Tips for New to Sprinter Owners


Well-known member
Some General Information for Owners New to Sprinters

I presume if you are reading this then you are new to Sprinters so first let me extend to you a hale and hearty welcome to the forum. welcome2.gif

The Sprinter has some quirks and differences that many people wouldn't be aware of even if familiar with other brand vans. If you aren't generally inclined to read the operator manual, you really should read your Sprinter manual. If you don't have one there are downloads listed in the Database sections of Sprinter-source.


Download the service manual, owner's manual and parts catalog from
[Thanks goes to jmoller99 for providing and maintaining the AIE Services web page documents. :thumbup: :thumbup: :cheers:
We lost our good friend Jmoller99 RIP
vic ]

good luck

Daytime Running Lights (DRL) - If you run with only DRL's then the backlighting for the heater controls and other dash switches will not light. You also will only have the stalk high beam flash. The constant high beam select isn't available until you twist the stalk end and manually turn on your light circuit.

Shift Select - The various forward gears can be selected by gently bumping the shift lever side to side. The gear number on the dash shows what is selected. It does not change to show which gear the transmission is presently in. "Drive" is actually an overdrive gear ratio so if fully loaded you might best tap down a gear on long uphill grades.

Side Mirrors - The flat side mirrors have huge blind spots. Get into the habit of checking the optional OEM top smaller mirror before any lane changes. Consider adding stick on blind spot mirrors if you don't have the small top mirrors.

Backup Alarm - If you have an OEM backup alarm there is a low volume feature. The noise level toggles up and down by moving the shifter to neutral and then back into reverse.

ASR/ESP - Anti Skid Response/Electronic Stability Program The computer will take over by using braking controls should it sense that your wheels are slipping or you've gone into a skid. The control pulses the brakes so when it activates there may be chattering noises which could sound like drive line component problems. It is normal operation and is especially likely to happen in icy conditions.

Truck Fuel Nozzles - If you need to use a diesel large spout high volume nozzle (I avoid them whenever possible) be certain to use it on a low flow setting. When the truck nozzle is used fully open the fuel can pressure lock and blow off your fuel tank vent components before the handle auto shutoff can react to stop flow.

Tire Size - All the tires on your Sprinter need to be the same size. The ESP computer monitors and compares all wheel speeds while moving. If the tires aren't the same size the computer will interpret that as a problem.

Speed Limiter - U.S. and Canadian Sprinters have a speed limiter. It is likely set to 85 mph max. With stock tire size that will actually top out at 82 - 83 mph by your GPS.

Engine Oil - The Sprinter has a high and low oil level sensor and dash indication. It does NOT have an oil pressure monitor or gauge. It is fairly sensitive to over filling at oil change. The T1N takes 9.5 quarts of oil. The NCV3 needs 13.5 quarts. Not a drop more. Do not dump in that extra last 1/2 quart of the 10 or 14 you bought. When I change my oil I personally leave the last 0.5 quart for later.

The low level monitor is for obvious reasons. The high level monitor is to warn you in case the oil level is raised by fuel dilution. That is not a common problem, but if the high oil level monitor comes on at a time other than right after an oil change (people add too much oil) then it shouldn't be ignored. If the oil level gets excessively high the oil can dilute or be drawn into the intake and burned as fuel uncontrollably (runaway).

My opinions.

For most modern vehicles you don't get a number for oil pressure. The monitor is a low pressure warning. Most low oil pressure situations relate to lack of oil in the sump. Serious gradual loss of oil pressure related to bearing wear is essentially a thing of the past. Engines are built to better tolerances. Metals, lubrication, cooling, etc. technology has advanced. An oil pressure number does warn if there is a catastrophic failure, but as has been mentioned, maybe even then it is too late.

It isn't like MB hasn't done anything. Mercedes has addressed two critical parameters with the oil level monitor.

The low monitor warns if the engine oil sump level gets too low.

The high monitor warns for increased sump level from fuel dilution. Fuel dilution can be serious as to thinning the engine oil, or if the level gets high enough diesel runaway is a possibility.

There are many, many Sprinters operating successfully all over the world.

[As to adding oil pressure monitoring.] Spend your money and effort somewhere else.

:2cents: vic
All NAFTA NCV3 Sprinters 2007 and on have a Diesel Particulate Filter DPF in the exhaust system. The DPF requires that proper oil be used to avoid plugging up the DPF unit. That oil is not common to many big box stores. MB229.51 is one MB oil spec which meets the needs of the DPF system.

I personally recommend NOT using MB229.51 or MB229.52 oil unless you have a DPF that requires it. Some detail is here.
Engine Oil MB 229.51 or 229.52 best for T1N's?

Adding Options - Some factory options are difficult to add to Sprinters after the fact. Some are next to impossible to add no matter how much money you are willing to spend. If you order a Sprinter make certain to research what options you need to get it right the first time.

Wire Harnesses - All Sprinters are built with custom wire harnesses as to options ordered. If your Sprinter was not ordered with rear speakers, backup camera, trailer wiring, etc. then the wiring is not there for those things. In most cases don't even bother to look for it.

Transmission Dipstick - The Sprinter does not come with a transmission dipstick for checking level. There are "good and bad" aftermarket dipsticks on the market. The good ones have stop ears.

Starting Fluid - Do not regularly use starting fluid (ether) with your diesel Sprinter. It can ignite at the wrong time during the piston stroke and cause major damage. The glow plugs can easily ignite starting fluid at the wrong time.

Fuse Locations - There are 3 places to check for fuses in a T1N. A large capacity fuse block mounted right on the battery. Fuse Block #1 under the steering column. Fuse/Relay Block #2/3 under the driver seat. You must consult the fuse maps on the covers because fuse/relay locations can vary greatly based upon options ordered from the factory. Do not completely trust the fuse maps. They are notoriously incomplete. Always check ALL fuses for electrical issues.

Radio Code - The OEM Sprinter Sound series radio has a security code feature. If your battery goes dead or is disconnected then you will need to enter the code to return radio operation. Someone once quipped that given the audio quality of the OEM Sprinter radio, needing a code is like putting a security guard on a manure pile. A decent new DIN mount radio/head unit with cell phone capability is about 100 bucks. Worth the investment.

Alloy Wheels - Do not use the longer alloy wheel bolts on the steel spare. The bolts will extend too far into the hub and cause serious damage. Be very aware that many aftermarket alloy wheels may not be rated to proper capacity for a Sprinter.

Fuel Gauge Display - NCV3 fuel level display is calculated by monitored consumption not just the fuel level sensor. (This may apply to T1N's too??) Extended use of a generator or diesel fired heater may cause the fuel gauge to not show a proper level. Beware. It can be optimistic.

This thread is closed. I plan to update this list as time goes on. Anyone who has suggestions for additions can contact me via PM. vic

There is more information in these threads.

An unabashed advertisement.
If you find the style of the above thread helpful I have some others.

Stoopid Things - condensed.

Cheap Tricks condensed
(The condensed list has short descriptions to aid searching.)

