About to buy a 2020 4x4. Want to understand the quirks.

Bjorgens

Member
I'm heavily biased toward the value of winter tires if spending any appreciable time driving on snowy/ icy roads. I also use the van as a ski vehicle. and run studded Hakkapeliitta LT3 LT235/85R16 tires on the stock steel wheels. They work great! Note that these tires also don't require any fender mods.
 

apartment15

2020 4x4 crew 144
I'm heavily biased toward the value of winter tires if spending any appreciable time driving on snowy/ icy roads. I also use the van as a ski vehicle. and run studded Hakkapeliitta LT3 LT235/85R16 tires on the stock steel wheels. They work great! Note that these tires also don't require any fender mods.
great to know. I will look into studded tires for winter driving and then switch back to the all terrains for camping / traveling. any issue switching between varying diameter tires, say from 235's to 265's or so? thinking i'd get studded traction tires on my stock 16" wheels for winter and then transfer to 17" wheels for the rest of the year.
 

Bjorgens

Member
great to know. I will look into studded tires for winter driving and then switch back to the all terrains for camping / traveling. any issue switching between varying diameter tires, say from 235's to 265's or so? thinking i'd get studded traction tires on my stock 16" wheels for winter and then transfer to 17" wheels for the rest of the year.
I got the LT235/85 R16s because they were available in my favorite winter tire- the studded Nokia Hakkapellita LT3 in a load range E config and with a marginally taller sidewall height than stock that wouldn’t require fender mods. For rest of the season, I do intend to make the fender mod and probably go to a LT265/75 R16 or LT265/70 R17 on prettier wheels - either of which is roughly the same diameter.
 

SMARTrides

New member
I read a lot of comments about the DEF system but don't quite understand the challenges. I understand that DEF is there to help reduce the emissions, but don't understand the problems down the road. Like, only 5 starts left. Deleting DEF, etc. Anyone with insight want to explain to me what's happening there?
Here is what will help you understand def

 

ddubois

New member
Yes, this is the kind of stuff I am hoping to understand. @GRC I'd like to understand more about the grinding related to the back up sensor. I'm not quite sure what you mean. Where is the grinding coming from? It sounds like if the back up sensor detects something, it disengages and won't allow you to back up? And somehow that is creating a grinding noise. Any extra info you have, or anyone from the group has about this is great. Thanks again.
GRC is correct that if you have a bike rack or just about anything hanging off the rear the parking assist backup sensors will stop the van from moving in reverse. If you try to force it with the throttle you will get those noises, probably the ABS fighting you. The fix, if you have anything on the back, is to just get in the habit of turning off both lane assist and parking assist everytime you start the van. There is a 'quick access' assistance button in the lower-center-right of the dash to make it a quick affair.
 

djsincla

Active member
I read a lot of comments about the DEF system but don't quite understand the challenges. I understand that DEF is there to help reduce the emissions, but don't understand the problems down the road. Like, only 5 starts left. Deleting DEF, etc. Anyone with insight want to explain to me what's happening there?
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-hazardous solution, which is 32.5% urea / 67.5% de-ionized water. DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. Just fill up DEF when the vehicle tells you to. DEF is widely used on various diesel vehicles including other Mercedes vehicles and across the trucking community.

The start warnings only occur if you ignore the warnings and don't refill DEF or you decide to cheap out and full DEF tank with water or old expired DEF. Since its part of the emissions control system, deleting DEF (if it was possible) would increasing your vehicles pollution and likely make the vehicle non compliant when you needed to get it smogged.

Also in the emissions control system is the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and there is a separate process shown on the video above that burns off diesel particulates on a regular basis. First burn is a little scary since when the vehicle is new, there is considerable odor from the vehicle as "new stuff" is heated for the first time. Subsequent burns and no big deal and you really only can tell anything happened from the "tink" "tink" "tink" noise from the exhaust system after burn as it cools down. Just consider your surroundings (long dry grass) if your DPF is full ;)

DEF = Sprayed in the exhaust to reduce NOX.
DFP = Burnt off on a regular basis.
 
Last edited:

apartment15

2020 4x4 crew 144
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-hazardous solution, which is 32.5% urea / 67.5% de-ionized water. DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. Just fill up DEF when the vehicle tells you to. DEF is widely used on various diesel vehicles including other Mercedes vehicles and across the trucking community.

The start warnings only occur if you ignore the warnings and don't refill DEF or you decide to cheap out and full DEF tank with water or old expired DEF. Since its part of the emissions control system, deleting DEF (if it was possible) would increasing your vehicles pollution and likely make the vehicle non compliant when you needed to get it smogged.

Also in the emissions control system, is the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and there is a separate process shown on the video above that burns off diesel particulates on a regular basis. First burn is a little scary since when the vehicle is new, there is considerable odor from the vehicle as "new stuff" is heated for the first time. Subsequent burns and no big deal and you really only can tell anything happened from the "tink" "tink" "tink" noise from the exhaust system posts burn as it cools down. Just consider your surroundings (long dry grass) if your DPF is full ;)

DEF = Sprayed in the exhaust to reduce NOX.
DFP = Burnt off on a regular basis.
super helpful. thanks for the post.
 

