Dodge Sprinter Gas Mileage

grasspressgrasspress Member 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 Member 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
  • tronno22556tronno22556 Member Posts: 32
    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 Member 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:
  • tronno22556tronno22556 Member Posts: 32
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 31,450
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 31,450
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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?
  • methodvanmethodvan Member Posts: 12
    i have a 2006 2500 140wb shc bone stock with 16 inch rims and i've noticed that my speedometer is steadily 2-3 mph above the vehicles actual speed. i'm able to meter these figures because my local law enforcement agency has been kind enough to place radar machines all over town for everyone to enjoy. my other cars have been spot on accurate and i spoke with local cop whom explained to me the extreme calibrationing these machines go through before they go into the public. i may be wrong here, and if i am please correct me, but if if your car is traveling 25 mph for one hour burns just one gallon of fuel and the speedometer is reading (and recording) 28 mph then your apparent fuel milege is going to be 28 mpg when actually your MPG is only 25. so this means that... i either have defective speedometer and must return to the dealership... or the local cops bought 15 broken radar machines and it's slipped by so many people and i'm the first to notice the mistake or, just maybe all you folks that are getting 21 mpg are actually getting 18 mpg....

    my 97 powerstroke diesel e-350 gets 18 mpg on the highway loaded. my sprinter gets 21 mpg loaded. my PSD E-350's speedometer is accurate as per the radar machines (as compared to a 2003 honda, 97 s-10 pu and 1993 geo) so does this mean that if my speedometer is 3 MPH off my sprinter it is actually getting 18 MPG-- same as my ford diesel? hmmm? i guess i spent and extra $10k for a lighter duty, gutless van? not to mention it's fancy computer controlled assyt system that can count how many miles you need go before you're next service but can't figure out how fast the vehicle is going at 30 mph without a 10% error (radar says 27, speedo says 30. i did this five time one night)

    don't get me wrong... i like this van a lot... but the level of quality that i thought i bought is just not what it's priced to be. my dealer totally misrepresented this vehicle to me and i'm upset about that. i ve been to the dealer six times in the last two months only to have the dealer just finally tell that they don't have anyone that really knows about these vans and can't fix my problems (2 broken lumbars, un-fixable side and rear door rattling, trans vibrations) and that my next service is going to cost me $500. hooraay five star chrysler dealers.

    please, if anyone can get a chance do your own experiments with this please do. with a buddy's car, cell phones and cruise control you should be able to compare it with any other modern car.

    any comments on this?????
  • methodvanmethodvan Member Posts: 12
    this maybe happening to some of you out there so i tell you about my fix. early in the ownership of my van i noticed the side door was rattling. after 3 trips to the dealer they kind of fixed it and told me that the push-rod plunger for the power locks had come loose and was rattling. OK, the noise subsided a little but the door still made some noise. so i return to the dealer and they spend a whole day doing adjustments and it goes away for 3 days. finally i return and they said they're was nothing they could do. so, i told 'em, "if i'd run my business they way they do, by not knowing anything about the products they're selling, i couldn't afford their van."

    anyhow, so i decide to fix it myslef and it turns out that there are two metal pintles on the leading edge of the door that align into two sockets that cause the door to be guided and held in place when it's closed. the solution is to put a little duct tape (just one layer, maybe two) around the pintle and dampens the vibration rattle and reduces the tolerance. the door is now totally quiet. six days of down town at the dealer then fixed in 2 minutes by an graphic artist.... WTF???
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Rather than just checking your speedometer, you should check your odometer by driving a known distance and comparing the change in the odometer. Depending on how these two are connected, the speedometer might real high by say 10%, but the odometer might be accurate to within say 1%. I say might be; you have to check it.

    I think that errors in the speedometer and odometer are usually a constant factor rather than a constant increment that you add or subtract. That is I think that, just for example, if the speedo reads 30 mph when you are actually travelling 33 mph, then it will read 60 when you are actually going 66, etc. (So that in this case true speed = indicated speed x 1.10.

    I have heard that by law speedometers are allowed to be off by a much higher factor than one would imagine. I have heard that the speedo can read plus or minus 10% of the true speed, but you would need to check this.

    I am under the impression that the odometer is much more accurate than this. Are these 16 inch wheels the stock wheels and are the tires stock? Changing the wheels and tires or even just the tires to a different size can give a larger or smaller diameter and circumference wheel. Usually people change to a larger diameter wheel/tire and it they don't change the speedo and odo calibration then they will be going both faster and farther than the speedo and odo, respectively, indicates. That will mean that their true fuel mpg will be higher than they calcluate from the uncorrected odometer readings.

    But if your odo is following your speedo

    True speed = Indicated speed x (27/30) = Indicated speed x 0.90, then your distances would follow True dist = Indicated dist x 0.90, and your true mpg would be given by true mpg = 0.90 x indicated.

    Check your odometer, both trip odo and regular odo on a section of roadway whose distance you know.
  • methodvanmethodvan Member Posts: 12
    i have a hard time believing that mercedes benz would make and inaccurate speedometer and wholly accurate odometer in the same unit. how could a speedometer determine velocity and at the same time the odometer determines distance traveled at the same RPM (shaft rpm) and it not show the error. so anyways, engineering speculation aside... let's say that this may be the case... the speedometer is wrong and odometer is right (or may be right). hard to believe VDO would let this slip by or better yet, i'd love to hear a BS-covered technical explanation why they meant to have an inaccrate speedometer but an accurate odometer...

    it really seems funny to me that in such a controverisal fuel situation that we live in today with hig consuption commercial vehicles and SUV's, that an error like this, which could perhaps help the consumer mis-calculate his or hers vehicles fuel consuption, would go unoticed.

    the main selling point for these vans in our current economy is their apparent miser-like FUEL CONSUMPTON. at 3.00+ a gallon working vehicles are under a never before felt scrutiny due to the soaring operating cost of cents per mile. my wife doesn't think about how much her honda cost per mile... but i must think about how much my van cost per mile so i can adjust my prices to offset my overhead and not lose money (remember making money is why i bought this van). lets be honest... sprinters are working cars and they are nearly twice the cost of competiton but they boast a huge fuel savings marketing gimmick that, in the long run, will save you money. it hard to determine how much it'll save becuase of the speculation of future fuel prices. and i'm sure not all too many civillian sprinter owners out there have sat down with calculator and figured out how much this little van is saving them... bottom line... no one likes to pay 3 bucks for something they paid a dollar for three years ago. fuel price inflation is bringing mental havoc onto the mind of the fuel consumer and causing panic and wild specualtion by those small business folk who work their cars for living. this is changing the type of car the consumer believes they need to invest in order to stay competitive. when i bought mine i asked my self will a 14 mpg gas van be as competitve as the more fuel economic 22 mpg diesel van. i'm sure every sprinter owner out there who bought these spriter vans for their businesses thought of this and that's why they decide to leave the tradtional van market (v-8 FordChevGMC) which has worked extermely well for 30 years.

    car companies realize all of this now, finally. most of us sprinter owners are happy with the apparent milege and don't suspect a thing because that's what dodge said it would do. it tells us what we want to hear.

    so why wouldn't chrysler fudge the numbers a bit. playing with numbers is not new practice in the corporate world and seldom goes noticed.

    most of these vans are fleet vehicles. when it comes time to do the books the bean counters are gonna look at fuel consumed and miles covered and they'll decide if this new vehicle is saving them money. they'll do this by taking an odometer reading and fuel quantity used. a driver for DHL or UPS isn't gonna email the big boss man and bring it to his attention that the speedometer is inaccurate and that the new MPG figures is bogus. shoot no! he could care less. and a lot of the folks who buy these cars for their businesses aren't driving 'em personally and or will never discover this error. in fact, i could beleive that only a small single digit percentage will ever notice the speedometer error because, well, shoot... why would this super expensive piece of equipment have an inaccurate speedometer in this day and age... hey, it's mercedes-benz right! and i'm sure an overwhelming amount of sprinter owners out there are satisfied and happy with looking at the milege and fuel consummed and reading 21-22-23-24 mpg and leave it at that.

    the first thing i learned when i enrolled at my alma mater business school at ol Hard Knox Univ is when something seems to good to be true it's usually not.

    all things aside it does get good milege... but does it get what it said it advertised, really? if that sale brouchure said "19 mpg average" and not "22 MPG average" maybe more of us out there wouldn't have digged so deep in our pockets to buy it. a ford econoline 150 with a v-6 gets up 18 mpg on the hwy and is as equally stout and only cost $20,000. the fact that it got over 20 MPG's was the selling point for me to spend an EXTRA $10,000.... does it really do it, hmmm i thought it did, but now i'm wondering.

    this definately wouldn't be the first time big business tried to screwed the little guy by misrepresenting a product. the sad thing is that what they're doing (or letting happen) is probably totally legal because of some ancient US speedometer calibration law. it's funny how us americans never realized where getting screwed until after we get screwed. wonder if DR Z is out there and will vouch for his product!!!!

    and by the way @ $3.35 for fuel a 14mpg van will get 24 cents a mile and the 22 mpg van will be 15 cents a mile... at that rate it would take 111k miles to make up the cost difference of the $10000 premiuim for the sprinter... if it gets 19 mpg true, then it would be 17 cents a mile and it would take 200k miles to make up the difference... and that's not taking into account the increased cost to maintain this thing over a regualar van... but of course as fuel prices rise the difference in cent per mile will be greater and the milege gap will close so... i'm anxious to see what happens.
  • waynesjcawaynesjca Member Posts: 1
    The only oil I have found that is currently compliant is the Amsoil Synthetic See the link below. I shows it meets the new MB 288.3 specs.
  • shugrueshugrue Member Posts: 1
    I recently drove by one of those speed limit/radar machines. (As was
    stated here in several post) the machine revealed that my Spinter
    (118,Low) was doing 35 mph while my speedometer showed me to be doing
    38 mph. Hmmmm.