Used Sprinter Buying Tips

Check Engine Light DTC MIL Codes List

Limp Home Mode comments

Trailer Wiring OEM Harness vs. Light Module

Tools - Quality, Special, Dodge, MB, Mercedes, Hose Clamp

20170727 Edit:Add your vehicle info to all your posts automatically!!!!!It will help you to get answers. Thank you.

The most direct method is probably in your "Details".
In the Blue bar above click "Quick Links".
Scroll down to the "Custom User Title" box.
Click in that box and type in at least your Sprinter MY (Model Year).
Scroll down to the "Save Changes" box. Click on that and you are done.
Whatever you enter will be displayed at the bottom of your member icon.

The other place is in your "Signature".
In the Blue bar above click "Quick Links".
Select "Edit Signature".
Scroll down to the text box which looks like what you use to add a post to the forum. Type in at least your Sprinter MY (Model Year).
Scroll down to "Preview Signature". If the preview looks like what you want, scroll down to "Save Signature", click on that and you're done.
Whatever you enter will be displayed at the bottom of every one of your posts.
(If signatures don't display go back to "Quick Links" and "Edit Options" to allow signature display.)


Doktor A is Andy Bittenbinder. An excellent mechanic/designer who specializes in Sprinters. He is generously willing to share his vast knowledge to those in need.

A most important phone number to keep handy.
I have it saved to my cell phone and written in grease pencil under my hood.
Should you call him please remember that he is in the Eastern Time Zone.

A posted response by Doktor A.
Re: Searching for Doctor A


My 24/7 Sprinter Hot Line (412-366-6165) is alive and well. I happily return most phone calls within several days of hearing your message.

I ask that callers please leave their phone number, model year of Sprinter and brief details of their Sprinter related issue. Kindly identify if you are a repair tech or an owner.

I find that the Hot Line is a valuable tool which helps expand my data base and my mind. Many callers become friends, clients and visitors.

My new Doktor A commercial annex location, here in Pittsburgh, features 7 day a week complete Sprinter service by appointment. I feature all service from routine maintenance to black death surgery to same day transmission replacement. On site windshield replacement by one of the nations best (and affordable!) Sprinter glass installers.

My in house parts department stocks EVERYTHING for Sprinter, new and used.

Messages asking for emergency road advice are always given priority.

Doktor A

We have left Pittsburgh behind and are finally fully settled in our new digs just west of Greenville, South Carolina. That's south of Asheville, NC and just off I-85 midway between Atlanta and Charlotte.

The Sprinter Hot Line phone number is now 864-623-9110.
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Well-known member
After a bit of reflection I decided that there is no reason to close this thread as long as future additions stay on topic with specific tips for new owners and no questions to make the thread too long. In my opinion the Cheap Tricks and Stoopid Things threads do what I intended, but they have gotten a bit cumbersome.

Thanks goes to those who gave me input for my edits to date. Feel free to add any little quirks which you found confusing as a new to Sprinters owner. vic
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Well-known member
Gleaned from the forum. Thanks goes to autostaretx.

An odd thing you may hit <when owning a former fleet Sprinter> is the oil dipstick. Most consumer-owned US/NAFTA T1N Sprinters have a red handle, and are meant to be read hot.
Fleet Sprinters sometimes had yellow handles, and those are meant to be read cold.

The difference can be a half quart or more.

The usual owners manual (if you don't have one, you can download one from only speaks of the Red handle variety.

enjoy the beast


Well-known member
Your Sprinter diesel engine will create quite a bit of black soot that ends up in the engine oil. One of the properties of a good diesel engine oil is that it will suspend those particles and help prevent sludging.

When you drain your oil, replace the oil filter, and install new oil the little bit of old black oil left as a film (or trapped in small pockets so it couldn't drain) will mix with the new oil and cause it to quickly turn black. This is a normal occurance in diesel engines. If you notice that your new oil looks black shortly after an oil change it is not an indication that the shop cheated you, or that the engine is going to fail at any minute. It is very normal. vic

Some general information, mostly my opinions, about oils and fluids. FWIW. vic

My goal is to refrain from Sprinter fluid discussion. (For me it’s a goal which is not easily attained.) This is my canned fluid response with what I think contains some practical information.

Of course the easiest answer as to proper fluids is to direct people to the Mercedes Benz BEVO site which is the official information for MB vehicle fluids. Personally I find that the site is often not easy to extract the information you seek. Another issue for NAFTA owners is that many of the products they list are just not readily available, or available at all, in North America.

Here is the English language official MB BEVO link.

The MB and Sprinter market in North America is fairly small. Because of that there may be many readily available products which would pass the MB spec tests, but just are not submitted to MB. The return on investment for the approval process just may not be there for them. Just my thoughts, I have no data.

Power Steering Fluid

The history of what is the PROPER power steering fluid in the Sprinter is long and ugly. The NAFTA 2003 Operator Manual mentions Mopar ATF+4. My 2004 Dodge manual lists MB 341.0 or ATF III. The BEVO list includes a number of MB 236.X suggestions as of this writing. Because so many different products have been listed over the years I say it must not make much difference as to what is actually used. One thread is here.
I have used Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak on my 2004 Sprinter with good results. It has now been over 40,000 miles since I added it. There are some comments and at least one additional Lucas user in this thread.

Clunk, Clunk. Ball Joint or Rack n Pinion?

Differential Fluid
I put the differential fluid in the same general perspective as power steering fluid. It is conventional so any good quality GL5 rated XX-90 weight gear oil is on my list ( not XX-140 although people do report using it.). Some members do recommend only synthetic products.

75w-140 synthetic was good for earlier NAS aka NAFTA Sprinters. The differential was identical up to 2006.


For those interested, MB dealers should have 90w Mobil Delvac in quarts $10/qt. range.

Is there a Camping World near you?
Our local Camping World has Mobil Delvac™ Synthetic Gear Oil 75W-90 on the shelves. It has MB235.8 on the label which is listed in BEVO as should be used for our Sprinter differentials. Price was 10 bucks and change per quart.

:2cents: vic
I kinda like this thread.

And this post. Although Dennis does not support my general view on diff fluid with his last comment. Fair enough.

Engine Oil

This is probably a bit more critical especially if you are using the ASSYST information to extend oil changes. Sprinter diesel owners with a DPF should not stray from the MB 229.51 (Mobil 1 5w-40 Formula M ESP Emissions System Protection low ash formula meets the spec 229.51 and also 229.31). To use anything else risks fouling the DPF and possibly the EGR system = costing many dollar$$$.

Some (too many?) of my thoughts are here.
If this information matters to anyone, for my 2004 OM647 Sprinter I have settled on using Mobil 1 0w-40 European Car Formula MB229.5 which I stockpile when on sale. I find it to be too expensive otherwise.

