Grinding and Van Engaged 4X4 Low by Itself

Mendeleev34

Member
I know there are a couple of threads which are more or less on this topic, but I am not sure my situation fits into any one of them 100%. Was heading down to the river today. Backed out of the driveway in R, and then flipped into D and all of the sudden there was a ridiculous grinding noise from under the van. From then on, whether I put it in D or R, the grinding noise was super loud. Similar in N, but less loud. All of this while not touching the accelerator at all.

Finally shut the van off, powered it back on, and it was somehow in Low Range.

I had never even used 4X4 yet... van is too new and we've been having it built out. What with shipping delays it's mostly been sitting around except for highway or local driving. No off road...

Anyway, eventually got it out of low range (had to read the manual since it was the first time and I didn't find it at all intuitive) and now the van is operating normally. Will have to have the dealer look at it when I bring it in for other recalls.
 

JonnyMc

New member
I had something similar happen a month ago. I was towing our boat from the lake. I stopped at the gas station. When I started the van back up, same grinding and 4 wheel drive was engaged. Fast forward to yesterday, I jumped a curb at Taco Bell to get it in the drive thru lol, and collision avoidance turned off and so did traction control. I shut it off and everything reset. Now, on our way to church, it turns 4 wheel drive on again by itself (it did this a few weeks ago also). Not sure why it keeps turning itself on??
 

JonnyMc

New member
I just found this thread:

 

Mendeleev34

Member
I just found this thread:

Yes I saw that thread. My issue was similar except for the grinding noise I heard.
 

deeliminator

New member
I know there are a couple of threads which are more or less on this topic, but I am not sure my situation fits into any one of them 100%. Was heading down to the river today. Backed out of the driveway in R, and then flipped into D and all of the sudden there was a ridiculous grinding noise from under the van. From then on, whether I put it in D or R, the grinding noise was super loud. Similar in N, but less loud. All of this while not touching the accelerator at all.

Finally shut the van off, powered it back on, and it was somehow in Low Range.

I had never even used 4X4 yet... van is too new and we've been having it built out. What with shipping delays it's mostly been sitting around except for highway or local driving. No off road...

Anyway, eventually got it out of low range (had to read the manual since it was the first time and I didn't find it at all intuitive) and now the van is operating normally. Will have to have the dealer look at it when I bring it in for other recalls.
I had this EXACT same issue a few months back. Was parked for hours, got into van, turned it on, put it into drive, and heard a terrible grinding noise as I accelerated and travel for about 10 feet. Power was absent. I put van into reverse to get back into my original spot, and then put it into park. Although I was in park, the van continued to roll and grind and I had to turn off the engine for it all to settle. All this time, I also noticed that 4x4 engaged on its own. After letting the van sit for a a few mins, I fired it back up, got out of 4x4, and was able to drive off normally.

A few days later, had the same issue after filing up the tank. This time, before letting the grinding get too bad, I immediately turned the van off.

I took van to dealer to get diagnosed. Service advisor totally botched my explanation of the problem, but see the attached pic for what was discovered. Not sure if it fixed my problem, but it’s been a few months with no issue.

Every time I turn the van, I check to see if 4x4 is engaged before driving. And every time I get into a gear, I pause a bit before apply pressure on the pedal. Van seems to like to think for a few seconds before moving safely.
 

Attachments

Mendeleev34

Member
I had this EXACT same issue a few months back. Was parked for hours, got into van, turned it on, put it into drive, and heard a terrible grinding noise as I accelerated and travel for about 10 feet. Power was absent. I put van into reverse to get back into my original spot, and then put it into park. Although I was in park, the van continued to roll and grind and I had to turn off the engine for it all to settle. All this time, I also noticed that 4x4 engaged on its own. After letting the van sit for a a few mins, I fired it back up, got out of 4x4, and was able to drive off normally.

A few days later, had the same issue after filing up the tank. This time, before letting the grinding get too bad, I immediately turned the van off.

I took van to dealer to get diagnosed. Service advisor totally botched my explanation of the problem, but see the attached pic for what was discovered. Not sure if it fixed my problem, but it’s been a few months with no issue.

Every time I turn the van, I check to see if 4x4 is engaged before driving. And every time I get into a gear, I pause a bit before apply pressure on the pedal. Van seems to like to think for a few seconds before moving safely.
Thanks @deeliminator. Will definitely take this info, as well as copies of the other relevant threads, to the dealer and report back.
 

