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View Full Version : Very bizarre fault - now Sprinter dead!


andy-in-weymouth
02-12-2017, 04:19 PM
Guys,

I wonder if anyone can help with what seems to me to be a bizarre fault which I can't get my head around.

The van is a 2009 313CDI, camper conversion; 67k on the clock - well maintained and looked after.

Started it this morning, no problem. Drove 7 miles & noted SRS light illuminated on dash. Parked up, nipped out then back and started no problem. Stopped again on way home, again no problems (SRS still on).

At home wanted to check SRS, turned on ignition & engine did not turn over. The dash showed no fuel despite being half full this morning. Tried the central locking - dead, no hazard lights. Changed to spare key, same problem.

I have had to lock the van manually, this is the first time I have experienced this problem. Checked the battery, good charge & headlights switch on ok.

Does anyone have any ideas please?

Thanks,

Andy

PS could my van be in some sort of immobilised mode - I have read some points about resetting faults using the dash buttons, 0,1,2,3 etc - I think mine was reading 0.

edfrompa
02-12-2017, 09:33 PM
Battery??? Check voltage....low voltage can do bizarre things. SRS, imho, should not account for all those symptoms......BUT, I am an amateur!

sprint2freedom
02-13-2017, 07:59 PM
Search for Y-cable.

Rob S
02-14-2017, 03:46 AM
It does sound like electrical issue of some kind.

Also look at engine ground cable, on some models the cable to frame connection often get corroded and loses its contact.

Check all fuses, mine are under drivers seat, and under the dash, your manual should say where they are.

Any rodents been around, sampling the insulation?

sprintguy
02-14-2017, 09:04 PM
Your issue sounds like an issue with the front and only SAM. you most likely will have to see a dealer or a good repair facility that knows how to work on Sprinters. Just be sure to check all fuses first. Note that all symptoms are controlled by SAM.


best of luck
Carl

lindenengineering
02-15-2017, 12:10 AM
For those not conversant Sprintguy's "SAM"
That is the body control module he is referring to.

Found scabbed onto the side of the fuse box be aware that the connectors can get compromised and the unit can come loose flopping about as I found recently with a van that had been in a fender bender.
Dennis
Mechanic

andy-in-weymouth
02-16-2017, 08:16 PM
For those not conversant Sprintguy's "SAM"
That is the body control module he is referring to.

Found scabbed onto the side of the fuse box be aware that the connectors can get compromised and the unit can come loose flopping about as I found recently with a van that had been in a fender bender.
Dennis
Mechanic

Dennis (and all of you), [/I][/B]thanks for your support on this issue - I will get into the battery area tomorrow and work my way through the fuse with a meter to check it out. I am interested in the SAM module - can somebody please tell me what it looks like - are you referring to a form of ECU module?

My van is RHD and most fuses are located in the Passenger footwell area - is the Sam module located here?

Thanks Guys.

andy-in-weymouth
02-16-2017, 08:19 PM
Can somebody clarify what the Y cable is please - I may seem like a novice but I have repaired and built cars / motorcycles from scratch - I just have almost no knowledge on the Sprinter van - if only I had a manual!!!

Thanks,

Andy

ptheland
02-16-2017, 08:35 PM
Can somebody clarify what the Y cable is please

That's local slang for the cable in a Sprinter that runs from the battery to the starter and on to the alternator. It's got a big fuse (or is it two fuses??) hiding in it.

It is a suspect when you have problems with high-current items, such as starting or charging. You mentioned the van wouldn't turn over, so that cable gets reflexively mentioned as something to rule out.

andy-in-weymouth
02-19-2017, 08:17 AM
Well guys, the van is behaving strangely - you were all correct regarding the battery - although is still don't understand why!!!
Last Sunday we drove it 3 times and it started fine, parked at home and tried to start it one hour later after our previous arrival - dash lights on but switching the key to start - display read mileage as 000000, fuel gauge empty and it wouldn't even crank.

