Stoopid things I shoulds known!!

sailquik

Well-known member
Hi AquaPuttana,
Remember, if you are trying to get up an icy incline, the "traction control" can actually get in your way, and prevent you from making it
up that icy slope at very slow speeds.
I think I saw something about this last winter, but new owners need to be reminded that the Sprinter version of "traction control"
(the Acceleration Skid Control or ASR) uses the brakes to control wheel slip.
So, if you are trying to get up that slippery slope, the ASR can often get in your way as it's applying the brake on the rear wheel (s) that
is/are slipping and if you lose all traction, on a really icy patch, it will lock up both rear wheels, and you won't go anywhere.
The ESP (Electronic Stability Program) may also "kick in" if the back wheels are spinning and the fronts are not.
If you are having trouble getting up an icy incline, it may be better to disengage the ASR.
Then at least you won't have the drive train fighting the brakes for traction via the ASR/ESP.
As suggested in the other posts, once you get going faster than say 15 mph, even in icy conditions, you are much better off with the ASR/ESP
engaged.
The situation I'm describing here is trying to get up your icy driveway or an icy road out in a field with a rise in the middle
where the power lines run.
We often try to get up these "slippery slopes" and when we don't make it we back off and try again with a little more speed.
That's when the ASR can shut you down, so it might be better to disengage it before your next attempt.
Roger
 
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rlent

New member
I had an exciting experience about a month ago - was running I-94 east out of Benton Harbor, MI over to the Detroit metro area. I was west of Kalamazoo and the temps had been around 30 degrees over near Lake Michigan. As I moved further into the interior of Michigan the temperature plunged, dropping to around 12 degrees near Paw Paw. I had the cruise control set (bad idea in the winter) and was running about 55 mph - the roads had been plowed ...... but there was still little patches of snow here and there.

I started up a slight grade and when I got to the top there was a bridge ...... I entered the bridge in the granny lane going straight .... and I exited the bridge partially sideways at 55 mph, with my front wheels over in the hammer lane. It was a ..... ahhh ........ memorable ...... event.

In terms of trying to recover from the event I did very, very little .... last thing ya really wanna do on ice is have a knee-jerk reaction and over-correct ..... I gave the wheel just a tad of steer to the right was all ..... almost nothing really - and certainly not enough to fully correct ..... and the Sprinter straightened right out and headed forward rather than sideways.

I attribute this to the whole alphabet-soup thing (ASR, ESP, etc) that the Sprinter has going on - despite whatever other shortcomings the vehicle may have (and there are a few), this is an extremely well designed and engineered piece of technology - I could have easily bought the farm that night. It literally saved my life.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
sailquik, rlent,
Thanks for the additional input. I believe in the technology completely also, it's just a bit startling if you've never heard it.

I tried the ASR button off today. It seems it won't let you keep it off above a certain speed (around 35 mph). The "triangle !" light stays on to remind you while it is disengaged at the slower speeds. I suppose it would tell me all that if I studied the manual. I guess I live by applying the motto, "When all else fails, read the instructions." vic
 
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cedarsanctum

re: Member
What i have loved about the 'alphabet soup' thing is as i get older and my reactions get slower, my vehicle's reactions are getting faster.
Hopefully there's a balance. I have really appreciated our '02' Honda with all these bells and whistles, it has 'saved my life', or at least my dignity, a few times.
Playing in a slick parking lot is great advice. Testing the limits in the worst conditions helps with knowing what you can do in better conditions.
Jef
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Filling with large truck fuel nozzles.

A caution for those that may not have heard about this. There was a post quite a while ago that warned about only using the slowest flow setting if you fill with the large truck nozzle. It seems it isn't uncommon to blow off vent components on the Sprinter fuel tank at the high flow rate. Before you or the auto shutoff can react to the tank being full high enough pressure can build up in the tank to cause problems.

Always use the smaller pump handle if there is a choice. (Make certain it's diesel.)

