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Dodge Sprinter Starting/Stalling Issues



  • My 2004 Sprinter is blowing the 15 amp fuse to the engine control unit and not starting. This just happend for the first time today. The van started this morning and when I put in gear it stalled and would not restart' checked fuse and found blown 15 apm ecu fuse replaced and blew again. Anybody else have this problem?
  • im a licensed electrician in nyc i bought a 2003 sprinter 3500 in jan 04 it was a leftover. i bought this van when i started up my business,i had waited for 2 years to make the jump from employee to employer and one of my happiest days was when i picked up my van from merrick dodge and drove it home,this is when the fun i drove my van in january i couldnt wait to get the heat going to bad for me it was broken and did not function except for cold air, i learned this later because 2 miles from the dealer i ran out of fuel and the engine never had a chance to warm up, thats how the dealer sold me the van with no my excitement i didnt realize the fuel gauge.the next day i drove back dropped it off to fix the heat 3 days!! later they called me said it was fixed.GREAT RIGHT, lets start to do electrical work and make money WRONG!!! the next morning my driveway was filled with diesel fuel there was a hole in the tank from the "factory", when a bracket was installed near the tank you could see a drill bit mark of some sort that penetrated the tank about an inch from the bottom.YAY MY FIRST ROADSIDE TOW !! funny how i didnt notice fuel leaking when i filled it up after running out on my first drive home, the van was towed to the dealer and they showed me the hole we were all shocked!!.now starts the breakdowns,the van performed very well for about 2 months, after that starting up in the cold or damp air was a real problem. from october to april of each year from 2004 to present day i have had about 10 no starts per the "no start season"well today was my first no start im very happy i made it to december last year this happened in september.each no start resulted in a tow back to the dealer and as always it was a "fuel"problem and a few times i was charged a few bucks because bad fuel is not a covered item.i have never had a real explanation from the service dept. its always a fuel problem or bad diesel or clogged filter once i was told it was the battery im an electrician and did a load test,it was fine. today was a wake up call this van has cost me alot of lost income while at the same time spending money for repairs. also i didnt even get into the other items like a 1200 dollar sevice from the dealer, and brakes that needed roters twice, i started off loving the sprinter that was until i owned one running an electrical contracting firm in nyc is tough enough, having a 40,000 truck that starts sometimes and dealer service that stinks is enough to give up.i purchased a new chevy it gets 12 miles to the gallon but it was almost half the cost, i cant stand up in it,it doesnt hold as much but it has ac,heat and it starts everytime. sorry for the sob story but its 100% true
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    That's not a sob story, its a tragedy, and you deserved better.

    Having bought a new 2004 in 2005 (last on lot sort of thing), I am more and more happy that mine was completely assembled in Germany and checked out thoroughly by someone (and delivered with a full tank)... I bought a wagon (passenger) model.

    My dealership problems, however, have not been much better... however, i have never had a fuel problem, and am still on the original filter (39K miles). I have the new filter, and no time to install it... I won't pay over $120 for the dealership to install it!!!

    No brake problems yet, but certainly we have seen forums mentioning the need to replace rotors and pads together for some people, especially heavy in-town drivers/delivery people.

    Daimler Chrysler should be sorry that they sold you such a problem. I have driven Chevy, Ford (gas and diesel), and very seldom a Dodge Ram van... and now a Sprinter. For my good luck (knock wood) the Sprinter is the best, but it is not driven for work, just back and forth to work... My maintenance, on my van is working so much better than the dealership work.

    KenB :sick:
  • Just signed on. It looks like I have company here.
    2003 Freightliner Sprinter with just over 200,000 miles, but not without issues.
    Current issue is the engines dies during any number of events some are very serious situations such as just passed a real truck at 75 mph and pulled back in front of it and accelerating. The first time this happened I just dived in to the emergency lane. It was good for me there were no other broken down vehicles in that spot or the sprinter would have been a hood ornament. Dash lights still lit but engine dead as a hammer. I had a long drive through eastern Tn. especially over the mountians, as passing gear and heavy throttle seemed to cause it to happen more readily. I learned to turn the key off and back on immediately to keep from getting run over.
    Now, sometimes in the morning after starting, pressing the brake pedal kills the engine. I got smart and started the engine with my foot on the brake pedal. Once lowering the driver window killed the engine. Several times when the "engine dying" was happening frequently all of the analog gauges went to zero for a few seconds, then popped back up to normal.
    Diagnosis, is a instrument cluster fault. Cost to replace and see if this really is the source, $718 part cost.
    I bought this Sprinter new in late 2003. I never saw a "wait to start" light illuminate once or ever. Never saw a clogged filter light ever, but know I had clogged filters and replaced when there is a power loss at high speed.
    I was hoping for a loose connection on the instrument cluster. I removed the instrument cluster last evening, but no loose connectors, but a strange "black box" "RKE-Immobilizer" attached to the back of the cluster with a big wire harness connection but no physical electrical connections to the instrument cluster.
    Could this "Immobilizer" be what killing the engine?
    I would appreciate any thoughts or proven solutions
  • Having this problem too. Stalled on the way to work today and I'm waiting for it to get fixed. It has happened first thing in the morning several times AND stalled on the side of the road. ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated as I think the dealship is going to need ideas too. (They currently service NO OTHER diesels)

    Does anyone know a dealership that DOES work on these in the MSP/St Paul area, and not just a Dodge/Chrysler Dealer that sells them and claims to service them?
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    More information would be helpful...