NAG1 Transmission
Perhaps the most critical of the fluids in my mind as to staying with MB BEVO spec fluid. (Aside from Low Ash engine oil if you have a DPF.) That said, for the T1N I believe either MB spec 236.12 or 236.14 is fine. The viscosity of the 236.14 is said to be a bit thinner. Either can be mixed without any problem. Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc (red container about $18/gallon jug) lists Mercedes NAG1 and mentions synthetic base stocks on the label (semi-synthetic?), but not a MB spec number. In my opinion it probably will work fine if you're looking for something more readily available or for top off.

(I did experience cold temperature shudder until after warm-up when I tried the MaxLife.)

Edit: I have since completely drained the TC and pan to replace the Maxlife drain pan only fill. I then used Shell 134 MB236.14 approved fluid. The shudder in cold weather at first stop signs is less, but definitely still there. I noticed no shudder once we were down in warm Florida on vacation. Doktor A recently mentioned that a pan drain only in response to shudder is a waste of money. A complete TC and pan drain is required. My pan drain only and MaxLife refill may not have been a fair test. FWIW.

Some info is here.

Do with this information what you will. Be careful with engine oil and transmission fluid. I don't think choosing a good quality fluid will result in Sprinter power steering system/differential life or death even absent a MB spec rating, but others may do disagree. Vic

Here’s a nice reference posted by Boater.


Valvoline said:
Power Steering Fluid FAQs

What is the shelf life of the remaining Valvoline power steering fluid after it has been opened?

Any chemical that has been opened, including brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc., has a recommended shelf life of no longer than two to three years, depending on storage.

Automatic Transmission Fluid FAQs

I had my vehicle's transmission fluid changed using Valvoline MaxLife™ ATF Fully Synthetic. Conventional transmission fluid was used for all previous changes. Will this cause a problem?

No. Switching to synthetic transmission fluid after using a conventional product will not cause a problem. Synthetic and conventional oils are 100 percent compatible.

What is the difference between DEXRON® III/MERCON® and type F transmission fluid?

The Valvoline Type F transmission fluid is a high quality NON-friction modified fluid. DEXRON® III/MERCON includes friction modifiers in the fluid additive package.

Does Valvoline make a synthetic ATF?

. Valvoline makes several synthetic ATFs. MaxLife® ATF, Valvoline ATF for MERCON® V* applications, ATF +4 and DEXRON® VI are all synthetic transmission fluids.

What is the shelf life of automatic transmission fluid?

The Valvoline Company does not have a documented shelf life exposure on finished motor oil or automatic transmission fluid. We would expect under optimal conditions (in an enclosed space, protected from the weather) that the product would be stable for an extended period of time. We recommend two things: 1) Make sure the rating meets or exceeds your requirements, and 2) Shake the container before use. If the fluid sits for an extended period of time, sometimes the additives may settle in the bottom of the container.

Is it OK to mix synthetic ATF with a conventional and/or synthetic blend ATF?

Yes. Synthetic ATF and conventional fluids are 100 percent compatible with each other.

Is MaxLife ATF compatible with other brands of automatic transmission fluid?

MaxLife ATF is a multi-vehicle transmission fluid that is compatible with many brands and manufacturer recommendations. Refer to the MaxLife product data sheet to determine whether MaxLife is compatible for your vehicle's application.

Is MaxLife automatic transmission fluid an SP-III fluid?

MaxLife ATF is 100 percent compatible for use in SP-II and SP-III applications.

*Ford and MERCON V are registered trademarks of Ford Motor Company. This is not a licensed Ford product.

- See more at:

The official Operator Manual information for the 2006 can safely be applied to all NAS aka NAFTA Sprinters.


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Well-known member
My latest comment regarding the Malfunction Indicator Light MIL (aka CEL, ECU) coming on.

Check Engine Light.jpg


Apparently it is appropriately named because it has the ability to add to the blues of a Sprinter owner. As if LHM wasn't enough?

The world according to vic with the MIL (aka CEL, ECU) coming on. I have stated this before other places.

The MIL most always relates to emissions issues of the engine. As long as you are running smoothly and normally there is no reason to panic because the MIL is lit. Your Sprinter has Limp Home Mode LHM (aka Limp in Mode, Emergency Running) which will kick in if the computers see a major enough problem to reduce power and limit possible drivetrain damage.

Sailquik advocates the ScangaugeII or other performance monitoring units to help you drive your Sprinter. (I drive without one.) Another reason to have some sort of monitor is that being that the MIL is almost always related to emissions problems, the ScangaugeII will most likely give a code and some info of why the MIL is lit. You can then make a more informed decision about what action to take. Should you see a glow plug GP code then that action may very well be to ignore the problem until the end of your trip or until a convenient time. (Don't ignore glow plug problems forever with an NCV3 though because the GP's are used for DPF regeneration, not just cold ambient starting.)

For what it's worth. vic
Some added info for NCV3 owners

So it appears that my comments about the MIL Maintenance Indicator Light (aka CEL Check Engine Light) need to be modified for anyone having a DPF Diesel Particulate Filter in the exhaust system. If you have an NCV3 model Sprinter and have no DTC's Diagnostic Trouble Codes for indication of the problem(s) by Scangauge or performance monitor info, should you go into LHM it is best not to wait too long to investigate the reason for the MIL. Delaying repair may cause the DPF to load up. That said, towing a trailer with the Sprinter in LHM as Walter describes below is pretty severe service so more regular operation may not be a problem.

MIL (aka CEL) dash icon on.

... and it was quickly diagnosed as a temp sensor in the exhaust (I am not clear exactly what was wrong with it at that point since my Scangauge only came up with a code - U3FFF - which doesnt mean anything to me). Steve indicated the part needed was a "turbo temp sensor" and had to be shipped in but it was OK to drive in the meantime.

During the week the van ran just great and I proceeded to pack it for the trip to the mountains on Friday morning.

Friday morning came around and I headed out since the part had not yet arrived. Somewhere along the 250 mile trip the engine went into limp mode. I struggled to pull the trailer up some of the I-89 hills in Vermont but I made it to Mt Philo in the afternoon. ... On the trip back (still in limp mode but easier to drive without the trailer load) I rechecked the Scangauge and found 5 entries for P0546 (Exhaust Gas Temp Sensor Circuit Hi Bank1 Sensor1). I arrived about 12:30 and sure enough they brought my van right in and started on it.

They ended up replacing that previously diagnosed sensor and needed to do a forced DPF regen because the limp mode driving had probably dumped particulate in the filter and the ECU will not permit those codes to be cleared without it. By 4PM my van had been repaired, drive tested and returned to me.

Yesterday I drove back up to Vermont to retrieve my car and trailer and the van worked as before any of this happened.

...Flagship, Steve and (I hope I am correct with his name) Joe were responsive, made themselves available when I needed them, and quickly and professionally addressed the problem. Well done! Here is to you guys! :cheers: Thank you!
Thanks goes to Walter Clark for the feedback. :thumbup:

A recent comment by a dealership.

I had already read your thread... That's why the $4,000 potential bill scared the LSOOM. :smilewink:

Anyway, after Bobojay guilted me into calling the dealer, I called them to schedule an appointment (or as the MB dealer calls it, a "reservation" $$$). Interestingly enough, the service advisor told me the following;

Unless the vehicle is in limp mode......remove the fuel cap, put the cap back on nice and snug. Drive the car around. Park the car. Repeat the above up to 10 times or until the engine light goes "off", whichever comes first. If the light is still on after the tenth re start, bring it in.