Glenn233

Member
I was really impressed by the LED headlights, especially the auto high beams. I have LED lights in several other cars, and the Sprinter Van is by far the best of them. I just changed my rear shocks yesterday and wow, what a difference.
what shocks did you switch to?How do you like them?
 

skbbga

New member
New owner of a 2020 144 4x4 high roof, V6 Diesel. Bought it new from a dealer in St. Louis just before the holidays (I live in Colorado). Based on what I'm reading on this forum, I feel fortunate that I was able to acquire a 4x4.

First off, many thanks to all of the owners on this site sharing their knowledge. It's been invaluable for me as I begin my Sprinter journey. Overall, I'm very satisfied so far but a couple of my experiences to share from the first 30 days:

1. I don't have LED headlights. They are adequate but less than what I would expect on a new vehicle in 2020. The low beams were aimed very low so I figured out how to adjust them (8mm hex wrench on the back of the housing) so much better now. I'll live with them. An LED upgrade would be nice but looks complicated and not wanting to tackle that at the moment.
2. DEF - no issues. Top off the reservoir as needed. I knew zero about DEF before I bought this thing.
3. The regen burnoff so far has worked fine.
4. 4x4 engagement - no issues for me. I've engaged/disengaged 5-6 times and no problems.
5. snow performance - better than expected. I traversed from Denver to Grand Junction through chain law conditions and I was pleasantly surprised how well it drove. I guess I just expected less. My previous vehicle was a 4x4 Tacoma so that is my baseline. They are very different rigs, I understand.
6. suspension - looking for an upgrade and probably going with Van Compass. Just based on what I have read on this forum, the upgrade should help with crosswind control, washboard and head sloshing pulling out of my driveway.
7. Thanks to what I learned on this forum, I re-clamped the power steering line. Several hundred miles after the fix and no issues. This was surprisingly easier than I expected. Access from under the vehicle.
8. Mercedes Me app - had trouble getting paired so went to the dealer and they fixed the pairing however not all services are activated. I'm still working with 1-800 tech support so this remains unresolved.
9. I have the 10" MBUX and really impressed with the screen resolution and interface
10. disconnect the center speaker immediately. The stereo is not great but I can live with it for awhile. Search the forum and you will see how to make this simple fix.
11. I find the vehicle very easy to drive. Steering is responsive, turning radius is tight for such a large rig and being so high up gives you great road command. Visibility is good. Brakes are great.
12. Bought the OEM floor mats. Recommend.
13. installed OEM grab handles in the rear. Really strange how MB wouldn't line up the holes with an existing plastic retaining clip so I had to dremel out the plastic. What should have been a 15 minute job ended up taking 2 hours. All good now and they are a requirement in my opinion. The van is high from the ground as we all know.
14. I'm planning to drop the oil at 10K, myself. Looks pretty easy and I change oil on all my vehicles - always have and always will. Not trying to dust up another oil debate, just pointing out my upcoming maintenance.
15. This vehicle has a lot of electronic nannies. I'm impressed with all of the modern technology but also weary that this computer on 4 wheels will have electronic failure and I'm stuck. I'm not a luddite but favor reliability over anything else. We'll see.
 

Seacoaster

Active member
Some really annoying ...."features"... The active lane keeping assist sucks. ...Really sucks and you need to shut it off every time you restart the truck. The audio system is on par with a 1978 Sanyo setup ...Maybe not even as good. Many of them howl on the highway at 70mph until you heavily insulate and soundproof the inside. The driveline is clunky switching in and out of park. Im not a fan of the little electronic P.R.N think that took the place of a real shifter. Primarily because you have to push to in for park, and I have several Fords that have column shifters.. more than once I have pushed the button on the ford, which is the tow/haul button..then thought I put it in park, only to have the truck roll forward, ...Muscle memory and repetition from the sprinter. The cup holders are terrible.. someone at MB decided it was a good idea to make them pitch back at a angle....so a full cup can leak and fill the cup holder itself with whatever was originally in the cup. The door panel arm rest is still awful..and painful after driving for any length of time. The tow capability is terrible at 5k pounds, Adding a remote start is almost impossible, They no longer have the rear door catches to stop them from flying open on a windy day should you be loading / unloading. ... With all that said.. I have a 2020 loaded cargo that I'm going to be getting rid of, ...Any interest ?
Actually, the remote start is bizarrely easy to source and install. It’s pricey, but includes added features that are fully integrated to the computer system(seat heat etc). $800, you can also add app functionality for $100
 

Seacoaster

Active member
New owner of a 2020 144 4x4 high roof, V6 Diesel. Bought it new from a dealer in St. Louis just before the holidays (I live in Colorado). Based on what I'm reading on this forum, I feel fortunate that I was able to acquire a 4x4.

