T21 Emissions Recall Notice

smitty009

Smitty009
Good News from SOS diagnostics .com (503-266-5442)- They say they can remedy the situation with my van that the T21 recall has caused. Which in my case it is the check engine light being on with a U0423 code and the EGR running and the IC light staying on unless I turn the key on and off a few times.
I just need to send them the ECU, SKREEM, the Instrument Cluster, and 1 working key from my van and they can solve the problem for a fee of $435 (depending if nothing else is needed). They also say that the dealership should be able to do the same thing if they only knew what they were doing, which is probably the real problem all along.
 
So I skimmed this thread a few times in the past. Next week my van will be getting two recalls performed on it. The service department states that for my van, there is no call to order any parts, especially an instrument cluster - only a reprogramming is to be done. Is it the consensus here that the T21 recall should NOT be performed without the instrument cluster? I did have some issues with the EGR whining which if I read correctly this recall will remedy. I have not noticed a recurrence of the whining EGR however for a while. The later posts here speak to 2004 Sprinters or those in California.
So what about my 05?

Thanks
 
No, the recall notice states that no parts are required...just reprogramming.:thumbup: I'm just wondering if I should still do it or will it create more problems.
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
I'm just wondering if I should still do it or will it create more problems.

This would depend on a couple of things (that I can think of)...


1. Does your smog check (if any) require all your monitors to be closed?
2. Are you satisfied with the way your Sprinter is running?


It comes to, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." There is a slight (very small) chance that it could introduce an issue, but you'll never know unless you try.
 

sebtown

Member
Ok, I'm a believer in the "if ain't broken, don't f*#* with it" school. I avoided the recall here in California until it became mandatory for registration. Having read mostly positive responses for my 2006 model year I expected a quick "in and out", but not so! My ECU wouldn't talk to Mercedes so dear Mother Mercedes ordered and installed a new ECU at her expense. My service writer said this is not an unusual situation but didn't give a guess on the percentage. I should add that everything feels unchanged in terms of performance.
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
If you have an *early* 2005, it can suffer the same instrument cluster mess-up that's eating the 2004 owners.

At the moment, it is reported that there are no replacement instrument clusters available.. you can end up with a Sprinter that never truly goes to sleep (i.e. significant battery drain).

--dick
 
If you have an *early* 2005, it can suffer the same instrument cluster mess-up that's eating the 2004 owners.

At the moment, it is reported that there are no replacement instrument clusters available.. you can end up with a Sprinter that never truly goes to sleep (i.e. significant battery drain).

--dick
I have a March 2005 van. If the recall notice doesn't call for an IC, would this reprogramming be beneficial, perhaps fixing any future EGR whine episodes, or are some of you saying it might cause more problems?
 

vanski

'05 Box Snow Camper
Couple things here..

I just had an IC programmed for someone by SOS on a 2004. Worked great. Prior to the IC reprogramming her IC would ‘sleep’ as far as I can tell, but, her egr was constantly energized (slight buzzzz could be heard) after shutting the vehicle down.

I had another 2005 118 t21 recall completed and now I’m getting a dead battery after one night sitting. But it took about a month for this to happen on a night by night basis.. But my clamp meter isn’t showing any current.. I want to blame the t21 as it’s a new battery, but perhaps I got a new battery, top of the line group 49 interstate battery, with a bad cell??? I really hope it’s not the recall because I don’t want to spend the $550 or whatever with SOS!
 

bcolins

2004 158" Vista Cruiser
Lemon, Interesting that you already have the EGR humming without having done the actual T21 recall yet. Does your instrument cluster back light come back on a few seconds after the 45 second time out?? Turn your van off and sit there and watch the Instrument cluster for a full minute to check this. Did you have other work done at an authorized dealer that immediately preceded the humming EGR? Please note, (do some more reading) the T21 Recall does NOT fix a humming EGR, rather,...............it creates the humming EGR problem. For all 2004, some 2005 and apparently at least one 2006 (see comment above), if the T21 recall has been done, and the result is a now constantly on IC back light and humming EGR,....then the only fix had been IC replacement which was being done on Mercedes's dime until recently, now the word is that all the instrument clusters are gone,....and a few have had luck purchasing and reprogramming used Instrument clusters (In a certain serial number range I think).

Brian
 

vanski

'05 Box Snow Camper
I've found on a few different rigs that the backlight on the IC does not need to stay on for the EGR to be energized and kill your battery from the t21 recall. Listen for the buz at the EGR.. do you hear it after a few minutes after the vehicle is shut down???