He went on to say that in 99% of the cases, it's an emissions problem. What the gas cap has to do with it is beyond me....

We'll see.
As an aside. Part of the emissions monitoring includes fuel tank vapor control. If the fuel cap is loose or otherwise compromised then the monitor systems notice the incorrect pressures in the tank.

As always, clicking the blue arrow icon within the quote box takes you to the original thread/post.

More detailed MIL comments and info are here:

A recent MIL thread is here.

The AdBlue related thread is here.
(AdBlue does NOT apply to T1N Sprinters or early model NCV3's.)

Here is a list of MB dash icons. The pictures and basic info are very worthwhile. In some cases the suggested operator response is legal and dealership speak. gone

As a point of clarification.

No scan tool can "Clear LHM's".

Limp Home Mode LHM is a reduced power mode enabled to protect the drive train from severe damage. It is set by a module(s) when certain unusual vehicle operating conditions are detected.

LHM response can range from simply disabling the turbo (reduced power) to setting engine RPM limits to limiting the transmission operation. The transmission operation can be limited to Park/2nd gear/neutral/reverse, and in the most severe lockout, no transmission drive response at all.

Repairs or other corrections to the vehicle need to be effected to restore operation. Most all lower level engine related LHM modes will be disabled without clearing the DTC's aka codes once the offending problem is corrected, or if the detected problem just goes away (for a time).

Transmission LHM
Even after repairs, to restore proper operation transmission related LHM generally does require accessing the TCM to clear the transmission related DTC's. A Sprinter specific scan tool aka "higher level" is needed to access the TCM to clear those DTC's. Clearing the companion DTC's found in the ECM aka ECU is not enough.

There is a danger in not fully recording the DTC's before clearing a module history. DTC's can be cleared which may never again present to help aid in troubleshooting. A failing part can trigger a DTC and then not be noticed after that failure.

Loss of history using a generic OBDII scan tool can be even more devastating to troubleshooting. A generic tool has the ability to clear codes which it can't even display.

If under warranty I would never clear ANY DTC history. The dealership often needs that information to apply warranty repairs. That can include mandated emissions control related extended warranty.

The act of clearing DTC's with a scan tool of itself is not a repair. Not all lack of power situations are computer set LHM.

:2cents: vic
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Well-known member
A recent Fuel Additives thread which may help to answer some new owner questions. Thanks goes to all contributors. vic

Diesel Fuel Addititives ?

From another thread.

Aqua Puttana said:
Many like to refer to BEVO and some like to state that Mother Mercedes doesn't recommend additives. That is just not true.

Mother Mercedes acknowledges that additives are required for proper engine operation. What MB and BEVO state is that the additives contained in good quality fuel from reputable suppliers is all that is needed. Assuming proper fuel quality (reports are that fuel quality in the EURO markets is better than USA fuel) they don't believe that there is any necessary advantage in secondary additives.

BEVO also acknowledges that viscosity improvers (antigel) are sometimes necessary. The trick will be finding one on the shelves in North America that MB approves. (If that approval should be important to you for some reason.) In my opinion, addition of Power Service Diesel Kleen with antigel (white jug) noticeably improves my starting during the low winter temperatures which I need to deal with. As I've stated before, I use PS regularly in winter, more sproadically in the summer. For example, if the PS jug runs dry in March it likely doesn't get replaced until late Fall.

Here's some select text from the BEVO site. The red is my highlights. The links are provided should you care to get into it more deeply.

BEVO list

Commonly commercially available fuels are blends of a variety of
compounds, principally hydrocarbons with different chemical and
physical properties. To meet the demands made today with
regard to fuels, the basic fuel is provided with additives during
These additives are chemical compounds which are
soluble in fuel and must be of an organic type (exception: lead
organic compounds in leaded fuel) and able to alter existing
properties or to add additional properties to the fuel.
These additives prevent or reduce e.g. coking of valves, deposits
of combustion products in the engine and corrosion damage in
the fuel system of gasoline engines. The practical properties of
diesel fuel can likewise be improved with additives.
Extensive research has shown that the use of gasoline and diesel
fuels with high additivity levels for the longevity and cleanliness
of engines and fuel systems, maintenance of favorable exhaust
emission values as well as achieving good operational
characteristics is a necessary measure which in the long term is
also an economic one.

In terms of the supply of such fuels, the individual customer must
rely on the filling stations that he/she visits selling such fuels with
additives; the opinion of large companies passed>on to us has
shown that this is the case nationally, and is usually the case in
respect of independent filling stations not tied to major suppliers.
Fleet customers are usually able to ensure the supply of products
with additives in bilateral negotiations; we recommend these
customers to insist forcefully on such fuels.

The correct selection, application and metering of such additives
depend on detailed research in the laboratory, on test benches
and in vehicles, so that the effect of the additives is optimized for
the respective fuel, additives are adapted to each other and do
not cause any negative side effects. Since the consumer will
generally not have the required facilities for this, mixing additives
to fuels may be the exclusive preserve of the manufacturers of
such fuels.
However, drivers are constantly being offered fuel additives with
the promise of huge success, such as higher engine output at
lower fuel consumption, for example. For better distinction, we
have given these additives the name of secondary additives.

Our vehicle engines do not require such secondary additives, since
in most cases uniform and adequate grades of fuel can be
If in some countries diesel fuels have less favorable
characteristics (e.g. high content of sulfur), the use of engine oils
approved by us is particularly important. Additionally, any
increase of the sulfur content in diesel fuel goes hand>in>hand
with a reduction in engine oil>change intervals (generally
regulated using the onboard computer [ edit: aka ASSYST for Sprinters] ),
this measure is significantly more effective than adding any secondary additives.
Special attention should be paid to making sure that only the fuel
grade recommended by us is used. The use of secondary additives
on the other hand, only involves additional and unnecessary
The application of secondary additives is always at the sole risk of
the operator of the vehicle, since their use may impair the
warranty issued both by the manufacturer of the vehicle and the
fuel supplier; for gasoline vehicles with catalytic converters and
diesel vehicles with particulate filters, it should be categorically

An exception to this are certain flow improvers or microbiocides.
It is possible, to a certain extent, for these to improve the low>
temperature properties of diesel fuel or to avoid the growth of
microorganisms in diesel fuel.
Only the products approved on the
relevant Sheet 137.1 and 138.1, respectively, may be used. It is
important to refer to the corresponding notes. Use of such
additives should be regarded as an exceptional measure in the last


With regard to the service life and cleanliness of the engines and
fuel systems, the retention of favorable exhaust>emission values
as well as the attainment of an overall positive operating
behavior, the use of diesel fuel with high additivity levels
represents a necessary measure which in the long term is also
In terms of the supply of such fuels, the individual customer must
rely on the filling stations that he/she visits selling such fuels with
additives; the opinion of large companies passed>on to us has
shown that this is the case nationally, and is usually the case in
respect of independent filling stations not tied to major suppliers.
Large customers are generally in a position to enter into bilateral
negotiations that guarantee the supply of products containing
additives; we would recommend these customers to demand that
they are provided with such fuels only.
We would expressly like to point out that according to our
assessment the slight percentage increase in fuel costs is more
than compensated for by the savings in terms of maintenance and
servicing and the lower susceptibility for repair work. Typical
complaints that can be prevented from occurring through the use
of increased additives in the fuels are, e.g. coking of injection
nozzles, wear and corrosive damages throughout the entire fuel
Apart from this constantly improving exhaust>emission
values help to take the burden off the environment.