    Being an automotive mechanic here in the northeast I went to the
    garage and picked up my Snap-On MT-2500 Scan Tool. I then went home
    and picked up my handheld GPS that I use hiking.
    I plugged the scan tool into the OBDII socket and turned on my GPS. I
    then fetched up my Wife and we headed for the highway. With my Wife at
    the wheel I setup the scan tool and GPS on the dash in the passengers
    seat and told the driver to bring it up to 60 MPH.

    Guess what!

    The only thing out of calibration turned out to be the speedometer.

    The PCM MPH PID in the scan tool matched the GPS down to the tenth.

    The speedometer is an analog device that converts digital infomation
    from the PCM to something that makes the speedo needle move.
    Apparently, it's not very accurate. Which is the case with a lot of
    vehicles I'm sure. But the odometer is not effected in this way. In
    fact, the instrument cluster is simply a "dumb terminal" in most
    modern vehical. If you replace it you will not change your odometer
    reading because this reading is calculated and stored in the PCM.

    What a relief. I've been watching my mileage figures using the
    odometer as a constant. And now I know that the figure is correct. But
    the speedometer is advanced by 3.5 mph at 60 mph.

    This doesn't bother me in the least unless of course, the gas gauge is
    also wrong.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    the fuel gauge has many more miles in the top 1/4 tank and second quarter tank than it has in the last two quarters...

    Also have easily put 26.5 gallons in a 26.4 gallon tank and I was NOT out of fuel at the time...

    the Speedometer error seems so weird because it does not seem to be proprtional (always about 2-3 MPH off). It does NOT seem to be 1 MPH off at 20, 2 at 40, 3 at 80. How about yours? At 82-83 the GPS says 79 MPH (my TOP speed).

    Got to 85 on the speedo one time when it overshot the mark... never have gotten close to 90 (top speed in manual)!

    KenB :shades:
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Member Posts: 67
    Has anybody an idea as to how far one can go when the fuel light comes on. I have been sweating a few times thinking I was going to run out,( I hear that is not a good thing). The needle was bottomed out. When I fueled up I still had 2.5 gallon left in the tank.

    My speedo also is 3 mph off. I just rely on the GPS. I have hit a top end of 80. To get more I would have to be going down hill, off a cliff with a large sail. Boy I hate getting stuck in the fast lane and I got nothing left, and can't get over to the right lane.

    Tom :D
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    The dreaded Yellow Triangle supposedly comes on with 2.8 gallons left in the tank (up to about 60 miles of wiggle room for my Sprinter at 20.nuttin' MPG, no A/C). Still haven't run out at 537+ miles (should do about 528 at 26.4 Gal. and 20.0001 MPG.) I always try to get fuel by 500 miles, less in the Summer when I might use both A/C units.

    I am learning to just set back and let the really fast lane alone... but it is hard not to go there when the right lane is going S l O W w w w w.

  • chaozzchaozz Member Posts: 6
    remember with diesl that milage gets better over
    time,it can take a good 20k miles for these engines
    to break in
  • chaozzchaozz Member Posts: 6
    there is a hand pump..
    if you ever run out of fuel after
    you fill up unscrew that pump and goto town
    until fuel comes out.
    dont even try to start before that.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    I certainly thought about break-in...

    Now 22,000 miles and I just got an incredible 21.2 (up from about 20.001). What else influences that number? Cold weather, no A/C required for most of the tank, what else?

    I have mostly heard the the post break-in will go up about 5% at the most (2 MPG on 20 MPG base figures). If that is true, then I am half way there.

    quit using power service until it turned COLD again, now am using for the anti-gelling properties (white bottle, red and black lettering).

    KenB :shades:
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    You are there! Five percent of 20 is 1, an increase of 2 mpg on 20 mpg is 10 %.
  • grasspressgrasspress Member Posts: 11
    hey, guys: quit belly achin' about the speedometers being off. i'm from the old school where all speedometers were off; this is pretty typical, and it doesn't bother me in the least. my gps shows about 56+ mph when the speedo shows 60.

    as for mpg, i'm getting around 24-28 in my sprinter 2500 118" wheelbase regular roof line. but i drive with fuel economy in mind. those of you who are watching your mpgs carefully, consider your speed and load (obviously) but also your roof profile. i'm still pretty happy with my sprinter and will have it for a long time (i sure hope so, anyway). the better mileage (compared to the usual gas engines available with the domestics) and better inside dimensions will convince me i made a good decision for a long time.

    i'm also seeing more mobil 1 0w-40 on the shelves in the local auto stores and at wal mart.
  • larryccflarryccf Member Posts: 6
    a lot of mfgrs are now making their speedos read fast intentionally
    VW does it but you can punch the right code into your climate control unit and it will display the accurate speed digitally

    reason for the fast reading speedo is litigation concerns
    go figure - that was from the vw na technical director
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    MPG ratings are averages.

