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Sprinter cranks but wont start?

If your Sprinter cranks but wont start:

1. Did you put gas in the tank instead of diesel?

2. If you have access to a DRB (Daimler scan tool) check fuel pressure. You must have at least 2500 PSI to start.

3. If no or low fuel pressure the nasty little culpret may be a 25 cent o-ring. The fuel pressure regulator is located at the rear of the fuel rail on 2002 to 2004 trucks. Its held in with two little torx head screws and can be a mother to get out. It's not terrible you just have to work by feel mostly. Remove the electric plug and the two screws, then pull the regulator towards the firewall and it will come right out of the rail. Inspect the o-ring and back up washer on the end of the regulator. If you have a split or tear in this o-ring you just found your problem. Replace the o-ring and reinstall. Dont let your dealer try to sell you the whole regulator for $300 the o-ring only kit is part number is 05175439AA.

4. If this is not the problem you may have too much fuel bypassing inside worn injectors. You need to run a fuel quantity test. I will post how to do this in a separate post.


  • Hello, I had the same problem my 2003 stopped and after 2 dealers and one
    diesel mechanic the van is running. Last dealer changed the hi and low pressure fuel pumps, one glow plug and the glow plug controller total $3600. The O ring you mentioned was broken and I believe this was the entire problem.
    Now the van idles at 500 RPMs and runs hard but as soon as the RPMs raise to 700 it runs smooth and the dealer's mechanics do not know how to increase the iddle
    speed. "PLEASE SPRINTERGURU HELP ME " I need to solve this problem. I need
    to increase the idle speed and I believe the specs call for 800 RPMs.
    I know we must communicate inside the forum but you can copy your response to:
    <[email protected]? Thanks.
  • You are most likely correct. The little o-ring on the fuel control valve causes most all of my no start issues. I have never seen a low pressure fuel pump fail and I have only seen the high pressure pump fail by a massive fuel leak at the pump head gasket. Internally there really are not many parts and as long as it stays lubricated with fuel it probably will not fail. The glow plug issue will not cause your idling problem. On this truck when you have a glow plug fail it will most likely take the glow time relay (located under the battery box) with it.
    Read my post on fuel injector injection quantity test, this is something you or someone mildly mechanically inclined can do easily. This will verify that your injectors are good and not bypassing too much fuel. Thats the first place to start.

  • So, what if the injectors have NO fuel returning after 10 seconds?? I did mine different than you, I cut a small piece of hose and removed the hoses on the injectors and checked them one at a time. I used a child's dosing spoon marked in ML, got nothing. This van is dead, makes no smoke or fumes when cranking. According to two scanners (SDS MB factory tool, and Snap on Solus) I have 5000PSI pressure cranking. If I unplug the fuel pressure sensor and crank for about 20-30 seconds I can get it to hit on what sounds like one cylinder and make a little bit of fumes. The actual pressure matches the desired after 10-15 seconds of cranking. The actual pressure gradually builds and when you quit cranking it gradually drops. I have everything I need on the scanner for this thing to start, cam crank synchro OK, authorization from the theft module, 198-199 cranking RPM. But it is dead in the water. I can take a high pressure line completely off at the HP pump and fuel only dribbles out while cranking. Maybe it needs a restriction to build pressure? I would think it would shoot fuel 50'. It sure seems to be a fuel pressure problem but according to 2 scanners the rail pressure is OK. If not, I'm left with clogged injectors but 5 of them?
  • woodashwoodash Posts: 3
    Well...what was the resolution? What was the real problem and solution? Who has access to a DRB scanner?
  • fiteqprprfiteqprpr Posts: 12
    I have a 2004 that I filled with trash fuel and barely made it home. It would start but when I accelerated it would die. I had all 5 injectors replaced and that solved my problem? Have you changed all the fuel filters? The return from the pressure line back to the tank does it have a regulator that allows it to build pressure to it's limit and spills the overpressure back to the tank?
  • woodashwoodash Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Dodge Sprinter SHC 2500. I replaced the fuel tank module, fuel filter and fuel line from middle of filter to inlet of low pressure pump. Also replaced crank position sensor. I paid $2000 at dealership and engine stalled out like it ran out if fuel. Checked clear lines and NO air bubbles or foam. Got van to start after several extended cranks but died as soon as accelerator peddle pressed. Van towed back to dealership and I asked what my feed pressure and rail pressure readings are and was informed they never tested or checked as the only code is no communication with MAF sensor. Dealership wants $1100 to replace and program MAF!!!? Does this sensor require programming? I asked if they tried cleaning or unplugging my MAF, but no com means replacement according to their sprinter tech. Im at a loss. Im tempted to tow van to my yard but have to access to diagnostic equipment. Any suggestions?
  • fiteqprprfiteqprpr Posts: 12
    mass airflow sensor (MAS) determines the mass of air entering a vehicle's fuel injection engine, and passes that data to the Engine Control Unit, or ECU. The air mass information is necessary for the ECU to correctly balance and deliver the correct amount of fuel to the engine. When a vehicle's mass airflow sensor is faulty or defective it can cause a variety of problems, and usually results in very poor performance from your engine.

    Symptoms of a Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor
    A faulty mass airflow sensor will cause problems similar to low compression or low vacuum, and will also show symptoms similar to when your vehicle has low fuel pressure from a faulty fuel pump. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a faulty mass airflow sensor:

    The engine is very hard to start or turn over
    The engine stalls shortly after starting
    The engine hesitates or drags while under load or idle
    Hesitation and jerking during acceleration
    The engine hiccups
    Excessively rich or lean idling
    If you believe your car has a faulty mass air flow sensor, take it to a qualified mechanic so that a complete computer diagnostic can be run. In most cases, a faulty mass flow sensor has a specific code that will generate during computer diagnostics, and is usually easy to determine with computer testing equipment.

    How to Clean a Dirty Mass Airflow Sensor

    Generally, you'll want to clean your mass airflow sensor either every six months, or every time you change your oil. Cleaning it when you change or clean your air filter will be a good way to save both time and money.

    Remove the Sensor
    To clean your mass airflow sensor, first, you must take it out. This is done by opening your vehicle's air box and using a flathead screwdriver to pluck it out. When removing the sensor, be sure to never touch the wires. A disconnected mass airflow sensor can't electrocute you, but the wires are delicate and small. Breaking one will require a replacement, which can run upwards of $100, so it's best to be cautious.

    Clean the Sensor
    Next, you have two choices. The cheapest option would be to take your mass airflow sensor and place it in a plastic bag filled with rubbing alcohol. Take the bag and move it around, making sure the alcohol washes all of the dirt and grime from the sensor. Another option would be to go to your local auto parts store and buy a special mass airflow sensor cleaner, and spray it onto your sensor, but as stated before, this is more expensive.

    Dry and Reinstall the Sensor
    After cleaning your mass airflow sensor with either the cleaner, or rubbing alcohol, let it sit, generally for 20 minutes or more. The sensor has to be completely dry before it can be reinstalled in your car, otherwise you may damage it. Replace it and that's all.
  • fiteqprprfiteqprpr Posts: 12
    Mercedes C280 E320 C36 AMG S320 SL320 Sprinter 2500 3500 Mass Air Flow Sensor eBay.html

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  • woodashwoodash Posts: 3
    So no special programming is required for installation of a new MAF sensor? Dealership told me yes and that is why I could not replace myself. That also advised against using aftermarket sensor as have other Sprinter forums. Do you have any experience and syuccess using aftermarket MAF sensor? Thanks.
  • fiteqprprfiteqprpr Posts: 12
    I have just bought one and im going to put it on this week. It seems the dealers have no real clue. I had turbo problems and they suggested a new turbo to solve it. Since the problem would go away sometimes and then return. I bought a recond actuator 400 instead of 1500 that seems to have solved the problem it runs fine now
  • jay255jay255 Posts: 2
    Hi I got a 2005 sprinter , it has no to very little fuel coming out of the fuel pump on the motor , although lots of fuel comes to the pump , is the pump no good or ?? Please help
  • I have same story..,just fixed engine-did cylinder head(costumer bought as nonrunner)...and can`t start-same thing-no fuel going to injectors,but lots of fuel going to the pump...
  • I had all 5 injectors plugged up on mine a while back. super fine trash in bad fuel. had to replace them with re-conditioned but no further problems since. I do use rislone fuel injector cleaner and it works great. mileage better acceleration better. auto zone about 10. a bottle.
  • jay255jay255 Posts: 2
    Test the how much fuel is being returned from the top of injector , if one is leaking it can't build pressure , you tube it , you just put clear lines on top of injectors to test very easy
  • tony31048tony31048 Posts: 2
    This is my first time on this forum so be gentle.
    I have an 04 sprinter that died on the road. It seemed like it was out of fuel. Had it towed to repair shop and they told me it needs the high pressure pump (Big bucks). Told them to hold off and brought it back to my shop. They told me their scanner said that was the problem.
    I wanted to check out a couple of things. I changed the fuel filter even though I didn't think it was the issue. When I had the lines off I turned on the key to see if the low pressure pump was working and didn't get any fuel. I don't have a scanner but don't know who to trust. It's in OK shape but don't want to spend $2500 on something I don't feel it is. What do you think?
  • lytninglytning Posts: 1

    02 Sprinter no power at the injectors. Changed the o ring that causes such a fuss, don't know why nothing wrong with it. Why aren't I getting any power to the injectors?

  • ortakortak Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Sprinter Diesel that the glow plugs were not working on. I changed the controller but that did not fix it. I had a garage do a scan and they said there was no signal coming from the ECM. Could be a wiring problem they said. It ran good but just no glow plugs. I decide to get the ECU tested and it came back tested ok according to the tech. I installed the ECU and now all it does is crank over. I sent the ECU back to the tech and two techs tested it and they insist that the ECU is good. Am I missing something here. I've checked all the fuses and ECU plug pins. I'm at a loss and now our Winnebago motor home is sitting in our yard when I should be camping.
  • moamamoama Posts: 1
    You must send more than the ecu away if you ring injectronis they will tell you you need key key reader etc hope this helps
  • Hi all after an eventful time with my sprinter there are a few changes I made to it !! 1 there are more expensive filter or systems out there I chose the cheap way I bought $4.95 micron filter and installed it b4 the vans filter it's been 127000 klms and it's still clean haven't had a problem since $4.95 every 10k for a filter plus you don't need to bleed the system and it keeps everything clean !!!
  • Hi I have 2008 mercedes sprinter and the engine only starts by spray and runs with full throtle pedal down and the engine cuts off when I take my foot from the pedal instead of continuing running, please help me to solve this problem.
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