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1940

Hope this does some good. vic
 
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maxextz

Rollin Rollin Rollin.....
i was parked after rain half way on a grassy verge"front and back wheels on passenger side on grass" and i had a bit of a job getting off it:thumbdown: i switched off the asr and the road wheels would not move because the other ones had no grip:crazy: so i had to reverse off and on to the road otherwise i would have been stuck, i dont like the asr or any other fancy computer stuff making decisions for me because they dont work in my opinion:wtf:.
 

stp57

Member
Another tricky thing that escaped me for a year is the a/c recycle control. To use this feature you need to depress the climate control knob & a little red light comes on in the middle of the knob to let you know that the air is being recycled in the van. This feature only lasts 15 minutes & then you will have to depress the knob all over again. Supposedly, this 15 minute feature is to prevent the driver from getting too sleepy while breathing old air?
Steve
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
//snip//
i don't like the asr or any other fancy computer stuff making decisions for me because they don't work in my opinion:wtf:.
maxextz,
Thanks for the input here. I don't agree that computer control doesn't work. I think it's very valuable to help recover from problems at higher speeds, but sometimes the computer controls can be a pain at low speeds as you describe.

When we were down in the Florida Keys my 2004 sat for long enough that when I hit the brakes I could hear the pads scraping rust off the rotors. A vehicle doesn't need too sit very long in that humidity for it to happen. Normally what I do to help the rust go away is to keep my speed up and lightly ride the brakes a few times to knock off the rust faster. I do this because I'm of the mind that the noise and light rust is probably not a problem, unless you need to use the brakes hard at which time it could be an issue. I feel under heavy braking the rust can reduce efficiency and possibly encourage scoring the rotors. Because of that I like to get the rust off early on. Anyway, tried that with the Sprinter. Well it turns out the brakes talk to the ECU and every time I hit the brakes the engine speed would drop no matter what the throttle position. So that method is out for my Sprinter.

We got stuck on a cottage country sand road in upper Michigan last summer and had a deuce of a time getting out. That was before I knew to turn the ASR off. I'm convinced that had I disengaged the ASR we would have gotten ourselves out much easier, or not been stuck at all.

I also find that turning off the ASR early when in ice and snow at slower speeds keeps me from getting stuck as easily as might happen with it engaged. The ASR switches back on by itself around 38 mph anyway, so you have it back in control when you get up to speed. vic
 

BaywoodBill

pre-Yuppiedom
Another tricky thing that escaped me for a year is the a/c recycle control. To use this feature you need to depress the climate control knob & a little red light comes on in the middle of the knob to let you know that the air is being recycled in the van. This feature only lasts 15 minutes & then you will have to depress the knob all over again. Supposedly, this 15 minute feature is to prevent the driver from getting too sleepy while breathing old air?
Steve
:lol:

That's funny. I imagine you know that it really is to keep you from breathing carbon monoxide and recycled methane.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
:lol:

That's funny. I imagine you know that it really is to keep you from breathing carbon monoxide and recycled methane.
Recycled methane???? Have you been talking to my wife????? I always blame the dog.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
No Panic Needed for MIL aka CEL Coming ON

Check Engine Light.jpg

I posted some comments about the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) AKA CEL Check Engine Light or ECU Engine Control Unit as it is known across the pond. These are my opinions only, but I think it might help by keeping people from over-reacting to a MIL coming on. It is not a disaster unless accompanied by other lights or symptoms. Again, my opinion only.

The original thread which relates to a less than joyous Sprinter trip:
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6323

The text from my post #4 on the thread.

al albanowski,
I guess I really don't know what to say. It doesn't sound like a great way to tour the good ol' U.S. of A.

I've always said that everyone should somehow figure out a way to drive from coast to coast across the USA. I found that the best pictures I've ever seen weren't able to capture the beauty properly. There were places in the Rocky Mountains and Appalachians that I have literally pulled over just to look longer and I'm not a stop and look longer kinda' guy.

