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Dodge Sprinter Electrical Problems

2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
Today, Again, the driver side low beam went out. I replaced both on feb 13th. Both went out. Now This AM I lost another. :mad: This is number 7. Anybody having this problem? Any mechanics out there? I am at the end of my rope with this. aaaaahhhhhhhh. :lemon: THanks for letting me rage. Tom
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Comments

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Tom,
    Finally can reply... I always try during the upgrade outages... grrrrrr. The message is "not Authorized" to post or some such (try logging on again)...

    Tell me, are you cleaning/wiping the capsules (VERY, VERY) carefully prior to installing them? They must be absolutely clean, no fingerprints, smudges, dust before you install and use them. Never use your bare hands to install.

    I am amazed at the amount of moisture that can be in my wife's Buick Regal's headlight enclosure without causing a bulb failure... Could it be moisture in the headlight assembly? Or grease/oil from the o-rings that seal the bulbs into the enclosure?

    I feel fairly confident that the voltage is spiking or something like that (unless the bulbs are not initially clean or staying dry).

    KenB :confuse:
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Ken, thanks for the come back.

    I try my best to keep it clean. I never touch the bulb. But it is kind of hard to get the bulb to maneuver around down there. I put bulb grease on the contacts. Not much more I can do I guess. It is getting old real quick. But the one thing I noticed is the light went out for a few min. Then came on again. It repeated another time than quit for good. Thanks again, Tom :cry:
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    The off/on/dead thing is the symptom of a dead filament that is still long enough to make contact after just the right bump, vibration, or jog...

    The primarily tungsten (other stuff maybe for xenon bulbs, but I doubt it) will be broken (light stops), then the filament is jogged over to make contact (which may even cause it to be welded back to the contact due to the high resistance of the momentary contact/arc), a (usually short) period of light from the bulb will occur and may even be brighter than normal (due to the shorter than normal filament which is lower in resistance than the normal length of coil/wire in the bulb).

    Not much to that last part except a novelty explanation...

    It is however, apparent that your bulbs are failing due to heat/overvoltage, and/or mechanical stress on the filament... like maybe vibration/impact. Or maybe bad design if all of the bulbs were the same company. I think you previously said it was Sylvania capsules.

    You are not busting bulbs due to overheating/fingerprints/dirt/oil/moisture/etc. Right?

    Hate to still have you burning out bulbs to test for us... but of course you have to have lights anyway, so why not try a different brand?

    Otherwise, I want to revisit the voltage issue... What Alternator do you have... 90, 100, 120, 150, 200 Amps? Can you put a voltage meter on and watch for spikes during starting, headlights on/off/on/off (look for spikes as you change load on alternator). Any other high-current loads? A/C (especially rear air)? Heated windows? Turning them on/off is high load on the Alt. and on the voltage control regulator can't clamp down to an absolute 12V at all loads, especially transient loads.

    Heater elements (for windows, seats, etc.) also typically have highest current flow as they are turned on as the element has greater resistance after it heats up and lowest when it is first turned on and is cold.

    Do you have the running lights option (turned on?)? If so, you hit those bulbs with every turn-on transient from virtually all things turned on. Do you turn on your lights before you start the vehicle (not recommended, but I am grasping for info), you might if you go out in the dark every day to start it up and need some light.

    Awaiting your answers and maybe we can narrow this down a bit.

    Does anyone out there with the service manuals have a line on where (exactly) the voltage control regulation function is done? I also presume that this is done in the Alternator now, but I have had cars with a separate VCR... not related to Video Cassettes...

    Thanks,
    KenB :sick:
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Ken,

    Thanks for all the info. I will print it out for future use. However, I feel three ways stupid, should look before I leap, get my ducks in a row, and do not count your bulbs before they are really blown. The wire connector was loose. :mad: . I think I will look before I,,well You know the rest. We all learn in diff. ways. Tom :blush:
  • kentdogkentdog Posts: 4
    Does anybody know how to get into side door lower track? There is a plastic step cover that acts as a roller guide for the lower sliding door mount. I had a toolbox full of sockets open up and roll around in the back. Most of the sockets found there way into this track assembly. I can't get them out without pulling it apart and I can't figure out how it comes apart. Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW: Take a look in yours, you might be surprised what is down there. I used a magnet to pull out the smaller sockets, some belonged to the previous owner as they weren't my brand. In fact, I found several items that didn't belong. My door still works fine, but I think someday (probably when its -10F) the door will jamb and either not fully open or not fully close.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kentdog
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Well, just got through with a many month, many miles, many jump-start saga with my Sprinter...