The fuel additive gains greater significance when the problems
associated with lubricity in sulfur>free fuels is entered into the
equation (see section on "Lubricity")Looked at in this way
optimizing the additive process is no longer an option, but a

The additive process should be undertaken by the supplier as part
of its quality assurance responsibility with regard to the fuels, the
addition of secondary additives by the customer is not


The reduction in sulfur content for environmental reasons which
has taken place during the past few years has brought with it the
problem of the diesel fuel's lubricity, because hydrogenation of
the middle distillate which was required to gain the reduction,
also caused the removal of the natural lubrication enhancers.
There is evidence that diesel fuels that comply with the European
limit of max. 350 mg/kg as of 1.1.2005
max. 50 or 10 mg/kg (sulfur>free diesel fuel is to be available "in a
geographically balanced manner") may cause sulfur wear in the
injector equipment. This means that the addition of lubricant
enhancing additives by the fuel producers is absolutely essential if
our customers are to be protected against long>term damage.
[I use USA fuel which is reportedly a lower standard fuel.]
EN 590 regulates this through specifications in the "HFRR test"
("High Frequency Reciprocating Rig Test"), in which a ball is put
into forced oscillation under load on a plate, whereby the diesel
fuel to be tested serves as lubricating medium. This test is in
existence both as a CEC specification (CEC F>06>A96) and an ISO
testing technique (ISO 12156>1). The maximum permissible limit
value for the lubricity in the HFRR test has been defined in EN 590
at 460 μm at 60 ∞C.
Although the method is largely accepted in the industry, point of
criticisms regarding precision and meaningfulness (i.e. correlation
with practice) of the test still exist.

Low>temperature behavior

The hydrocarbon compounds generally looked on favorably for
operation in diesel engines have a big disadvantage; they are not
resistant to cold, i.e. even at a few degrees below zero, they form
paraffins in the form of crystals. These paraffin crystals, that
"coalesce", plug up the fuel filter, fuel lines and injection system
and as a result they render operation impossible. Indeed although
it is frequently possible to start the engine, it soon comes to a
standstill. This does not damage the engine, and once the fuel has
warmed up the fuel regains its flowability. From a measuring
technique point of view attempts have been undertaken to solve
the problem with the so>called cloud point, the pour point and
the cold filter plugging point (CFPP).

Depending upon the method of fuel production and the vehicle
configuration it was possible in practice to transfer these
parameters more or less successfully. Today the "filterability limit
value" is generally given in terms of the "Cold Filter Plugging
Point" (EN 116). In this method, abbreviated to CFPP, the lowest
temperature is calculated at which a given fuel quantity flows
through a specified filter within a definite period of time.
According to the standard this limit value lies below 0 ∞C in
summer, and it lies below >20 ∞C in winter. During the transitional
period a max. of >10 ∞C is permitted. Even when normally a
provision of at least 3 ∞C is also given, it is obvious that when the
temperatures drop, difficulties cannot be ruled out. One can
improve the low>temperature resistance of diesel by adding
petroleum (kerosene) in good time.

Apart from a certain drop in performance this has no negative
effect on the engine, as long as the given maximum values are not
exceeded. With regard to such blends however, organizational
problems remain to be resolved, apart from that there are
customs law and safety technicality regulations that must be
adhered to. The admixture not only has a positive influence on
the low>temperature behavior, but also exerts a negative
influence on viscosity, the flash point, density and the cetane
number. There have been flowability improvers on the market for
some time now in the form of special additives. If one reads the
manufacturer's specifications, then it is apparent that such
additives can indeed be of use. Unfortunately, they do not have
the same desired affect on every kind of fuel (see to Sheet 137.0).
Now that there are several suppliers who offer diesel fuel with a
guaranteed low>temperature resistance, it is advisable to use such
fuels only. See Sheets 137.0 and 137.1

Edit: MB BEVO acknowledges that microorganisms can be a problem. Interestingly they only list one product in MB 138.1 which is GrotaMar 71. I know for a fact that there are many microbiocides (algaecides or algicides?) which are used in boat diesel fuel tanks that many people use successfully and recommend. I suspect that the same applies to antigels.

I feel the Gospel according to BEVO contradicts itself in these two separate sections. It's of no real consequence, I just enjoy pointing such things out.

According to the standard this limit value lies below 0 ∞C in
summer, and it lies below >20 ∞C in winter. During the transitional
period a max. of >10 ∞C is permitted. Even when normally a
provision of at least 3 ∞C is also given, it is obvious that when the
temperatures drop, difficulties cannot be ruled out. One can
improve the low>temperature resistance of diesel by adding
petroleum (kerosene) in good time.

1 Remedies when fuel is not sufficiently
resistant to low temperature
1.1 Admixture of kerosene, aviation
turbine fuel, gasoline in diesel fuel
On all Mercedes-Benz commercial
vehicles, passenger cars and vans,
the addition of kerosene or aviation
turbine fuel to improve the cold
resistance is no longer allowed

due to possible negative effects on
the injection system due to
insufficient lubricity.
The use of gasoline is prohibited due
to fuel lubricity deterioration and
safety reasons (reduced flash point).


Gotta love oil threads. vic
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Well-known member
DRBIII, DAD and some other acronyms which may come up

There is now another dedicated/copied thread which has some additional information.

What specifically does DAD stand for? Not my Dad, cause he's of no use here....
The DAD is Doktor A Diagnostics

It is a fleet purchased aftermarket scan tool which Doktor A supplied at a great low price until the supply dried up. If memory serves it is related to the Carsoft technology. It accesses via K-line communication and will work on 2001 - 2006 (NAFTA) T1N Sprinters. It may also work on Euro models. I'm 100% certain that it will not work on any NCV3 models (CAN bus accessed).

Oh yeah, DRB too....

Dirty Rotten Bastard?

^^^ that's what it means according to
If you can believe this...

"It is the Chrysler(Dodge) factory scan tool. It stands for Diagnostic Readout Box (model 3?). The DRB III was/is used for vehicles up till the 2006 model year." The DRBIII and Sprinters up to MY 2006 use K-line for scan tool/module communication.

Actually the 2006 reference is incorrect. Many post 2006 Dodge/Chrysler vehicles (non-CAN bus access) still use the DRBIII tool.

