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Dodge Sprinter Starting/Stalling Issues

rchadwickrchadwick Posts: 1
edited January 30 in Dodge
I have a 2002 Dodge Sprinter that seems to loose power after it has been driven a few hours, and then it must sit for 10 to 30 minutes before it will start again. It acts like there is either no fuel or the airflow is restricted.
In the morning everyhting is fine, but later on it feels like you are towing a trailer and there is no pickup or passing gear, like the turbo is not working. Then if you turn it off it will not start for a while, leaving my driver sitting there for awhile. It works fine when I take it to the shop and starts every time. They finally saw the loss of power and blamed it on some carbon deposits...but we turned it off on the way back from the shop and it would not start.. It was in an accident awhile back and recently we replaced 2 of the turbo hoses,(at different times)..on it's way back to the shop now...Can anyone help me with this one??? :cry: :mad:


  • This is way too simple; but have you changed the fuel and air filters? They might be clogged up. Mine had same power loss and rough idle, but it was just an old fuel filter. Sometimes you can get bad deisel, and even a newer filter will get restricted fast.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    what temps are you in... hot, cold, mixed, (cold early in day hot in afternoon)?

    Sounds similar to problems with each of the following not already mentioned by surlyoldbill...

    1) turbo connector box (plastic part between turbo and intercooler)

    2) temp sensor on intake air

    3) mass air sensor

    4) EGR restriction (not showing as EGR failure

    5) bad fuel (oops surlyoldbill took that one already)

    Are there really no bad codes in the computer? The Sprinter should have codes on just about every sensor and very few things can be wrong without a code of some kind...

    KenB :confuse:
  • Any ideas on what could be causing the frequent appearance of Check Engine light on my 2006 Sprinter 3500 powered by 5 cyl Mercedes?

    I've put 7,500 miles on the chassis which carries an Itasca Navion Class C motorhome. I've got issues with that too but that's another story.

    Engine light appears about every 4-5 starts. Sometimes it goes out after a few miles. Sometimes it doesn't and I take it to the dealer. Three times out of four, they've told me they could find no problem and I guess they just reset the thing.

    Scary part came when I started up an 8 percent grade in the middle of Wisconsin with rigs rolling fast behind me and beside me and suddenly lost most of the power--chugged up the hill at about 30 mph, pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot, and then got a free 100-mile tow to the nearest dealer. They fixed and made it back to Maryland fine. But this is getting a little out of hand or maybe I'm just been spoiled by driving Japanese products 150K doing nothing but routine maintenance and never having a problem.

    Any ideas? I use only brand name, #2 fuel. Is the engine control unit faulty? You'd think that would pop right up on a scan.

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    what did they "FIX" when they towed you in?

    That would give us a better chance to understand and help you with your fears about your Sprinter Chassis. We have quite a bit of experience around the forum.

    Fears are good when they keep us out of trouble, not so good when they errode our overall confidence...

    KenB :confuse:
  • Ever since the weather got down into the 20's & 30's, I've been getting a lot of start errors when the engine is cold. After the second start error, it takes about 4 hours for my 2002 Sprinter to reset itself before I can even try again to start it. I thought maybe the anti-theft system wasn't reading the chip in the ignition key because its battery was low, but a Sprinter tech told me there is no battery in the key. He suggested the start errors could be caused by a low vehicle battery, but my battery tests out great.
    As crazy as it sounds, the problem seems to be connected to low CABIN temperatures. When I leave my RV heater plugged in and heating, I get no start errors even when the engine is cold. Anyone have any ideas what the cause of this is? Thanks! Doug
  • Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I think I got answer to your problem,check injectors. One of them may leak back and will couse no start when hot. You need to do INJECTOR LEAK QUANTITY. I had the same problem with 2003 model. I fix them on daily bases.

    Perform this test with the engine at operating temperature. This test will assist in determining a defective or internally leaking injector(s) is present by measuring the amount of fuel return.