    Just started having times when the starter would either turn over about three times and die, or just not turn over at all... lights still pretty bright, but no start.

    Often happened if it sat for 2 days, sometimes overnight was long enough, seldom a problem if just an hour or two since last run... Took to dealer and described problems and all systems supposedly checked out. Made sure I told them I knew that the battery was run down at lest 2 times before I bought the van (maybe 3 times run down to ZERO charge before I ever bought the van).

    Also had found the battery low on electrolyte and topped up with distilled h2o... let them know that as well, but supposedly the battery still checked out good. The battery, however now had black/gray scum/floaties... and they never mentioned that, so I guess that they never looked inside.

    Second time to shop, it would not start, the tow-truck (flat-bed) driver could not start it to get it out of my drive and/or onto truck. Dealer never noticed that I had the Sprinter delivered to them (multiple calls to let them know), and the tow-truck driver was assigned a spot to drop off the Sprinter (by the dealer).

    No work of any kind on my van for 4 days, then they supposed just started the van and all checked out OK. Left at dealer another day and it finally did not start on Friday... just in time for the Sprinter Tech to go home for family emergency... and for me to rescue the van for a weekend trip out of state... Its my one long-haul vehicle!!

    Back to dealer after weekend (met my 3 jump start minimum). Jump pack from Wally-World worked 3rd time after left on the battery for about 20-25 minutes. Dealer found no problem and also did NO work on other 3 problems reported at same time (LAST WEEK!!!). Second day, it wouldn't start for them and/or the battery (FINNALLY!!!) didn't pass some test and they replaced it.

    New (black) battery is MOPAR, not VARTA, same cranking specs, 72 month maintenance free (18 month total replacement), no fill/checking ports, and the vent is in the wrong place to hookup the vent tube again, also vent is wrong shape (was round, is oval now, half-way back on in-board side of battery). Also note that the terminals are noe traditional top-post, with adapters in place to bolt the ground on in the back and the power center on in the front.

    KenB :sick: :shades:
  • ddaileyddailey Posts: 5
    Don't know if your question has been answered, but here is what I found. When you are looking at the step through the open door, high on the right is a round cap. Pry the cap off and you will find a bolt down in there, don't know size. Next, feel along the bottom of the body below the step and you will find 3 or 4 more bolts. On the topside these are covered by a square plastic plug in the step thread. Pry these us with a pocket knife and remove bolts. Watch where the bolts came out because some are different sizes. Lift the plastic step up from the left side, keep in mind that this is what keeps the bottom of the door in alignment. When reinstalling, after installing the bolts, install the plugs so the pattern is opposite from the step pattern. This will make future removal easier. Also, I taped foam insulating tape to the bottom of the door thick enough to hit the step and cause a seal to keep the loose trash out of the area. Dennis D.
  • kentdogkentdog Posts: 4
    I did eventually find the caps. They are very well disguised. Thanks for your help,
    Kentdog
  • flex9flex9 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Sprinter 2500 (Canadian) and the headlights running lights stay on when the key is in the ignition. I can not idle at night as the lights stay on any sugguestions? thanks flex
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    flex,
    since no one with a 2007 gave a reply for two days (mine is 2004, no running lights), I would try shutting down the Sprinter, apply the parking brake, then re-start the engine... on other brands this usually disables the running lights as it is assumed that you don't need running lights if the parking brake is set.

    DO you have the high-idle feature? If not, you may need to consider how long you idle at a time, it was an issue on 2002-2006 Dodge Sprinters. Especially it was a problem on the 2002-2003 with the older EGR valve, which would get clogged/stuck. Perhaps the high idle function disable the daytime running lights too?

    Let us know if this works on the Sprinter.

    Thanks,
    KenB :confuse:
  • I need help. I have a 2007 sprinter. After parked for two days I need to jump start the van. The dealer has already replaced the battery once. It is now back with them. I am not confident that they are going to find the problam. What do you think or no what might be the problam???
  • I have found the radio on randomly on my 2004 Sprinter (Sound 30, Beccker (CD)). This can easily run the battery down in less than 2 days total down-time.