Newer generation CAN bus vehicles respond to the StarScan, Wi-Tech or StarMobile tool. I know that the 2007 Sprinters can use those tools. I don't believe later model Sprinters than 2007 do. (Where is Jon Caples when you need him??)

These are all the Same Picture of an Engine on the Dash Warning Light

Names are interchangeable: MIL Malfunction Indicator Light, CEL Check Engine Light, ECU Engine Control Unit as in this page from the manual. (common name used across the pond)



Some other acronyms you'll likely run into.




Edit: It has been reported that a Mercedes Benz dealership may also call the main engine computer the CDI module Common rail Direct Injection. DFI is Digital Fuel Injection.

More here:

ASSYST Active Service System (maintenance monitor)
FB #1 = Fuse Box #1 under the steering column.
FB #2 = under driver seat.
FB #3 = Who knows? Possibly included in FB #2?

ABS – Anti-Lock Brakes
ABRS – Air Bag Restraint System
AIS – Air Injection System
Alt. – Alternator
A/T – Automatic Transmission
ATC – Automatic Temperature Control
ATF – Automatic Transmission Fluid
AWD – All Wheel Drive
AXOD – Automatic Transaxle Overdrive
B+ – Battery Positive Voltage
BCM – Body Control Module
BHP – Brake Horsepower
BOO – Brake On-Off Switch
BTU – British Thermal Unit
CAT – Catalytic Converter
CCC – Computer Command Control
CDI – Capacitor Discharge Ignition
CEL - Check Engine Light (aka MIL or ECU)
CRD - Common Rail Diesel (Jeep Liberty)
CTS – Coolant Temperature Sensor
DEFI – Digital Electronic Fuel Injection
DFI – Digital Fuel Injection
DIC – Driver Information Center
DIS – Distributorless Ignition System
DLC – Data Link Connector
DTC - Diagnostic Trouble Code
ECM - Engine Control Module aka Electronic Control Module
ECT – Engine Coolant Temperature
ECU - Electronic Control Unit aka Engine Control Unit
EFI – Electronic Fuel Injection
EI – Electronic Ignition
EVIC- Electronic Vehicle Information Center
FI – Fuel Injection
FLS – Fluid Level Sensor
FWD – Front-Wheel Drive
GDI – Gasoline Direct Injection
GPM – Grams Per Mile
GPS – Global Positioning System
GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight
HC – Hydrocarbons
H/D – Heavy Duty
HLDT – Headlight
hp – Horsepower
HP – High Performance
Hz – Hertz(Cycles Per Second)
IFI – Indirect Fuel Injection
Inj. – Injector
IP – Instrument Panel
IC - Instrument Cluster
IC - Integrated Circuit
KAPWR – Keep Alive Power
KM/H – Kilometers Per Hour
kV – Kilovolt
LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
L/D – Light Duty
LED – Light Emitting Diode
LWB - Long Wheel-Base
mA – Milliamps
MFI - Multiport Fuel Injection
MIL – Malfunction Indicator Light
MPI – Multi-Point (Fuel) Injection
MPV – Multi-Purpose Vehicle
mV – Millivolts
NOX – Oxides of Nitrogen
O2S – Oxygen Sensor
OBD – On-board Diagnostics
OCI - Oil Change Interval
OD – Overdrive
OE – Original Equipment
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
O/S – Oversize
OS – Oxygen Sensor
P/B - Power Bakes
P/N – Part Number
PA – Pressure Air
PAS – Power-Assisted Steering
PCM – Powertrain Control Module
PGM-FI – Programmed Fuel Injection
PNP – Park Neutral Position Switch
P/N – Park/Neutral
PPM – Parts Per Million
PRNDL – Park Reverse Neutral Drive Low
P/S – Power Steering
PSI – Pounds Per Square Inch
PSP – Power Steering Pressure
PTC – Pending Trouble Code
PTO – Power Take-Off
PWR – Power to Weight Ratio
R&R - Remove and Re-install
R/A - Resume or Accelerate
RABS - Rear Anti-lock Brake System
RAC – Remote Accessory Controller
RAM – Remote Anti-theft Module
RAV – Remote Activation Verification
RCC – Rear Climate Control
RCC – Remote Climate Control
RCDLR – Remote Control Door Lock Receiver
RDCM – Right Door Control Module
RDM – Rear Door Module
RDS - Radio Display System
RECAL – Recalibration
RECIRC - Recirculation
RECIS – Remote Entry Control and Immobilizer System
RESC - Remote Emergency Satellite Unit
REX – Rear Exchanger
RF – Radio Frequency
RF – Right Front
RFA – Remote Function Actuator
RFI - Radio Frequency Interference
RFWS – Right Front Wheel Speed
RIM - Radio Interface Module
RIM – Rear Integration Module
RKE – Remote Keyless Entry
Rly – Relay
RM - Relay Module
RMD - Right Mid Door
RPA – Rear Parking Assist
RPM – Remote Power Module
RPM – Revolutions Per Minute
RPO – Regular Production Option
R & R – Remove and Replace
RR – Right Rear
RRD – Right Rear Door
RSA – Rear Seat Audio
RSC – Roll Stability Control
RSS – Reverse Sensing System
RSS – Road Sensing Suspension
R/T – Road/Track
RV – Recreational Vehicle
RVAC – Rear Video/Audi/HVAC Module
RWAL – Rear Wheel Anti-lock
RWD – Rear Wheel Drive
RWS – Rear Wheel Steer
SC – Supercharged
SEFI – Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection
SES – Service Engine Soon
SFI – Sequential Fuel Injection
SIL – Shift Indicator Light
SIR – Supplemental Inflatable Restraint
SIPS – Side Impact Protection System
SPFI - Sequential Port Fuel Injection
SRI – Service Reminder Indicator
SRS – Secondary Restraint System
SS – Speed Sensor
Sw. – Switch
SWB – Short Wheel-Base
TACH – Tachometer
TB – Throttle Body
TC- Turbocharged
TD – Turbo Diesel
TDI – Turbo Direct Injection
TPI – Tuned Port Injection
V – Valve
Vac. – Vacuum
VAPS – Variable Assist Power Steering
VIN - Vehicle Identification Number
VOM – Volt-Ohmmeter
VSS - Vehicle Speed Sensor

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Well-known member
Here is a list of MB dash icons. The pictures and basic info are very worthwhile. In some cases the suggested operator response is legal and dealership speak.
Info from DesertAdventures. :thumbup:

Edit: It appears that the list and explanations have been shortened? That is too bad. There was some nice information there. Look for the Dashboard Warning Lights link on the left. There are also a few videos listed.

