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Dodge Sprinter Gas Mileage

grasspressgrasspress Posts: 11
hello, sprinter owners and drivers:

i just took my first trip in my new 118" 2500 with regular roof height. it was a 10-day, 3000 mile camping and hiking journey. i got a range of 24-29mpg on the tanks of gas i needed to complete the trip.

my question: i have the 15" wheels. does anyone out there have a similar van with the 16" wheels and, if so, what kind of mpg are you getting? this will be my last van purchase, so i am interested in maximizing my mpg as much as possible.

any information from practical experience is welcome.



  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    Dave the 16" wheel is a USA thing every where else its 15"
    if you trade up to 16" then use only Ronnal as they are the correct mag for the unit, Great to hear your getting 25MPG you must be using high quality Diesel every one else is saying less than 18 to 22MPG with bio diesel
  • I'm not using bio diesel, but I get above 22 MPG in town and above 18 MPG on the highway.

    I drive sensibly in town and make a consciencious effort to keep fuel consumption down.

    However, on the highway I just want to get there and my speed limiter of 85 MPH really keeps me back.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    what was your usual speed on your 3,000 mile journey? If you were on highways above 65 MPH, then you have the best Sprinter mileage and should change nothing...

    If your speed was mostly below 60 MPH, then you have the promised great mileage and I can think of just a tire change, but it won't payoff until you have a LOT of miles on this van.

    Since I get 20 MPG, let me say this: you are way lucky or I am a stupid driver... I keep up with traffic, I drive no more than 5 MPH over the speed limit (and am passed a lot), but I do keep up with traffic in town (when I get about 20 MPG), and I do go 70-75 on the highway (when I get about 20 MPG). I have the 2500, 140" Standard roof, 10 seat van (wagon), 16"wheels, tires set to 58 PSI fronts, 65 PSI rear (rides better than max pressure, also handles better)

    I have never used bio-diesel. I get 20MPG. I get almost all of my diesel at Flying-J (marked for low-sulphur standards). I have always gotten 20 MPG during normal driving, all normal tire pressures, all trips, etc. except for one thing: If I run the second A/C unit all the time it will be about 18 MPG.

    I have checked the turbo hoses, etc. and all seems fine. Mine, being a wagon, came completely assembled from Stuttgart and was not kitted/assembled in the Carolinas as the Cargo/Cab/chassis versions are so I didn't expect these problems anyway.

    Now if ANYONE can tell me how I can get better mileage, anything closer to 25 than to 20, I really want to know about it. If you want better than 24-29 MPG, then I guess you need a compact car... you are way better off than I am with my Sprinter.

    KenB :shades:
  • Between VA and FL, there was about half of it marked at 70 MPH, so I went at 85 MPH. In the other states that was marked 55 to 65, I was 15 over. I'd drop it to 5 over when the radar detector locked onto anything.

    I drove almost exactly 900 miles in 15.5 hours going south with a full truck. Must have been 500 lbs extra in that van (at least) and 14 hours coming back with my vehicle shop equipment weight in it both directions.

    Averaged about 58 MPH going south and about 64 MPH coming back, based on total time. (Including the 1 fuel fill up half way between. Love that big tank. ...and occasional pit stops.)
  • grasspressgrasspress Posts: 11
    hey, thanks for responding to my question about wheelsize and mpg. to those who were wondering about my mpg: the 29+ mpg average was on a full-tank, interstate, with cruise set at 60 (which was really about 57mpg, according to my gps).

    this was my best performance so far. also take into consideration the van is regular height, 118" wheelbase, has cruise control and was nearly empty. i brake and accelerate slowly, and i drive carefully with best mpg performance in mind.

    the other tanks were from 24-27 mpg. these were in hills and around town. again, slow acceleration and careful braking with driving habits in place to maximize mpg performance.

    perhaps my van is doing better than expected, but i was reading some of these vans were getting over 30mpg on the highway.

    thanks for the tip on the 16" wheels; i will put off this decision until time to replace the tires and after more experience on the highway.

    any information about mpg improving with the age of the vehicle?