    Fuel issues are common amongst diesels regardless of make/model.

    1) Fuel filter plugging in cold weather,
    2) filter clogging from dirty fuel,
    3) clogged air filter (dirty or snow sucked up/in (powder)),
    4) oil sensor/sender (tells computer you are out of oil or low on pressure),
    5) some things that kick in the limp-home-mode could also either seem like a stall, or become a stall situation.
    6) water in fuel (but not enough to setoff sensor)
    7) computer/network failure
    8) ECM (engine control module failure)
    9) chaffed wires somewhere shorting out/crossing
    10) EGR stuck open (clean/replace depending on age/condition)

    This is a wide open field of inquiry.

    A good Mercedes shop (I mean an independant garage, with crafts-persons doing the work) will be a good resource if they know CAN/bus and DRBII/III computer codes. They will have to have access to the diagnosis manuals for Sprinters.

    It seems odd for a Sprinter dealer to not also have Dodge Cummins diesel pickups as well... Further looks for Spritner dealers/repair in your area should include Freightliner dealers who also sell (or did sell Sprinters).

    KenB :sick:
  • hhullhhull Posts: 1
    I am having problems with fueling my van. The neck fills up and shuts off the fuel flow from the pump handle. I have pulled the tank and inspected the neck. The anti surge check valve seems free. Any ideas?
  • My husband has an 04 Sprinter 2500 he uses for an Express Mail route. We have had numerous problems since purchasing this van in 2003. We've had anything from brakes, sensors, batteries, fuel/air filter problems, etc. We have a new problem that the mechanics can't seem to figure out so I'm searching this board in hopes of some kind of direction.

    When the van is started the auxillary fan to the air conditioner kicks in and the motor sounds as if it is racing.....the van then dies. Restart the van and it will start fine, no fan running, no racing engine.....but you put the van in reverse and once again it dies......wait a few minutes and it starts and drives normally. This only happens when you first start it. There's no loss of power no lights come on and the mechanics have found no coding errors. Any ideas?

    One bit of warning for those considering a Sprinter van......mechanics who are licensed or one who knows how to work on these vans are limited and regardless of the problem (in our experience) when you leave the dealership expect to pay $$ for any service on these vans. Our experience has always been at least $500 per visit and has been as much as $1700 and expect to be without the vehicle for at least one day if not a week at a time. Seems these "qualified trained" mechanics don't know where to start if the code reader doesn't detect anything. :
  • I long ago found that I must keep a key to critical locks in my wallet!
    I had a key to 03 sprinter made at the best locksmith shop in town. They found a blank that had the same profile but was thicker, so they ground it thin enough to fit in the lock then cut the teeth the normal way.
    After locking the key in the van several times this wallet backup has saved many precious hours and a lot stress. It will unlock the doors no problem.
  • I am very sympathetic to your problems and issues with Sprinter electronics.
    I have been having problems with my sliding side door from day one. Recently it doesn't unlatch. Yesterday, I used the dash mounted unlock button, got out and attempted to open the door, which was a mistake. after pulling on the door latch, I heard the unmistakable sound of all of the doors locking, clunk,clunk. As you may expect I had left the key in the ignition. These Sprinters can have a mind of their on. It was suggested to me that I should find a Priest and have an "exercism performed".
    The local dealer who has very short term experience said that it was a faulty instrument cluster. But at $718 for the replacement cluster I am reluctant to put with that much precious green stuff. Maybe if I can find a dealer who will let me "try before you buy"?
  • Our dealership told us that if you replace the brake pads, you have to replace the rotors because of sensors. They say they just throw the old ones away but all has to be replaced at the same time.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    An intelligent sounding line of BS is still a line of BS

    The Sensors mount in the back of the pads, not in/on the rotors. An actual explanation of WHY is in order if sensors are somehow related to rotors...

    Yes, I have heard that if you let the pads go too far you might have to replace the sensors. Also constant wet conditions could get to your brake sensors and cause problems.

