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Specialed
01-26-2007, 02:35 PM
Cant start van this morning. Temp is about 15degrees F. Just got the van and not sure if heater booster helps start when cold. Fuel tank is ata about quarter tank. Need to get going asap. Any help would be highly appreciated. Sorry if it sounds stupid just not very familiar with the vehicle.

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 02:56 PM
Howdy Specialed -

We're going to need more details in order to help:

- What year and how many miles on your Sprinter?

- It looks like you are in NJ so I am assuming a North American Spec Sprinter.

- What happens when you turn the key to start the car? Do you here absolutely nothing or does the engine try to turn over?

- Do any electrical accessories (ie radio or headlights) work or are they completely dead also?

- How long since you last ran the van? Did it run well then? Have you had any lights lit up on the dashboard in the last half dozen times you've driven the van?

- If the engine will turn over when you try to start it, does it turn over well or sound very labored and get slower the longer you try to start it?

Let us know answers to the above and we may be able to help,

Zach

Specialed
01-26-2007, 03:05 PM
Thank you for replying. The van was running fine all day yesterday. It started thus morning for about 10 seconds then shut off. It turns over fine, all the lights and everything come on normally, and other than the battery getting weaker it turns over steadily. It is a 2006 with about 25000 miles.

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 03:38 PM
Hi Specialed -

Were there any idiot lights lit on the dashboard at the time that your van quit?

Does your heater booster start and run normally?

Is there any sign of fluids under the van or signs of bad leaks in the engine compartment?

Zach

Specialed
01-26-2007, 03:44 PM
There were no lights on at the time that I noticed. I hear something thats louder than usual, dont know if its the booster or not. Do you thiunk the fuel gelled up? Do you think de gelling will work? Any info would be great. Thank you

Specialed
01-26-2007, 03:46 PM
How about adding kerosene? Sounds sketchy to me but someone just brought it up to me.

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 03:51 PM
Hello Specialed -

- What kind of fuel is in the tank (100% Diesel, some mix of bio-diesel)?

- Have you ever run bio-diesel?

- Have you owned the vehicle since new or did you buy it used?

- Do you know which switches control your heater booster and has it run succesfully in the past?

- Will your heater booster run now (check by turning it on, listen for noise - small jet engine like sound - looking for hot exhaust from left front wheel well area)?

Question already asked but not yet answered (I need clear answers to these questions in order to help you diagnose the problems and find a solution):

- Is there any sign of fluids under the van or signs of bad leaks in the engine compartment?

I don't know yet if anti-gelling additives would help. Need more info / answers to the above questions before we can determine the problem.

Zach

Specialed
01-26-2007, 04:06 PM
Sorry. I have never run bio diesel. We bought it new but someone else at the company was driving it. As for the booster not sure of the switches but I do hear the noise. There is no fluid leaking under the van.

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 04:38 PM
Hello Specialed -

If you have the diesel fired heater booster and it is running it is less (but not impossible) likely that you are having fuel gelling problems. Although there are separate fuel lines and even fuel pumps, I believe, if you had gelling that was keeping the engine from running it seems likely that the gelling would also be keeping the heater from running as well.

- Is the extra noise that you are hearing steady (ie it happens whether or not you are trying to start the vehicle - it is always going as a steady low level roar) or is that extra noise only happening when you are trying to start the engine or at least only when you have the key turned to the accessories position?

- Do you have both the wavy line icon switch on the bank of switches down by the shifter and up in the A/C on off visually round control area?

- Do you feel hot air blowing out of the small exhaust pipe in the left front wheel well (see http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2352&postcount=28 for pictures of the switches and the heater exhaust)?

- When, if ever, was your fuel filter last replaced?

I have never had to use kerosene even under extremely (well below zero) cold temperatures. I have heard folks recommend using kerosene and I have heard folks recommend against using it.

If you send me a PM I will send you a telephone # you can reach me at and we can try talking some of this thru on the phone.

Zach

BaywoodBill
01-26-2007, 04:42 PM
Sorry to interrupt but I have to commend you, Zach, for your on-the-ball response to a Sprinterite in need. I've never seen such timely responses in any other forum.

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks, Bill -

I work most every day at the computer and happen to have the time today to help out between other tasks.

Hopefully we can get Specialed running again or at least diagnosed!

Zach

Specialed
01-26-2007, 05:02 PM
Youre rightBill. Never had help like this. Him responding to me so quickly is making me actually feel like I am being a pain in the @$$. I reaally appreciate the help.

sikwan
01-26-2007, 05:22 PM
Sorry to interrupt but I have to commend you, Zach, for your on-the-ball response to a Sprinterite in need. I've never seen such timely responses in any other forum.

Agreed! :clapping: :thumbup: :bow:

Seek

Zach Woods
01-26-2007, 05:40 PM
Howdy Folks -

Just spoke to Specialed on the phone. Good news is that he is running again and he is letting the vehicle recharge the battery a bit. (It was Specialed's persistence and nothing I did which seems to have started the van again.)

Best we can figure, he has a clogged fuel filter (it has likely never been changed in 25K miles) but we can't yet rule out a few other possibilities including gelled fuel or other issues. He does seem to have a steady light on on the dashboard and I suggested that he try driving the vehicle to determine if it seemed low on power (almost like the turbo is not working) in which case he is likely suffering from the dreaded "Limp Home Mode". He needs to bring the van in to the dealer to get the codes checked and/or cleared and I suggested a fuel filter replacement no matter what.

The extra noise that he was hearing was apparently the fuel pump laboring and this had him thinking the problem was fuel gelling.

Specialed said he would follow up with what the final diagnosis and solution was - I look foward to learning what the problem was!

Zach

P.S. I can't guarantee this kind of service / turn-around! Just happens work was slow enough that I had time for checking the board frequently and replying. I was just using the standard mechanics diagnostic skills that I learned under a shade tree or two . . .

sikwan
01-26-2007, 06:00 PM
Hi Zach:

We're all interested in the problem/solution too.


P.S. I can't guarantee this kind of service / turn-around! Just happens work was slow enough that I had time for checking the board frequently and replying. I was just using the standard mechanics diagnostic skills that I learned under a shade tree or two . . .

Hopefully, the Sprinter-Source will be active enough in the future that they'll be experts lurking around the clock. I know I've learn a lot already.

Seek