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Dodge Sprinter Maintenance

We're considering an RV based on a Sprinter van - can anyone list typical maintenance & intervals for the first 100K? Of note is oil specs, capacity, transmission maintenance (filter/fluid only, I hope). Are the oil filters difficult to get? I'm not a commercial mechanic, but I'm familiar with diesels, turbos, and maitain our family vehicles to a typical 200+kmi and want to make sure if we get this RV that we maintain it well.
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Comments

  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    To answer all your question go to fl-sprinter or dodge website maintenance (you need Adobe Reader 6.0)

    Any Sprinter dealer has oil filters at $9 each.I execute myself all maintenance and service on my Sprinter,however stay away from any transmission service,you need special Mercedes training and equipment.According to Mercedes recomendation you need one lifetime transmission service at 80K cost between $300-$400.
  • Thanks - I see the reference in the manuals on the tranny maintenance, too. And it took awhile to get to the oil specs. Easy to find the weights, but most european mfrs have a non-SAE methods of specifying their oil quality. Nice enough, though, they put a list of qualified oils in the Dodge Owner's Manual. Is there an easy way to clear the maintenance light without paying Doge $50?
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    <<<<<Is there an easy way to clear the maintenance light without paying Doge $50?>>>>>

    Key in position 2 press mil button two times,turn key back to position 0,press mil button again one time hold and turn key back to position 2 again,keep holding key for 10 second and U've clear maintenance record.Remember operation must be completed in fast 15 second.

    Oil:Myself always looking for a bargain I found the best deal at Wal-Mart,inhouse full 100% syn 10-30 10q $25 pluss $9 filter and U've saved $100 from any Sprinter service shop.(Wal-Mart do not know your location???)

    Remember 2 very importune facts,do "NOT" losse copper washer on drainplug and place big O ring in provided gruff.Big O ring is sealing on "OD" not on compression against bottom flange.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    SAE CI-4+ is the designation you are looking for, fully synthetic is required if you are looking for the ASSYST system to calculate miles til next change.

    It is becoming more and more evident according to users of the vans and others with the same automatic transmission that you would want to check the transmission fluid level once in a while (not just waiting until 80K miles) and that the first change should be earlier (say 40-60K miles).

    Finally, you should expect to change fluid at 60K intervals forever as well.

    No, this is NOT required, but it seems to be best advice, especially for the higher loads of an RV chassis.

    Thanks,
    KenB
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    to amplify what kurt6 is saying... the o-rings seal the filter/holder the correct way for o-rings: on the cylindrical surface of the part they slip into, so "tightening" of the cap/filter/holder into the filter holder is NOT necessary or recommended. All you are doing is screwing it in CAREFULLY, and stopping when it bottoms out. NO torque or "partial turns after touching" are required.

    I have just found that the correct oil for 2007 diesels will probably have to be CJ-4 (replaces CI-4+) in order to be compatible with the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF - a catalyst-like self-regenerating section of the exhaust system.

    On a side not, My beloved Sprinter (dad's "baby" says my daughter) was savaged yesterday while parked in the lot at my work place... someone cut out the muffler section, pipe/resonance chambers/mufflers, and drove off with the section... Presumably they though it had catalysts and that they could sell it for salvage (about US$90 at recyclers in OKC, OK).

    Replacement cost will be about US$1300...

    KenB :mad: :mad:
  • Bummer about the resonator...is it covered by insurance? And thanks for the info. I assume much of it will be in our manual when we pick ours up this weekend. The excitement builds...our checklist is already four pages long!
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    all is covered... I still can't afford to lose the value/use of my van since it is so new...

    The resonator I refer to is on the exhaust side (the "muffler" is the muffler, a resonator chamber, and a particle filter I think)... This is ONE BIG PART, Dodge #5119 762AA in the PDF of 2004 Sprinter parts as found on the Berry Dodge site. One part US$1000+...

    Checklist? of questions? of curiosities? Please share it sometime...

    KenB :shades:
  • Our 'acceptance' or 'delivery' checklist of items to check. We're probably gonna drive the delaer crazy, but we'll post our dealer experience when we're done. btw, the checklist is now 7 pages. As we think of things, we add them to the list, and have garnered an initial basis from ones available in a simple internet search. Can we post files? 7 pages is a long post. It's also for RV acceptance - so there's a lot more to check than an auto-van type list.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Maybe you would like to join Sprinter-Forum (another site) that is more in-depth and accepts larger content pieces easily so far.

