Sprintshift problem(s)-2001 313CDI


New member
Hi all, I`ve got this high-mileage (480k kms) Sprinter, a former taxi, and the problems with the Sprintshift is doing no good at all with neither patience, confidence or wallet!

The gearbox itself was only a year old when I bought the vehicle, the clutch and flywheel a year older. I drove the car for about 6 minths, and the slavecylinder went. The prices here in Norway led me to buy a complete DMF/Flywheel/Slave-kit from "Parts2clear" in the UK (which in turn had the slowest response-time and poorest customer service I`ve ever encountered. Due to them first sending me a kit for a manual, and taking weeks to respond to any emails, it took almost 7 weeks before I had the complete, correct kit!). As the DMF/Clutch was fairly new-ish, I only changed the slavecylinder at this stage, and the car worked well(-ish) for about 3 months, then the pump went. This was replaced, and after about 10kms, the slavecylinder blew again! The late responding dealer was contacted, but after being told I had to ship back the slave, they would send it to the factory and have it checked out, I decided I could not wait for this, and I didn`t want to shell out another £1000 for a new slave. So I dismantled the slave, and found the rubber-seal had torn, no surprises there. I then contacted my local Freudenberg seal-maker, and they made me a batch of 4 seals with a slighly heavier grade of rubber. This time I changed the DMF and clutch as well, as the one installed had shown a tendency of slipping whilst under heavy load in high gear, due to the fact the oil from the failing slave (the first failure...) having contaminated the cluth frictionplate. When duly installed, the pump wouldn`t run, but this was traced to poor connections on the pump relay, and once cleaned it worked as it should. As seemed the accumulator, allowing about 3 shifts before the pump set in again.

The only issue now was a rather (very, that is) abrubt take-up of the clutch, as it had to be re-taught the bite-point. I`m lucky enough to have a cousin working at my local MB-shop, so yesterday we`d scheduled a Star diagnosis. The programming went on, but with little improvement. He then set up the last program, which basically called for a testdrive with the Star connected, but this obviously did some more adjustment before actually driving, because when we set off, it was like a brand new car! It worked better than it ever had before in my possesion; smooth take-up, changed smoothly up or down, it was simply a joy driving it! For a while....

I dismissed my dear cousin and took off, only to be back after 2 minutes. By foot... The Sprinter reached 2. gear and stayed there, "2" coming up in the display as opposed to "A" where it should`ve been. Immediately before coming to a full stop, it went into "N" and stayed there. I could hear the pump wasn`t running, so checked the fuse, and it was blown. Replaced it, and it immediately blew again, within 2 seconds. So, back to my cousin and have the thing towed back to the workshop. Took out the relay, and the fuse stayed intact. Disconnected the pump, put the relay back in, same result; fuse stayed intact. Ran a new scan, and all it could tell us was that the pump was disconnected. We already knew that...

I then crawled under the car, and while my cousin installed yet a new fuse, I could hear the pump turning, but only just. It was almost "ticking" as opposed to the regular whine it produces at full speed, and sure eough, after a second or two, the fuse blew again. I then disconnected the feed-hose to the pump, and a fine stream of MB`s finest (read: most expensive) fluid poured out. Connected it again, and disconnected the high-pressure tube from the pump at the solenoid. It was bone dry, not the slightest hint of a drop! We then put a new fuse in when it was disconnected, and sure enough; the pump "whined" a spat out another few fl.ounces in a blink. It was then so late, and I started feeling bad for keeping my cousin there for so long, so the vehicle was pushed outdoors and left there for now.

Now, if any of you have endured reading through this elongated ranting, I would be very very grateful for any and all input/suggestions! It`s doing my head in this Sprintshift...

Thanks in advance!


Eric Experience

Well-known member
I am not a sprintshift expert but as I understand the system there should be a pressure switch that tells the pump to stop when it has reached the operating pressure. Either this switch is broken or the relay contacts are welded shut. Eric


New member
Thanks Eric, but it was neither! Not surprisingly realley, as it failed to shift due to too low/no pressure, and I could hear the relay trying to "plug in" the pump to no avail. Just got the word from the local dealer (they refused to accept warranty on the pump itself before they could verify it was a goner themselves); they`ve changed the pump, and voila! It now works a charm again. For how long remains to be seen....

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