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Old 01-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #21
OrioN
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

...it's not abooot the 'kool-aid"...

...it's the pie, you need to be concerned with.


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Old 01-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintguy View Post

<snip>
Every vehicle today HAS ISSUES. They are all throw away vehicles.

<snip>
Last not: The biggest problem with this vehicle is finding someone competent to repair it when needed.

Good luck in your search .. and don't let the negative sway your thoughts. This vehicle is truly capable of a great story.

Carl
They are all throw away vehicles

In my purchase journey, that didn't even occur to me.

Every vehicle I'd owned had been all of the following: used, five or more years off the factory floor and lasted me 10 or more before I passed it on to someone else. Two of them are still on the road today.

I figured my Sprinter would be about as "disposable" as my previous rides. I dismissed the hype about 2007 emissions system changes like my dad dismissed the hype about valve seat failures killing all the cars when leaded gasoline was banned. Our family vehicles straddled that transition by close to a decade on each side.

I guess my point is, if you've never owned a post 2007 US/Canadian diesel, it's not your dad's diesel and a good deal of what he taught you won't apply.

Graphite Dave's right: the Sprinter has a great number of potential electronic failure points.

Sprintguy's right: The Sprinter is probably the best of what's out there, but they're all more expensive to maintain than the cars we had in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and they are all more disposable than ever before; mostly because modern vehicles require tools your dad didn't own, didn't pass on to you; tools you probably don't own. The same goes for "skills" you don't own.

Today's vehicles have principles of operation which are more proprietary/intellectual property than straight forward/familiar to the shade tree mechanic.

Today's cars also not built to last.... or to even be sold, (as if you want my opinion). They're built to be leased or financed.... they're built to secure a monthly payment. They're not built to be sold, to transfer vehicle ownership from manufacturer to dealer to consumer.

They're built as a ruse to secure steady, interest-bearing revenue in the form of consumer debt. We don't even see vehicle advertisements in terms of cost any more.... they keep trying to sell us a down payment and a monthly payment under terms which will likely outlast the vehicle.

Complexity is game changer..... but at the moment, the Sprinter is the best of what my grandfather would have termed, "meager choices."



-Jon
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Last edited by jdcaples; 01-28-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcaples View Post
They are all throw away vehicles

In my purchase journey, that didn't even occur to me.

Complexity is game changer..... but at the moment, the Sprinter is the best of what my grandfather would have termed, "meager choices."



-Jon
... that is why the OrioN III (RV) will be a custom box on a cab-chassis...
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:17 PM   #24
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

[QUOTE=david_42;222385]You are in no position to dis 'cults'.

LOL! yes, I had a Westy for years ..... how do you think I was able to recognize a "cult" vehicle when I see one?!

What problem did you have with mice? I have had to replace the knock-sensor harness on my Toyota FJ TWICE, because the mice love the soy-based insulation on the new "Green" wiring. ($500-$700 each time! )
Apparently, the Honda Pilot is most famous for this one - saw a bumper sticker on a Pilot: "I love my Honda Pilot ...... so do the MICE!"
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #25
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

I'm not so certain about the "throw away" vehicle concept.

Engines are running many, many more miles before rebuild or major parts replacement is necessary. In general high miles are less a concern than they once were. Rocker panels and door bottoms don't seem to rust out quite as fast. Even the bolt on wear items like alternators, starters, power steering pumps, water pumps, etc. seem to be lasting a very long time. Transmissions are definitely not the achilles heel they once were.

The electronics are the real wildcard. When they work they are great. When they don't, it can go downhill very quickly. Many older vehicles get scrapped because a very expensive module goes bad or some other high end repair is needed and it is not worth the cost. Often the body and such is still OK.

I was under my 2004 just the other day. In looking around I was actually pleased with how the undercarriage parts were holding up. If only the damn white paint where people can see it held up half as well.

Just an opinion. FWIW. vic
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #26
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

Even basic maintenance is expensive. If you dont plan to change your oil by yourself,.... be prepared to pay around $300 for an A service oil change, and around $700 for a B service oil change, at the dealership. These must be done every 10, 000 miles, alternating A/B
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:28 PM   #27
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Default you only live once

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analartist View Post
Hi folks, new to the Forum, 'though I have been lurking for a while. I think I need help, especially from the psychiatrists among you!
I really want a Sprinter, but everywhere I look, I see red flags. It is beginning to look to me as if the Sprinter is a cult vehicle. Reminds me of my old '68 VW Westfahlia Camper - 3 complete engine rebuilds, 2 trannies and no reverse on the last one, no heat in the cold northern winters, anemic on the road, but a good sailer in crosswinds, something always breaking, yet I still loved that thing!
You guys (and I want to join you!) seem to be dealing with limp home mode, RUST, a simply amazing litany of electrical malfunctions, clogging EGR's, mechanics who know less about the vehicle than you do, and don't care, dealers who won't honour warranty issues, failure to start, failure to keep running, failure to come home, and a million other little details, none of which I ever had to worry about with my Toyota FJ.
Yet I still want one!
Please, somebody talk some sense into me!
Anal artist,
First let me complement you on your forum name, it could be me.
I owned a 65 VW Bus given to me with a blown motor, mine was super clean, ran 16 second quarter miles and I always loved driving it.
Sprinters are similar, a soon to be cult vehicle with special needs, just get one you have already served your apprenticeship. No one loves a Toyota.