I checked the battery Friday, 4.65v!!!!!

Charged for 24 hours, ~ 12.96v & disconnected the battery - thought this might discharge any circuits causing problems - it started twice on the key.

BUT although the van runs, the display still shows 00000 and no fuel despite having 1/3 tank full.

Headlights work, no indicators, horn etc.

I have checked the ~ 30 fuses in the passenger footwell which also have the small grey relays - which I presume are 6, 7 & 8 - what do these operate?

Previous mentions to the SAM module - is this the alloy cased kind of hard drive shaped unit which is located alongside the fuses?

I will check the components under the drivers seat today and also check it still starts.

When I reconnected the battery there was a slight arc (spark) so something drew some current - would you expect some circuits to energize?

Are there any fuses / relays in the engine compartment?

I have been trying to find a circuit diagram for the indicators and display without success - does anyone have this piece of info please?

I have ordered a manual to cover the van - just waiting for it to arrive.

Thanks, Andy

lindenengineering
02-19-2017, 03:09 PM
I have a hunch that the main relay for the Aux -A/C fan control (if the build spec is same as NAS) is shorted .
To find it, is to see it! Buried into a molded recess pocket in the upper part of the fan cowl.
See a big red #2 battery type wire feeding it!,

Simply disconnect it and at the feed end see if your faults go away although you may have to clear some of the stored codes.

I had one in the shop with some similar traits.
By the way the SAM is chassis VIN# specific and it has been through a hoard of updates, successions and revisions so don't get swapping from one junk yard specimen to another another !
Like looking a solution in a wurzel bush if you do that! :laughing:
(as a Dorset bloke you should know what a wurzel bush is eh?)
Dennis
Mechanic

andy-in-weymouth
02-19-2017, 07:56 PM
Thanks Dennis, all suggestions gratefully received - I did forget to mention one circuit which is also failing - the central locking does not work at all - I have to lock the door using the key. Using the remote key switch does nothing on any doors at all - the circuit is totally dead.

I have not come across the Wurzel Bush - we do however have the band called the Wurzels who in England are quite famous .... I do actually have distant relatives to the To puddle Martyrs - if you have heard of them....?

Appreciate your help.

Cheers,

Andy

lindenengineering
02-20-2017, 12:59 AM
Andy
As a transplanted Gloucesterian the wurzel bush is/was always famous from Dor--zet

Yes I have seen the Wurzuls in concert outside the Cathedral in Gloucester on one Boxing day with our local Morris men many yurs ago!
Tolepuddle martyres yes!

I have a past relative (not bragging here--nothin' to brag about!) going back quite a while who was killed on the Downs during the Bristol Riots of 1830 odd !
He was a Forest of Dean miner!

Greetings to you in zee ol' country:thumbup:
Dennis

andy-in-weymouth
02-23-2017, 07:18 PM
Dennis, thanks for your suggestions - this evening I managed to get out for half an hour to check a couple things out.

My Sprinter is a 313 CDI without A/C, I have had a look around the heater cowl as mentioned - I guess no A/C = no fuse (stating the obvious - or no so obvious).

Checked the battery voltage, 12.48.

A manual arrived and looking at it, it is quite difficult to piece together the circuit diagram.

I still have this strange combination of faults, no indicators, central locking, wipers etc. Locating the key in the ignition, retracts the steering lock and all lights come on on the dash, then all go out apart from the SRS, coolant light but interestingly the mileage shown is ooooo and the fuel gauge is empty.

Can you advise me if any of the relays which are located adjacent to the 3 main bank of fuses can be tested - can I put 12v across them to check operation? Do you know what each one of these does? The electronic copy of the manual is unclear - if only Haynes did one!!!

So, I am going to go out tomorrow afternoon and try my luck rooting through fuses & relays under the driver seat, are there anymore hidden away that you know of?

I did look at the Y Cable - visual, also the main earth braid between the engine and chassis which looks a little corroded - will remove and clean. Do you think this earth link could have any effect?

