Noticeable drag at low speed

mtman

Member
Hi,

I recently bought a 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 at 180,000 KM (111,000 miles).

When coasting at slow speed or accelerating from a standstill, there is some noticeable drag (like the brake is on).

Having only driven an U-Haul Ford E-series before, I thought this is normal, being a heavy vehicle. But then I heard Sprinters, or diesels in general are supposed to be peppy.

I tried to compare coasting in D with coasting in neutral, and neutral runs noticeably smoother and less "draggy". This led me to suspect the transmission.

The previous owner said they haven't done any major services on the tranny.

Other symptoms include vibrations when coming to a stop.

Cleaned the EGR as well, but the problem persists.

Is this normal for this vehicle, or do you think there is a problem?


Some codes (lamps codes are probably broken/rusty light assemblies):

Code:
9011: N26/5 (ESL [ELV] control unit) - Locking voltage not present

2853: CAN bus - CAN signal 'Engine off time' from control unit KI is implausible

2679-4: B76 (Fuel filter water level sensor) -The component is faulty.

9128: A1 (Instrument cluster) - Undervoltage shutoff

9094: N10 (SAM control unit) - Ground points: open circuit

901D: Side marker lamps - Open circuit in wiring

9004: Right side light - Open circuit in wiring

9022: Right tail light - Open circuit in wiring

903B: Reversing lamp - Open circuit in wiring

432E: Implausible signal from stop lamp switch

9011: Fault in heating circuit 2 of heater booster

9010: N88/1 (TPM [RDK] control unit) - The voltage supply is too low

D131: At least one wheel sensor is faulty


C032E: Brake switch circuit stuck

C3266: ABS/ESP not available

The last two only showed up on a separate occasion when I chose Chrysler on my scanner. The other codes were under Sprinter. Maybe related to the vibrations? The smooth coasting on neutral makes me think the drag a separate issue?

Also, any other issues ya think that should be taken care of?

Thanks!
 

sprint2freedom

2008 NCV3 170ext
If your brake switch is stuck, the ECU may limit power and avoid upshifting as it thinks you are trying to slow down.

Fix the brake switch issue and see if the drivability issue disappears.
 

manwithgun

Active member
Oddly, I’ve had a brake lamp go out as indicated by the dash display that caused a similar issue. While continuing to driving it for the day I noticed a change in how the transmission quickly downshifted when not accelerating and seemed not to coast as freely. The subtle changes had me worried that a transmission repair was in my near future, never suspecting a brake light as the cause. After installing new bulbs the next day, all was back to normal. Ah, the joys of owning a Sprinter with German logic.
 

mtman

Member
Thanks, I'll look into the brake switch.

From the looks of it, the lights could be a bigger issue than I thought. I recently changed the brake bulbs, but the cover broke, mounting circuit was flooded/rusted and I had to pry off a reverse bulb. Maybe I need to replace the entire tail light assembly in this case?
 

mtman

Member
Come to think of it, the coasting I tested was at very low speed around the parking lot. So it was probably 1st gear already? Even then, compared to neutral there was more resistance. Would this lean more towards the transmission?

Either way, it looks like I still need to address the brake switch and lamps.
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Come to think of it, the coasting I tested was at very low speed around the parking lot. So it was probably 1st gear already? Even then, compared to neutral there was more resistance. Would this lean more towards the transmission?

Either way, it looks like I still need to address the brake switch and lamps.
Every automatic transmission, not just Sprinter, when coasting, i.e. no force on the accelerator, drags more in "drive" (whichever gear) than in neutral. This is a normal function. If it is in a 1st gear, the drag is more obvious than higher gears. This behavior does not imply a transmission problem. Depending on when it was last serviced you might want to do a pan drop, fluid, and filter change. Some would do a full fluid change by draining the TC at the same time, but if you don't know when the last fluid change was, I would do it incrementally. If you don't have a transmission dipstick, purchase one. These transmissions are picky about proper fluid level.
 

mtman

Member
Thanks Mike_DZ, that's good to know! Hopefully the transmission has some mileage left on it.

How accurate are the dipsticks? It sounds like they need to operate within a pretty narrow temperature window. How do dealers check them?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Guys
Simple things first!
Park the van on a slight incline, shift to N & release the parking brake and it should roll!
Easily. If it doesn't , suspect a slightly seized caliper or excessive wheel bearing play You can verify that by the old fashioned way --jack it up and rotate the wheels etc!
OR
Obtain a infrared heat gun & drive it from cold without touching the brakes on a quiet stretch of road for about 5 minutes. Then shoot the caliper/disc rotor temperature.
Dennis
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
This test doesn’t work if the road is noisy?
I can assure you it IS?
Therefore?
Can you given me some examples of where you have used a vehicle with noisy roads and experienced overheating brakes due to caliper /wheel bearing induced drag?

Just as a mini quiz can you tell me (for the benefit of other forum members) which wealthy country has the nosiest roads and do you know why?
Dennis
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Dennis,
When you used the word "quiet" earlier, I inferred you meant a road without much traffic which would then allow driving without much use of brakes. I then extrapolated that the use of the word "noisy" was used as an informal antonym of "quiet" - not much traffic - and not the amount of audible vibrations generated by surface / tire contact.

England and America, two countries divided by a single language.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Yes correct "quiet" meaning little traffic density to impair a speed to test a vehicle.
"Noisy" meaning road surface noise audibly heard in the cabin space by occupants .
Dennis
 

mtman

Member
Still waiting for the brake switch to arrive, but had a chance to do a rolling test on N. It does in fact roll quite easily on small slopes.

Should probably also mention that it moves smoothly in D from a stop without gas as well, but when it's around 10 kph (6 mph) and I let go of gas, it kind of jerks backward a bit. Is this normal for the first gear?
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Still waiting for the brake switch to arrive, but had a chance to do a rolling test on N. It does in fact roll quite easily on small slopes.

Should probably also mention that it moves smoothly in D from a stop without gas as well, but when it's around 10 kph (6 mph) and I let go of gas, it kind of jerks backward a bit. Is this normal for the first gear?
So brake calipers don't sound like they are dragging. How "jerky" the vehicle is when removing your foot from the accelerator at 10 mph is hard to diagnose via the written word. Perhaps post a video.
 

lhprod

1st Diesel, 1st Import
Just as a mini quiz can you tell me (for the benefit of other forum members) which wealthy country has the nosiest roads and do you know why?
Dennis
In this instance, I’m assuming “noisiest”refers to the decibel level between rubber tires and the surface they’re rolling upon.

So I’d say that it’s not a country that uses rubberized asphalt (like USA or Australia). Perhaps one of the older European countries with cobblestones, or other materials that have survived hundreds of years?
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Yes Pave for sure
BUT for asphalt with a granite chipping top dressing, all hot rolled in! The UK has noisy roads.
Multiple reasons! Include calculated 30 year wearing surface and very high skid resistance in abnormal wet & icy conditions.
Dennis
 

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