San Francisco Bay Area Mechanic?

Anyone know a good Sprinter mechanic that lives near Oakland CA. Theres a dealer here that charges $200/hr and made me an offer to replace my turbo resonator for $865, asinine.



2006 158 Cargo
A lot of people do recommend the aluminum one but I like the factory one because it promotes a quieter engine without the whistle. And its not too hard to change if you had to on side of road with basic tools.


2004 LTV Free Spirit T1N
I'm in the SF East Bay as well, and haven't found a shop that is good with Sprinters. Thus far, I've done everything myself with help here on the forum. Many people have recommended the mobile mechanic, but I've never used him.

For half that amount quoted, I'm sure a few of the forum members would install it for you!

It shouldn't take you more than 2 hours start to finish to do it yourself.
I just ordered the aluminum resonator and do plan to do it myself.

I'm preparing to go on another trip in hopefully two weeks, and rushing to get her through CA smog and registration.

I'll look into the mobile mechanic, but also just talked to Ken at precision people's car repair in Berkeley. He said they've been working on sprinters for a few years.

Because I bought this van sight unseen and haven't had a mechanic look at it I'm considering a 10k mile tune up for $400, is that a crazy price?

- diagnose check engine light so i can smog
- oil change
- tire flip
- top off fluids
- check all hoses and belts



If you're able to go about wrenching on it yourself/have the time and tools, I'd say save the money on the tuneup and do the oil change yourself (~$$80 in oil and filters) - Mobil One synthetic 5W-40 is sold in gallons at Walmart for like $26/gallon (it's the only reason I'll walk into that place).

You can easily look at fluids and see if any of them need to be topped off, except for the Tranny fluid, which you (stupidly) need to buy the dipstick for, and buy the little amount that you might need.

The codes will definitely need to be diagnosed before they'll pass the smog, and some places will read them for you for about $20-$30. Or find a local with a unit to do it for you.

The best option though, and why I say save the money is that for $200 more than your tuneup, you can get the Green Diesel Engineering tune, which MAY JUST save you from not being able to pass smog. Many Sprinters get failed for EGR issues that are $$$$$ to fix, and the GDE tune disables it, as well as gives you a code reader with the tune so that you can read and clear your own codes.

That, I'll submit, would be the best use of your $$$$...

Thanks for all that info!

Moving forward sounds like I ought to get the
- The mercedes dealer in SF to do a free multi point inspection where they check brakes, suspension, belts, hoses, etc.
- fix the resonator myself
- have precision people's car repair run diagnostics and clear the check engine light
- attempt to pass smog before getting a GDE tune

If I fail smog where can I get a GDE tune up?

Thanks again, ya'll are so god damn helpful.


New member
People say the aluminum resonator is kind of loud. There haven't been any problems with the Dorman brand plastic replacement. If I had a 04-06, I'd get the Dorman.


Having heard the aluminum replacement and the noise it allows through, I'd vote for the Dorman which is only about $35. They've been run on many 10,000lb T1N motorhomes with no failures. They're as quiet as the original resonator. About a half hour to replace.



New member
...defintely do the work yourself if you can. you will save a ton of money. resonator is simple.

I am in oakland and, from what i have found, there are not really any reasonably priced places out here to have work done on sprinters...
i have a green diesel tune now and i highly, highly recommend it. i am just writing up a review after my first trip with it. i bought it when i started to have egr problems and after reading on here about folks chasing egr problems in circles...and you are able to pass smog in Cali with it! its a godsend. 10-1 that your code is an egr code or boost related code. green diesel's tune eliminated all my egr related problems and I am happily out of LHM, turbo-boosting all over california now. did i mention i highly recommend it? it comes with a code reader (which i have if you get stuck with your DTC codes).

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