How long can a v6 be left idling?

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Great until you need to replace a couple starters.

I assume that the newer models with the stoplight shutdown/restart feature have a proportionately beefed up starter system. I don't believe that the Sprinters were designed planning on that service.
I have no data, but my Volvo XC60 starts so quickly and effortlessly that I have to assume the whole engine has been tuned for this mode of operation. I am quite sure that the starter motor sees a much lower total run time than on any of my other vehicles (admittedly not the same thing as total stress). I do know that the car has a second battery specifically for this purpose.

Agree that Sprinters are different -- I let mine run, too.
 

Zoomyn

Member
On the Iveco 3.0 L 16-valve I4 diesel JTD engine in my van - the worry is low temperature idle combustion allows raw fuel blow-by - this can slug the piston rings with raw fuel that can/will be then charred into carbon deposits that weld rings into their keeper slots.

The problem is mentioned in the manual as 'diluted engine oil', the engine runs so cool once blow-by gets to the sump it never evaporates and the excess volume gets pushed eventually down the exhaust and possibly bugger up the catalysts or soot catcher. Anyhow they cover for that advertised 18,500 mile oil change interval by keeping their 9.5 Quarts of MS-11106 synthetic low-ash oil as pristine as possible.

Yet - an hour idling in hottest weather getting A/C then full throttle & 75mph turbo boost out on the Interstate on a hot motor can do bad carbon wudo to the rings, then there is the cold-climate loss of oil-film lubrication to think of...
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
Reading this forum, I am astonished, with all the sensors that go can go kaput, that my Sprinter even operates.
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
Reading this forum, I am astonished, with all the sensors that go can go kaput, that my Sprinter even operates.
Then for <diety>'s sake, don't get on an airplane. The more you learn about the details of complex system operation, the more astounded you might be.

Cyber-physical systems can be, and are, engineered for amazing levels of reliability and robustness. The systems that make up the Internet, as another example, require truly incredible quality to maintain their uptime (but don't have the mechanical aspect adding that extra dash of excitement). Spirit and Opportunity labored for years on the red planet, and Curiosity is still going strong - millions of miles away with no opportunity for maintenance/repair (other than software maintenance).

What hath we wrought, indeed.
 

ptheland

2013 144" low top Passgr
How long can it be left idling?

Let's see. I think it consumes about 1/2 gallon per hour while at idle. And we generally have what? A 26 gallon tank? So you should be able to idle for a bit over 2 days, if my assumptions are correct. :tongue:

Like others, I wouldn't suggest that. Running a Sprinter out of fuel can damage the high pressure pump. Even without that damage, it's a pain to prime the fuel system - although not as bad as the older I5 engines that don't have a fuel pump in the tank. :smirk:
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
I have no data, but my Volvo XC60 starts so quickly and effortlessly that I have to assume the whole engine has been tuned for this mode of operation. I am quite sure that the starter motor sees a much lower total run time than on any of my other vehicles (admittedly not the same thing as total stress). I do know that the car has a second battery specifically for this purpose.
Vehicles designed for ESS usually have a host of modifications to support the additional stress, much beefier starter, larger alternator and battery (or a secondary battery), transmissions designed to either store or acquire adequate hydraulic pressure quickly so they operate immediately after a restart, sometimes modifications to the engine oiling system, etc. Without these mods ESS would probably be very hard on the engine but with them it probably won't have any effect on service life, or at least that's the design intent.

As to how much it really save in terms of fuel consumption and emissions, I guess that depends. From data I've seen it can be marginally worthwhile in urban driving (perhaps up to a MPG if there is a lot of beep-and-creep) to very little benefit in rural environs. But that's why there is (usually) a switch, I usually leave it on in traffic where I would otherwise idle 3 minutes, move 1/20 mile to another stoplight and wait another 3 minutes, etc., I mean, the vehicle is designed for it so why not take the savings in fuel/emissions even if it is small. I usually disable in rural driving where it tends to be of negligible benefit and more trouble than it's worth.