You didn't ask for advice, but there is one thing I've learned from my 2004 2500. Most everything that turns on the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL or Check Engine Light) is nothing that requires immediate attention. I feel I need to repeat this for emphasis: Unless there are other lights that come on at the same time, the MIL is nothing to panic about. If your vehicle is running properly you can take time (measured in days if necessary) to find a shop to check for problems. Most all MIL triggers relate to (possible) emissions system problems. I invite others to please correct me if I'm wrong in this advice.

As an example only.
One thing that is a real nuisance is the 2004 - 2006 OM647 engine Glow Plug Module which senses (or imagines) problems in the glow plug system. In 2004 - 2006 (and newer) models the glow plug monitor system triggers the MIL. I suppose that is because it can relate to emissions.

***
20120625 edit: If you have a DPF Diesel Particulate Filter then the glow plugs are not just used for cold temperature starting. The glow plugs are also used to help increase the combustion temperature for re-generation. So a glow plug MIL is still not a panic situation for a DPF equipped Sprinter, but glow plugs are more critical for year around operation than for pre-DPF engines. The glow plug warning should not be ignored indefinitely. My guess is you're probably OK for hundreds of miles operation, but probably not thousands. (Just an opinion.)
***


Another MIL I have experienced is related to the O2 sensor plausibility. My explanation of that code is it means the signal from the O2 sensor is not what is expected/allowed within the program expectations. The O2 sensor plausibility code may affect fuel economy, but it is not a reason to seek immediate attention.

A scan tool to plug in and read the codes gives you the ability to decide whether to respond immediately or even ignore the MIL signal (as I often do with glow plug codes).
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=205
If the Sprinter is a diesel it is not completely OBDII compliant, but even then a cheap code reader from Harbor Freight should give you basic information and direction.

If you go into Limp Home Mode then that is another situation and my MIL advice does not apply. Hope this does some good. AP
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Sprinter Tires (Tyres) Must All Be The Same Size

Correct type can make a difference for handling

I've noticed a few posts over my time on the forums that relate to installing tires of different sizes on the Sprinter. The latest post I saw indicated that the tire store set the owner up by installing different sizes on the rear vs front. I know that if you have the ESP option, which I'm certain is standard after NAFTA model year 2004, the tire sizes need to be all the same. I think the tire size issue is true for pre-2004 also, but that may be incorrect. The reason the tires need to be the same size is that the computer monitors the wheel speeds and compares them. If even one wheel speed is not within the tolerated range the computer may do things like cut off the cruise control or put you in Limp home Mode (LHM) in response.

Here are a couple related posts:

Cruise control weird works but only a little
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6439

Need some Help Guy's...
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4382

A recent post 2010/03/15 indicates that the cruise control wouldn't work over 45 mph.

cruise control in limp mode
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9092

There was some discussion about having larger tires installed on the 4 wheels which were then too big to fit into the OEM spare tire holder. I couldn't find that post. My opinion based mostly upon mgjessop's experience is that you could run a different size spare if you're willing to limit your speed to something below 60 mph when it's installed. That's an opinion only as I don't have any experience. Hope this does some good. AP

20100415 Edit.
Correct type can make a difference for handling
One discussion thread is here. There are many others if you do a search.
To sway or not to sway
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10779
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Getting out of the T1N driver seat

At 6 ft. tall this one seems to work for me. I've noticed the outside of my driver seat is starting to show wear. Not surprising with 192,000 miles on the clock. I also noticed that I tend to slide out of the seat and kinda bump down to the ground. What I've started doing (most of the time 'cause I forget) is moving both legs over to the side, putting both feet on the foot well pad to stand up and then stepping down onto the ground while holding the driver door handle. Either foot first seems to work. I prefer my right foot first, but that's just me.

This method seems to keep me from sliding on the seat and wearing the fabric out. It also seems a bit better to step down than slide down. Your Mileage May Vary. Hope this does some good. AP
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Finding Sprinter Repair service on the Road

I don't know what the customs are about re-posting information from other Forums so I'll just act like we're all one happy family. First of all thanks to the Yahoo Sprintervan forum and Mike Sokol.

Finding service for my Sprinter while traveling is one of my concerns. Our Sprinters aren't plentiful enough that everyone has parts and is familiar with repairs. Mike Sokol posted some very good suggestions for service on the road.

This is the link:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/sprintervan/message/51603

This is the text:
Remember that all TA Truck stops on the interstate highway are Freightliner garages and can work on Sprinters. Even if they don't have parts on hand, they're pretty sharp truck mechanics. If you carry spare consumables such as oil and fuel filters, a serpentine belt, brake pads, bulbs, etc... along with printouts of basic procedures from the DIY section on this forum, you could get running days in advance of waiting for a flatbed to pick you up and take you to a "Sprinter" dealership.

Also, as I've posted here before, there's a POI (Points of Interest) list of all Sprinter shops across the country separated by Freightliner and Dodge dealerships with phone numbers, addresses, and GPS coordinates. I have them all programmed into my Garmin GPS, so within a few seconds I can easily find the nearest Sprinter shop no matter where I'm in the country. You don't really need a GPS to use it since you it's a basic CSV text file which could be printed out if you like to go manual. This POI file was apparently derived from a list on the Air Stream website last year, so I don't know when an update will show which Dodge dealerships have been deleted in the last recession purge.

JMS
******
Hope this does some good. AP
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
NAFTA Sprinters have a speed limiter.

You may never go fast enough to find this out, but NAFTA Sprinters have an 85 mph speed limit built into the computer controls. To make it even more interesting, you will probably find that it is actually limiting to 82 mph by your GPS because the Sprinters are notorious for reading 3 mph higher on the display as compared to actual speed.

I don't find the limiter a real problem personally, but I can see where it would be irksome to someone regularly using the long straight roads found crossing the middle of the USA.:thumbdown: AP
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Changing an Air Filter on a NAFTA 2004 Sprinter

As vehicles have gotten more and more difficult to work on, one thing that's still really easy and straight-forward is air filter changes. Right?? Well, not if you have a NAFTA T1N OM647 Sprinter. That's one reason this is under Stoopid Things, not in Write-ups. The other reason is that it may be a Stoopid way to do it, but it's my way.

Let me say up front that you can probably get the air filter out and back in without removing stuff. The problem I ran in to was that with the sensor connectors and wire harness I couldn't get down to clean the filter box and I wasn't comfortable that I could seat the new filter properly on the forward seal edge and not unseat it while re-installing the cover.

If you don't have a MAF sensor or the associated wire harnesses then a simpler procedure in this thread will work for you.

Airbox cover removal
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27356

To save you reading this entire post I'll give the short version. Remove the windshield (windscreen) washer bottle, disconnect the outlet hose, remove filter, clean box and open drain as necessary, install filter, re-install hose and washer bottle. Now the details.

You will need:
Air filter #05103554AB (approx. $40.00 dealer?)
10 mm socket w/extension or deepwell style
13 mm open end wrench or adjustable knuckle buster
Flat blade screwdriver
Vacuum cleaner
Old ball cap or a helper
Grease pencil

My method:

Loosen the air box outlet hose worm drive clamp on the right side.

Pull the black washer hose out of the bottle groove. In case yours is not black in color, mine was the front most hose.

Remove the washer pump electrical connector by twisting the top collar on the pump to release the connector. The washer pump can be carefully pulled over a bit for better access for fat fingers like mine.

Remove the 10 mm washer bottle support nut. Pull the bottle away from the stud. (Don't try to remove the bottle yet because the 13 mm extended hex head hood (bonnet) support stud prevents that.)


WasherBottleNut.jpg


Raise the hood to release tension on the 13 mm head stud. Have a helper hold the hood up, hold the hood up with your left hand while removing the stud using your right hand, or rest the hood on your head to free up both your hands if alone. (Remember the ball cap? It keeps your head clean) Remove the 13 mm hex stud. It rusts on the exposed end. You may need to back the bolt in and out to keep it from binding. Once the stud is free carefully slide the stud and two shoulder washers up the support and remove them.


SupportStud.jpg



Set the washers aside. Keep the stud within easy reach.

Remove the washer bottle by pulling it forward to release the back rubber holder. Set the bottle aside.

Re-install the hood support stud without washers. I used 3 turns in. Set the hood support down on the threads to hold the hood. Needless to say, don't do this on a windy day because it is less stable without the shoulder washers. You now have easy access to the air filter.


Bottle Removed.jpg


Unlatch the two air filter cover clips. Pivot the cover up. Release the outlet hose from the cover and set the cover aside. Be careful of the connected wires. Remove the old filter.

Clean and vacuum the filter box to your satisfaction. (My "clean side" of the cover passed the white glove test. The removed filter was doing a great job.) Make certain the lower drain unit at the bottom of the box is not plugged. Clean behind the washer bottle area as necessary.

Install the new air filter.


FilterInstalled.jpg


Make certain the seal gasket is set properly all the way around. If it is not, it is possible to unseat it while re-installing the filter cover. Install the cover by engaging the three slot holders and tipping the cover into place. Re-latch the two cover holding clips.

Re-install the outlet hose and tighten the hose clamp.

Support the hood. Remove the temporarily installed stud.

Grease the stud ends.

Set the washer bottle loosely into place.

Install the two shoulder washers on the stud while positioned in the upper area of the slot. Slide the washers and stud down to thread it in place. Tighten the stud and engage the hood support.

Install the washer bottle into the back rubber holder and install the 10 mm nut.

Re-install the washer bottle electrical connector.

Install the black washer hose back into the groove.

There was no need to remove any of the sensor connectors or wiring.


AirboxConnectorsNotes.jpg


Reset the ASSYST filter minder if necessary (if you even have one). (My ASSYST monitor shows red in the picture because of a filter washing experiment.) Record the date and mileage of your filter change somewhere with the grease pencil.

See, that wasn't so bad was it? Hope this does some good. AP/vic
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Use the Google search option. 2nd place in the drop down

The first forum search option is :turd: I figured I'd use search to find my LHM causes thread to update. When I entered "LHM causes" in the first search box it came back no hits and I know that is in the title. Using the same search words in the Google box took me right to it.

2010/02/07 Edit: I have actually learned that if you don't find all the info you need it is best to try both search engines. Each one will often give different hits which may lead you to what you need.


No reflection on your forum selection Sikwan, but thanks for giving us the Google option.:rad: FWIW. AP/vic
 
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maxextz

Rollin Rollin Rollin.....
Use the Google search option. 2nd place in the drop down

The first forum search option is :turd: I figured I'd use search to find my LHM causes thread to update. When I entered "LHM causes" in the first search box it came back no hits and I know that is in the title. Using the same search words in the Google box took me right to it.

No reflection on your forum selection Sikwan, but thanks for giving us the Google option.:rad: FWIW. AP/vic
:whistle: nice to see some people getting use out of the :turd:smiley :tongue:

max...........:smirk:
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Getting out of the T1N driver seat

At 6 ft. tall this one seems to work for me...This method seems to keep me from sliding on the seat and wearing the fabric out. It also seems a bit better to step down than slide down. Your Mileage May Vary. Hope this does some good. AP
I'm six feet, 180 lbs. After a few hours at the wheel (love that big tank!), my wobbly legs can react a little to that long step down to the ground. Sliding off the seat helps, but it's gonna be bad for the upholstery, as AP says. I grab the vehicle body with my left hand, high up just behind the upper seat belt attachment point and use my arm to help lower myself to the ground. My legs thank me every time. :clapping:
 

Farm Bus

New member
I have read elsewhere on this forum that the passenger-side grab handle (the one above the door, inside) can be simply, easily mounted on the drivers' side. Use the Google seach option and you'll find it quick!

Me, I've always wished that the driver's door didn't open so dang-burn wide, then I could just lean on that during descent.

Oh, I just had a great idea for that useless storage compartment at the bottom of the door: fold down ladder! :smirk:

thanks for all your posts AP, I'm enjoying them.
 

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