Mendeleev34

Member
Latest update: van went into the dealer and they mentioned there were no codes or errors saved in the system. They also couldn’t reproduce the issue which is what I expected. They are contacting MB.
 

deeliminator

New member
Latest update: van went into the dealer and they mentioned there were no codes or errors saved in the system. They also couldn’t reproduce the issue which is what I expected. They are contacting MB.
Bummer. Please do report back here if you get new info. I’ll report back here if the issue arises again as well.
 

Brilloman

New member
Latest update: van went into the dealer and they mentioned there were no codes or errors saved in the system. They also couldn’t reproduce the issue which is what I expected. They are contacting MB.
Same for me...no codes. I have had it happen twice. The first time the 4wd engaged on its own at start up and I didn’t realize it for a couple of hours because the 4wd switch isn’t visible from my seating position. Pulled over put van in neutral and switched the 4wd off. The second time I started it up to take it in for some recalls and it would not go into R or D then it wouldn’t go back in park. The 4wd switch was blinking and it would make the grinding noise (like a ratcheting sound) when I would try and take it out of neutral and out it into D,R or P. Shut the van off in neutral and restarted it a couple of times then the 4wd switch stopped blinking and was just solid so I switched off the 4wd and put it in D. I think on the second time it actually did the same thing as it did the first time but I tried to put it in gear before the transfer case completed engaging the 4wd so It was unable to complete the shift into D because the transfer case was not yet engaged.

In any case I’m not crazy.... something is causing it to engage in 4wd randomly upon start up.
 

Mendeleev34

Member
OK, finally have an update after my van was at the dealer. Originally when I dropped it off, the dealer couldn't reproduce the issue. That was no surprise since I couldn't either. They did perform a rather extensive software update. Following that they were performing additional test driving and lo and behold, they ran into the same grinding issue after reversing the van out of the shop. After contacting MB, they were instructed to update the software on the all wheel drive control unit. Everything should be fine now, but we will see! No issues so far. See attached from the service department.
IMG_5470.jpg
 

workwithme

New member
I've read multiple threads about this issue - which we have (from the first day of driving brand new) - clunk, 4wd engaging on it's own, difficulty getting into 4wd (always when we need it most!) and horrible scraping noise when shifting into reverse and sometimes into drive when not in 4wd - we took it to Palm Springs MB last week while on vacation and they were great and believe it's the transfer case but they had to escalate to MB and I'm worried that now that it's back in CO at Westminster they will try to get away with a software update vs. a new transfer case or locktite. Has anyone had recent success with Westminster getting this issue resolved? How many folks recently have had this issue truly resolved and with what actions? We are ready to walk away from this sprinter between this and a random check engine light that appears intermittently that can't ever seem to be resolved despite software update attempts. URG
 

GRC

New member
I have a 2019 4wd 144 and have had similar issues with the exception of the 4wd automatically engaging, this seems to work fine for now. I had the clunk in the drive train and had the Loc Tite service performed and that seems to have solved the issue for now. I continue to have a horrible scraping/grinding noise while starting out in reverse. It seems to be more prevalent when the van is facing down hill and attempting to back up hill, or while in gravel, soft grass or sand. It starts out with NO power while pressing accelerator and then once the van starts to back up a little I get this loud grinding sound. I have read threads where others have the same issue in reverse and some suggest is the back up nanny sensor applying brake due to a bike rack. I have had a bike rack on my Sprinter since almost day one and now have an Owl Vans tire carrier and ladder that activate the sensor. This makes some sense but seems strange to me that it has never once done this on flat ground in my driveway. I have the distance assist set to off but it still pops up occasionally to let me know it is not operative.
 

Mendeleev34

Member
For what it's worth, my van has been fine since the software update. Will keep you all posted though.
 

workwithme

New member
I have a 2019 4wd 144 and have had similar issues with the exception of the 4wd automatically engaging, this seems to work fine for now. I had the clunk in the drive train and had the Loc Tite service performed and that seems to have solved the issue for now. I continue to have a horrible scraping/grinding noise while starting out in reverse. It seems to be more prevalent when the van is facing down hill and attempting to back up hill, or while in gravel, soft grass or sand. It starts out with NO power while pressing accelerator and then once the van starts to back up a little I get this loud grinding sound. I have read threads where others have the same issue in reverse and some suggest is the back up nanny sensor applying brake due to a bike rack. I have had a bike rack on my Sprinter since almost day one and now have an Owl Vans tire carrier and ladder that activate the sensor. This makes some sense but seems strange to me that it has never once done this on flat ground in my driveway. I have the distance assist set to off but it still pops up occasionally to let me know it is not operative.
Very interesting - we've had the same "no power" when reversing even when we have it floored and more regularly when angled slightly downhill... not that it fixes much
 

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