    thanks again, dave
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    Dave if you hit the magic mark of 30 MPG then its because your driving by the RPM indictor and not kicking in the Turbo with quick shift carefull driving results with great MPG
    Quality top end Fuel with a little upper cylinder lub also helps I use it and my van runs better as a result.
    avoid any biofuels at the moment as to possible seal damages
    void warranty problems
    The Ronnal Mag has an optional wireless control tyre loading pressure unit sits on the dash great for saftey the new sprinters have this as standard.
    As you increase your miles to the first service switch into synthetic oil check with your dealer as to the right oneto use it costs more but will extend your service changes, saves big dollars over a five year period.
    A little hint from down under, if you put in a power converter! don't use the standard 12 v plug you will blow the fuse box right down into Mexico use a waco unit wired direct from the sterring loom to the alt, via an earth lead to the positive batt and it wil turn on and of with IGN , the ALT will act as the direct charge unit saveing the battery from over charging espicially if you did not opt for the bigger ALT.
    Altered Sprinter Down Under :shades:
  • grasspressgrasspress Posts: 11
    hello, sprinter drivers:

    i've done some more research on the question of wheelsize and mpg. i was wondering if i could get better mileage by switching to the 16" wheel (my 2500 sprinter has the standard 15" wheel). evidently, any change in mpg would be negligible.

    the reason is because the new tires for the 16" wheels make up any difference in the 'contact patch' (the distance the tire travels in one turn of the wheel). to maintain the integrity of the braking safety features of the vehicle, tire manufactures design tire profiles that maintain a similar 'contact patch' with any change in wheel size. the tires for the 15" wheel have a greater profile than the tires for the 16" wheel, thus the 'contact patch' is nearly the same.

    with this in mind, i can save the extra investment of new wheels since it won't produce any noticeable savings in fuel costs.

    also, i'm hearing a lot from you guys about the quality of diesel and mpg. i buy my diesel at the pump at regular gas stations here in the usa. what should i look for on the pump label. i read the owner's manual and am following their warnings to stay away from bio, and the typical advice about fuel supplies in the winter, but other than that, i can't see much difference on pump warnings (except now we're getting information leading up to the new diesel sulfer regs due to be in place 1.1.2007).

    thanks, dave
  • sonnywood2sonnywood2 Posts: 38
    someone told me that they use power service diesel kleen cetane boost in the dodge cummings and it boosted the mpg. has anyone tried it in there sprinter?
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    Fuel quality Gas lower Ron rating more contamination
    Diesel USA Quality more industrial grade,used for heavy industrial use, such as heating and mining machinery etc refined diesel for vehicular use means more refinery processing required to produce a higher more effeciant fuel
    Low suplfur grade diesel is for the new Gas emission codesfor Euro 4 global requirements
    Euro 5 is for Vehicles excedding 3,5 tonn part 1 delayed to 2007 but will not come into full effect untill 2013 Refineries need time to rebulid and catch up with the rest of the European nations so it can comply to enviromential green house gas emission controls Katrina caused massive damage to all faciltys down in the Gulf and Port Arthur infurstructures.
    If you stay with straight Diesel and add an upper cylinder lub then you will have no issues and reasonable mileage to the tank changing of filters will be more frequent.
    The Ronnal rim is the only aftermarket rim that complys for the sprinter world wide its a heavy duty rim designed for light truck four whell drive configuration you have one inch to play with on the front whell arch when turning into full lock, low profile tyes will fail under load or at high speed because of the lower ply rating of the tyre so get the best information you can from your after market dealer and double check with Dodge if your still under warranty high wheel bearing failure can result from fitting poor qualty aftermarket products. :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,179
    When I took a trip to TX I used PS as directed on the bottle. I got good mileage over the whole trip. In CA I only use ARCO/BP diesel which has been the new mandated ULSD for close to two years. All Diesel has to be ULSD in CA now and the rest of the US by October 1st 2006. Many refiners are already on line with ULSD. It will take a few months to get rid of the high sulfur diesel in tanks and pipelines. I know with BP ULSD it has a very high cetane rating of 53. Not sure about the other brands. I love that Sprinter diesel engine and transmission. Great package.
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    I wouldn't be too sure about BP claeaning out their lines they havn't piged them out or maintained the lines in years
    but it's great your getting good miles just remember CA is the first to get the cleaner fuels some of the smaller staes with less population will be waiting a little longer.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,179
    claeaning out their lines they havn't piged them out or maintained the lines in years

    You could be right. I think that is the crux of the trouble they are in up in Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Lack of maintenance. BP is notoriously tight with labor. Plenty of regulations just no one to see that they are adhered to.

