Shuts down immediately on start

billjcdn

New member
I am having an issue with my 2004 (210,000km, 2500 cargo DIY camper) and would appreciate any ideas or thread references. I have tried to search for similar but no luck - so apologize in advance if this is covered already.
I have stored the Van for 5 months, but kept the battery charged and ran the engine for about 10 minutes every month to circulate things. Yesterday when I went to start it, it seems to turn over and start fine but then shuts down almost instantly (perhaps runs for 1 second). I have used an Innova 3100CanOBD2 reader and it gives no codes. There is no check engine or any other abnormal lights. I have tried both of my keys and same result. It was near empty so I put in about 5 gal of fresh diesel. No change. Today I put in a new fuel filter just to make sure (thought other one may have been plugged and it was shutting down on some kind of low pressure) but again no change in behavior- still shuts down immediately on start

I would sure appreciate some tips before I have to resort to having it towed to a shop.
Located in Vernon, BC.
 

AdrianD

Member
Maybe it's leaking air in somewhere between the filter and the low-pressure pump.
Have an assistant start the engine and observe the line going from the filter to the low-pressure pump. If you see foam or bubbles an o-ring somewhere is leaky and it will not show up as a diesel leak.
What kind of filter did you install? With a drain plug and/or water sensor ?
 

MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
No, he has a 2004. He's got a low pressure pump in the tank that pushes the fuel up to the high pressure pump instead of sucking it up, like yours does. The air-in-fuel-lines issue is no longer a problem.
 

AdrianD

Member
Disregard my post then :D
Thanks for the heads-up :)
 

talkinghorse43

Active member
The ECM must be shutting off injectors, so there should be a code. Maybe your tool can't read the code?
 

NelsonSprinter

Former Nelson BC Sprinter
If it's a RV with a 2003 engine it could be air in fuel lines.
Does the dash say Start Error upon shut down ? If so could be immobilizer problem.
Storing with an empty tank over winter will lead to Water in the fuel tank from condensation
 
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MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
He said it's a DIY RV. So there's a chance it has the older engine, but I doubt it. Check the connections at all your turbo hoses. I have forgotten to clamp a turbo hose (the one on top of the engine, going into the intake manifold) once and it resulted in a startup and immediate shut down of the engine.
 

billjcdn

New member
Thanks all for the ideas so far. Definitely it is a stock 2014. No start error or any unusual lights on dash nd tried both keys. I added another 5 gl of fresh diesel today, so tank is up to almost half. I think I eliminated the water/condensation with the new fuel filter. When I loosen the drain tube on top (to purge water) and turn ignition on, diesel flows strong out of the hose. - thus appears fuel pump is OK. As a by the way, the ESPAR heater I have in the back area of the van (runs off main fuel tank) runs just fine. As talkinghorse suggested, it really seems like the ECM I shutting it down but no engine light and no codes. I think my OBD reader is working fine as it says "searching for codes", then confirms "connected" OSO 9141", then says "no DTC codes stored in vehicle computer". This morning I changed 2 of the three turbo hoses (lower left one from metal resonator replacement tube to rad and the lower right one from rad to plastic assembly with 2 sensors). The lower right one did have some oil in it and was a bit oily on the outside, but no obvious leak I also removed the large upper turbo hose and inspected -it seems fine. The sensor with a wire element in it was also a bit oily. I recall when I had a small leak in the upper hose years ago that it would still idle, but not do well under load. Thus makes me not suspicious of the turbo hose in this case.

More trouble shooting ideas would be much appreciated! Tks
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
Stock 2014? I assume you mean 2004.

It STARTS and then dies. Every time? It always starts and runs for a few seconds? If it was a high pressure fuel delivery problem, it wouldn't start. There may be an issue with not enough fuel getting to the high pressure pump to sustain ignition. The hard but sure way to check that is to disconnect the low pressure fuel line coming out of the fuel filter, stick a temporary one on that outlet and direct it into a jar or can, turn on the key and see if the electric low pressure pump in the fuel tank is indeed pushing fuel through the filter or not. If it is, then you have a different problem probably sensor related. Any idiot lights go on on the dash? Low oil pressure?
 

billjcdn

New member
Ye, sorry, I meant 2004. Yes it starts every time but then ****s down almost immediately. I think a sensor that tells the ecu that the engine is running (cam shaft or crank position) is failing to give the ecu that confirmation, so the ecu shuts down. But there are no codes o lights.

