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Dodge Sprinter



  • RE: Eurovan has no power ... well, that's why it gets good mileage. However, ours is very happing cruising on I-5 at over 80 MPH (like on that stretch south of Sacramento in CA) but the mileage takes a huge dive.

    A 2 year old GM with warantee is a good deal.
    just ditch it once the problems start to show up.
    But you may be lucky and hot have any.

    Height: Even the Eurovan will not fit into many parking garages. Its probably 1/2 a foot taller than an Astro. One of the nice features of the height is that you are looking over the sea of mini-vans and mini-SUVs, and the seats are very upright, so you can drive long distances without back problems (I drove from Canada to Mexico several times now in different vehicles and the VW vans have been the best so far).

    But I'd love to have a sprinter instead.
    Within 10 years when I'm not working 70 hours/week I'd like to get a conversion to tour the US and Canada in. By then there should even be good deals on used units.
  • gcarlgcarl Posts: 1
    I've just purchased a 2004 Sprinter 2500 158"WB high roof van and am looking for either a liftgate which takes up little interior space (or none if it is outside)or a ramp fitting the same description. It needs to have a weight capacity of around 6-700lbs minimum. I know Tommygate makes one which is not adaptable to a Sprinter with a trailer hitch, which mine has.
    Anyone with answers/suggestions out there?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    You may find some suppliers listed in the Enjoy the Drive section at link

    Steve, Host
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    I'd like to get a conversion to tour the US and Canada in. By then there should even be good deals on used units.

    My wife and I have driven the Airstream & Gulfstream conversion Sprinters. We love them and are trying to decide which one. CMI has a very nice custom Sprinter for about $140k the others can be had for $70k to $80k. Great size that fits in most parking lots. Not much different than driving a Suburban or Excursion. Have talked to two owners that never get under 20 mpg even around town. That is great for such a big vehicle.

    This van is popular all over the world. They have sold 1.2 million of them so far, under different names.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    I would avoid GM or Ford. American companies do not build products for long term use. That is my experience. They build them just good enough to get them thru warranty and then the dealers can start making money on them. I'm always afraid when i hear a foreign company is setting up a factory here. I know how our society works in the factory setting. The Japanese Joe will see a part coming down the line and see a defect. Stop the part and call it to attention. The american Joe may see the defect and say to himself "wow, that is a piece of crap" and send it on down the line. Time is money, have to build quota.
  • jimpopjimpop Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Sprinter which I purchased used from a Dodge dealer last July. It has Central locking on it. This is a very nice feature, but it seems to be more trouble than it's worth. I've had the van back twice for system reset. They tell me it's very sensitive and uses the same system as the SRS system. It will stop working when the van thinks it's been in a wreck. This is to prevent the occupants from being locked in. I was told hitting a pot hole or backing into a loading dock was enough to "trip" the system out of operation. Well, this one seems to just quit on it's own. No major bumps or anything and the system is off line. It's a real pain to have to take it to the dealer to have it reset each time it decides to quit working. I use this thing in my business and don't have time to take it in every week so they can reset it. Anyone have any ideas on this? Is there a way to reset it using some sort of scan tool? Thanks for your help.
  • lx100lx100 Posts: 3
    How does DaimlerChrysler Vans avoid the truck tariff? In order to be exempt from the 25% tariff, the vehicle must have 62.5% local content, meaning that percentage of the vehicle's component and assembly costs must be from the NAFTA region.

    Simply rebuilding a German knockdown in the U.S. would not acount for 62.5% of the cost. Does anyone know how they avoid this?
  • Great article, but it must be from Benz themselves because it doesn't mention VW.

    "This van is popular all over the world. They have sold 1.2 million of them so far, under different names. "

    Of the 1.2 million, are those just the ones with a M-B badge, or is that the VW-LT, MB-Sprinter and Freightliner badges combined?

    MB's original contract with VW was for 6 years. The PR when they renewed it for another 6 years was very positive from Benz. With only 2 years left, it looks very likely that they will continue to buy these trucks from VW.

    Here's the UK site with the broader lineup, including the cab & chassis versions.
    There was also a 5th-wheel transporter version that looked really cool, but I don't see it on the site now...
  • I had to have a Splinter,bought a 140 shc passenger model.Paid a high price and did not listen to my wife.I knew fuel was going up,and after all it was a Mercedes!!!I swapped for a 05 Ford Freestyle yesterday.I'm in a 12 step program so I will not burden you with any of the self pity.I just had to have a Splinter
    ,read the hype and traded a nearly new vehicle to get it.
    It was the most unpleasant purchase of my car buying life.The Freestyle is my 39th new vehicle.The Splinter averaged 20mpg,oil change was $120,wipers are $60 at the dealer and I had several small problems,but I had major problems that I have never experienced in a vehicle before.When my dealer offered less than 1/2 for a trade in price,I shopped the van from Tx to Ohio.The wicked witch is gone,the breakdowns,noise,and rough ride and rough engineering showed up before the first payment.
    Please,BUY AMERICAN,because you are one.
  • You sound somewhat unhappy.
    I don't think this was a wise match.
    The Sprinter is a serious 1.5 ton truck.
    The people that are happiest with it are those who are replacing a gas guzzling 1-ton cargo van (as in 8 MPG in the city).
    Compared to the cargo van, it probably handles better, uses much less fuel, and has a smaller turning circle.
    But compared to a car ... well, its a truck!

    I'm sure you'll love your freestyle. We just test-drove a Ford 500 a couple of hours ago (freestyle without the SUV styling or 3rd row sear) and it is a European car built in Detroit (much like the Chrysler 300). The Chrysler is a Benz e-class, and the 500/freestyle is slightly bloated Volvo. They will be immensely successful.

    But don't blame the truck for riding like a truck!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    How do you know that VW did not buy the vehicle from Mercedes? :blush:
  • dorozcodorozco Posts: 1
    Just two questions...
    Is the Sprinter still made in Germany? and

    What is the body structure? Frame or Unibody??


  • tronno22556tronno22556 Posts: 32
    How long of a wait to custom order a Sprinter?

    I heard it was 6 months, but I'm sure that was a load of bull.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    If you are looking for one of the standard Sprinter models they should be on the dealers lot. The dealer here in San Diego has dozens of them ready for delivery. If you are looking for a camper version, it depends on the brand. Airstream seem to be available. Sportsmobile out of TX is about 6 months wait for a custom camper. I drove the Gulfstream and it was very nice and available.
  • tronno22556tronno22556 Posts: 32
    I'm looking for a cargo, but want it a certain colour and with a few additional options.
  • riteguyriteguy Posts: 1
    2004 Sprinter 2500 SHC

    158” Wheelbase, GVW 8550 lbs, 102” High Roof Version/Inside Height 73”
    Ordered Mar 2004 from Union Dodge, Garden Grove, Delivered Jun 2004, Outfitted as a plumbing van from Jun thru Sep 2004, and put in service Sep 2004.

    Good Points :)
    Great visibility out of front window
    Very roomy – room to standup in the back
    Great gas mileage – 18 city/21 hwy (actual)
    Turning radius – made a tighter turn than a small pickup truck
    Union Dodge of Garden Grove Service department has done a good job in most instances of taking care of downtimes in a speedy manner, thanks to Lynette.

    Bad Points :mad:
    Brakes growl due to semi-metalic pads
    Poor road tracking during high winds
    Car manual poorly written
    Customer service via their 800 helpline is a poor excuse for customer service.
    I’ve been asked to take 2 different market surveys on how I like the Sprinter for a pretty good sum of money. If Daimler/Chrysler would just sink that money into satisfying existing customers and let them tell their story, I think they would get more for their money.
    No Sprinter parts are stocked locally by dealer, which means that almost every part must be shipped in.
    No tilt steering wheel – the Germans feel it’s better to tilt the drivers seat. There are certain locations the seat goes that make the drivers side mirror unusable.
    At least 10 times within it's first year this van had to be taken out of service for repairs that should not have been necessary.
    Max speed is 80 mph indicated/75 mph actual.
    Feel that Daimler/Chrysler corporate isn’t handling the support of the Sprinter the way they should. Is it a Freightliner, a Mercedes, or a Dodge?

    History (Mileage listed first) :sick:

    0050 – EGR valve failure – vehicle would limp around at no more than 40 mph. Daimler/Chrysler knew of the problem, but would not replace it until the unit failed. Glad I wasn’t on a road trip!!

    0174 – Replace broken front grill & license plate holder. Dirt debris noticed in both rear sealed tail lights – no fix available at this time.

    1964 – Brakes growling – unable to duplicate for technician. Buzzing in cab – buzzing was EGR valve which had been recalled – replace 2nd EGR valve.

    0220 – Drivers side mirror won’t tilt back far enough to see behind van – no fix is available. Check engine light came on – found an unplugged sensor.

    2714 – Brakes growling – unable to duplicate noise for technician. Transmission leak – Replaced 3 “O” rings on trans drain plug.

    3927 – Right rear door top right hinge broken making access to the back of the van impossible – Replace. Brakes growling and noticed by mechanic. Ordered rotors, pads & sensors for front brakes.

    4421 – Replace front brakes – growling eliminated. Speedometer error. Noticed that GPS and road side radar indicating slower speed than my speedometer – technician determined it was within 6% margin of error allowed by federal government and no change was necessary. I believe the actual error is between 5-6%. No adjustment is available.

    6496 – Red oil warning light on instrument panel illuminated – discovered in the manual that diesel oil usage is normal at a rate of .5% fuel consumption. Add diesel oil. Brakes growling again – per Starline (a helpline for the dealer) this is normal for semi-metallic brake pads. Valve stem recall – replace valve stem in all tires.

    7118 – A/C hose rupture. Low pressure s.o.p. a/c hose found to be rubbing on radiator supports causing hose to rupture. Replaced left/right rear tail light housing assemblies collecting debris.

    8426 – Right rear door top right hinge broken – 2nd time – making access to the back of the van impossible – replace. :cry:

    While I resist looking into the Lemon Law :lemon: for rights as a purchaser, the defects continue. :cry:
  • hmanzxhmanzx Posts: 1
    The Sprinters were first, before the VW LT came out around here in Germany. So they are Mercedes´. I think both companies cooperate on this model but you could only call the LT a copy of the Sprinter. Also both might be built in the same (maybe VW-) factory.

    This is, what the LT looks like (in quiet an interesting version):

    That MB sells Eurovans als Mercedes´ is wrong, too. The actual version of what I believe you call Eurovan (here it´s called T5 - "T" standing for Transporter) looks like this:


    or in its commercial version like this:image

    Mercedes offers a competitor called Viano (successor of the mentioned Vito/V-Class). It looks like this:

    The commercial versions are still called Vito:

    The T5 and Viano have nothing in common as far as I know. At least for the T5 I know, that it has a whole bunch of engine choices, which includes a 204 hp V6-gasoline engine. I doubt, it wouldn´t make its way in America.

    I was glad to see the Sprinters made it over to America the last time I was there. For personal use, I like the Amercian Vans better or would choose the T5. But I never got, why you would need big, good sounding gas-guzzlers for your business. Maybe that´s my opinion because gas here costs 3 times of what it costs in America. Diesel also is a bit cheaper. In fact, I even drive a diesel car, a 05 Audi A3 TDI, which isn´t offered in America either.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Thank you for the info and pictures. Also welcome to the forum. I really like the looks of that Viano. I would love to have one with a MB diesel. We don't get the choices here that you get for sure. Please keep us informed of what you see in the EU, especially the Sprinter. I am looking at the Sprinter conversion vans for a little cross country tour. Have you seen the Class "C" Sprinter motor home. I believe they are built in Germany also. May be my next vehicle purchase.
  • n_teslan_tesla Posts: 9
    Mine took 5 months. I friends took 5 months too.
  • markytamarkyta Posts: 2
    Does anyone know how to reset the maintenance reminder on the Sprinter?
    According to the manual only the dealer can do it, but im sure theres a way around it. Any info would be helpful. If I find any info out, ill post it. Thank you.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    I've read that at the next redesign, DC may make Viana and Caravan twins. Lets hope they keep more Viano than Caravan and offer a sweet little CGI.
  • rpinto1rpinto1 Posts: 2
    All of these views have been extremely helpful; I still haven't seen anything that compares to the (10 passenger) Sprinter. I was pleasantly surprised by my test drive, and will most likely purchase one. I do need the space to haul 5 small children (4 car seats), and a triple baby stroller. My only concerns with the vehicle are:
    Lack of latch system & tether anchor for car seats.
    RWD during the winter up in the Northeast.
    Extreme cold starting in the winter.

    Would anyone have any comments?

    The family amenities are slim, as are knowledgeable aftermarket sites. Has anyone installed an entertainment system in a unit with the Auxiliary cooling group?
  • gneelygneely Posts: 2
    Just got my yellow factory order 118 wheel base cargo van....150 days, they quoted 160 days...
  • n_teslan_tesla Posts: 9
    I have friends with Sprinters that got through Boston's third worst winter on record with the stock Goodyear Cargo Vector tires. Apparantly the electronic wizardry works. Start up in cold weather requires you wait 2-5 seconds for the glow plugs to warm up before you turn the key. I just turn the key to the "on" position, then attach my seat belt. With that done I turn the key and away I go.

    You may have some difficulty finding a shop to install aftermarket electronics in a Sprinter. It may say Dodge or Freightliner on the front but this is a Mercedes commercial vehicle, and installation manuals and a knowledge base are thin. I would try to put the responsibility on the dealer to find an installer and have him do it before you take delivery. If you want an alarm have it done at the same time.