    With economy in mind, a given vehicle, with the same driver will not deliver the same mileage when driven under different conditions. Hilly conditions will result in lower figures than relatively flat roads. Adding or subtracting weight will affect mileage.

    If your truck is carrying around a lot of cargo weight, it will not deliver the "AVERAGE" mpg. One that is near empty may deliver better than average.

    A GPS will most likely reveal your speedometer is reading a bit higher than actual speed, but your odometer will be pretty much dead on.! I can't explain it, it is just the way things are sometimes.

    Anytime anyone contemplates paying extra to get a few more miles per gallon, they need to do the calculation before the fact, rather than after the fact! :confuse:

    To drive 100,00 miles:
    Consider 15mpg with gas @ $2.50 gal.. It would cost $16,667 for fuel. Now 22mpg with diesel at $2.70 a gal would cost $12,272. Diesel will save about $4400 in fuel.

    I used a 20 cent higher price for diesel because of prices in my ares. Yours may vary.

    My understanding is that there is a slightly higher maintaince cost associated with diesel and possibly additional additives that gas engines don't require.
    That would make the above $4400 figure lower.

    Even if the savings were the $4400, it would take over 200K miles to break even for an extra $9000 purchase price. :sick:

    Keeping in mind that higher or lower fuel cost will affect numbers. :)

  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    And really you must consider that the extra $9000 purchase price for a diesel Sprinter is an upfront cost and that the $4400 fuel savings are received over the 8 or 10 years it would take to drive the 100,000 mi.

    This is a "time value of money" calculation, which I can't do without some investigation, but it can be approximated as an interest calculation. If you buy the 15 mpg gasoline Ford or Chevy van and put $9000 in savings at 5% interest compounded anually for 9 years, it would turn into $9000(1.05)^9 = $9000(1.55) = $14,000.

    Of course, a Sprinter has features that the Ford and Chevy vans do not. When the gasoline Sprinters become available you will be able to separate the premium for a diesel from the premium for a gasoline Sprinter. Very possibly it will turn out that a gasoline Sprinter may make more financial sense than a diesel one for many who want a Sprinter.

    Also it may be an important value to you to save fuel whether it makes economic sense or not. Note however that in doing fuel use comparisons between gasoline and diesel you should really use the weights of fuels and not the volumes. Diesel fuel is 15% denser than gasoline, (and gasoline has 87% of the density of diesel fuel). So to correct the mpg of a gasoline engine for the difference in density you'd multiply the gasoline mpg value by 1.15 to get a corrected mpg value equivalent to that of a diesel. Therefore, the 15 mpg of the Chevy is corrected to 17 mpg for comparison to the diesel value of 22 mpg for true amount (that is weight) of fuel used for environmental purposes. You do not make this correction for cost because motor fuel is sold by the gallon and not by the weight.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576

    To be fair, if fuel should go considerably higher and the vehicle was to be driven for several hundred thousand miles during that 9 years, the savings of a diesel would become apparent.

    Of course there may become an even greater cost difference at the pump between diesel and gas, if/when Bio-diesels are forced upon us and higher cost plus poorer mileage kick in. :sick:
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    So in the previous post (#58) I calculated the original est $9000 in purchase price savings of the gasoline engine would accrue $5000 in interest over 9 years, but to compare you would have to assume that the fuel cost savings of a diesel would be saved and put at interest each month or year. Over 9 years this would grow to some amount which could be calculated, and which would be in the diesel's favor. That is, one would subtract this amount from the $14,000 advantage for the gasoline engine to get a net monetary gain for the gasoline engine.
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    True! There is a big IF! IF the savings were actually put into a savings instrument.

    Figured on a yearly basis of 11,111 miles driven, the diesel would save $488 a year. The $9000 would grow $450 the first year.

    At 22,000 miles a year the diesel would save $976 and the $9000 would still have only grown the $450.

    If that $976 were saved in a 5% instrument and the diesel maintenance cost are not overwhelming, the diesel is a winner.

    As stated earlier, the diesel needs lots of mileage to be worthwhile.

    Average homeowner that wants a van for trips to Home Depot or occasional camping or towing would probably be better off with the 15 mpg V8. Me thinks.

    Maybe Dodge will slip a V8 into it while Mercedes is not looking! ;)

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