    I know the radio is supposed to shut down after the key if off, you can also turn it on after the key is off, the radio is supposed to timeout when you turn it on after key off, and this set of rules do not always work as they are supposed to. I have also KNOWN the radio was off after I got out of/locked up the Sprinter and the radio was on next morning when I got in... barely started up on the battery charge that was left.

    Other possible drains on the battery should be investigated, the Sprinter techs had mine for about 8 days on two trips to the dealer (they found the bad battery on the last day, after several supposed attempts to find/fix). One test was a test for battery useage in "off" position, this was negative on mine, but it is possible for some pump, heater element, glow plug or such to be drawing power when they should not...

    A clssic failure on diesels is for the glow plug relay to stay energized... but that is likely to drain the battery pretty quickly.

    With the Daimler Chrysler computer scanner they should be able to diagnose low voltage (bad alternator - low output) and several other possible conditions where the charging system fails to completely charge the battery (leading to short battery reserves.

    There is always the possibility that the new battery is defective in some way (dropped in shipping for example).

    Let us know what they say about your problem, it helps to know what the dealer thinks and how they came to the conclusion... and whether or not the fix "sticks".

    Thanks,
    KenB :confuse:
  • Thanks Kenbacker for the input. Friday they had told me the sprinter was done. I told them to keep it over the weekend. I guaranty there going to find a dead battery, but we shall find out on monday. I will keep you posted. Thanks again.
  • Hey Ken, Dave again. Its Wednesday Morning, no news to report yet. Dealer still not sure whats wrong. They think its an ignition problam. Not much to say, Still waiting.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    electrical problems do take some time to diagnose, but it is a shame that your vehicle seems to go to the end of the line when it is electrical instead of mechanical... it even happens in my on home shop.

    KenB
  • I have a 2007, 2500 sprinter which has been blowing light bulbs continuely since I drove it off the lot. Either Chrysler does nt know how to fix the problem or they dont care. I suspect the latter. Why? I recently spoke to a guy from England who told me he knows Sprinter owners who have been experiencing this problem for years. I am so frustrated with the problem, that I am checking into taking Chrysler to Ontario arbitration. Would be helpful to hear from others with this problem. Please e-mail me at craiggrant@rogers.com
  • I have a 2007 sprinter cargo "crd" . I had mine for a week an the cargo light over the side door burnt out. I replaced it and have had no additional problems.
  • Since buying my 2007 Sprinter in August I have replaced the amber running lights twice, the rear tail-lights 3 times and this morning when I went out to start the vehicle the headlights wouldn't come on. I checked the bulbs and they are OK. I called the dealer and they said I had to bring it in so they could "probe' the problem. What ever hapenned to fuses? Seems like a simple solution? Is is a reality that these systems are so designed in a way that an average, less than brilliant person can't simply respond effectively to a minor electrical problem without having to spend time in an elaborate dealership to be told "probes" are required to search the elctrical system for a fault. What a load of crap.
    Regarding the headlights staying on all the time (I'm in Canada). That is so stupid. Idling in the USA can bring severe penalties and the easiest clue for a trooper to see is some dunce sitting in a parking lot with his headlights on. Chrysler proved to be useless on this matter, so I put a separate switch on both the headlights and taillights so I can idle in peace when running exedite in the USA. What is wrong with these people.
    Oh and by the way, YES, my cruise control does quit when I flick on my high
    beams.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if somebody could design a vehicle to get from A to B without having to wrap it in mystery so nobody except "qualified dealers" knew how to rectify even the simplest problems. I figure I bought and I own and I pay for this Sprinter, so therefore I should have a catalog of presentations from Dodge telling me how to correct their apparently limitless faults - together with a charge account for them to pay me back for my time, expense, grief and endless confusion.
    Who do people buy Japanese? Beacuse they are smarter than me.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Cetainly glad I bought a 2004 and don't have any of your "problems".

    I also don't expect to go to your country and break the laws simply because I don't like them.

    Dealer problems with maintenance are a common problem for you and me, considering your message about them and their service taking long downtime.

    Can't agree completely on the fuses on headlights thing... resetting circuit breakers are much more reliable, especially for headlights where blown fuses can leave you totally stranded. Circuit breakers at least will work again as soon as the cool down and/or the short or overload is eliminated.

    Concerning the cruise dropping off when you "flick on" your high beams... Do you mean when you push the high beam lever forward, or when you pull on this lever to "flash" your high beams? Or is it a combination, like flicking the high beams and letting go of the lever so that it flops back? This is a truly dangerous condition as far as I am concerned!! I have not had this problem, but it would NOT sit well with me either.

