View Full Version : Upgrading to NC 3 - emissions question

10-11-2018, 01:02 AM
Hi all,
I'm ready to trade out of my T1n and get a newer NCV3. I've looked at threads about buying a used sprinter but didn't get clear answers on the emissions part of it. I'll likely buy a used one with 100-150k on it so I was hoping some of you could educate me on things to look for or plan for on these more used DPF and SCR systems.

10-11-2018, 02:27 AM
You may want to avoid the 2010 and later models, that's when MB introduced SCR (aka Adblue/DEF) and the early models seem to be over-represented with expensive problems, slowly getting better as the years wore on but it's still a costly system to repair. The DPF stands a good chance of being OK as long as the previous owner used the proper low-ash oils recommended by MB so accurate maintenance records are a big plus, and even if the DPF needs replacement down the line it isn't that expensive a proposition on the pre-SCR models. The EGR system may need a cleanout, not too expensive or a skilled owner can do it themselves. The EKAS (swirl valve) system can be costly to repair but basically all you can do there is make sure that there are no fault codes indicating a problem (and a scan for codes with an MB-capable scanner should be performed on any vehicle that you are considering purchasing.)

Those are the main bits peculiar to the V6, the core engine is typically very sound out to high mileages (with the occasional rare early failure outliers that you see with any engine type, not much one can do about that.) And there's the usual stuff for any vehicle with 100-150k (belts and hoses and such.) It can't be emphasized enough that when buying these kinds of used vehicles prior maintenance is key.

10-11-2018, 04:52 AM
Everything Miller mentioned and a few specifics.

Any potential candidate should...er... must be inspected by a Mercedes dealership or facility specializing in German vehicles, more particularly, Sprinters. Freightliner Service Centers, an excellent contender.

Wherever you take the vehicle, inquire what brand of diagnostic equipment they use and if they have access to Mercedes Cloud based data. Star Xentry scanner is Benz brand specific and ideal.

Request ECU and, depending on model year, Diesel Particulate Filter. "DPF" regeneration history logs.

Ask them to show and explain DPF soot and ash loads values.

Especially, ash load as it will be an indicator of remaining DPF service-life.

6 grams soot and 8 grams ash are maximum values, if I remember correctly.

Soot is Burned-off during DPF regenerations and resulting accumulated ash will eventually require DPF removal and physical flushing or DPF replacement.

I have no data, but suspect most emission (DPF) problems stemmed from using the incorrect engine oil. Must use "low ash" oil.

According to MB, incorrect oil, in any quality, is harmful to the DPF. As a result, I recommend, immediately after purchase, performing a oil/filter change using genuine MB oil filter and proper specification oil. And, would repeat once after 500-1000 miles. Not absolutely necessary but certainly wouldn't hurt.

Check the brand of engine air filter and replace with genuine MB air filter. There are other acceptable brands, however, Fram and K&N are known to cause premature Mass Air Flow sensor failure and should be avoided.