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Old 01-09-2018, 06:48 PM   #110
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Default Re: T21 Emissions Recall Notice

This message has been writing itself in my head for the last week or so as pieces of this puzzle have been coming together and I’m reading this thread.
If you have Freightliner or Mercedes T1N and get the recall notice, this “issue” is really a non-issue. Nothing to worry about AT ALL.
If you have a Dodge T1N, the recall is frustrating and will be until Dodge implements the FULL recall service, which Freightliner and Mercedes are already doing. But it’s not debilitating as long as you pull the instrument cluster fuse and EGR plug every time you park for more than a day.
The GDE Tune cannot and will not affect the recall.
The long story:
As a Sprinter mechanic, I see lots of Sprinters come and go, mostly T1Ns. A friend contacted me about 6 months ago wanting to buy a Sprinter and I helped him find an ‘04 Long/Tall 3500 with about 120K miles for cheap. I can’t remember why, but there was no access to the original owner, nor any documentation about the van’s previous life.
It needed some lock work and some door work and all the fluids changed, but otherwise was a solid van and he loved it. Shortly afterwards, he called me complaining that the battery kept dying. And that a dash light would stay on all night long and there was a whirring coming from under the hood even after the key was removed from the ignition.
You see where this is going…
No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the odometer light to turn off nor the egr valve from cycling constantly. Short of removing the fuses, that is. But sometimes they would turn off by themselves for no apparent reason. The guy had me install an aux battery for his living space behind the cab, so I also installed an emergency start button like RVs have and he was happy with that backup even though the problem wasnt solved. He doesnt work in the winter, so we had decided that I would replace his ignition switch in the Spring.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I saw this thread.
Finally the puzzle pieces started falling into place.
Turns out the van is a Freighliner. It had the initial recall done and then was put up for sale. My friend purchased the van and the problems that people are complaining about stemming from the recall popped up.
The recall, according to the earlier posts in this thread, has to do with the monitors so that they will close easier for emissions tests. But the two unintended consequences of the recall is that the “timeout” function of the EGR and Odometer light does not usually happen. There seems to be some talk of cycling the key off and on twice on shutdown to get the one minute “timeout” clock to start, but I have not found that to be the case with the Sprinters I have seen.
The T1Ns drive exactly like any other T1N of the same age and mileage, so I cannot speak to there being any other driveability issues stemming from this initial recall.
The worst (and really, only) downside of having this recall done is a dead battery.
Mercedes, being Mercedes, has been relatively responsive to the issues caused by the recall and have since issued a 2nd recall to remedy the first. As far as I can tell, it involves a new instrument cluster and possibly another ECU reflash, although the recall letter that I have seen only mentions the instrument cluster.
Because Mercedes does warranty and recall work on Freightliners, if you have Freightliner, you are in luck and should experience none of the issues complained about here and you should have NO CONCERNS about getting this recall work done.
If you have a Dodge T1N, you might want to hold off on getting the recall work done until Dodge officially recongnizes the issues caused by the initial recall and issues a 2nd recall.
If you live in California, this may present a problem because California apparently requires all recall work completed on any vehicle being registered in the state. If you find yourself in this situation, you can argue your case with the DMV or you can get the first phase of the recall work done and live with having to unplug your egr and instrument cluster fuse every night, unless you want to risk a dead battery the next time you hop in your T1N.
In the middle of all this with my customer, we installed the GDE tune. It installed just fine and gave the normal “pep” to the engine. It did NOT, however, keep the EGR from cycling nonstop when the key was removed.
So when my customer goes to get the 2nd recall work done, we are going to uninstall the GDE tune so the dealership won’t see it.
I just called GDE and they said that the old tune programming would not work with the updated dealership ECU flash. If you have already purchased the tune from them, they will upgrade your old tune to work with the new ECU flash for $100.
I hope this is helpful to someone and if anything is incorrect, please feel free to correct me.
Sprinter Mechanic
'04 long/tall Silver Passenger 156K (Totaled! 11/2018)
'06 long/tall White Passenger 180K
'06 medium/short Silver Passenger 265k
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