    Please be aware that the seats in Sprinter, although very comfortable weigh a ton. It is a two (strong) man job to take them out or put them back. This is not a mini van that allows you to flip seats around with a couple fingers.

    Our 118" passenger Sprinter is a big hit with our kids sports teams. They feel like they have their own team bus are celebrities when they show up at events. Also be prepared to talk to everybody about your Sprinter. The only way to get more attention is to walk a kangaroo on a leash through your local mall. Sprinters have a "big homely puppy" look that cuts across gender and age groups.
  • kidswheelskidswheels Posts: 1
    I bought a Sprinter for my transportation service. Overall a very nice vehicle. At about 3,000 miles I expressed concern to the service department at my local dealer about the noise from the brakes. They replaced the brake pads (under warranty). Now the van has a little over 18,000 miles on it and the warning light came on that indicates the brake pads are worn. Pretty short life for brake pads! I took the vehicle in to the dealer (no one else can seem to get parts). They tell me that because the brake pads are so hard that they typically also wear the routers and all 4 need replacing. Total cost?.....just over $1,100. !!! The thought of $1100 every 15,000 miles for brakes is pretty outrageous. Any one else have this problem or am I being taken for a ride?
  • n_teslan_tesla Posts: 9
    This sounds odd to me. If the pads are "so hard" why did they wear out in 18,000 miles? As the fronts do most the work why did the rears wear out at the same time? Of course I don't know if you are driving in Manhattan or Montana and that would have a huge impact on wear.

    I have had to replace front rotors on both my wife's SAAB and my Passat every other time I replace pads. The pads last 20-25k, so front rotors at 50k and rears at 75k seems "normal" to me.

    I'd get a second opinion from another Dodge Business Link Dealer. I've found great differences in Sprinter dealers ethics and knowledge in my area. I actually pass 4 others driving 250 miles to get to the one I trust to work on mine.
  • cokayakcokayak Posts: 1
    I have been co-pilot in my friends VW westfalia for years and have recently bought a Sprinter. I can't think of a better match then a VW body and a MB engine. All the hardware on the 88VW van is doing great, but the engine....
    It is a good thing you can sleep comfortably along side the road because you often find yourself stranded in VW van. This is a fact of love for VW van owners so there is not arguing with them on it. He is on his third engine (every 160K).

    I hope my Sprinter engine goes 400K, time will tell.

    I can carry 3 rafts, 8 kayaks and 6 people to river trips with out a problem.
    I don't even have to take the kayaks off the roof to pop the top at the camp sight :)
  • ahp691ahp691 Posts: 5
    does anyone knowhow to reprogram the computer to shut up the seat belt buzzer? I reprogrammed the one in my 04 Dodgediesel pickup with no problem.
    Please keep the "wear your seat belt"comments to your self. I believe in the right to choose. I just took delievery of my 05 Sprinter box truck yesterday. I never even been in a sprinter before. It will be used as an electrical service truck like My Ford E450 diesel box truck. That ford willl eat you alive in fuel costs and repairs. it needs brake pads and rotors on all 4 wheels every15-20,000 miles, it gets 9 MPG with thepowerstroke 7.3 liter diesel. it needed a transmission at 34,000 miles. that was $3500 and is still not right. it wears front tires like crazy, needs 6 tires every 20-25,000 miles. and the ALuminum box is rotting away, yes aluminum rotting away. Thats not fords fault but american cargo who made the box and attaced the aluminum skirting to steel tube stock. the dissimilar metals make the aluminum rot away faster.
    I hope the sprinter does better. It better at $48k withthe aluminum Hackney body on the back. I amnot inmpressed with the thin sheetmetal unibody, but we'll see. I am surprised at the power it hasfor such a tiny engine.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    My Son-in-law is a private contractor, and just bought a new Dodge Sprinter. He brought it over last week to show me. It has a Mercedes' diesel engine in it. I really hate seeing all these foreign cars and trucks being bought up so much over here. These are jobs lost to American workers. I couldn't help but notice how many Volvo 18 wheelers there are being sold here. I only hope they have a factory here.
  • hssofwnyhssofwny Posts: 1
    I picked up my Sprinter about 3 months ago. It is a 2003 140" passenger van that is loaded with all the toys. I have concerns about the shifting pattern. It seems to go from 2nd to 4th (or torque converter lock up) and then back into 3rd after bogging. I tried leaving the shifter in 3rd and going through the gears and it acts the same way. That's why I think it may be the torque converter locking up prematurely. Has anyone experienced this sort of a shifting problem? Other than this, I am more than happy with this vehicle. I picked this one up after 3 full size American made vans left me at the 100,000 mile mark needing more in repairs than they were worth. I'm told the Mercedes with go to 500K and then some. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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