Note that a red dash icon indicates a more important issue to seek service. That is as opposed to the yellow color icons.
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Well-known member
When the air conditioning is off the dash indicator light is on.
Good tip. I believe that applies to [earlier] NCV3 models, not T1N. at some time the NCV3 A/C changed back to a more conventional light on with A/C on design. vic
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Some General Information for Owners New to Sprinters

Truck Fuel Nozzles - If you need to use a diesel large spout high volume nozzle (I avoid them whenever possible) be certain to use it on a low flow setting. When used fully open the fuel can pressure lock and blow off your fuel tank vent components before the handle auto shutoff can react to stop flow.
What exactly are Large Spout High Volume Nozzles? I live in maryland, and i have driven from here up to MASS and back and haven't found any diesel stations (including rest stops and diesel stations for big trucks) with abnormally large pumps. Sure, some flow a lot faster than others but i haven't encountered what you are talking about (or maybe i have and just don't know it)


Well-known member
... (or maybe i have and just don't know it)
Maybe you have only used the pumps in the front service islands? Those nozzles are larger than a gasoline nozzle for rejection for a petrol tank fill port, but still smaller than the pumps the large diesel trucks like to use.

The larger nozzles are often where you see two pumps, one on either side of the aisle, where both pumps tally up on one readout. That allows the big trucks to fill both saddle tanks at the same time. Their big tanks have large fill ports and can take full volume without any problem. Those nozzles are large enough that one just fits into my T1N fill port. It is the volume of those nozzles which can blow off your vent components.

If you are out in the front clean area pumps then you don't generally see the largest nozzles. You need to be in the "second class citizen" (as my wife dubbed them) back area pumps. No credit card swipe. No easy access. Go in the back door to pay. That kinda place. vic


I'll keep looking out. I've noticed diesel pumps generally have thicker spouts than gas but i'm not sure if I've encountered one that perfectly fit in the sprinter.


Well-known member
Go to a large high volume truck stop (Pilot;Flying J;, Love's; TA).
Instead of going to the pumps out in front, or to the RV island, just follow the big trucks to the back of the lot.
Get in line with the big 18 wheelers (or often there's a straight truck island closest to the fuel counter or on the other end.
Be sure to enter the islands in the same direction as the big trucks.
(Actually this is a "good to know" protocol at ALL fuel stops).
If you go around the back of the islands and come in from the store side, many people waiting for fuel will get pretty upset.
They are waiting for the diesel pumps and may have been in line a while. You run around back and jump on the pump they've
been waiting to pull up to and you can incur a lot of wrath.
A few of the Flying J's (in Florida) have huge arrows painted on the pavement pointing toward the store. That is the only way it's
prudent to pull up to the pumps. When the fight breaks out, since you drove to the back and jumped on someone else's pump they've been patiently waiting for, the folks in the office will come out and ask you if your are blind, illiterate, or just plain inconsiderate. The big yellow arrow is going to be larger than your vehicle. How could you not have gotten the message?
You won't get much sympathy, that's for sure.
Anyway, the big truck pumps do indeed have larger nozzles that will just barely fit in a T1N fuel filler.
The NCV3's are a little larger, but you still need to flow the fuel at a rate the filler can handle.
The big truck pumps can push 5-10 gallons per minute. That may be enough to cause pressure to build up
in your fuel tank or filler neck.

Be really careful if you use the fast-delivery pumps at the 18-wheeler islands. 30 years ago I used one to fill my Toyota Diesel pick-up, not knowing what was in store. Result: my tank filled up in about a minute-and-a-half and the resulting geyser of fuel oil drenched me from head to toe. :yell: I wrung Diesel out of my shirt, and smelled of it for a week. Luckily, I didn't damage any fuel system components, but I can easily see where the pressure build-up could do so, since the typical fuel tank venting system in a car or light truck isn't designed for that kind of fill rate. Don't just lock the nozzle and wait; fill the tank at a reduced rate, or be prepared to use the truck stop's shower facilities....
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Well-known member
NCV3 fuel level display is calculated by monitored consumption not just the fuel level sensor
(This may apply to T1N's too?)

Thanks goes to Boxster1971. :thumbup:

I just discovered a little fact about how the fuel gauge works on my 2012 Sprinter. I suspect this is true of all NCV3 Sprinters. According to the option code description of Sprinter NA – J51 Fuel level display adjusted for additional fuel requirements, this is how the fuel level display works:

“In the standard specification, the fuel level display in the instrument cluster is controlled solely by the fuel consumption as calculated by the onboard computer. The level is only reconciled with the fuel level sensor in the tank and corrected when a refuelling operation is detected. With this code, the fuel level display in the instrument cluster is reprogrammed so that it is solely controlled by the fuel level sensor in the tank, and shows the approximate amount of fuel remaining in the tank.”

As always the original thread/post can be accessed by clciking the blue arrow icon within any quote box.

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Well-known member
DIY Scan Tools

Thanks to everyone for the input. Always interesting. :thumbup:
20141009 edit: There is a recent reasonably priced scan tool which shows great promise.

MaxiDiag® Elite MD802 Scan Tool $300.00

Another relatively inexpensive possibility. The Foxwell products are presently being reviewed. You should probably watch that thread as it unfolds. I would trust Colorado Al to supply reliable and detailed information.

Not cheap at about $10,000 a platform but well worth the money.
The best tool I have ever used and it gives me dealer level diagnostics capability.

One of the sales captions I read was, quote As an Independent I was jerked about for 18 months by dealer chains who didn't know what they were doing--then I bought Autologic"
Makes sense if you are fixing vehicles for profit.
Hope this has helped and best of luck wishes

So let me attempt to distill this thread discussion down to what most of these threads end up.

There is no cheap dealership level Sprinter scan tool. You need to spend multi thousands of dollars to get near dealership level performance. This is especially true for the 2007 and up NCV3 model Sprinters.

I'm not 100% certain for capability or price for this. - There are some Star clones (China) which may work on NCV3's for lower price, but still not cheap.

For DIY work on T1N's the DAD and other similar scan tools will keep the price point under $1000.00. They will not do everything that a dealership tool will do, but will likely do what is needed to keep you out of a shop.

Please correct any inaccuracies which I may have included here.

As always, clicking the blue arrow icon within any quote box will take you to the original post/thread.

Dennis added some comments. I always appreciate his input. :thumbup:

I will insert some comments.

So let me attempt to distill this thread discussion down to what most of these threads end up.

There is no cheap dealership level Sprinter scan tool.
Yes absolutely this must be understood, but you can get close as you have mentioned using something like a Maxidas. Pretty good for DIY and entry level mechs. In fact we use one for Toyota Prius repairs, on the whole it is very good for the money starting at $900.

You need to spend multi thousands of dollars to get near dealership level performance. This is especially true for the 2007 and up NCV3 model Sprinters.
Yes true!
The Maxidas will access late model 906's (NCV3's) but will stall on the DEF and AdBlue systems simply because MB has locked out access. Its also a bit sketchy on A/C systems as well. This also applies to ALL Snappy scan tools!
The Maxidas does the same for a lot less money --BUT no occiloscope which is the 50% other side of successful repairs which the Verus Pro has of course.

I'm not 100% certain for capability or price for this. - There are some Star clones (China) which may work on NCV3's for lower price, but still not cheap.

For DIY work on T1N's the DAD and other similar scan tools will keep the price point under $1000.00. They will not do everything that a dealership tool will do, but will likely do what is needed to keep you out of a shop.
Correct you can get the older version of Maxidas for about $900, but it has some limitations on older TIN's though.

