View Full Version : SKREEM troubles again - can I be rid of it?

06-13-2009, 05:50 PM
I had the SKREEM module replaced Dec 08 after a few months of playing with waiting time and fuses to move the van. It just wouldn't reset itself after thanksgiving.

Well, here I sit again, dead in the driveway. The battery is fine. But it's the same old story for me with the SKREEM not working. I can't even get a reset with time. I have tried all the chipped keys I own, 3 of them. I have waited a day between each try.

I put the key in, the orange portion where the time and mileage is displayed blinks and comes alive and then nothing, no dash lights. I have no power locks or over head lights either, zero power to anything. I had the instrument lights come on 2 days ago, I turned the key and that was it, click, click and nothing. Now, I don't even get that. Right now, I can't even turn the key to release the transmission from park.

I have pulled all fuses under the seat and steering column to look for a bad connection, silly, I know. Could the aux battery have anything to do with this? Doubtful, but I'll through it out there. It has not been checked.

The SKREEM module part replaced is under warranty, but the rest of the vehicle is no longer.

Is there anyway to just by pass this foolish item? It's more trouble than it is worth to me and makes me scared to take my van anywhere b/c I could just as easily be stuck at a rest stop on the highway with 4 kids.

2006 10 passenger Sprinter...

adding.... I had the little engine light on the lower right of the dash come on days before this happened. I did run "low" on fuel, but I didn't run out. I put 24 gallons in, I think. The low fuel light and this engine shaped came on one after the other and the low fuel was not sure of itself. It came on and went off a few times before I got to the one diesel station in town.

I'm fairly confident one has nothing to do with the other. But I'll mention it, incase there is a bigger picture of electrical issues going on.

Aqua Puttana
06-13-2009, 06:52 PM
zero power to anything.
That sounds like more problems than just the SKREEM to me. A shot in the dark.....some T1N's have had fuse block connection issues. A search may get you some details on the symptoms that others experienced that traced to fuse block problems. AP

06-13-2009, 08:41 PM
I have a key that is not programmed, when i use this key, all other components work, the engine will not turn over or run with this unprogrammed key. Your problem is elsewhere. Other accessories work with my fake key. If you get the click click click- that means very low battery, possible battery problem, or you have a load draining the battery when the van is off.

06-14-2009, 12:12 AM
Here is what we've done... It may not be the SKREEM, it could be more difficult to pin point.
1) fuses in front of battery checked with meter, all good and corrosion free
2) battery connections checked, taken off and put back btw those connections are corrosion free as well

Bingo... things looking good, but battery is low, to low to start
So we charge the battery. I ask my hub to pull out a fuse in the steering column to check it, all the good stuff goes and we're back to dead.

So, he unhooks the positive terminal on the battery again and puts it back, wha la we have dash lights, over head lights, etc. It is running right now to give that battery a charge. And it's pouring, so there will be no more fiddling today.

I do not have anything "extra" in the van to pull on the battery. It was fine until the vehicle went dead.

Someone tell me why disconnecting the battery and reconnecting the battery works?:thinking:

06-14-2009, 01:38 AM
You may have had corrosion on the battery terminals leading to a resistance that would impede it's proper operation. Take the connectors off and clean them and the battery terminals themselves. Your battery may have problems as well, such as a bad cell. If you have a voltmeter it would be interesting to see what the voltage between the battery terminals is.... Should be 12 volts or better.

Warning... if you have a OEM radio you may have to enter a code specific to your vehicle to get it to work after removing power.


06-14-2009, 04:56 AM
There my be a load that is sticking on, causing the battery to drain-- this load may not be obvious like a light, there could be corrosion at the battery terminals keeping the battery from accepting a charge.

06-14-2009, 10:33 AM
...The SKREEM module part replaced is under warranty... Is there anyway to just by pass this foolish item?

'Fraid not, it's integral.

Aqua Puttana
06-14-2009, 03:32 PM
There my be a load that is sticking on, causing the battery to drain-- this load may not be obvious like a light, there could be corrosion at the battery terminals keeping the battery from accepting a charge.
It doesn't take much load especially if the vehicle sits unused. I traced a problem in another make van to a glove box light switch that had failed leaving the light on 24/7. (Had one hell of time finding someone small enough to sit inside the glove box and watch to see if the light went out when I closed the door.) Surprisingly it would take the battery down if it sat for just a couple days. That said, the battery may have been weak and it was winter. There was a posting here where a 12 volt fluorescent light unit was switched on and not lighting. That was killing the battery for him. Hope this does some good. AP

06-14-2009, 04:49 PM
Since you'll probably be lifting the battery connectors to clean them, try this if you have a volt-ohm meter available. (I just bought a cheap one from Harbor Freight to carry with me - $3.98) Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery then connect the meter inline between the positive battery terminal and battery cable. You can expect a little trickle of current draw (a few milliamps) from the factory radio and perhaps the vehicle's computer but there shouldn't be anything of any significance. Perhaps someone on the list can tell you what kind of "trickle" is normal.

For what it's worth, if a battery is weak, even a small current drain will pull it down in a short time.

Good luck!


06-15-2009, 02:42 AM
....a new battery fixed my transmission a couple of weeks ago....

I kept going into limp mode, and we had just service the tranny a week before, it was really stumping me and making no sense...I'm fortunate enough to have a DRB-III, sprinter card and interface, and the transmission module had a lot of "not enough power" kind of codes...

I say all this to say - if you haven't put a new battery in, given the fact it seems your current battery is so low, I don't think you'd be wasting money at this point to make sure lower voltage isn't your problem...

I work with all of these "electronic key" systems for many makes and models as a locksmith, and more often than not, voltage being too low is the most common programming problem I have, and quite a few more situations where a jump start from a good power source provided enough voltage for "all the children in the sandbox" to play like they should ("all the children in the sandbox" = the modules in your vehicle)...

06-15-2009, 07:08 PM
I've had my SKREEM replaced a couple years ago due to an odd problem in cold weather. Last winter I was snowed in for 6 weeks and when I finally tried to start the van, it wouldn't even try. I have one of those portable jumpstart units, which is tiny compared to the Sprinter's battery, but I figured why not? When I clipped the jumpstart to the main battery, the voltage came up 0.2 volts and the SKREEM was happy. Started right up.

06-17-2009, 01:27 AM
While checking your battery, be sure the ground is tight to the firewall. One big bolt, right behind the negative terminal. It can get loose ..., you get the idea.

06-17-2009, 01:30 AM
Another aside. I got tired of my battery discharging after a few days in the driveway and installed a battery disconnect switch between ground and the negative battery terminal. She will sit for a month now and still crank. Got the switch at a marine supply house. It is also a good theft deterrent, as the key in the switch is removable.