On-the-road repair

Close rubbing

New member
This is my first post. Happy to have found this site. I'm in a band that's looking into buying a Sprinter for ferrying us around the US and CA for the next few years, and I'm wondering how easy/difficult it can be to find relatively quick (reliable) repairs on the road. We've been in a Chevy Astro for a while, and those are so common they can be worked on everywhere. Doesn't seem wise to take that for granted with Sprinters.
Thanks for your time!
JH
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
I think someone mentioned that every Pilot truckstop is a Freightliner repair center?
 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
I think someone mentioned that every Pilot truckstop is a Freightliner repair center?


Even if that were true (and I don't think it is), just because a business can repair M2s and FL50s, doesn't mean they can take on a light duty vehicle like a Sprinter.


Close Rubbing, in short:

Take care of a Sprinter and it won't leave you stranded.

Fail to take care of it - failure to learn way more than you probably knew about your Astro - and you're begging the universe to toss lengthy down time and hefty repair bills your way.



The longer story:

It's harder to find Sprinter repair expertise than it is to find Chev Astro repair expertise by a very long shot.

Astros out number Sprinters by scores, maybe 100s to one.

I'm a drummer and I drive a Sprinter.

The last few bands I've been in haven't taken to the road for more than a three day weekend (we're old). I can tell you that these people - http://www.bandago.com/ - make a living renting their Sprinters to bands for touring, so it's not impossible to make it work.

I'm comfortable with my 2007 Sprinter and if I had the opportunity, I'd take it on tour, but I know more about my 2007 Sprinter than most people know about their favorite pet. I wouldn't recommend a newbie buy a 2007/2008/2009 Sprinter band touring.

You posted in T1N talk, so I suppose you're considering a 2002 to 2006 Sprinter.

The T1N generation is more fuel efficient and less complicated, is less computer-dependent but - and this is me - I can't say I'd recommend a T1N for touring either.

If you have a problem, it's harder to find qualified help than it will be for a Detroit alternative.

In the US, too many shops can't execute an exhaust manifold (OM612 recall) replacement properly.

The people that get the most out of Sprinter ownership know more than the average person, can execute basic (and PROPER!) maintenance rituals and repairs on their own. They come here when they encounter conditions they'd not expected or want to venture further into the realm of "professional" grade repairs.

If that's you (or even if it's not you), start learning.

-Jon
 
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cahaak

New member
I bought my used 2006 passenger sprinter from a musician down in TX. It was his band touring vehicle and he put 100K+ miles on it. One other vehicle that I also looked at in San Diego was also a musician touring vehicle. So, what you are talking about is pretty common. Both of these guys that I talked with did not have any issues with the vehicles, but you need to do the maintainence as indicated above. I guess that I would say that if this is going to be your touring vehicle that you depend on, then you are want to get to know it well, just like an instrument. If it has an issue, that is relatively minor, you just fix it like you would an instrument. The sprinter is one of those vehicles where being a little bit handy goes a long ways. If you absolutely want to wash your hands of the vehicle, then this is probably not the vehicle for you.

I'm up to 140k+ on the first sprinter listed above, and no issues, runs like a top.

Chris
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
In Europe Sprinter variants are set up as band touring vehicles for rent or lease. I use mine for shows as well as other stuff, but like JD, I haven't done anything longer than a 3-day tour. NOTHING like the Seattle to Austin 12 shows in two weeks tour a few years ago (we rented two minivans so we wouldn't rack up the mileage on our own vehicles, hotels were paid as part of the tour). I suspect it's much easier to get service in Europe on your Sprinter/Crafter/Transit/Ducato.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Just do it.




I wore out three Asstros from 1988 to 2008 when I finally got smart and bought a used Sprinter.

99.99999% of the time, you'll be trouble-free and WAY happier in a Sprinter. As Andy Bittenbinder (the National Guru of Sprinters) told me when I said I'd previously been driving Asstros: "There's no comparision." Never were truer words spoken.

Incredibly, Frito burns less fuel dollars per mile than the Asstros and I can live in him. And he is soooo much nicer to drive. :cheers:

Like I said. "Just do it."
 

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