    KenB :confuse:
  • hi everyone, im the electrician from new york who wrote "i gave up". i was driving my 03 ripoff and in a 8 hour time my front brakes went from fine to complete destruction of both front rotors, the pads,and 1 caliper.what happened to the german engineering i paid for?I thought there was sensors to tell me when my brakes are low.Not to worry my friendly dealer was happy to sell me all the parts i needed for about 700.00 and after driving 10 miles each way i found out the rotors were the wrong ones i am starting to feel that this van has been the worst item i have ever purchased in my life.I dont get it, my van is a 3500 mid size and it is not near its load limit how could the brakes go that fast. thats all for now but i will add recently when im on the highway the engine surges, but thats a story for another day in the near future.I will say one last thing i recently bought a 2002 chevy van with 150k miles as a backup van for when my sprinter dies!
  • hi everyone,I last wrote "i gave up"and "my forehead says sucker"this will be my last post,from february 08 till april18 my sprinter has broken down 6 times,each time it was at the dealer from 2-7 days,twice i picked up my van after hours and it broke down 1-2 miles from the dealership.leaving me stranded 9:00 at night,calling roadside assistance waiting for the tow and having someone pick me up.merrick dodge has gotten to know me so well that they know my phone number and see it come up on there caller they dont pick up when i call.When i would call up not 20 seconds later from a different phone they picked up instantly.this is the type of people in their service dept.After picking up my van on another breakdown i noticed my headlights were not working,after investigating and opening the protective cover in the engine bay i found both headlights completely smashed,i guess the certified mechanics were getting fed up with my questioning on why i was having so many problems,it worked out because when i went back, i went to the parts dept asked for two bulbs and told the clerk that keith the service manager was covering them there was no problem they just handed them to me and i walked van has had thousands of dollars of parts changed,it still failed me.I know not all sprinters are like mine but i think i got the worst one ever built and the worst dealer and service.this past monday april 14 it broke down,i had to send home two employees and cancel a 1800 dollar job.they came and towed it back,dodge had it until thursday,i went to pick it up and it broke down 1 mile from the dealer,i called them and they sent two mechanics,they plugged in the scanner and it read out a new problem different from the one that they just fixed for 4 days,i got picked up and left,i went to my local gmc dealer. I am the proud owner of a 2008 gmc 3500 box truck it cost me 35,000.00,they are giving me 17,000.00 for my van,I took it with a smile,Its funny that i cant even pick up my new gmc truck because the sprinter that im using for a trade in is still at the dealer getting fixed.I was at one time so into my sprinter,i was like a salesman, i would push these vans on a lot of people.So here the story ends.I could probably get more than 17,000 for my sprinter it only has 57,000 miles loaded, cruise control,all power, assist computer ,dually,high roof partition, cargo liner,and many more options,im just happy to see her off to some other poor soul. goodbye, lights by jay electric,ny
  • paul_opaul_o Posts: 3
    I suspect a egr valve needs cleaning. where is this located exactly. I would appreciate any advice on where I can get a decent schematic of a 2500 series 2005 sprinter.
  • I have 1 sprinter and 3 gasoline chevy vans...One of my chevy vans has 435,000 miles on it, no engine problems at all!!!! I am a FedEx contractor and that van has had the crap driven out of it everyday since 2001. stop and go, stop and go... I have had it since it was new. The fuel pumps are the only weakness of that body style that will leave you walking. I always replace mine with a new GM before they reach 100k miles. 100k is the life of those pumps. pumps from other part stores are junk. Park the sprinter, buy a new GM fuel pump for your chevy if you are uncertain of the miles, and drive trouble free...
  • mraimmraim Posts: 1
    I have the brake reservoir light on. This only comes on when the brake fluid is low. Well when I did the brakes and toped off the reservoir the light went off. 30, 000 miles later I did another brake job and this time the light stayed on. The sending unit is build into the plastic tank. So I replaced the brake reservoir and the light is still on. Can any body help on this?

  • ovesoves Posts: 3
    If I had as many problems as "jverrelli," I'd have had the van taken back by the dealer as a lemon, not left it on the road to harm someone else. I wonder what the chances are that the mechanics screwed up more than they fixed? Those smashed headlights? hmm...

    Our parts and repairs have come through a Freightliner dealer.

    The EGR valve was replaced at 35,000+, just under the warranty expiration.

    The "loss of power" was clearly due to the fuel filter which I just replaced. I had to drive it for a short while in that condition while finding the filter, directions for replacing it, and something else to drive while hunting. A useful owner's manual would be nice. I've downloaded a free pdf of the Service Manual. That'll do.
    I can say that it started fine throughout and never just quit altogether. That sounds like another issue.

    The passenger side door neither responds to the key signal nor to the lock switch. Since that happened simultaneously and all the other doors work properly, I think it's probably the door's motor that's out. Does that sound logical? Any other ideas?

    Otherwise, the Sprinter is a pleasure to drive and use
  • I have a 2003 sprinter with 150,000 mi It will not start in the mornings without using starting fluid and will run for 2 hours and then suddenly die ( usually under acceleration or on a hill ). It will restart with the starting fluid. I make deliveries for 2 to 4 hours a day and leave the truck running all the time.
    The dealer has replace 1 glow plug and the "module" with no success.
    Anyone have any ideas?
  • Sounds more like it's not getting fuel....have you had them check the fuel filter or fuel pump? When the van dies do you smell fuel? When you first try to start it in the morning, do you have electrical power (dash lights, etc)? We have a 2004 for sale here in Arkansas if you're looking for an upgrade.
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