Shifting Problems


New member
First off I just want to say that I'm unbelievably impressed with the knowledge on this forum, and it's already helped me with some repairs as a first time sprinter owner/do it yourself mechanic. I bought a used 03 sprinter 3500, and had to fix a few things, had a shop replace rotted out brake lines and replaced rotted tranny oil pan as well. At this point it had about 119k on it (not sure if 80k maintenance was done) but i had the full maintenance done. Now after new fluid and getting back on the road, I'm getting a pretty rough shifting more often than not in the 20-30mph range! Sometimes it shifted smoother when pedal down harder... but it just seems to bang into the gear... no smooth shift! I thought maybe they didn't put enough fluid back in... but i'm kinda lost. Any insight?



03 2500 158wb HR
Do You have a transmission dipstick? That would be the first thing to check then what fluid they put in it, it would really help to get it scanned for codes.


New member
My 2004's shifting got more irregular after the 80K service as well. You probably don't have a dipstick, so checking the level isn't an option. You can buy one though.
There is a modification to the transmission that can help, unfortunately, it requires dropping the pan again. I'm annoyed with myself for not getting it done last year. You might want to do a search on "rumble strip" and read a bit.


Find out what kind of tranny fluid was used, because the wrong fluid may cause rough shifting. A dipstick costs ~$50, but it's worthwhile to be able to check the level yourself.


New member
that's def going to be my next purchase...the dipstick. i'll call and ask my mechanic what he used... he did show me the quart (said it was expensive) and it did specifically say 'sprinter transmission fluid' on it... is it the same for the older/newer models?


Old Dude
I've got an 08 3500 diesel and am having shifting problems also. It's started SOMETIMES shifting late and most of the time 1st and 2nd gear don't want to fully engage until the rpm is above 2200, the they bite good and solid. I just changed the filter and it appears to be worse now.
Any ideas??


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