SOS diagnostics can fix the IC issue and at some point I bet Dodge/Freightliner will pickup the bill. They should also pickup the bill for your battery if it is now dead. No record of this, but I really hope in the long run they will not stick this on the customer.
 

vanski

'05 Box Snow Camper
I had another 2005 118 t21 recall completed and now I’m getting a dead battery after one night sitting. But it took about a month for this to happen on a night by night basis.. But my clamp meter isn’t showing any current.. I want to blame the t21 as it’s a new battery, but perhaps I got a new battery, top of the line group 49 interstate battery, with a bad cell??? I really hope it’s not the recall because I don’t want to spend the $550 or whatever with SOS!
This was not due to the t21.. turns out I had a defective battery; interstate batts aren't so 'outrageously dependable'.
 

BULBASOR

Active member
This would depend on a couple of things (that I can think of)...


1. Does your smog check (if any) require all your monitors to be closed?
2. Are you satisfied with the way your Sprinter is running?


It comes to, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." There is a slight (very small) chance that it could introduce an issue, but you'll never know unless you try.
Hi sikwan,

Bulbasor did get his T21 recall taken care of a long time ago but I did it a little differently - I called Diamler Chrysler and started a claim with them and I got everything done for free - if you do it that way to can go to any dealer you want.
 

Levco101

Levco101
Re: T21 Emissions Recall Debacle

T-21 RECALL UPDATE

Started the recall in May so as to get my tags. Went to Escondito as the local Dealer in Huntington Beach
CA told me they did not do the recall. Received the pink T-21 certificate. Immediately noticed that my scangage
was not working. After 2 more trips to Escondito, the dealer got me in touch with the Chrysler factory tech.
He told me to meet him at the dealer in HB CA as they are the only dealer that knows how to fix my problem.

Turns out that the OBD-II connector Works with my DADD but not with my OBD-II scanner. Additionally,
the State smog machines do not work. So I had to go to the State Smog Referee.

The HB dealer replaced the airbag (recall), replaced the ECM, broke glow plugs and thus replaced the head, the glow plug controller, performed the T-21 reprogram, changed the air fuel ratio, and did not fix the OBD-II
communication. They said that they do not have to support the OBD-II as my scanner and Scangage are after market products.

From start to finish From May to the end of October my van was in the shop 7 weeks for the head work, 4 more visits for them to try to fix the OBD-II.

The Van, 2004 2500 High top with windows, got 24-26 MPG before the work. I am now getting 17 MPG. The van is running good, very smooth.

Anybody have any ideas?
 

Heatnairguy

New member
How could going from 24-26 MPG, down to 17 in any way lead to lower emissions that would pollute less?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Heatnairguy

New member
I was told by a person who had driven a Sprinter van for his employer that a few years back he was able to get a reflash of the ECM I believe, that gave him noticeable increases in torque and horsepower while at the same time increasing the fuel economy. What I had a hard time believing was when he said that his fuel economy went up to over 50 MPG! I would have maybe believed thirty some or forty MPG. What’s the highest MPG any of you have heard of for a sprinter van? He later said that he couldn’t get the re-flashing info any more due to the troubles that Benz, VW, and others got into with the way they had programmed the systems to pass emissions testing while putting out more emissions during normal driving than allowed.[emoji3593]
I would be very interested in getting a re-flash of the ECM that could make those same kinds of improvements without unduly shortening the life of the engine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
If you crawl back through the 800+ messages in this thread, plus a few in related threads, *most* people see only a slight change in their overall MPG due to the recall. A few even saw a tad better.

Remember that one thing the recall does is *correctly* inform the ECM of problems with the MAF sensor.
Pre-recall, you could well have been having "issues", some of which may have helped the MPG.
(but not to 50 MPG).

The recall procedure documents we've seen (at least in Canada) told the dealer to correct any MAF errors that the post-recall scans revealed. Whether or not *your* dealer did that should have been noted on the service receipt from the recall.
(and/or guesstimated from the hours involved). This would be true for both 2004 (IC replacement) and newer.

--dick (no, i haven't done the recall)
 

MillionMileSprinter

Formerly Type2Teach
Hey guys, I just posted a video to YouTube that helps explain the T21 recall AND HOW TO STOP YOUR BATTERY FROM DYING OVERNIGHT if you don't feel like reading back through all the posts on this and countless other threads:
https://youtu.be/5AiX1N2qanE
Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get notified when new videos are posted (right now, that's about one a day!).
 

Skatogious

Vanthusiast
Hey there Sprinter community! I just wanted to chime in and tell you all about my T21 nightmare because I wish this sort of frustration, BS and misfortune on no one. :yell:

I also wished someone had already been through the fire and posted a clear solution to help people like me. Unfortunately I couldn’t find that so I had to piece a solution together and here is what worked for me. I’m happy to say I have been through the ringer on this one but came out fixed on the other side. I hope this helps some of you. It’s a long read but worth it for those of you still in purgatory.

I own a 2004 Dodge Sprinter 2500 and I live in California. I received a notice in July 2019 that I was required to perform the T21 recall on my vehicle before I could SMOG and register it. I jumped on the forum to check the temperature and it seemed like everyone was chiming in saying to not do it… but… as a Cali resident… I didn’t have the option to opt out so I crossed my fingers.

It took me forever to find a dealership that could do the recall despite living in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. I finally found out that AutoWorld in Petaluma CA could do the work and they told me that they “have performed it several times before and it’s a quick job”. I made an appointment and dropped it off. I almost instantly got a notice from them that the job was completed and I could come get my van. I was ecstatic that it went so fast and smoothly. I made sure it was absolutely ready to go before heading up there and they said yes. I then went to pick it up and when I got there they told me the battery was dead and “this happens to some of these vans”. This began my 3+ month journey in frustration and wasted time.

The short of it is that they needed to get me a new instrument cluster because, as you probably know by now, replacing it is a by-product of the T21 recall programming on virtually all 2004 and some 2005 models.

At this time I didn’t know how big of a deal it would turn out to be as I later found out that this part has been “obsoleted” and therefore isn’t manufactured anymore. I also later found out that the shelves were all empty of the remaining ICs and I was basically screwed. The worst part of this is that they performed the flash to my ECU without having the IC part lined up so once they did that there was no going back and there was no part to fix so they launched me into purgatory.

The dealership then tried to send out an IC from another van to a company in New York to try and get refurbished to see if that would work. It didn’t. So after 2+ months of waiting without my vehicle I was then told that there was nothing more that they (or Chrysler) could do and that I should come pick up my van and I should see “what I could get for it” as a buy-back program from Chrysler because there were no other options.

My van is my home and I had just put a new engine in it less than 5K prior so it’s safe to say that that option wasn’t actually an option and that we needed to figure something else out.

I went and picked up my vehicle and continued to research everything I could and call any leads I found. I mostly struck out but thanks to this forum I was able to locate some important leads.

Firstly, I contacted Jeffrey Wong at the Air Resources Board at the California EPA(Phone: (626) 575-7009, E-mail: jwong@arb.ca.gov, Web: www.arb.ca.gov). He is easily the most friendly and helpful government employee I have ever encountered or probably ever will. I told him about my predicament and he offered to connect me with others that might be able to help and told me that work was happening behind the scenes to solve this issue. It was vague but it gave me the hope I needed to believe ANYTHING was happening on the other side to solve this cluster-f@&k.

Secondly, I read on here that someone had success with sending their parts into S.O.S. Diagnostics in Oregon (http://sosdiagnostics.com/vehicle_owners.html). I reached out to them to see if they could help and they confidently told me they were well aware of the problem happening with Sprinters like mine, that they have fixed them before, what they would need and how much it would cost. I was finally a little optimistic for a possible solution.

I then told the dealership that I found this S.O.S. lead and that they should try it out as a solution. They thankfully agreed and got Chrysler to approve the work so I took my van in again to hopefully get repaired. It took another 2 weeks to get back but this time it FINALLY WORKED!!! My IC works like it did before this madness and my systems all seem to be go. I was finally able to get it a SMOG (through the Cali BAR “Ref”) so now I’m just waiting on my tags in the mail as well as reluctantly keeping an eye on my dash to make sure the “fix” is actually sticking.

So there we go. That is my summed up version of this debacle. I sat in absolute BS purgatory without my vehicle for 106 days and had to waste countless hours of my life trying to solve this on my own because I wasn’t getting much help from the dealership and absolutely ZERO help from Chrysler. This only got fixed because of help from people in this thread and from a lot of legwork on my part. The squeaky wheel did get the grease.

I should also note that I DIDN’T PAY A CENT to get any of this work done. This was all billed to Chrysler. Because of this simple “T21 ECU Flash” I ended up with a new O2 sensor, turbo, a refurbished IC and over 2 months of a car rental while mine was in the shop. If you’re in this situation make sure you don’t pay for it or if you have paid out of pocket to get reimbursed. This all falls on Chrysler and their terrible handling of this ordeal.

One last thing is that apparently 2004 Sprinters are now “exempt” from needing to perform this recall because of this fiasco. I never could get complete confirmation on this but if you haven’t done the recall and are being told you need to… DON’T and dig into this some more.

My final parting perspective is… I had just recently and severely broken my leg when I originally took my van in for the recall and by the time I got it back and fixed I was already healed up and walking without assistance. Yikes. I hope y’all fared better than me!
 

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