    I understand the long list for the R/V part... so many parts, so many systems, so much maintenance... Like a car, a truck, a house, and (sometimes, if you have a generator) an electric cooperative to keep up with.

    KenB
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 68
    I have 70k on my 04, reg height, 140. Dealer says time to change fluid. He said he doesn't have pricing in the computer. But says about 300.00 for the trans, Also I need an oil change for 130.00, air filter, about 50.00, and fuel filter for 120.00 !! does this seem right?

    I called the dealer where I bought mine to ask about the 07. says they will get them in about july??? I had two pass me today. Real nice looking rig. Tom
  • bhmetbhmet Posts: 8
    Hello,
    I have a leased 2004 with a stakebed with a maintenance plan. My last service was as follows:
    transmission flush $296.22
    windshield $369.59
    coolant flush $171.60
    steering flush $130.00

    We love this truck, but it is not cheap!
    FYI

    bhmet
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    The trans service is supposed to be at 80K, so 70K is reasonable... according the DC/MB this is your one (1) trans-service for the life of the vehicle... we don't see that as a recommendation in the user community... after this first one, it should probably have the fluid changed every 60K or so. Can't be sure of the $300 price, but it MUST include the filter, gasket, and several quarts of that MOPAR (MB Spec, probably SHELL) fully synthetic ATF that they love to charge high$'s for at dodge/FL.

    About $75 is my cost for an oil change with fully synthetic oil (AMSOIL) and a filter from Autozone. The dealer premium is not good.

    The air filter is not a bad deal if they install it for that $50 bill... the filter is usually over $35 at most parts places (if they even have one) in my area OKC, OK. You have to remove some parts to get the filter out... MB didn't do you any favor when they placed the air filter down in the pit on the passenger side of the engine compartment. (I really wonder what that is like for the British, right-hand drive, version)?

    The fuel filter at $120 is obviously dealer installed, and though not tragically high (is also certainly no bargain either). At least they will be responsible for repriming and getting your diesel up and running after the change out.

    All-in-all, I plan to do all of those same actions on my own because I am allergic to dealer pricing on such simple labor items.

    I have already removed and checked and cleaned the air filter of what little dust was in the box and on the surface... so I know that part pretty well (20K miles).

    The fuel filter is not due until about 60K miles barring any encounter with moisture in the fuel supply.

    You know my history with the oil change... one free from dealer, one on me ($75, self-performed, easy), one almost due prior to next big trip (28K miles). The dealer appears to me to have used the wrong oil and/or did not fill it completely (3 quarts used to top-up in 9K miles, first 2 quarts needed after just 1K miles). My own oil change with MOBIL 1 (as required for ASSYST, but I don't have ASSYST) has not used any that can be seen lost on the dipstick level.

    I have seen a few '07's as well, but my dealer only has on or two and the rumor is that they will be losing 5-star/business link status soon which should mean they lose Sprinters as well...

    thanks,
    KenB
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 68
    Thanks Ken, As usual :D Its kind of scary having service done, then when you pay the bill its higher. They did that to be before on an oil change. By 20.00. Speaking of wrong oil, when I get mine back, there is the usual sticker in the upper left hand corner on the windshield, Saying my next change is in 3K miles. How can you tell they are doing it right? I have the ASSYST.

    If Mb is going to sell off chrysler, What becomes of the dodge sprinter dealers? Kind of scary. We have a limited service network as it is. Thanks again the the reply. Tom
    PS just filled up and got a hair over 24 MPG @298.9 PG.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Ask them what oil... the manual says that for ASSYST it HAS to be fully synthetic (such as Mobil 1 0w40). It has been brought up that this Mobil 1 is not for diesels, but the Sprinter does not require "diesel" oil. What is required is that the oil is MB spec 228+ or CI-4+.

    I have used the oils, fully synthetic, as required in the book and you should not use hardly ANY oil in even 10K miles. Maybe 1/2 to 1 quart tops. This is in line with old specs for the FLM 302 C.I. in the Mercury Grand Marquis for just 3,000-5,000 miles (1 quart per change interval) and that was with regular oil, maybe CF/CG API spec oil.

    Thanks,
    KenB
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 68
    Hey Ken, Well I had the oil changed, the others will do soon. Oil change went from 130.00 to 149.00. Nice increase. What is involved in doing the air filter. I think once I do it, it will be a breeze next time. Thanks, Tom

    P.S. I may have told you that they repainted the van under warranty (both sides only) and did a great job. :D
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Tom,

    I will never have anyone else do the oil change again if I can help it. :mad:

    To get to the air filter you obviously have to get the cover out of the way...