    I ran ARCO ULSD in the Passat TDI I owned for 13 months. It ran great with no smoke or smell at all. It was not smelly at the pumps like some diesel I used while traveling. I am sure it is the sulfur that stinks. It is the same with high sulfur gas sold in parts of the USA.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Flying-J Oklahoma City (one on I-35, one on I-40) are marked as ULSD (under 500 PPM). This is where I get almost all of my fuel for my Sprinter, best price and lots of turnover (no stale fuels there). Small state/town compared to a lot of other places, but also one of the busiest crossroads in the entire USA.

    The pipeline thing is very curious, since they send many products through the same lines one after the other and have done so for years... In the beginning they sent a pig between batches, now they don't do that very much as far as I know. So how much mixing is there? Not much according to studies done due to controlled flow rates, only liquid is sent (single phase), a few gallons to a few barrels are mixed between batches. I just wonder what they do with the mix?

    KenB (B.S. in Petroleum, OSU, 1984) :shades:
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    according to research, look for a Cetane (CN) rating over 45 (50 is a (good) normal value for premium Diesel). Anything over 50 will probably not show an improvement as good diesel is GOOD.

    Conversly, problems are not likely to set in for CN values near 40-45. Below 40 you may get worse results, especially in cold conditions.

    In the old days, I remember truckers talking about winter diesel and summer diesel. This would be lighter in winter for a lower cloud point (less parafinitic hydrocarbons, parafin), and more parafin in the summer for better lubrication of the injector pump. Hotter heads use lower Cetane fuel better and CN rating means less in the summer than it does in the winter.

    Still looking for CN ratings for bio-diesel if this is in anyway standardized?

    KenB :shades:
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    Bio Diesel ratings depending in which state you live B5 is the safest for modern diesels there is a world wide problem addressing cheaper and cleaner fuel teconology as to supplying crops for conversion into as an aditive for fuel to reduce natural oil supply demand.
    Mercedes Benz is the only manufacture to meet both Euro4 and Euro 5 specifications the USA is stalling on the latter up to 2013 before it becomes totally mandatory for all US States
    Refinerys need time to comply nothing is that easy I guess.
    Its Interesting to note Mercedes did the research for long term fuel alternatives and that makes real sence when you look at the catalytic converters they are now using.
    The statagy is for Syntethic Diesel Oil and Natural LP gas
    a clean hot burn, very little or no gas emissions and cheaper to produce as there is still high reserves of HP gas to be found world wide, just remember Diesel is the stepping stone into the futre of the next engine that will not be reliant to fossil fuel.
    If any of you folk take it seriously , your supply will come direct from Canada as there are trillions of gallons of sand salt bituem based fuels available, Alberto alone supplys 10 percent of fuel to the United States, forget about the Middle East its just not worth it.and no offence meant by the statement, I know it's a sensitive issue.
    Altered 3 :)
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    humbly contradicting myself... under 500 ppm is LSD (low Sulfur Diesel), not suitable for 2007 diesels for over-the-road vehicles in the USA.

    LSD will become Farm/Offroad diesel in October or so, and must not be used in 2007 vehicles (or damage may occur?). I know that they put colored Dye in farm diesel here in the USA since they do not have to pay road taxes on farm equipment driven mostly on farmland (like tractors).

    If a commercial vehicle gets caught with colored diesel in the tanks, they are going down for a big fine.

    Anyway, the actual sticker on the pumps at the Flying-J mentions that they are selling LSD (less than 500 PPM) and that it must not be used in 2007 over the road vehicles. I should have taken a picture with my new camera phone to post, but I dind't think of that until now...

    KenB :shades:
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    If I read the non-hyped parts of the web stories I can find on bio-diesel and SVO (straight vegetable oils) fuels, the best diesel is the soy-bean-oil ethyl ester bio diesel.