So perhaps some corrosion/poor contact on one of these sensors. I just removed the engine cover and checked the connection on the crank shaft sensor. Seems fine. I think I located the crank shaft sensor at about 2 oclock when looking from the front of engine - but it is at the back and to hard to access to remove the plug to check the connectors. I tried from underneath but could not feel the release clip o allow the connector to slide off. I would like to ensure a faulty/poor connection crank shaft sensor would display this symptom before I pursue that one further.

Bottom line is that I need to determine if the problem could be a lack of "confirm running" signal to the ecu - but still not throw a code.
 

talkinghorse43

Active member
What tool are you using to read codes?
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
If the CAM was bad, it wouldn't start. I thought the CRK sensor was on the very bottom, at the differential? It's been years since I investigated mine, I could be mistaken. I remember that it was easy to get to from underneath.

I'm trying to think what sitting for a long time might do to make it behave that way; it obviously has battery, and at least some fuel is making it's way to the injectors. That's why I asked about oil pressure, maybe the oil gunked up a bit. HEY, Sprinters are sensitive to voltage, maybe there is something going on with the alternator or something that tells the ECU to shut off the engine. Maybe check the voltage before, during and after starting (while it's running a few seconds)?
 
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MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
Yes and no on the voltage. The ECU will allow the engine to run long after the voltage has dropped below the threshold of what the starter demands out of it. In other words, if there's enough juice in the battery to crank the engine, theres enough juice to keep the ECU happy for running. But I guess there could be some possible way that running the engine would cause an electrical fault that is so grandiose that the ECU shuts the engine down, but I can't say what that would be... Maybe a bad ground...maybe a chaffed wire in the loom through the firewall or near the fuel filter... But those would throw a readable code... So what would stop the engine cold without the ECU having a chance to register the reasons with its many sensors? The basics of an internal combustion engine, I would guess. Fuel in, air in, engine rotating freely and non restricted exhaust. I would focus my energies in those areas. Good luck and keep the forum posted!
 

AdrianD

Member
Does it eventually start and keep running ?
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
It's been parked a while, so maybe rodent damage somewhere? Maybe rodent nest in the air intake?
 

nick W

New member
on my sprinter that is a camper i had a problem that the vent hole in the fuel filler cap got blocked. try unscrewing the cap then replacing it gently see if it starts
 

billjcdn

New member
Thanks so much for the continued help guys. I will be looking at a long tow to a dealer that works on T!N's so am determined to keep trying for a few days. here are my reports for latest ideas/questions:
thorse43: I am using an Innova 3100. I think it is working fine as it says "searching for codes", then confirms "connected" OSO 9141", then says "no DTC codes stored in vehicle computer". There is also no check engine light. I suppose 2 questions on this vein would be: Is it possible that there is a code even though I have no check engine light on dash (I am guessing yes as the check engine ma only come on after it I running?) Is it possible that there is a code that only a MB/or full scope type reader would catch but mine does not?
Surly: Voltage appears good before, during and after start attempt. No rodent damage (inspected air intake etc) Also, little rodents where it is.
Adrian: Every time it does start but only for a fraction of a second, then shuts down, it never continues running.
312d: it appears that my fuel delivery etc works fine because it does fire and start - but only momentarily and then shuts down. I can try mount a video clip but not sure how
Nick W: checked the fuel cap off and on etc, does the same behavior
 

surlyoldbill

Active member
Try to find a garage that ISN'T a dealer if you can. 90% of dealer "service" centers have earned a horrible reputation for gouging.
 

billjcdn

New member
Agree, thus my question if it is possible that there is a code not readable by my OB reader, and if so would any garage full scope tool see such, or would it have to be a MB dealer specifically(proprietary codes??).

I am still hoping to solve it before resorting to the tow. In searching I found that Aqua Puttana posted some manual info in 2010 for a somewhat similar thing (no start condition). Vic, any chance you have some documentation on the sensors involved in startup/ and or troubleshooting for this kind of start, but shut down condition?
 

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