thinking there all bone dry now.


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Arnie_Oli
11-06-2016, 05:29 PM
Well the MD802 arrived. I can diagnose and read data fromthe common rail ECU without issue.

I had a bunch of DTCs stored, no idea how old they were. I cleared them and they haven't reappeared.

I have yet to find how to access or find the "ZUH-Heater booster" module to diagnose that as I believe that's the Espar module.

Aqua Puttana
11-06-2016, 06:17 PM
Hi yeah but the jet wash incident was now at least 3 months ago and it run 400 miles so I'm thinking there all bone dry now.


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Probably dry now. It may have contributed to your initial problems while it was drying.

...

Anyway trying to crank her up nothing just loads of white smoke coming out my mate who happened to be walking past is also a have a go mechanic and said I'd fooked the engine or turbo up. To be fair I didn't buy that so I left it for a few days then went back to it armed with easy start and eventually I got it going. It would splutter and cut out at certain intervals but eventually the plague cleared ( or so I thought)
...

There have been reports of slight corrosion affecting conduction of connectors. That is particularly true of some of the sensor signals. Perhaps something got wet and still has a bit of a problem even dry. That is not a diagnosis, just something to consider.

So many times these problems trace to something relatively simple. The trick is in tracking it down.

Good luck. vic