    First they take out the proteins (lowers cetane slightly, is a contaminate) and glycerine (too valuable) and then react the oil with ethanol. Methanol may be used, but the resultant CN number is a little lower (maybe only 45). As the ethyl ester of soya, the CN is 50-67 (from many independent sources).

    Bio-diesel is credited as being higher cetane rated, having better lubricating properties, cleans the fuel tanks and lines (too well to switch a dirty old diesel to it without a lot of cleanup and frequent filter changes), does not seem to require additives, and is practically edible (I assume this means an ethanol ester, not a methanol ester, but the citation mentions that it would take litres (three litres I believe) of it to cause death in 50 percent of people ingesting that amount). But then again, my Great Grandmother Roebuck used to give her kids a dose of coal-oil now and then and they all survived it. Sulfur in vegetable oils or animal fats? I don't think so, unless you saute' them with onions first... just a joke.

    So, altered3, why not bio-diesel? please be specific, don't hype it up or gloss it over... just the facts.

    KenB :shades:
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Also forgot to say that most all of the SVO (straight Vegetable Oil) info I have found does seem hyped...

    Anybody know better? What about problems using this in high pressure direct injected vehicles like our sprinters? I think that I read that it had to be heated to 185 F to inject... any info there?

  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    bio Diesel is just not a commercial viability when you think of the volume of vehicles on the road in the US, it will work for smaller populations with land base to grow the crop
    Sugar and hemp followed by corn has the hottest burn
    long term short fix for fuel has to be Synthetic ! Its the only fuel that a refineray can make with the least expence involved, apart from replacing pipelines to cator for high pressure LP Gas, we all grumble about fuel and you will laugh at the STATEMENT oil companys are in this for a buck as any enterprice is, but their profits are not high enough to justify the costs of new refinerys and teconolagy, thats the sad truth. govenment regs dont help but they make more profit from fuel tax and taxes paid in by all others sources to produce the oil based fuels. :sick:
  • nescosmonescosmo Posts: 453
    Does anybody knows if you can on the sprinter 3500 dual wheel, put single wheels in the back. Regulation in the county were I'm said can't park dual in residential areas. I don't want to loose my sprinter for this bull sh......
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    The most simple method to put single wheel rimes on the rear is go the wrecker and put the compleate unit in, you would need to change the front hubs to match.
    check the weight configuration as to loading limits? with your county clerk, you should be under the two ton mark same as a car such as a DCX 300 that does not add up with residential parking restrictions. the Sprinter is a cargo and passenger van not a truck,:mad:
  • nescosmonescosmo Posts: 453
    altered3....I have a meeting with the code enforcement on thursday and they said can not park dual wheel on residential property. Could I attack them with the tonnage issue or I am dead in the ground. This is my main transportation and to park it in a place is very difficult to me the less expensive I found is 86.oo a month that is a lot for me. another possibility is to sell it and buy a single wheel one but with the bluetec engine that the new one are coming with will cost a lot of money and the bluetec liquid will cost extra. so what can I do. another possibility is to sell my house and move to a less restricted area around this stupid place.
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    My sprinter is the mid based single wheel unit, I have had a similar issue with parking in resindential streets as to loading limits these vehicles are under the two ton limit and in fact weigh in less than an ordinary vehicle such as Chevrolet caprice Chrysler 300 series or the larger Fords, your direction is to find out weight limits? with out letting on what your up to. its called entrapment but what else can you do! When dealing with county regulations bogged down by red tape. If there is a weight limit = X unknown, to the regulations! If any? or is it because the vehicle is over length, the dual wheel places less pressure on the ground than a single wheel unit as the dual wheel distributes the weight over a larger ground mass area.
    Getting the New Sprinter, not that easy? I only found out yesterday, that there is no AD Blue additives in commercial quanity's in the US yet, but also no oil that will be pure enough to meet the new standards, I guess you can use a lesser 10/40 oil but with a micro filter of 5 they will be blocking filters at twice the rate as its a more contaminated oil in simple english, but the AD-Blu is criticial for the gas emission to eliminate Hydrocarbons Carbon monoxides NOx :confuse: and particulates etc.
    Even the currant Sprinters oils are not 100% compliant
    I have sent a sample of Castrol 10/40 in both standard and synthetic oils, and a sample of Mercedes Benz oil that can only be purchased at the dealer, to see what differnces there are! this test will be a University test somethings not right with the En rateings of 2007 to Euro V standards?
  • sonnywood2sonnywood2 Posts: 38
    just did my first trip without towing a trailer. 400 miles. 300 highway and 100 city and 2 lane mix. stayed under 2000 rpm on take off and about 65 mph on the highway and got 26.5 mpg. was using hess low sulfer highway diesel 500 ppm. made my day. got 7000 miles on it and still got 5000+ till service is due.
  • nescosmonescosmo Posts: 453
    altered3... You said that your sprinter is under 2ton loading limits, is this the weight of the van or the load that you can put in. My Sprinter weight 9990 lbs empty.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    From Edmunds Sprinter 2500 high roof passenger van

