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Dodge Sprinter



  • Ken
    Sorry to hear about the surgeries and all. Hope all is well. The dealer had my van all day. Had the seat back replaced because of the broken lumbar inflator bag. Also they had to order me a rear shock, (leaking). Had a new air filter put in that was 48.00 for labor and parts. Are they hard to install? Took the van around to the paint dept. The manager looked at it. I told him that I was going out of warranty in 1600 miles and thought something was wrong with the paint. Getting a few rust spots on the paint. It sure doesn't seem to be very thick paint!!!. That I wanted to get it documented. Well he didn"t. My salesman gave me the number of the area rep on sprinters. Will let you know whats what. OH and by the way, They ordered the wrong seat :confuse: Did not have an arm rest,,Duh. take care, Tom
  • Tronno, Fax attack sounds like a big time saver. I bet you are bummed you couldn't take it with you!. Sounds like a good deal. Let us know how you set it up for your family and shop. Tom :shades:
  • I posted a message awhile back, about #357 I think, reference bad paint and rust coming through. I have 04, silver van. At 20 months on the road noticed several rust spots down the right side, upon further inspection all sides of van had same issue, only the hood was still "good".
    Went to dealer with 34800 miles on van, Body shop mgr said "good to go" as was under 3/36 warranty when he thought all I was talking about was fixing right side of van (must be a monetary threshold dealer needs factory authorization to exceed on warranty work.
    Shop contacted regional bean counter who said they would be willing to chip in $2400 towards a $3800 total repaint (less the hood and roof). I pulled out warranty manual, states everything except tires are covered... Told body shop mgr to back-brief the dealer owner on situation. Owner called me 48hrs later, tried to sell me on the great initial offer, I did not back down. Told him how I was driving around a great "negative ad" for Dodge and how I already paid $890 on the invoice for a paint job... He contacted a new "bean counter" and the body shop mgr called me back 3 days later with factory auth to cover 100% of repair cost.
    I had all sides, back, and area above front windshield repaint ed up to the drip rail, had 4 new wheels installed (they were rusting as well), had them rotate the tires seeing how they were already off, and 2 new rear light lense assemblies, as they were filled with dirt...

    If any panels have damage on them, they are "out of warranty" window. I had hit a deer earlier, so had to pay for broken parts and paint repairs to left 1/4 panel myself.

    Check your paint!! Seems factory white is the way to go in the future!

  • SDKIEFER, I need to call my regional been counter. I will use the same approach. This is really getting me mad. Yeh we paid extra for the paint. I have some bubbles. I wonder if other silver vans are the same. Will keep you informed, I have 1600 miles left on warranty. Tom
  • Called the regional today. Told her the problem, A bigger wig will call me monday. She said she has heard the same thing about the silver problem. Will keep you up dated. 1450 miles and counting down :( Tom
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    Check your paint!! Seems factory white is the way to go in the future!

    My dealer had a silver one for $1000 more than the white. I like white better and am so glad I went that route. Sorry to hear of your problems. I will keep an eye on the steel rims.
  • Ok, big wigs called the dealer who called me for an inspection. They washed it and he looked it over and saw a few areas of concern. It is in the hands of the big wigs again. My salesman told me that they have always had problems with the silver. Yes I would say that any color than silver is better. I can hardly wait to see it, six years down the road. Will keep you updated on the continuing saga of, As the stomach turns! Tom Oh, saw some rust on the wheels. Not much but for a year old!! :mad:
  • Okay, I give up. How many horns is a Sprinter supposed to have? Mine has one, visible behind the grille on the passenger side. By itself this horn manages a one-note BEEP! that pales when competing with the smallest Kia. I've searched all over the engine compartment for another horn (that must be disconnected) without results. Is there another horn? :confuse: Thanks.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    mercedes must want to be the QUIET company... that position is already taken by "Northwestern Mutual Insurance".

    My kids laugh about the tiny horn on the big "BOX", "WHALE", "MOBY", "Great White Whale", "Party Van", or "VOX" (Van/bOX)... which ever name suites them at the time.

    Planning on a "modification", like a second horn of different tone to harmonize, add volume, or clash with the one already installed. :shades:

  • I am likely to purchase one of these to use as a replacement for a Toyota Sienna. My wife will be driving it primarily.

    We have only been able to see one sample of a 140 WB in the passenger configuration and it seems a bit unwieldy for my wife to be tooling around in.

    Unfortunately, I cannot seem to locate a 118 to look at for comparison sake.

    Anyone have any experience with the 118 version and /or suggestions on how to locate one for a test drive or observation.

  • hawk8hawk8 Posts: 31
    go to, click search inventory don't enter zip code click GO>click advanced search enter zip code the miles you are willing to travel and Sprinter under dealer service> search inventory And search all dealers to see if they have a sprinter 118.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Can't say that my (2004, 10 passenger, usually leave out the 2-seat row) 140" 2500 HC drives like a Toy/Sienna, but it does handle quite well, comparably easy to turn/Park to a GMC Safari EXTended (Largest MiniVan available when new). I just don't try to park in the closest/tightest parking spot. My wife is handicapped, so she usually parks it up close in a designated spot. SHE LOVES IT!!! Drives/handles so tight and feels glued to rails on the highway when compared to most anything I have ever driven on a regular basis.

    With any Sprinter, backing up is going to be a new experience. Get the best mirrors offered, parabolic, oversized, etc. You will really want them if you don't get them. Just this morning, my wife drove it to haul my daughter's Class project when no one else could fit it in (intact). I have added on (stick-on) parabolic mirrors and it is the only thing she still doesn't like about driving our Sprinter. :(

    Only gusty sidewinds give a hint of instability that would translate into driver corrections or the need to be more attentive. I drove 5 years in a 15 passenger Ford (starting when new) and it never drove like this and showed signs of real change (for the worse) when loaded with just 11-12 people(no luggage). If anything, this sprinter feels better loaded (better ride). 6 people and enough camping gear to fill the back end and it was still handling great and riding level not feeling top heavy or roly-poly.

    I am only dissapointed by the mileage (hahaha)I only get 20 MPG... was expecting closer to 25 MPG. Still need to ask the question: "Why do some get close to 50% better mileage than others? I have talked to owners who get nearly 30MPG, and I get only 20MPG? I am NOT a crazy driver. I will admit that I NEVER go 55 MPH for more than about 4 miles at a time. I go the speed limit 60+ or around town 35-45 (stop and go), but I don't race around either.

    Last, but not least, the ESP (Electronic Stability Program, anti spin (ASR), and Antilock Brakes work incredibly well together. On very slick side streets yesterday I was trying out the various modes quite effectively. At least if you're not going too fast to begin with (well maybe a little too fast, but not out of hand) this vehicle just does what you ask it to: stop, start, turn, turn a tight circle, accelerate around a corner, etc. with no bad behavior. No spinouts, no slip-sliding away, no loss of control. I will say, that I can imagine that the dually (1-ton) version will not be as good on ice/snow due to excessive floatation effect (the single tire version concentrates pressure on the contact patch and cuts through snow better).

    KenB :shades:
  • Ok, Last I posted they we're going to talk to the higher ups. Well the big wigs have spoken and they are going to paint both sides, top to bottom. Possibility of the hood also. They took pics and will call me when to bring it in. The manager said, " They know they have a problem with the silver". If you have a silver van check it over real close. They said they will have it for 7-10 days. Asked about a loaner car, said he would check into it. Will keep you posted on progress. Tom :shades:
  • Oh, forgot. 64 miles till warranty is up :( Got it in under the wire. Tom
  • hawk8hawk8 Posts: 31
    with a 4-11 axle ratio can a 158 3500 sprinter cargo van tow more than the 5000 lbs recommended ? on flat road.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    yes... it can ;) , and no... it is not recommended :( . One of the guys on the forums I watch says he tows 9,000 lbs. very often. First gear on the automatic does not use lock-up, so the startup should be smooth. Gears 2-5 use lockup, hence the fairly good engine braking. Obviously you are probably going to need trailer brakes if you can get them wired properly.

    The wiring is not straight forward, and requires an interface module, but then you may already know that.

  • hawk8hawk8 Posts: 31
    helpful as always, thanx for the info.
  • Interesting Sprinter news:

    A video (in German) of the new Sprinter:

    The New Sprinter
  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    My question is, How can you tell if your turbo is working? On other cars there is a light that comes on to let you know its on. ??? Thanks, Tom
  • kenbob88kenbob88 Posts: 21
    Hi, I'm new to this forum. I'm considering a 2006 Sprinter passenger wagon, 118" wheelbase (if I can find one), to replace my totaled Dodge B1500 Ram Wagon (which is not made anymore). I'm questioning the Sprinter's power and pickup. I haven't driven one yet, and I've never owned a diesel vehicle. Any input on your satisfaction with performance issues would be appreciated.
    I plan to use the Sprinter as I did my Ram Wagon, as a dual-duty work/family vehicle. I'm wondering how the Sprinter will do on the long haul up Hwy. 395 to Mammoth Lakes, and also how it will handle those strong gusty winds.
    My only alternative purchase is the Ford E150 8-passenger van, which I believe gets lousy mileage, but has all the conveniences and comforts.
    Again, I would appreciate your indulging my ignorance as a rookie regarding the realm of Sprinters.
  • kenbob88kenbob88 Posts: 21
    Hi again; just so y'all don't think I'm a lazy so-and-so, I did go back through previous posts and found some helpful info (post #364 from KenB was very useful--thanks).
    But as I said, I would really like to hear from Sprinter owners regarding acceleration and performance.
    (My old Ram Wagon with the V-6 was actually pretty zippy, and I got used to that.)
  • kenbob88kenbob88 Posts: 21
    Wow. I have been perusing previous posts, and now I'm reconsidering buying a Sprinter. Leaks, smoking, droning noises, rattling doors, ergonomic issues, brake noise, scary in crosswinds, paint that cracks and bubbles and chips, to recount just a few of the many woes and lamentations. This vehicle seems to be an extremely high-maintenance commodity. I already have a wife; I don't need another dependent that requires constant attention and coddling.
    Am I just reading about the Sprinter's dark side because the only folks participating in this forum are owners who have experienced problems?
    Please, assuage my fears, because I want to believe!
  • You can hear the high-pitch whizzing sound.

    Turn off the radio and you'll hear the noise when accelerating up a hill or whatever.

    When I'm going up any sort of hill my Turbo kicks in.

    In fact, I'm wondering if my turbo should be kicking in as much as it does.
  • Read this:

    Sprinter drives 22 times around the world without repair

    Klaus Schade drove his newspaper courier Sprinter 900,000 km without repairs in the 10 years he owned it. Only regular maintenance was necessary, of course. That's 559,234 miles, the equivalent of driving 22 times around the world. Since the introduction in 1995 more than one million Sprinters were sold while also receiving multiple "Transporter of the Year" awards. (from MB press release)
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    go on a drive and set the cruise control if you have one... other wise, just gently maintain the same speed without down shifting. When you start going up a hill, you will hear the turbo start winding up as the engine control computer (or your foot on the pedal) adds fuel to the combustion process. It is the excess heat and continuing expansion of the exhaust gasses that drive the turbo. As mentioned, there will be a decidedly higher pitched whine if you have any of your high-end hearing range left after years of industrial or music/noise induced hearing loss.

    Simply put though, a 2.7 litre turbo-diesel with a turbo that doesn't run will be noticeably under power, like trying to tow a Hummer with a Civic.

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Well, nobody passes us if we don't want them to or they are willing to break laws, burn tires, and/or waste lots of gas... :shades: at least until we hit 79 MPH (the top speed acheived, per GPS, when the Speedo reads about 82).

    We never really know just how well an engine an transmission can be matched on normal utility vehicles here in the USA. For that kind of magic you just seem to have to drive a sports car... not anymore!!! The Sprinter that is imported here is rather top-or-the-line: the biggest engine, the automatic transmission, larger tires (except on the dually 1-tonne).

    Simply put, the drive train is truly matched for power, performance, and (incredibly) efficency. 155 HP sounds low until you consider the torque specs which are nice for pulling away from the pack. What makes it all great, grand and glorious is that the transmission, the engine, the turbo, and the engine computer do a very good job of USING the power available and making plenty of it for the job at hand: accelerating, cruising, towing (within acceptable limits), stopping, etc. All matched VERY well.

    Consider that the engine is truly designed for million-mile performance, and the power band is very reasonable, and especially that the highest HP area of the power curve falls into a range that the engine can run in constantly; then you can appreciate why it works so well.

    Of course these are not for everyone. In europe they are not common for indivual/family use. Even there, this is changing. Great mileage is great mileage and when you can get this and space to haul gear INSIDE, then you are going to have an audience for your efforts. You will find this model being sold by VW as its large van in Europe as well.

    Still, this vehicle is not for everone. The step up height is HIGH, if you ever wanted running boards on a van before, you will want them on this one. It is Big, it needs a bit of careful handling in bad gusty winds, but that is normal for a van and I have driven several.