PS: Jon, you are right but that post was a little dark...
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #28
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Default Re: you only live once

Quote:
Originally Posted by gary 32 View Post
<snip>

PS: Jon, you are right but that post was a little dark...
Well, let me try to brighten things a bit:

I started thinking about down time because of this thread.

What's "down time?"

Down time is the amount of time a Sprinter is mechanically incapable of being driven or driven safely or is parked in a repair facility.

After perusing my postings in the NCV3 Identification, Miles, Months and Opinion thread, I realized that I haven't had much down time.

Every repair took less than one work day. Most repairs and maintenance efforts were done on a Saturday.

Considering tire mountings - which I can't do - and other issues I hired a dealership to fix - and Service A and Service B work performed by me, I think I've been "down" less than 2 calendar weeks in the 5 years, 4 months and 2 days I've owned my Sprinter.

I drive 20% highway, 80% city and am at about 50,700 miles right now.


That bright enough for you? :)

-Jon

PS: handy date calculator: http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html
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US Tech info: http://www.sprintertekinfo.com
US Parts info: http://epc.startekinfo.com (Subscribe to world passenger car and light transport)

Americans may learn to use MB technical resources and parts information here:
http://www.sprintertekinfo.com/epcdemo/start.swf

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:57 PM   #29
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

I also owned a 65 VW bus. It was simple and bulletproof. Only requirement was to keep the valves adjusted. A great example of German engineering at its finest. As long as you were patient it would get you anywhere. Defroster was also very simple: a towel under the seat. Many trips from Modesto to Grants Pass to visit wife's parents. Good old days before all the safety stuff. Took out middle seat and replaced it with a playpen for the kids when traveling. Seat belts and fancy kids booster seats not required. Dump kids into playpen with their toys and off you went. Once loaded a pallet of used bricks into van. Put half pallet in and checked the rear swing axles and they still were not level so put in rest of pallet. Did not check the front. Even with the full pallet load the rear swing axles were not level. Front end was extruding the rubber bumpers. Did not want to unload half a pallet so drove home. Wondered how much weight I had carried so weighed a couple of bricks. Found out I had carried over 3000 lbs! Not too smart but it did not break!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #30
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Default Re: Help! I want to buy a Sprinter .... Please Talk Me Out Of It!

For various reasons including living close to work I have only been driving 2.5 years (although I helped my dad with his cars as a kid, I helped a couple of mates with old car restorations and I am a kind of engineer so understand the workings of vehicles).

My first car had 170000 miles (non common rail diesel) and was registered Nov '01, now has 205000 and is still going reasonably strong, although I think the injectors probably need looking at. Rear springs have sagged noticeably since a fully loaded trip the other day so I'll change them as soon as the rest of the parts arrive. I have to admit I have replaced quite a few parts on this now, but I justify that as spreading the cost of ownership - cheap car with high miles and lots of medium cost things to go wrong soon. However, if for example the injection pump on this car dies, I can replace the car for less than a pump so will quit with it!

My second car is my Sprinter and had 203000 miles (non common rail diesel - a model that never made it to US) and was registered in Jan '96, it now has 205000 and I have rebuilt the engine twice (due to skipping bits first time round). The sprinter cost about the value of the camper conversion parts inside it, otherwise I would be gutted at already spending more than that on the engine! It hasn't been out of my drive since August, although it is now running but smoking due to timing issues and should be ready for the road again soon, but might need the expensive injector replaced. After that I need to swap out the ABS pump/controller to see if it clears the traction control errors, and I have looked a bit more closely at the 4 tyres with plenty of tread to discover 3 brands and some of them showing some age cracking on the treads, the spare is nearly bald so it needs 5 new boots before I actually go anywhere with it, maybe 4 if one of the others looks OK to use as a spare. As it is I carry on because I now really want to drive around the van I rebuilt almost from the ground up (when I finish the body rust I reckon I will have!), and because I reckon if I follow proper maintenance regime I should be able to get another 200k out of it, as long as spares and fluids remain available!

Yes I have had a big rebuild on mine (I think all due to someone not using antifreeze in the past), and it does have a few computer controlled bits which are cripplingly expensive to replace (solution - get second hand from breakers and cross your fingers!) but actually all I have really messed around with is old technology that anyone with a spanner (wrench) could do. The CDI versions (every model except mine and the 100hp equivalent - they use same engine with different tune) look like a nightmare to me! I'm actually not in a hurry to upgrade to a new model that should run out of the box, chances are it will have some different kinds of issues, but ones that I can't diagnose or work on myself. Don't get me wrong, common rail injection is more reliable than distributor injection, but when it fails, it is much trickier to fix! Then there is whole situation with DPFs and regenerating them, it doesn't scare me as such, but I wonder if I would ever knowingly take on a vehicle that will go into a high rev burn mode every now and then and expect you to keep the revs up for 20 minutes until it's finished - what if I'm up north on winding single track roads with blind bends, or just about to drive into a traffic jam? The new sprinters have those systems, but so do all current European diesel cars - and owners are not having it explained to them, forums are full of people with problems because they cancelled DPF regen too many times without even knowing about it.

I just hope like Jon I can keep my vehicles going for 10 years, failing that at least they have already done 10 - they might be disposable commodities designed to draw us into leasing or HP, but I'm determined to resist!

Of course all it will take to knock me off the road is the government/EU to mandate higher emissions standards for older vehicles - I beleive they are creeping up already!

My next vehicle will be - whatever takes my fancy when one of these 2 is beyond resuscitation!
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