Struggling here at present, I have considered buying a fault code reader / eraser - do you know of any suitable units in the region of 100 - 150?

Cheers,

Andy

PS, Forest of Dean - particularly Tintern Abbey is a favourite of mine!

andy-in-weymouth
03-12-2017, 08:43 PM
Dennis,
So after a lot of stressful checking of fuses & wiring; I think I have now found the fault in the most unlikely of sources.
I stripped half the van, looked at the Y cable and cleaned / checked the earth straps - none of which made any difference until I looked at and removed the radio - all van functions were back to normal.
Refitting the radio shut the ECU down again - I did this a couple of times to prove the point and have now rewired the radio out of the main van circuit. The Sprinter is functioning correctly again now - went camping this weekend on Portland (west of Weymouth) with many stop / starts - no problem.
So, after some head scratching and discussion amongst friends, we wonder if there was some sort of internal radio short feeding back down the speed signal sense wire (which automatically increases the radio volume against speed) and this was tripping some thing in the ECU - have you ever experienced or heard of this?

My SRS light is still on and needs to be reset, I notice you have posted on a number of different pages regarding iCarsoft i980 OBD code reader / reset tool - would you recommend one of these to do the job - it will cost me probably half of the price it to take it to a garage - so is it worth buying one?

Cheers

Andy

lindenengineering
03-12-2017, 10:06 PM
Sounds to me like you have a live ground!
Or as we dah zah in our mutual part of the world its yur erfs mate

I suspect the radio installer used a ground wire that is actually going to the diagnostic connector or the harness itself is shorted down to ground (earth) .

In either scenario the PCM will pick up a ground fault and refuse to work .
Caution on the SRS!
The reason why its showing a fault code is the ground fault problem most likely .

The Carsoft scanner might clear it but the Sprinter SRS system is hard to clear at at times.
Dennis

andy-in-weymouth
03-15-2017, 09:05 PM
Hi Dennis,

Thanks for your support and suggestions - do you think the Icarsoft is worth purchasing - I have read various opinions and am not sure either way?

On another topic, what are your thoughts on getting the 313 chipped to improve the power to 150/160 bhp along with blanking off the EGR Valve to overcome that problem area?

Mine has 70k on the clock and runs ok but would benefit from a little more poke.

Do you guys do these tweaks to Sprinters over there?

Cheers,

Andy

noercarr
04-19-2017, 11:00 PM
Dennis,
So after a lot of stressful checking of fuses & wiring; I think I have now found the fault in the most unlikely of sources.
I stripped half the van, looked at the Y cable and cleaned / checked the earth straps - none of which made any difference until I looked at and removed the radio - all van functions were back to normal.
Refitting the radio shut the ECU down again - I did this a couple of times to prove the point and have now rewired the radio out of the main van circuit. The Sprinter is functioning correctly again now - went camping this weekend on Portland (west of Weymouth) with many stop / starts - no problem.
So, after some head scratching and discussion amongst friends, we wonder if there was some sort of internal radio short feeding back down the speed signal sense wire (which automatically increases the radio volume against speed) and this was tripping some thing in the ECU - have you ever experienced or heard of this?

My SRS light is still on and needs to be reset, I notice you have posted on a number of different pages regarding iCarsoft i980 OBD code reader / reset tool - would you recommend one of these to do the job - it will cost me probably half of the price it to take it to a garage - so is it worth buying one?

Cheers

Andy

This is very interesting! I am having a similar issue, where my van randomly decided to not start. https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55327

It's currently at the mechanics and their preliminary diagnosis is the body control module, or "sam" as I'm learning here.

I installed an aftermarket radio and backup camera a few weeks ago and coincidentally this issue didn't happen before that install. I've only owned it for a few weeks before that, so I don't know. Either way, I let the mechanic know that now and he said they'll look in to it.

This is driving me crazy, and the cost of a sam replacement seems scary right now, especially if thats not it.