View Full Version : Replaced faulty ignition switch, now only starts sporadically.

06-12-2019, 10:01 PM
VIN WD2PD744145634059


2004 T1N, approximately 278k.

Began having intermittent stalling while driving on the highway- never found the cause. Slowly progressed, finally parked it. It's been sitting for about 9 months.

I've replaced: 
1. The turn signal stalk (multifunction switch)
2. The steering column fuse box
3. The brake light switch 
4. The ABS module (NOT the motor)

The fault presents as:

1. Turn ignition power on
2.Dash lights blink sporadically
3.Beeper beeps sporadically
4. Start engine, engine runs rough
5. The slightest tough of the brake pedal stalls the engine.
THEN, it goes dead. No power AT ALL, even to the odometer. No fault code on the reader (ISoft).

The brake light bulbs are NOT LED.
I can't find any obvious broken wires.
Battery Voltage is 12.64 volts.
Terminals are clean and greased, including the firewall ground hub.
No fuses burnt out; no obvious loose relays.
No change when disconnecting the MAP sensor.


That is, the rough running, and flashing instrument panel lights.

Changed the battery this month, as it was 5 years old.. Cleaned the contacts. Firewall ground lug is clean and greased.

Now I have a NEW problem.

When the key is turned to the run position, the dash illuminates normally, the glow plug cycles normally, but when the key is turned to START, nothing.

If i repeat this cycle, the engine will start smoothly perhaps every 10th attempt? At which point, I immediately drive it, to keep the new battery charged, and get the engine to operating temp.

Once I park it and turn it back off....the cycle continues again.

My plan now is to check the ignition switch plug in the back of the new fuse box, to see if is not in firm enough. ( Doubtful, and I used electrical grease as well.)

(I am coming to hate my Sprinter with a particular intensity.)

I don't think it's the starter solenoid- it starts perfectly when it WANTS to. The replacement starter relay is a used, tested, relay, from Europe delivered this week. Changing it had no effect on the problem.

One thing I just remembered.

I had changed the ABS module in a hope it would help the previous problem the ignition switch fixed.( I kept the old one). Replacement was an ebay used item. Now, my abs light comes on when the engine IS running.( The electrical connection seems tight.)

Plan to reinstall the original ABS module to hopefully fix that issue. Could the ABS issue be causing it not to start, or are they unrelated issues? ( When it runs, the van stops normally.)

As always, I appreciate any help you may offer...

I will be selling this van once this last problem is fixed.

Anyone interested in it, I'm in the Redding area. (Lots of work done at Perry's in Redding.)

06-13-2019, 05:27 AM
Sorry if I missed it, but did you check the engine ground wire and connections for corrosion, not just the battery ground wire?
Did you check the cam position sensor?
A bad brake switch can cause problems like these

Aqua Puttana
06-13-2019, 03:48 PM
Have you reviewed this thread?


Adding some indicator lamps to verify where power is and is not getting may give you some clues.

:cheers: vic

06-13-2019, 08:30 PM
Where to find the T1N engine-to-frame ground strap: