Occasional No Start - But always starts on 2nd Attempt

ncos

Member
So I run into this problem like once every 5 starts. Key is in, turn on, all lights come up, glow plug indicator and the normal beeps. Turn key to start, and nothing happens. Turn off, remove key, repeat and it starts as normal. Any ideas where I should start looking? It almost always starts on the 2nd attempt...if not then on the third. But I'm a little paranoid that at some point it wont.
 

NelsonSprinter

Former Nelson BC Sprinter
It could be:
A worn key ignition switch,
Corroded engine ground connection,
Poor starter connections
 

kansascitysprinters

enthusiastic t1n packrat
I had this once, ended up being the camshaft sensor.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
"nothing happens"??

Do you mean: cranks, but doesn't start
*or*
Doesn't even crank?

If "doesn't crank", then check out the starter relay that's at the lower right of the seat-side fuse panel.



--dick
 

sebtown

Member
When I experienced this same problem a couple of years ago it turned out I needed a new battery. Haven't had the problem since.
 

ncos

Member
By does nothing, I mean does not crank. Sounds/feels like I didn't even turn the key.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
By does nothing, I mean does not crank. Sounds/feels like I didn't even turn the key.
When the key is turned do the instrument cluster lights change state eg. flash, dim, go out?

vic
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Do you have remote key entry? (buttons on the key fob that open/lock the doors)

If you do NOT have RKE, then if the Sprinter does not sense the RFID chip in your key, it won't turn the crank.

If you DO have RKE, then it will crank whether or not it senses the RFID chip.

*RKE and RFID are two separate systems ... one open the locks, the other authorizes your key to operate the Sprinter)

--dick
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
Check the battery it could be on its way out.

 

pfflyer

Well-known member
If the T1N’s are like latter models if you slightly turn the key too far and then back to the position to wait for the glow plugs it won’t turn over. Freaked me out at first but them I realized what I was doing wrong.
 

ncos

Member
When the key is turned do the instrument cluster lights change state eg. flash, dim, go out?

vic
I don't think so, but its infrequent enough that I'm not paying super close attention or filming when it does happen. My perception/recollection is that nothing happens --> no change in cluster lights when key is moved to "start". I'll try and capture it accurately in memory or video.
 

ncos

Member
Do you have remote key entry? (buttons on the key fob that open/lock the doors)

If you do NOT have RKE, then if the Sprinter does not sense the RFID chip in your key, it won't turn the crank.

If you DO have RKE, then it will crank whether or not it senses the RFID chip.

*RKE and RFID are two separate systems ... one open the locks, the other authorizes your key to operate the Sprinter)

--dick
The van does have RKE, but I've pulled the fuse on the central locking system for separate reasons and never use the fob. The key I've been recently using is an ebay key that I cloned and artisanally filed/shaped to work.

I guess my follow-up questions would be:

If I have RKE but have not used to unlock the van, what does it do with the RFID when I try to start it?

And:

If it is a RFID key read issue, is there any way to confirm? Logged codes or some indication?
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
Battery was just replaced a few months ago. This problem existed before replacement, right after replacement, and now.
Ok the battery was replaced; however the 'problem' may cause the battery to be depleted causing a occasional no start. Can you check the battery resting Voltage?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
The van does have RKE, but I've pulled the fuse on the central locking system for separate reasons and never use the fob. The key I've been recently using is an ebay key that I cloned and artisanally filed/shaped to work.
Noted ... shouldn't be a problem (i'm pretty sure)

If I have RKE but have not used to unlock the van, what does it do with the RFID when I try to start it?
As far as i know, there should not be a problem.
All having the RKE option turned on does is change the logic sequence.
Example: (although my RKE fuse is in place) i *can* crank my Sprinter with a purely mechanical (no RFID chip) key ... it may *fire*, but within 2 seconds it stops and says "Start Err"
And:

If it is a RFID key read issue, is there any way to confirm? Logged codes or some indication?
A suitable scanner (like my DAD) reports the status:

WSPskreem1.png

WSPskreem2.png

... i don't know if the Autel reports that stuff.

Note the "immobilizer" report ... i don't *have* an immobilzer (that i'm aware of), so evidently some reports are simply filled with a "yes" if the option doesn't exist.

--dick
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Note the "immobilizer" report ... i don't *have* an immobilzer (that i'm aware of), so evidently some reports are simply filled with a "yes" if the option doesn't exist.

--dick
:hmmm:

Immobilizer aka RFID aka key chip aka SKREEM.

I believe that every T1N has that even though the lockout response is different "with" vs "without" remote Fob entry.

:cheers: vic
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
I've always assumed the "immobilizer" involved (and it could just be programming) such goodies/features as locking all 4 wheel brakes if it detects the Sprinter is being tilted for towing ... hence also tilt sensors (does ASR/ESP even *care* about fore/aft tilt?).

I could'a sworn the owner's guide said: "if you've got immobilizer, turn it off for towing", but i can't find it.

The owner's manual does say that the Immobilizer fuse would be 10 amps, which does match the SKREEM's.
(the on-panel fuse list doesn't mention the Skreem and 3 anti-lock brake fuses)

--dick
p.s. the "lock all brakes" may have come from reading too many NCV3 manuals??
 
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ncos

Member
Ok the battery was replaced; however the 'problem' may cause the battery to be depleted causing a occasional no start. Can you check the battery resting Voltage?
12.28V this evening, had not run since Saturday night. Outside temps right at freezing. I filmed a few starts just to capture the issue, but it did not manifest.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
12.28V resting (before cranking) is quite low. It should not read that low if its been properly charged. I am assuming you are using a known good volt meter at the battery itself.
 
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