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View Full Version : New Member w/ New to me Sprinter and Need Help!


KCWade
08-30-2009, 10:52 PM
I have purchased a 2003 Mercedes Sprinter w/ the turbo diesel. I love the truck, love the roominess and really love the mileage. I have a problem though that is troubling me and several of the Sprinter techs I have tried to enlist the help of. What happens is the truck will start to run borderline hot after about an hour on the road. At that point, if i have any driving on the highway with a load, the girl really starts to get dangerously close to 240-250 degrees F. One time when hot outside and pulling a light trailer, the truck went into limp mode.

Repairs i have done since buying in July: upper and lower rad hoses, thermostat and housing with temp sensor, low coolant sensor (this one was gooped up with oil) fan clutch and a complete flush. It should be mentioned the previous owner had a oil cooler go bad and some engine oil ended up in the coolant system. A Sprinter tech in MO performed the repair and flushed the system as well. I am not sure where to look as far as possibilities...radiator? water pump? trans issues?? I would think a trans would give me some sort of error code for trans temp but maybe not on these? Another point of interest is the coolant level stays full

My last trip to our local Freightliner dealer had them driving for about an hour with the truck running right around 225 but never shooting up in temp. They also felt 225 was a bit high, but can't pinpoint the problem. Do these trucks have a history of needing a trans cooler?

Any help is appreciated, thanks so much

sikwan
08-30-2009, 11:31 PM
What happens is the truck will start to run borderline hot after about an hour on the road.

My last trip to our local Freightliner dealer had them driving for about an hour with the truck running right around 225 but never shooting up in temp. They also felt 225 was a bit high, but can't pinpoint the problem. Do these trucks have a history of needing a trans cooler?

Does this happen when you're lightly loaded or no load in outside temps of 80 degrees F? If not, then what is the temperature gauge hovering at in these conditions?

My T1N is always lightly loaded and it never ran close to the 220 mark even when it was 100F yesterday. Normally it's just above 180, but it was at 190-195 with the front and rear A/C running.

I think you may still have some sludge in your system. I wonder if the sludge has gotten into the HVAC coils. Is the thermostat OEM?

Lastly, there should be a transmission cooler already hooked up to the tranny if I'm not mistaken. :hmmm:

mendonsy
08-31-2009, 01:16 AM
I had a similar problem with a Dodge pickup truck a couple of years back. It turned out to be a radiator that was mostly plugged with sludge. I replaced the radiator and everything was fine.:thumbup:
You can tell really quickly by the weight of the radiator, but on the Sprinter it is no small operation to get it out of there.:eek:

KCWade
08-31-2009, 08:12 PM
the trans lines come in to the radiator directly from the trans, but i could be wrong. The more i review the symptoms, the more it sure seems like a flow issue from a gunked up radiator. Going to try a few methods to de-gunk and then it may be time for a new radiator.

cedarsanctum
09-01-2009, 12:30 AM
Very simple test for the radiator, if you can get your hands near it. When it's warmed up, put your hand on the radiator in several places and feel if it's evenly hot all around. If there are cool spots, replace or rod it out, it's plugged.

Hope this helps,
Jef

mendonsy
09-01-2009, 01:41 AM
Very simple test for the radiator, if you can get your hands near it. When it's warmed up, put your hand on the radiator in several places and feel if it's evenly hot all around. If there are cool spots, replace or rod it out, it's plugged.

Hope this helps,
Jef
A good suggestion!!
Another way to do the same thing is an IR temperature gun. Check with your friends to see if anybody has one you could borrow. Really precise ones are quite expensive, but you can get a cheap and functional one at Harbor Freight for about $40.:smilewink: