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Dodge Sprinter Maintenance



  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    YouTube has video on how to change oil and fuel filters. The trans fluid and filter needs to be changed every 30,000 miles. I had to have this done at 45,000 by dealer because trans was slipping in 5th gear. I am at 78,000 miles and have developed another leak around the electrical connection port (3rd time). Since I had to drain the fluid I decided to change the filter again. There was a heavy sludge in the bottom of the pan. The filter intakes fluid thru a 1/8" X 1 1/2" opening that is flat against the bottom of the pan. The filter is really fine and could restrict flow quickly. I feel this design is ruining alot of transmissions that are being maintained per factory schedule. has a fluid change schedule that will help eleminate problems. Major repairs on Sprinters cost so much that extra maintance is cheap in the long run. Check it out.
  • jftfi
    Do you have the 08 Sprinter?
    Mine has 24k miles & no issues, so far.
    Just use it mainly for over land trips out west.
    Carry dirt bikes & gear...I'm retired & have plenty of time so I travel a bit.
    Would like to lower the final ratio to 3:75.
    This should help the mpg.

    Thanks much for all your info & directions as to where to go.
    Just placed an order w/ europarts of San Diego.

    If ever headed to Florida give me some heads up time.

    Again thank you,
  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    2004 (2.7L Diesel) High Top 10 pass. loaded. I think the trans is the same. Watch close for leaks on the trans. My first was at 14,000 miles in the middle of nowhere. I would suggest you buy the trans. dip stick and carry along a qt. of fluid. What engine do you have and what kind of mileage do you get?

    Good Luck
  • No leaks..yet.
    Will get the dip stick kit & the trans filter/& seal too.
    This 144/2500 is w/ the v6 thick fuel user.
    The best it has earned was 26.65 at 40 mph on flat back roads in the west.
    Never stopped for over 250 miles, just kept pokin along.

    On the everyday city use, it will constantly do a 21.5 & if I stay out of the turbo, then that is a honest 22.5.
    However on the interstates at 70 mph & just under there is 21 constantly.
    Pulling a trailer at 75+ mph it has dropped to 17 mpg. The trailer & its cargo weighted about 2500 lb.

    I have gone on a 450+ mile back GA road trip & earned 23.

    It should be noted that the turbo seems to be the biggest factor in the city driving or low speed. The design of the Sprinter is some what slick but the rear area is a huge void & there it seems to have a drag factor at high speeds.

    My Sprinter is mainly used for my fun. So far I like it but like all the wheeled vehicles there are weak points which should be addressed.

    I really must say that I really know very little about the Sprinter & got mostly good reports from UPS drivers & a few FedX as well. Have noticed the resale is rather high. That's why I opted for a new 08.

    Know anything about the bio fuel some are using & others are being warned off about?

  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    2004 2500 SHC Wagon 140"
    Have yet to get better than 19mpg. Highway, city, single air, dual-air, 70mph or 83mph all the same. Make sure your tires have the 80psi shown in the manual. I tried to lower the pressure to 50psi to get a smoother ride but lost about 2mpg. I have since been told that lower than 80 psi can affect the stability and anti-slip control functions.
  • These Sprinters are indeed the most special vehicles I have ever owned.

    I'm going to get some long milage tires soon, 3 mths.
    Only going to earn 30k miles on these Conties.
    I certainly agree about the tire PSI.

    What is your final drive ratio?
    Mine has the trailer towing package, thus it is 4:10.

    This year I have about 40K miles planned for the Sprinter.

    I am out fitting it inside & outside as well.
    Now I'm thinking I should go to the underside & install air bags, but that is $$$.
    May have to to w/ the leaf springs stifferners...only $$.

    What part of the country do you live?
    Is your Sprinter used for transportation of many people?

    Have taken side jobs just cause people I know, wanted to rent it from me & then just hired me to do the entire courier thing.

    Just complete a insulation & installed a couple of bunks which fold up along the side wall behind the driver back back by the rear door. Fitted some reflected plastic white borad to help w/ the limited lighting.

    Later, in about 5 months, I'm transporting 5 motorcycles out to Moab & two riders.
    The other guys are going to fly in & fly back after a wk of playing.

    Sorry, didn't mean to run off at the key board.

    Thanks again about the handling & psi issue.
  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    Travel for business but don't carry any weight. Have a 3:72 rear end. Michelin LTX A/T's came on the truck but I changed to the M/T series (same size) for better all weather use. This truck is so computer operated that changing tire size could be a problem. 80mph at 3000 RPM is my top speed on the highway. Limiter cuts in at about 84mph. Whats your top speed with a 4:10 and is this a 3500 series?
  • W/ the 4:10 trailer package which came w/ my 2500/144 cargo, the top speed is 82mph.

    Another question about the fuel filter location.....the utube only showed for the earlier 5 cylinder.
    I have be under the entire triuck & cannot locate the fuel filter.
    Looked w/ a mech (independent)in under the hood.
    He then went on line to a Tech Sprinter link & found only a drawing & it was so close up that we could not tell what the actual location was.

    The link did say .9 hr was the flat rate for the replacement.

    I'd be doing it myself but independents are really hurting here & he is a very honest mech who has this little one man operation who, in the past has gone way out of his way to help others. So if it is true about what goes around around.....then it may be my turn to go back around.

    Will post the rpm for 80 mph later today. Need to refuel anyway.
    My low fuel warning light comes on just about at 20.2 gallons.
  • twinboytwinboy Posts: 5
    i have a 03 3500 high roof ext with 208K on it and the tranny won't shift out from the 1 st gear when it drive without any engine light show in the dashbroad. The shift indicator always stay on "D" and i can only drive up to 20 to 30 mph. i took it to a local AAMCO dealer and they told me it might need to rebuilt that tanny and it cost around 3 to 5k. They also told me the Sprinter has the same tranny as the Dodge Ram i'm wondering is that true or not? I was trying to take it back to the dealer which is Frieghtliner in NY Queen area and they told me it cost at least 6 to 8K to fix it. I'm wondering is it worthy to rebuilt that tranny or some of my friends told me that simply just try to get rid of it. They told me if something wrong with the tranny just don't even think to touch it. Also should i trust the guys from AAMCO since they said they're so good on any of the transmission problems Can anyone please give me some advice please. Thanks so much

    PS always had bad experience with the dealer too
  • ponchovponchov Posts: 14
    I'm not going to say this will be a quick fix but have you considered a strong forced flush. Drain the trans first & then force flush the converter & the cooling system of the trans. From 5 to 8 grand sounds like, I'd be trying other possiblities.
    This treatment was suggested to me by an old mech when I had a borg transmission years ago. It helped me keep moving for another year but the shifting was never like new again. My cost was less that 100 USD.

    The crud which exited the port has made me a believer in fluid replacement before the manual states.

    If you do replace your current transmission don't just throw away the old unit. It still has some valve at a repair shop.

    But whatever you do be sure to clean out the converter & fluid cooling system before bolting up a different unit. Who knows what is still in that old fluid.
  • okymanokyman Posts: 1
    Have a 2006/2007Leisure Travel Free Spirit on a 2500 Dodge Sprinter chassis with 16000 miles that we purchased in January 2010. Three times now we have found a dead chassis battery in the morning when we have had the camper plugged into 110 v. I know the camper is separate from the chassis but that is the only time that happens. No lights or other power draw was left on. The last time it happened I opened the hood and there was a hum from the EGR valve. How could the power to the EGR be on when the key is turned off. Anyone have a similar problem? It is obviously intermittent but needs to be corrected.
  • I have a 2008 Sprinter wagon with the 3.0 CRD. I'm only getting 15 to 17 mpg. I was told by the dealer that I would be getting, after break-in period, 22 to 24 mpg. Am I doing something wrong? Sprinter has 16k miles.
  • ponchovponchov Posts: 14
    15-17 is about what my 08 is earning while pulling a trailer, loaded down w/ fuel & 5 motorcycles while on the freeway. I have learned that 2400 rpm doing 65 mph is the best top mph to use if trying for better mpg & still not holding back traffic, much.
    Otherwise w/ just Sprinter going down the freeway at 2400 rpm/65 mph the 08 2500, 144 will earn an honest 23 mpg on mostly flat driving.
    It should be noted that if I increase my mph just 5 mph the mpg (while trailering fully loaded) will drop to 13. I just completed a cross country trip & when in west TX the posted speed is 80 mph while on the freeway. I earned only 11.6 mpg going from El Paso to San Antonio. That was long enough to get a real mpg reading at the posted hiway speed.

    Mpg can be influenced by size of tires & psi in the tires. I tried a slightly taller & narrower tire in order to lower the rpm at 65 & 70 mph, before the cross country trip. It was a desire. Took it to the dealer to see if something else was out of wack. It should be noted that the correct tire size is the stock mounts. I have gone to a higher load range E. I usually pull a trailer when traveling cross country so the correct ratio is important to keep the torque & hp at its best level at the lowestest rpm....that is at 2400 rpm. Check it out.
    At 65 mph or 2400 rpm our 2500, 144, V6 CRD Sprinters are reaching 150 hp/280 ft lb. Contact your dealer, they have the actual spec on the rpm levels.
    Something else about the taller tires I tried earlier. The steering was very different.
    The Sprinter would follow the rain grooves in the hiway much more from the correct size tires. It had a wobbly/loose feeling at high speeds.
    I have 33,000 miles on my 08 & am pleased w/ the city & freewqy handling of the Sprinter.
    My dealer is in Jax, FL & located at 7233 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park Dodge. Ask for Denice, he is the only tech who is going to touch my Sprinter.
    Didn't buy my Sprinter here but have only had 100% honest service done here.
    They helped me better understand these power curves & what was better for my type of driving.

    Mpg seem to vary from Sprinter to Sprinter. Even in the same year some vans earn more or less that others. Would be neat to test them w/ the one driver. I don' kick my turbo in full power very often. I do warm ups before taking off & cool downs before shutting off the motor. Hope this helps.
  • I own a 2004 2500SCH Sprinter van with 88,000mi. on it. I have begun to experience an intermittent problem with loss of power. I will usually start out ok, will run the vehicle up to 70mph and set cruise control. All of a sudden the van slows to 65mph as if the cruise has been disengaged, which it has not because it will maintain the 65mph unless I am going uphill. Using the gas pedal does not work to accelerate. I have pushed it to the floor and the motor does not rev up. I have tried disengaging the cruise and using the gas pedal and nothing happens. After this happens and I get off the freeway the van does not accelerate properly. You can push the pedal to the floor but the van will only gradually pick up speed. and will not go over 2000 rpm until you coax it back up to 65mph and the it tops out at 2200rpm. What could be the problem? This went on for about a week and then it stopped. Van ran fine again for about a week. Now the problem is back again. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    Your in luck!
    Same thing just happened to me on the same truck, same year and same mileage. Your truck is going into what they call a limp mode status. Just got mine back from Freightliner (The engine is still under warranty, so did not try to fix myself)) and the problem was leaks in the air hoses to the engine and turbo. This is a common problem. They replaced both (recommended) and completed recall. Total cost $465.00. I am now changing all belts and hoses as well as coolant. If this would have happened out of town it would have been a mess. It took 3 days before they could even look at the truck and two more days to order the parts.
  • Thanks for the quick response. Fortunately my Freightliner dealer is only a 20 minute drive from here. Will get it in tomorrow.
  • jftfijftfi Posts: 10
    I just replaced my main drive belt (fan belt). I wish I would have had it done when it was in the shop. These belts are by vin. number and a major pain to replace. If you do not have a shop manual you will be hard pressed to figure it out (poor design). It took me three hours. My existing belt was worn out (80,600 miles). I normally change belts at 60,000 miles but time got away. I made a drawing of how it runs on the engine, to carry in the truck, in case I need to use the old one in an emergency. Check the electrical connection at the transmission. I have had the o-rings replaced twice.
  • walltr34walltr34 Posts: 2
    Advance Auto Parts has them for about $8, I know this is 2+ yrs late.
  • walltr34walltr34 Posts: 2 - $33.25-fuel filter(Hengst), $28.59-cabin filter(Mann)
    free shipping over $60
    Advance Auto Parts - $8.29-oil filter(Fram) $71.49-air filter(K&N reusable)
    $11.99-air filter kit(K&N)
    gonna check your suggested site for price comparison, thanks, Mike
  • Thanks for the tip on the o- Rings, I will check mine ! I have found that when I changed the serpentine belt, I drew a little diagram to know the "path" the belt was routed in. After that being done it was a 5 minute job. The path can be confusing so it is worth having another van to look at, or to draw a quick diagram. The retractable flywheel that is spring tensioned easily moves to fit the belt also. Good luck next time ! Paul Ayoub Naugatuck
  • Just purchased a 2006 Sprinter and am curious about winterizing the unit. It says to drain the water tank, I cannot find a valve to drain the tank.
  • tayanatayana Posts: 1

    I am driving a 2010 Fleetwood Pulse on a 2008 dodge sprinter. When it is not in the limp mode (and you never know when that is going to happen) so it is best not to plan any trips. It delivers 14 miles to the gallon some times 15 but that is about the reality.

    Good luck, Can't find a dodge or Mercedes shop that can make the sprinter run let alone get better mileage.

  • My 04 Sprinter needs a harmonic balancer, a fan, and a fan belt. How much should all this cost?
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