    Also, people buy Japanese because they don't need anything as big as a Sprinter... they are not smarter than you just because of a car purchase decision.

    Reminds me of my friends in Dallas that bought the first generation Toyota mini-vans... based on Japanese/Pacifc Rim delivery vans. They thought: "Wow Toyota quality in a family sized vehicle!" At least they thought so until all of them broke down needing major engine repairs... Toyota vans of that type were not designed for highway trips and some of the limitations they had caused two major problems: 1) couldn't keep speed on hills or against any wind (four cylinder pushing a billboard sized box), 2) engine reliability (four cylinder pushing a billboard sized box at highway speed for hour(s) at a time). These are not conerns in around town delivery, but Toyota was happy to sell them to anybody as a family wagon here, interior designed for such, and let the chips fall where they may (failures, and expensive ones on those people's budget). The ones I knew with them all got past the waranty period (barely) and noe of them were happy with the vans over all: maintenance, tippy feeling, brakes, seats, paint, tires...

    It would be exciting for Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Daihatsu, or others on the Pacific rim to send over their best delivery vehicles, but they don't. Why?

    KenB :shades:
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    Your Ground-Wire is your problem.Sprinter is notorious for bad ground connection on all light bulbs.Same problems here,I tabbet extra ground to all my headlight and
    clean bodypanel.Also check the groundscrew for tightness.(Location driverside under hood)
  • I have a 2004 Sprinter 2500 Cargo van that seems to have problems on the right side that's associated w/ moisture. If it rains the right turn signal both inside and out, both ends remains on. If I turn the headlights off so that the daytime lights are on everything works normal but if I turn the lights on- left sde flashes normal- right side and hazzard on but no flash. :( :cry:
  • I feel your pain, I have gone threw about 7 headlight bulbs, Just blew one on thurs. Before that I lost one, then the other a few days later.
    Also, Now I keep blowing the fuse on my backup camera. Sent monitor back and they said it was fine. Any body else having light problems, Tom :mad:
  • FYI, Just noticed today rust under the mud flaps I just had my van repainted 8-9 months ago. Took it to the dealer that painted it. They said bad design,,, The flap just sits and rubs till it rusts. So you might want to check yours before it happens. Tom :mad:
  • Hi, I bet you buy the best High Intensity bulb available. Just like with house bulbs The brighter they burn the quicker they die. Add on to that a slightly high running voltage and full time running lights and you will be putting in new often. I got some Volvo long life halogen lamps on ebay for $4 each. I keep spares but 2 years now and never a problem. I still keep the super bright (Philips Money Makers) in for the High Beams
  • I have a strange problem, If i turn on my parking lights with the key off ,only the parking lights on the passenger side come on. If the truck is running all works fine. It is a 2003 sprinter 3500 with daytime running lights. All the fuses are good. Does anyone have any ideas?
    TNX
    Glenn
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Check carefully for ground wires and grounding screws loose on the driver's side.

    This is reported as fairly common, but the results are mixed... bulbs don't light, do light but burn out sooner than expected, etc.

    KenB :sick:
  • k1of7k1of7 Posts: 1
    I leave my radio on now to be sure I have turned the key completely off.

    I have a 2006 2500 & sometimes I take the key out & the radio stays on. So I stick the key back in & firmly turn it off and pull it out, waiting for the radio to go off.

    I'm also on my 3rd headlight in 6 months - I'll ask the dealer to check the grounds.

    Thanks,
    k1
    :shades:
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    Cannot help you on radio,but headlights is a ground problem.Check ground connection (firewall above battery) splice extra groundwire into existing ground close to headlight and connect to clean bodypenal.
  • andy111andy111 Posts: 1
    You are not alone. I have been having the same problem. It is certain it will not start monday morning and occationally during the week. The dealer in my area said nothing is wrong with it so for a while I would call the service writer everytime it died. It is now in the shop again and when I get it back I am going to call for a jump start every time it happens until they find the problem. My van is a 2007 with 14,000 miles and did not start doing this until the weather turned cold.
  • Hi to everybody,
    2004 sprinter turbo diesel. Dealer "fixed" this problem /in Title/ last week, yesterday I have to call a tow-truck to bring the car back to them with the same problem. Any idea?
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