Sprinter will not start - help!

WWilder

New member
2008 Diesel Sprinter - only 30K miles. Thought battery was bad - replaced it this morning. When you turn the key to start it just clicks - one time. Have also tried jumpers. Any ideas? Thank you Wayne
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder

WWilder

New member
Thanks - I checked the wire from the ignition to the solenoid while attempting to start. Voltage is only about 3 volts momentarily. Any other suggestions? Thanks
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Turn on the headlights and have someone watch them as you try to crank the engine to see if they dim or go out.

Keep in mind that when you turn the key to start your Sprinter you are not putting power directly to the start relay or the solenoid. When you turn the key you are asking the computer to please start the engine as long as it feels everything is OK. Depending upon where you measured for voltage, the 3 volts may not be coming directly from the key switch.

Sorry I can't offer more. vic
 

WWilder

New member
I tested the headlights lights like you said. When initially trying to start - they dim for an instant when I hear the starter or solenoid click. If I try to start again without completely recycling the key they do not dim and I hear no click. Thanks for your ideas.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I tested the headlights lights like you said. When initially trying to start - they dim for an instant when I hear the starter or solenoid click. If I try to start again without completely recycling the key they do not dim and I hear no click. Thanks for your ideas.
There is a lockout feature built into the key turn for start. Once the key is turned from off to start it will not request start again until cycled to off. That is to prevent the operator from grinding the starter gear if the engine is already running.

If you did not turn the key to off then any subsequent start attempts would not be recognized. The lights dimming would indicate that something is causing the voltage to draw down under the load of the starter. There could be many reasons for that. vic
 

Adam12

Member
Assuming that your dash display icons light as normal, the pre glow lights and goes out after a few seconds of turning key on prior to starting. and even using jumper cables you only hear a click. The next step would be to check the solenoid and the starter. Disconnect the battery and check that the connections at your solenoid are tight and clean with no corrosion. Check the connections at the starter that they are also tight and clean ..
If you have a multi meter you can check the solenoid.
You could also pull the starter and bench test it with jumper cables to see if it will spin..
 
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WWilder

New member
Thanks for both replies - will probably pull the starter as suggest in AM. Wayne
 

scubanw3

New member
Check the battery/alternator cable at the starter. The cable comes from the alternator and goes to the starter. At the starter, the cable splits and goes to the engine start battery and another cable runs up to the quick jump start assembly at the air filter assembly. Where the cable splits, we have seen internal (hidden) corrosion at that connection. Corrosion at that connection will lower the voltage and amperage to the starter and act like a bad starter solenoid. This is another version of the corrosion and voltage drop we see in the fuse link of the alternator cable. Hope this helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
 

Amboman

New member
The starter contacts may have a slight arc weld through usage and holding them together
take a nylon or rubber faced hammer and hit the stator area of the starter, starter contacts
these days are just copper the current draw ages them quickly the better ones are silver plated
but that's unlikely in the automotive arena.
 

showkey

Well-known member
I would try swapping the relays position in the drivers fuse box.

There is a diagram on the forum which one is the starter relay...........if the starter relay is not making a good connection no crank will occur.........swapping the relay from another function will prove that relay function. A few have reported relay failures. There are 3 or 4 relays that are the same size and shape in the drivers fuse box.

Sometimes just tapping on the relay or the starter solenoid ( two separate items) will provide a temporary fix and give and indication of the failed part.

One other troubleshooting technique would be testing for voltage drop on the battery cables ( both pos and neg) looking for excessive voltage drop. Unwanted voltage drop is otherwise a poor connection or excessively high resistance. Excessively high resistance in the cables is a known problem referred to earlier and is a corroded green copper mess under the insulation and starts at the cable crimped ends.

You said 3 volts at the solenoid, what is the voltage at the battery and at the starter during the no crank condition?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
The start relay is a special high capacity design with large blades. Unless things have changed from the T1N it is a one of a kind special purpose relay that has no similar relay anywhere in the Sprinter. That said, I'm not familiar with the NCV3 as I don't own one.

Not that anyone asked...

I'd put my efforts into checking the cables before going through starter removal. The starters are generally very reliable. You did indicate 30,000 miles. :2cents: vic
 

showkey

Well-known member
The start relay is a special high capacity design with large blades. Unless things have changed from the T1N it is a one of a kind special purpose relay that has no similar relay anywhere in the Sprinter. That said, I'm not familiar with the NCV3 as I don't own one.

Not that anyone asked...

I'd put my efforts into checking the cables before going through starter removal. The starters are generally very reliable. You did indicate 30,000 miles. :2cents: vic

My recollection is the relays in the drivers fuse box are interchangeable.
 

WWilder

New member
Well this morning I replaced the starter and the battery - still just have a click when I try to start. Any one else have an idea? Thank you so much!
 

showkey

Well-known member
Back to starter relay, cables and connections.........but would advise more testing and less parts replacing until you narrowed the cause.
 

WWilder

New member
Today I replaced the following relays:
No3 grey " for the fuel pump Part No: A0035420219
No5 Yellow " Starter Part No: A0025427419
No6 Grey " ESP? Part No: A0025422619
No7 Grey " Engine control Part No: A0025422619
No8 Grey " T15R? Part No: A0025422619
No change - when I try to start it, there is just one click and that is all. Like the battery is completely dead - only it is fully charged.
 

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