    Length: 197 in. Width: 76.1 in.
    Height: 102 in. Wheel Base: 118 in.
    Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. Curb Weight: 4706 lbs.
    Gross Weight: 8550 lbs.

    Length: 225 in. Width: 76.1 in.
    Height: 103.6 in. Wheel Base: 140 in.
    Ground Clearance: 8.3 in. Curb Weight: 5058 lbs.
    Gross Weight: 8550 lbs.

    Length: 263 in. Width: 76.1 in.
    Height: 103.6 in. Wheel Base: 158 in.
    Ground Clearance: 8.3 in. Curb Weight: 5305 lbs.
    Gross Weight: 8550 lbs.

    2500 Sprinter high roof cargo van

    Length: 197 in. Width: 76.1 in.
    Height: 102 in. Wheel Base: 118 in.
    Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. Curb Weight: 4648 lbs.
    Gross Weight: 8550 lbs.

    Length: 225 in. Width: 76.1 in.
    Height: 103.6 in. Wheel Base: 140 in.
    Ground Clearance: 8.3 in. Curb Weight: 4990 lbs.
    Gross Weight: 8550 lbs.
  • bspertybsperty Posts: 20
    I just purchased a 06 2500 .It did not come with the engine oil monitoring system. I see what looks like a sensor on the bottom of the oil pan.The dealer says they know nothing about hooking up that option. Does anyone know how hard it is. I really like the mileage 20 mpg , towing a trailer sometimes, and quality of the vehicle. I hope to learn much from you guys here.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I know you want to have the oil monitoring system working, but in case you can't you may be able to approximate it by keeping some records yourself--mainly the number of gallons of fuel consumed since the last change.

    I think the oil monitoring system uses various inputs and an algorithm to estimate the condition of the oil based on the demands made on the oil. The main inputs would have to be number of gallons of fuel burned since last oil change, average and maybe peak oil temperatures, maybe cumulative time under heavy accelerator pressure.

    That is I don't think the monitoring system directly determines the buildup of combustion products in the oil, although it could estimate viscosity by oil pressure in a certain specific part of the engine.
  • ahp691ahp691 Posts: 5
    I have the assyt computer in mine as well. It is supposed to tell you when to change the oil on the driving conditions. I have had this truck in to the freightliner dealer for service 4 times and they are not compatant (can't spell) enough to reset it properly. each time I tell them what they should set it to, but they are to dumb to do it right. the first time they set it to 3000 miles. A week later it tells me I need an oil change second time they set it at 10,000 miles. etc. they are supposed to take the current mileage and add 10000 to it and put that in. Unfortunately there are not many dealers that have the proper computer to use on the sprinter. On another subject, I just had to do a 4 wheel brake job, it needed 2 rotors and pads for all 4 wheels. at 16,000 miles. this vehicle cost an awful lot to be this lightly built. I don't see it holding up. Macpherson strut suspension just seems so wrong on a box truck. seems to have a lot of frame flex as well. we'll see I guess.
  • bspertybsperty Posts: 20
    My widshield has cracked from the driver side 4 inches up from the bottom corner.
    I saw another Sprinter in a prking lot today with the same crack.
    Anyone else?
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