Please correct any inaccuracies which I may have included here.

I will add that buying direct from China has it's draw backs and often stuff doesn't work properly or is short of info.
Dealing with China has its challenges due to language difficulties and I could elaborate on that if anyone wants to know!

Cheers Dennis

The scan tool which Dennis Lindenengineering mentioned for T1N (VA, VB) and NCV3 (906) Sprinters. This is information from a quick Google search. I have no personal experience to evaluate the accuracy of anything they indicate.

Autel MaxiDAS DS708 Scanner

$980.00 at time of posting.

I recommend a bit of research for any on-line update charge. I read 1st year free, $500/year after that. I was skimming so I could be wrong. That said, updates for someone working DIY on older models are probably of little/less value than to a professional.

Autel MaxiDAS DS708 Forum

Misc. - There is a Benz Sprinter section. I needed to double-click my browser back arrow for response on the site.
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Well-known member
Dash Warning Lamp Color Code

During lamp check today I noticed that there is an indication of urgency shown by the color of the T1N dash warning indicator lamps. If the problem is critical and deserves fairly immediate attention the dash warning indicator is colored red. The problems which are a bit less urgent (Eg. - MIL aka CEL) are colored yellow. Awareness of this color coding scheme may help keep owners from serious panic attack when a yellow dash light comes on.

I don't know why it took so long for me to notice this one. After all I've only owned my T1N Sprinter for over 6 years now. :bash:



Well-known member
EGR Valves

The earlier model NAS aka NAFTA T1N 2001 - 2003 OM612 5 cylinder engines have a style of EGR valve which responds well to periodic cleaning. Some owners suggest cleaning at every oil change or maybe every 20,000 miles. Without periodic cleaning the valves may cause engine operating issues.

The NAS aka NAFTA T1N 2004 - 2006 OM647 5 cylinder engines were fitted with a different design EGR valve. Initially the 2004 EGR valves had some problems, but over time the OM647 EGR valves have proven to be fairly reliable. The EGR control scheme includes an operation "cleaning" cycle of the valve after every engine shutdown. The newer design has made periodic cleaning of the OM647 EGR valve unnecessary unless symptoms appear.

The newer NAS aka NAFTA 2007 and newer NCV3 OM642 engines also have an EGR which seems to not need periodic cleaning. That said, there is some history of EGR valve (system?) problems causing operation issues. Sometimes the problem doesn't trigger any EGR related DTC's Diagnostic Trouble Codes.

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Well-known member

Thanks goes to Lindenengineering Dennis. :thumbup:

Please don't let this happen to you!

Basically a 2006 TIN owner and family driving their motor home and trailer rig to the Denver area.
Somewhere en route in Wyoming, metal road debris flew out from under a semi and tore through the side wall of his rear tire, mounted on a factory alum wheel.

Apart for the pucker factor to keep it straight and upright and stop at about 70mph (OMG)
He got the thing to the side of the road!
OK--now fit the spare--a steel wheel!!!

Forgetting the wheel bolts are LONGER for Alum wheel he bolts up the spare--then carries on!!
Well for a few feet!

In short, (excuse the pun!) the longer wheel bolts tore up the parking brake shoes, hardware, park brake cable, ABS tone ring, axle bearing carrier and ABS sensor. A right bloody mess.

Poor fellow limped it into our shop yesterday.
I managed to get enough stuff to fix it, the local Dodge dealer had some parts, and I had I did, the rest on the shelf. (luckily)
The Dodge parts guys asked if I had tried the local Benz dealers---Big chuckle--I stated they aren't even open on a Saturday gimme a break!:laughing::thumbdown:
I should go work for them said Mitch the parts guy!

Anyway a few hours later they were motoring away "All ship shape and Bristol Fashion" but short of some holiday money. Tires for starters aren't cheap in commercial 10ply that was $420 before we got going! And he had just replaced them all round.

Anyway bon voyage and lets hope he has no more incidences going back home.
Don't forget you need shorter wheel bolts with "steelies"
This just occurred to me. Nobody knows who might be changing the tire. Just knowing about this problem may not be enough.

Those who have alloy wheels and long lug bolts would be wise to include a large print warning about the bolts in with jack tools. Even better would be to cable tie a weatherproof warning to the spare tire wheel. I would thread the cable tie right through one of the lug holes. One would hope that roadside assistance would know about the difference, but it would be best not left to chance.

The spare is accessible enough that a laminated yellow or red note can be added without dropping the spare out of the holder.

:cheers: vic
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Well-known member
Brake pedal feel comes up occasionally on the forum.

Here's some info. Thanks goes to Doktor A Andy. :thumbup:

I receive a lot of mail and phone calls on the subject of ('02-'06) Sprinter brake pedal feel, especially a perceived "abnormal sinking pedal".

Many first time Sprinter owners or those who drive other vehicles (more often than their Sprinters) are alarmed by a brake pedal feel that they are convinced is abnormal.

Here's how to tell if your Sprinter brake pedal action is "normal" OR in need of immediate service attention:

Engine running, push lightly on the brake pedal. Mushy and sinking seemingly endlessly toward floor? This may be NORMAL.

Engage Park and handbrake. Shut off the engine and then step on brake pedal 4 or 5 times. This releases the vacuum from the booster servo and reservoir-you should hear a loud hiss when pressing pedal each time until the vacuum is expended.

Engine still OFF, ALL vacuum expended, now step on brake pedal and exert a steady force. Pedal should move a relatively short distance (compared to before) and stop hard without further sinking- REGARDLESS of how long you exert foot pressure. This is the TRUE test of the brake master cylinder. If pedal slowly sinks to floor during this test- you have a problem.

Now step on pedal again and exert steady pressure while starting engine. With engine now running- the pedal should begin sinking steadily toward floor. This is NORMAL and indicates the engine's vacuum pump and the brake servo are working properly.

Take foot off the brake pedal and run the engine for a few seconds at 1500 rpm to build vacuum. Go back to idle speed, step on the brake pedal slowly-see the difference and the much greater sink distance compared to engine "off" and vacuum released?

Still convinced it's excessive pedal travel? Try this test-Engine running, move Sprinter to a downward sloping driveway, place in neutral and SLOWLY creep down hill. Gently apply brake pedal pressure and note how little pedal travel is needed to stop and hold the vehicle-now push harder-see how much pedal travel remains?

This long, soft, pedal travel is a normal characteristic of the Sprinters vacuum booster design when engine is running. Doktor A

On some post someone suggested take the Sprinter out to a lonesome road, check the rearview mirror on a long straight, make sure there is nothing in the van to come forward and hit you from behind. Slam on the brakes hard and after you regain your breath you will be more comfortable with the Sprinter's braking. I tried it. I was really surprised. I was one that was so uncomfortable with the brakes that on my second day of ownership, '07 with 269K miles, that I stopped at the first M-B dealer and had the fluid replaced and brakes bled. Helped only a little, I was thinking of a whole new brake refitting but cancelled it after my brake test.
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