Not really applicable to a Sprinter, but just FWIW.
 
As far as idling in general, keep your idling to less than 20% of your operating hours. If you have an extended idle (more than 30 minutes, or in very cold weather), a brief drive on the highway may be called for. If you only do stop and go driving, such as urban delivery, you may need to play a 10 minute highway run every 500 miles or so.
10 minutes on a highway every 500 miles isn't nearly enough.

More like 50 to 100 miles on a highway every 500 miles.

I only wish that there was a "DPF burn in progress" indicator.
 
A ScanGauge II can be programmed to show the regen temperature so you know exactly when it's regenerating and when the cycle completes.
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
You actually shut the engine off while you're sitting at a stoplight?
Yes I do. It is automatically done with many newer vehicles, for both economy and environmental reasons. I have been doing it for years, on motorcycles and manual transmission vehicles in particular. Just leave it in first gear, turn off the key, clutch in or out at your discretion. In automatics, I put it in neutral, and do the same.
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
A ScanGauge II can be programmed to show the regen temperature so you know exactly when it's regenerating and when the cycle completes.
The ScanGauge II also has a variable that displays whether regeneration is "ON" or "OFF" if you like to see that explicit binary representation in addition to/instead of the DPF temperature. There is also a variable for the percentage "full" of the DPF.

I have heard that the VS30s (at least some of them) have the ability to display percentage full and regeneration status in the dashboard display, indicating MB did take some of the griping about the lack of instrumentation of this critical function to heart.

I've been watching the "DPF percentage" and regeneration state regularly in my van for a cycle or two now. It's interesting watching how the percentage changes over time in relation to the type of driving I'm doing.
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
Vehicles designed for ESS usually have a host of modifications to support the additional stress, much beefier starter, larger alternator and battery (or a secondary battery), transmissions designed to either store or acquire adequate hydraulic pressure quickly so they operate immediately after a restart, sometimes modifications to the engine oiling system, etc. Without these mods ESS would probably be very hard on the engine but with them it probably won't have any effect on service life, or at least that's the design intent.

As to how much it really save in terms of fuel consumption and emissions, I guess that depends. From data I've seen it can be marginally worthwhile in urban driving (perhaps up to a MPG if there is a lot of beep-and-creep) to very little benefit in rural environs. But that's why there is (usually) a switch, I usually leave it on in traffic where I would otherwise idle 3 minutes, move 1/20 mile to another stoplight and wait another 3 minutes, etc., I mean, the vehicle is designed for it so why not take the savings in fuel/emissions even if it is small. I usually disable in rural driving where it tends to be of negligible benefit and more trouble than it's worth.

Not really applicable to a Sprinter, but just FWIW.
I keep my vehicles well tuned, and I have never had a problem.
Once an engine is fully warmed, it really is not stressful on the battery or starter.
The starter in my 4runner had 280k miles on it. Battery is 8 years old.
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
I keep my vehicles well tuned, and I have never had a problem.
Once an engine is fully warmed, it really is not stressful on the battery or starter.
The starter in my 4runner had 280k miles on it. Battery is 8 years old.
By a real ESS system I mean a system designed to start the vehicle 50 times per day vs 3-4, power HVAC and accessories on a consistent basis even at a high duty cycle (as would be experienced in traffic where the engine may be stopped almost as often as it is running), expect to have the vehicle ready for acceleration in hundreds of milliseconds vs seconds when a light turns green, be fully automatic with no intervention from the driver, etc. You can always turn off a conventional vehicle and re-start it but this isn't really ESS and wouldn't be at all practical for most drivers, nor would I expect it would be a very good idea to subject most vehicles to that kind of regimen on a consistent basis, and certainly not a Sprinter.

Not that shutting it down manually if you are going to be stopped for a while (such as during a construction wait) isn't a bad idea, but I don't know about trying to do it at every stoplight.

.
 