First off, many thanks to all of the owners on this site sharing their knowledge. It's been invaluable for me as I begin my Sprinter journey. Overall, I'm very satisfied so far but a couple of my experiences to share from the first 30 days:

1. I don't have LED headlights. They are adequate but less than what I would expect on a new vehicle in 2020. The low beams were aimed very low so I figured out how to adjust them (8mm hex wrench on the back of the housing) so much better now. I'll live with them. An LED upgrade would be nice but looks complicated and not wanting to tackle that at the moment.
2. DEF - no issues. Top off the reservoir as needed. I knew zero about DEF before I bought this thing.
3. The regen burnoff so far has worked fine.
4. 4x4 engagement - no issues for me. I've engaged/disengaged 5-6 times and no problems.
5. snow performance - better than expected. I traversed from Denver to Grand Junction through chain law conditions and I was pleasantly surprised how well it drove. I guess I just expected less. My previous vehicle was a 4x4 Tacoma so that is my baseline. They are very different rigs, I understand.
6. suspension - looking for an upgrade and probably going with Van Compass. Just based on what I have read on this forum, the upgrade should help with crosswind control, washboard and head sloshing pulling out of my driveway.
7. Thanks to what I learned on this forum, I re-clamped the power steering line. Several hundred miles after the fix and no issues. This was surprisingly easier than I expected. Access from under the vehicle.
8. Mercedes Me app - had trouble getting paired so went to the dealer and they fixed the pairing however not all services are activated. I'm still working with 1-800 tech support so this remains unresolved.
9. I have the 10" MBUX and really impressed with the screen resolution and interface
10. disconnect the center speaker immediately. The stereo is not great but I can live with it for awhile. Search the forum and you will see how to make this simple fix.
11. I find the vehicle very easy to drive. Steering is responsive, turning radius is tight for such a large rig and being so high up gives you great road command. Visibility is good. Brakes are great.
12. Bought the OEM floor mats. Recommend.
13. installed OEM grab handles in the rear. Really strange how MB wouldn't line up the holes with an existing plastic retaining clip so I had to dremel out the plastic. What should have been a 15 minute job ended up taking 2 hours. All good now and they are a requirement in my opinion. The van is high from the ground as we all know.
14. I'm planning to drop the oil at 10K, myself. Looks pretty easy and I change oil on all my vehicles - always have and always will. Not trying to dust up another oil debate, just pointing out my upcoming maintenance.
15. This vehicle has a lot of electronic nannies. I'm impressed with all of the modern technology but also weary that this computer on 4 wheels will have electronic failure and I'm stuck. I'm not a luddite but favor reliability over anything else. We'll see.
#13, are these for the rear doors? I’d like a grab handle to more easily close the rear doors from the inside of my passenger van. We use them a lot at the resort.
 

PatManVan852

New member
I’ve had my 2020 4x4 passenger van for two months now. The 4x4 engagement system is temperamental for sure. I was becoming quite discouraged since I was following the manual instructions and had a 50/50 chance of the system engaging. Thankfully I read a post on this forum that suggested placing the van in neutral when engaging the transfer case, problem solved. I agree with many of the other quirks mentioned in this thread: driveline clunk and the lane keeping assist are very irritating. All things considered though the van meets my expectations.
 

Seacoaster

Active member
I’ve had my 2020 4x4 passenger van for two months now. The 4x4 engagement system is temperamental for sure. I was becoming quite discouraged since I was following the manual instructions and had a 50/50 chance of the system engaging. Thankfully I read a post on this forum that suggested placing the van in neutral when engaging the transfer case, problem solved. I agree with many of the other quirks mentioned in this thread: driveline clunk and the lane keeping assist are very irritating. All things considered though the van meets my expectations.
I believe the manual tells you to put in neutral as the basic requirement? In all reality, unless you are highway driving or live in a place 4wd is never warranted for road conditions, once winter arrives, put it in 4wd and leave it for the season. I think it rides overall more stabile in 4wd anyway. I wouldn’t leave it in if I was highway driving in good road conditions.
 
Not what I’m looking for, but I kind of like those too.
has anyone seen a strap or alike to help close the rear door from the inside?
I ran an l-track across the top of the windows of the back doors. hook on each door near the 'center' when closed makes it easier to close
 

chipsterguy

Active member
I ran an l-track across the top of the windows of the back doors. hook on each door near the 'center' when closed makes it easier to close
Pics, please? How did you attach the l-track? Mechanical fasteners or high strength adhesive?
 
I used 5/16 plus nuts. you can see the l-track ring I use. a lanyard would make closing the door even easier.. so would moving the l-track away from the hinge.. or putting in a longer l-track bar

you can't see the mounting holes because the rings are covering them.. but they're in the last circle on each side..

IMG_1835.jpeg
 

Top Bottom