    Start on a cold engine if you can... You will not be working around the hot end of the turbo MOST of the time, but why risk a burn?

    First, remove the turbo cover/heatshield and be carful with the wires/connector attached to the front end of that...

    Second, carfully disconnect the box lid, wires, hose(s) etc.

    Third, remove the box lid from the Air box.

    Remember to vacuum out the box and to put the new filter back in the same way (air comes in from the bottom and out the top).

    Place the box lid back, connect hose(s), wires, etc. and lock down lid.

    reroute wire attached to heat shield bracket as it was before you moved all around and put heat shield back on.

    Avoid the tempting idea to remove the washer fluid tank to get to the air box... it is much harder to do than you might originally think, and you are likely to lose all of the fluid in the tank while trying this route.

    As I am nearing 30K miles, I will be changing the air filter at this oil change. Since my Autozone carried only the Dusty Region filter, that is what is going to go in. The price is very good, can't remember how much though.

    At 18K miles I removed the air filter, tapped it out gently and vacuumed out the box... I can't remember, but I think that the interval on the filter is every second 30K service... will have to read the books closely again. However, I like Clean Filters A LOT as do most enthusiasts.

    Still haven't found the cabin filter in stock, but Autozone, for one, is carrying cabin filters on the shelves now. One of the local Diesel service companies is now stocking Sprinter parts (a request of the FED/EX guys that use them for fuel injector service).

    The diesel service center guy was at the OKC Farm and Ranch show last weekend. He is a Stanadyne diesel injector systems and Bosch Injector/CDI rep as well. I bought the Stanadyne Diesel Jr. Injector lube/diesel improver (summer use) about $15/half-gal (4oz treats 30gal). Winter diesel improver (with Cetane booster/antigel) is about $23/half-gal. and takes 8oz to treat 30 gal (twice as much).

    He says it takes at least 8 oz to add enough treatment to boost cetane (more important in cold temps).

    Thanks,
    KenB :shades:
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    One can execute most maintenance on your Sprinter,like filters (air motor,cab,fuel and oil) and save 50%-70% from dealer cost.
    However stay away from your transmission unless U"ve proper training and equipment (DRBIII,diagnostic read out box) from MB.
    To check your proper tranmission oil level requires the right temperature.A dipstick check only at the wrong temp can overfill or underfill your transmission and efect the performance and life of your transmission.
    So disregard "Sprinter know it all high tech posters" a periodic dipstick check is all you need can damage your tensmission (cost $2800)
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    You appear to be on the right track about the TRANs... I might add that the good Mercedes Benz specialists (not necessarily at a dealer) in your area may have a much better cost on checking/maintaining your Sprinter Transmission.

    It is a common MB Automatic Trans used in several other models (all just as picky about fluid level, quality, temp, etc.) The automatic in the Chrysler Crossfire and similar MB Kompressor model sportscar (don't know the model #) is this same auto trans.

    Kurt, I don't quite know what your last sentence says? A periodic dipstick check is not actually possible for regular owners without specialized equipment as you say earlier in your posting. so, what is probably a really good practice is to look around your Trans at least at every oil change to see if you kind find any leaks. This is not high-tech, or Know-It-All... just common sense, but not often thought about.

    What might seem Know-It-All to some is that these forums that I have read, and subscribed to, give great experience-based advise:

    Change Trans fluid more often than just the one time at 80K miles. (about 60K or less if in an RV or tow-vehicle)

    We MUST use the fully synthetic ATF meeting all MB/DC specs and it must be at the right level (as you state above).

    The infamous RSN (rumble strip noise) can be a problem associated with nothing more complex than the trans fluid, its level, or its quality.

    Don't try to cheap out on trans maintenance when the time comes to do it, even a rebuilt Sprinter Trans is EXPEN$IVE...

    please explain that last sentence... I really want to understand it better.

    Thanks,
    KenB
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 68
    Ken, Thanks much for the info. Sounds simple enough, But will take it slow. Thanks again, Tom :D
  • Speaking of maintenance . . .
    I tend to keep my new vehicles and always purchase the manuals the dealer techs use. (the 3, 4" thick binders at $80 for my '95 Saturn SL2 with 189k miles have paid for themselves many times) Has anyone purchased them for the Sprinter and/or are they available without cracking the master dealer database?
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