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Ferrets

Member
I believe the European sprinters come with ESS standard. Its in the manual - you can enable/disable with button located right beneath the regular round start button. On cars I rented over there, I found that ESS comes in particularly handy when driving stick - if you stall it, press down the clutch and it starts right back up. It will also restart instantly when you lift your foot off the brake - and if the battery goes low. I liked it once I got used to it. When I took a look under my VS30 - it looks like there's an empty spot on bell housing for another starter???



While I don't shut off vehicles at traffic lights, I regularly put them in neutral. While I was waiting for the ferry picking up the new sprinter, I shut the engine off. Not too worried about idling - if I do, or do a bunch of short trips - I'll take it on the highway and clear it out. The idling you don't want is hours long idling. The manual says - don't bother warming it up - driving it is quickest way to warm up. I already have a D2 for the cabin but thinking I'm installing a clone pre-heater booster - for engine preheat and water. I also question if the heated windshield function works with the engine off.
 
A ScanGauge II can be programmed to show the regen temperature so you know exactly when it's regenerating and when the cycle completes.
I ordered one and got the initial setup done.

The fancy functions are in the "X-Gauge" parameters, and the codes need to be taken from the Scan Gauge website and then manually entered into the gauge (4 fields of parameters for each X-Gauge). DPF/DEF and more are not part of the base programming.
 

A_D7Sprinter

New member
What is the correct kind of engine oil to use for a 2016 Mercedes-Benz sprinter passenger 2500 4 x 4 144 inch high top? We have owned ours for roughly 2 months and we are coming up on a servicing. Is it cheaper to do it yourself or just go ahead and have the dealer do it?
 

irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
Oil should meet Mercedes spec 229.51 or 229.52. DO NOT skimp on this.

There are those of us who prefer to do oil changes ourselves, and some who prefer to let the dealer do it. There are two service schedules, A and B, which alternate. Do a search for these on this forum -- tons of info.

Expect dealer prices to be anywhere from $800 to $1200, depending on which service, A or B, and which dealer. (I know, "OUCH!" and "Holy crap!!") A fair bit of that cost is the oil, which ain't cheap, and keep in mind it takes between 12 and 13 quarts/liters of this stuff.

So it's cheaper --in some cases by far-- to do it yourself, but keep in mind that there are quite a few "gotchas" that can end up as costly repairs if the DIY-er screws up. Study up!
 
One dealer in my area will change the oil for way less than 800 bucks.

Look at what the A or B service calls for. I haven't had a problem limiting the work to what I've asked to be done. I certainly wouldn't bring any vehicle in for a "general service" of any type and just pay the bill... but I realize that some people are able and willing to do just that.

The dealer I go to charges around 225 for an oil change. For that price, they wash the van and top off the DEF and I don't have to deal with 13 quarts of used oil. I also have a service record showing regular oil changes. Yes, I can change the oil on my Sprinter myself, but just the service record alone is worth it.

ALL dealers aren't bad for service.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
One dealer in my area will change the oil for way less than 800 bucks.

Look at what the A or B service calls for. I haven't had a problem limiting the work to what I've asked to be done. I certainly wouldn't bring any vehicle in for a "general service" of any type and just pay the bill... but I realize that some people are able and willing to do just that.

The dealer I go to charges around 225 for an oil change. For that price, they wash the van and top off the DEF and I don't have to deal with 13 quarts of used oil. I also have a service record showing regular oil changes. Yes, I can change the oil on my Sprinter myself, but just the service record alone is worth it.

ALL dealers aren't bad for service.
How do you know they used the correct spec oil or even aware to use the correct spec oil? Did they change the oil filter element. Did the tech over-torque and strip the oil drain plug? What about oil spillage, my main peeve. Nothing chaps my hide than spilled oil making a huge mess in da engine compartment. The fact is, you can't verify and place trust in those who could give a rat's patootie about you or your vehicle.

Not all service departments provide excellent service.
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
I think I saw a thread about the best oil to use a while back, I'll see if I can find it.
 

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