    Turn the ignition off.
    Remove the engine cover
    Disconnect the fuel return hoses at the top of the injectors.
    Pinch off the oil return line.
    Disconnect the fuel rail solenoid.
    Install the test vials onto the injectors and secure with the return hose clips(Special Tool # 9545).
    Start the engine for ten seconds while monitoring each inner test vial.
    After ten seconds, a maximum of two graduation lines may be reached. If the level has exceeded the two graduation line, replace that effected cylinder's injector, clear the memory using the scan tool and retest. If the level did not pass the two graduation line limit, continue with the diagnostic manual.
    Hope this will help you. :)
  • I am Having the same stalling problems with my 03 Sprinter 3500 mostly in the am and when it is wet or damp and temps in the 40s. I could be cruising at 65 and it just dies after running for 15 minutes. It is getting worst and last week it only restarted after about 15 minutes and about 15 tries.
  • onwhidbeyonwhidbey Posts: 2
    When i turn the key to start pos. at times it takes a couple seconds to turn over or it won't all. The dealer tried a new starter relay but still no fix, so then he installed a button under the dash that turns the starter over but doesn't start the engine, i then turn to the off position and try again with fingers crossed-i repeat 'till it starts eventually. It's an '04 with the 2.7 engine, model 2500. Appreciate any ideas!
  • ocoeocoe Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem. It seems to be worse once it's been driven. Starts in the morning fairly consistantly.
  • dayipperdayipper Posts: 1
    After even a brief drive and turn off, the van won't start when we get back in to leave for the next stop. As soon as we turn the key to wait for the glow plug light to go out, the fan starts up and the glow plug light won't go out. The van won't even attempt to start.

    It has plenty of power, and we've towed it to the dealership 3 times so far. Each time it gets to them, they give it back because they can't duplicate the problem.

  • rdean1rdean1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Sprinter that has had all sorts of starting problems; will start sometimes then not at all; won't get any lights on or anything when turning key. Then after 4-5 tries it will work. Also had trouble duplicating problem at dealer. Fixes so far have included: replaced/recoded the electronic keys; replaced control module; replaced battery connector plates. Each time this was supposed to "fix the problem", but after the last "fix" it did it again 2 days later. This time they said it was the Ground Cable from the battery to the engine block. I hope this helps anybody out there. :confuse:
  • bobsatbobsat Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 freightliner with 92,000 miles on it I have had it not start two times in the last couple of weeks, usually cold mornings. the key gets turned on and it will start to bring up the dash diagnostics lights, then it will just go dead. It doesn't finish up the self check and if will not warm the glow-plugs. Turning the key all the way does nothing. I was able to charge the battery and it started both times. We have done some checks and find the water control valve is hot to the touch, and the amp draw is to high with the key off. If I remove the plug to the valve the draw drops but so far I have not had a chance to test it farther. Does anyone have information about what controls this valve? By the way the power to the valve will drop and the valve will cool to the touch if you start the vehicle.

    Any ideas please let me know.

    Thanks very much Bob :(
  • I believe They found my problem. It seems that the engine heater booster is running all the time. We found the water control valve was hot to the touch and removing the plug to it would take the load off the battery. I took it to the dealership after figuring that out myself. At the dealer they checked the system and found the dash switch that controls the heater boost even though it was not lit was still sending a message to the water control valve to turn on. The dealer replaced the whole switch( $400.00+ ) with a new one, second one this year, and all seems to be well.

    I bought this van used, it had 45,000 miles on it. I have driven it 50,000 miles this year. I have saved lots of money in fuel cost, but the repair bills are killing me.

    Anyone else having second thoughts about their sprinter purchase? :confuse:
  • I have a 2004 Sprinter with same problem- dealer told me I needed to replace ECM - picked up van today check engine light is on though ECM replaced so will see if it really is fixed. Is yours fised?
  • yes so far its working fine. I keep hoping this will be the last repair for a while. I have almost $2000.00 in repair and service work, light bulbs, SRS, Heater switch (twice), trans flush, Tires, and one injector. Plus the regular filter changes. I hope its the end for a long while. I hope this helps others.

  • I have a 2004 with what sounds to be the same problem- dealer replaced ECM - Check engine light on now so not sure if I'm fixed yet- what did you do to fix the problem you had? :(
  • we replaced the dash heat control switch. it seems to have worked, so far.
  • I have a 2007 Sprinter that is used for courier work. My boss had me duplicate the original key which also had a power button lock. I was using the duplicate to unlock the door and the key sheared off at the part where the "cuts and grooves" start. First, is it legal to duplicate that kind of key at a lock shop? Second, is that duplicate key of the same quality and integrity of the facory key? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    You can not duplicate the key at a lock shop,will not work at the door or to start motor,you need the factory chip to go along with new keys.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    All reports have been that the lock shop ( a really good one) can make you a new key and it will work the door and the ignition switches, but will not start the van due to the transponder that must be programmed...

    So, the BLADE of the key should be OK, but if it broke off, then the quality is BAD.

    If you just need a new blade (to relpace a bad one), then you should be able to use it in the original remote, or just always have the remote with you.

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