    KenB :shades:

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Leaks: mostly a thing of the past, minor on mine and it is a 2004 (bought new 2005)

    Droning noise: still there, a little at exact speeds/gearing like the slowest speed at which 5 gear can be engaged without shifting back down to 4th. Not bad, just odd.

    Smoking is usually an auxillary heater purge problem. Read the manual if you get one and do what it says... run each of the auxillary items at least once per month for 10 minutes: aux. heater, other heaters, front A/C, rear A/C.

    Rattling doors/seats are a slight pet peave, as I can't seem to get help from my dealer. This has been fairly common on most vans I have had the pleasure of driving. It bugs me a bit more on this van since it is more costly to buy (not by much really) and because quality is supposed to come with that. Some have reported that they have very minimal ratles in doors.

    Ergonomics are OK for me, worse for those with the cab-chassis or the factory type partition which both limit seat adjustment options.

    Brake noise can be odd, but in my experience it is more likely caused by overly sensitive anti-lock system than actual brake grinding. Some have reported short brake life, but that is coomon for some drivers anyway. this thing STOPS quick! Others have also reported needing to replace rotors with every brake change, also common on other Mercedes products. This is not the big thing it would be on a Chevy or Ford, as the rotor is NOT part of the hub.. The hub stays in place and you can switch the pads and rotors VERY quickly, and do it yourself if you are at all handy with a wrench.

    crosswinds always should be taken cautious in ANY high-profile vehicle.

    White is the most common paint, not so many problems, except for some cases of raildust (particals of iron setled onto/into clear coat). Silver has always had more problems on all cars that I have ever had/driven, but that is the past.

    This is the place, as are others to let people know what bad is happening and getting their help to get fixes... That is not to say that people just complain, their experiences are real and they certainly need help to get them resolved. Some dealers are still not equipped to help them very well, even with certification. Sometimes the certification seems to get in the way of otherwise easily solved problems (like paint).

    Depending on you, as the owner, this should be a great vehicle for a long time to come. If you have normal experience with it, you have 10K oil changes, 20-30K service intervals, a filter/trans fluid change at 80K (regular fulid changes after that, 80K). If you were getting any other comparable vehicle in the USA, you will start out with more oil changes and services to expect (up-front).

    If there is anything to believe, it is that you start out ahead in the Sprinter... then YMMV (your mileage may vary).

  • kenbob88kenbob88 Posts: 21
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my concerns so thoroughly. I think I'm becoming seduced by the allure of the exotic Sprinter.
    That figures, because I went for the new rotary-engine Mazda in 1973. I became a loyal customer, despite the fact that the rotor seals had to be replaced after a few thousand miles. I ended up buying 4 of them over the years, until my lifestyle changed and I became a van man.

    One other issue regarding the Sprinter: fuel economy might be better than that of my other option--the Ford Econoline Wagon--but considering the fact that diesel fuel here is 30 to 40 cents higher than regular unleaded, I'm wondering how it will work out in terms of real cents per mile.

    Thanks again,
  • kenbob88kenbob88 Posts: 21
    Thanks for referring me to that info-packed site.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    OK, not so thorough... I forgot about real fuel economy... my reserve grand champion of concerns... (customer care being first).

    I get 20 MPG. Always. Everywhere. All-conditions. All trips. All traffic or all clear. All city or all highway... Except when I run the second A/C unit. That rear air drops the mileage 1-2 MPG.

    Our MPG is coming up slightly (almost up to 21 MPG last tank, which my wife drove most of). No, she doesn't get better MPG than me, all of her other tanks were just like mine. We are about to hit 10K miles since we picked this one up new back in September 2005 (new 2004, delivered with 624 miles on the odom.) 140" 2500HC Wagon 10 seats, Dodge badges switched for Mercedes Benz.

    Others we have talked to now get as much as 30 MPG. 25 MPG is most common, 27 is pretty common. Even on the 158" Tall versions which we have talked to... Three of them were partial conversions running extra A/C from generators to transport dogs to dog shows, friends of each other not a company or family thing. 1 was white, 1 was red, 1 was blue... all got about 25-27 MPG.

    Now, no one has been able to tell me why mine gets just 20 MPG. But, they have been able to say it will come up slightly after the first oil change (to Full Synthetic) or at about 15,000 miles. That is the first break-in milestone apparently.
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