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Dodge Sprinter Maintenance

We're considering an RV based on a Sprinter van - can anyone list typical maintenance & intervals for the first 100K? Of note is oil specs, capacity, transmission maintenance (filter/fluid only, I hope). Are the oil filters difficult to get? I'm not a commercial mechanic, but I'm familiar with diesels, turbos, and maitain our family vehicles to a typical 200+kmi and want to make sure if we get this RV that we maintain it well.


  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    To answer all your question go to fl-sprinter or dodge website maintenance (you need Adobe Reader 6.0)

    Any Sprinter dealer has oil filters at $9 each.I execute myself all maintenance and service on my Sprinter,however stay away from any transmission service,you need special Mercedes training and equipment.According to Mercedes recomendation you need one lifetime transmission service at 80K cost between $300-$400.
  • Thanks - I see the reference in the manuals on the tranny maintenance, too. And it took awhile to get to the oil specs. Easy to find the weights, but most european mfrs have a non-SAE methods of specifying their oil quality. Nice enough, though, they put a list of qualified oils in the Dodge Owner's Manual. Is there an easy way to clear the maintenance light without paying Doge $50?
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    <<<<<Is there an easy way to clear the maintenance light without paying Doge $50?>>>>>

    Key in position 2 press mil button two times,turn key back to position 0,press mil button again one time hold and turn key back to position 2 again,keep holding key for 10 second and U've clear maintenance record.Remember operation must be completed in fast 15 second.

    Oil:Myself always looking for a bargain I found the best deal at Wal-Mart,inhouse full 100% syn 10-30 10q $25 pluss $9 filter and U've saved $100 from any Sprinter service shop.(Wal-Mart do not know your location???)

    Remember 2 very importune facts,do "NOT" losse copper washer on drainplug and place big O ring in provided gruff.Big O ring is sealing on "OD" not on compression against bottom flange.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    SAE CI-4+ is the designation you are looking for, fully synthetic is required if you are looking for the ASSYST system to calculate miles til next change.

    It is becoming more and more evident according to users of the vans and others with the same automatic transmission that you would want to check the transmission fluid level once in a while (not just waiting until 80K miles) and that the first change should be earlier (say 40-60K miles).

    Finally, you should expect to change fluid at 60K intervals forever as well.

    No, this is NOT required, but it seems to be best advice, especially for the higher loads of an RV chassis.

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    to amplify what kurt6 is saying... the o-rings seal the filter/holder the correct way for o-rings: on the cylindrical surface of the part they slip into, so "tightening" of the cap/filter/holder into the filter holder is NOT necessary or recommended. All you are doing is screwing it in CAREFULLY, and stopping when it bottoms out. NO torque or "partial turns after touching" are required.

    I have just found that the correct oil for 2007 diesels will probably have to be CJ-4 (replaces CI-4+) in order to be compatible with the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF - a catalyst-like self-regenerating section of the exhaust system.

    On a side not, My beloved Sprinter (dad's "baby" says my daughter) was savaged yesterday while parked in the lot at my work place... someone cut out the muffler section, pipe/resonance chambers/mufflers, and drove off with the section... Presumably they though it had catalysts and that they could sell it for salvage (about US$90 at recyclers in OKC, OK).

    Replacement cost will be about US$1300...

    KenB :mad: :mad:
  • Bummer about the it covered by insurance? And thanks for the info. I assume much of it will be in our manual when we pick ours up this weekend. The excitement builds...our checklist is already four pages long!
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    all is covered... I still can't afford to lose the value/use of my van since it is so new...

    The resonator I refer to is on the exhaust side (the "muffler" is the muffler, a resonator chamber, and a particle filter I think)... This is ONE BIG PART, Dodge #5119 762AA in the PDF of 2004 Sprinter parts as found on the Berry Dodge site. One part US$1000+...

    Checklist? of questions? of curiosities? Please share it sometime...

    KenB :shades:
  • Our 'acceptance' or 'delivery' checklist of items to check. We're probably gonna drive the delaer crazy, but we'll post our dealer experience when we're done. btw, the checklist is now 7 pages. As we think of things, we add them to the list, and have garnered an initial basis from ones available in a simple internet search. Can we post files? 7 pages is a long post. It's also for RV acceptance - so there's a lot more to check than an auto-van type list.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Maybe you would like to join Sprinter-Forum (another site) that is more in-depth and accepts larger content pieces easily so far.

    I understand the long list for the R/V part... so many parts, so many systems, so much maintenance... Like a car, a truck, a house, and (sometimes, if you have a generator) an electric cooperative to keep up with.

  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    I have 70k on my 04, reg height, 140. Dealer says time to change fluid. He said he doesn't have pricing in the computer. But says about 300.00 for the trans, Also I need an oil change for 130.00, air filter, about 50.00, and fuel filter for 120.00 !! does this seem right?

    I called the dealer where I bought mine to ask about the 07. says they will get them in about july??? I had two pass me today. Real nice looking rig. Tom
  • bhmetbhmet Posts: 8
    I have a leased 2004 with a stakebed with a maintenance plan. My last service was as follows:
    transmission flush $296.22
    windshield $369.59
    coolant flush $171.60
    steering flush $130.00

    We love this truck, but it is not cheap!

  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    The trans service is supposed to be at 80K, so 70K is reasonable... according the DC/MB this is your one (1) trans-service for the life of the vehicle... we don't see that as a recommendation in the user community... after this first one, it should probably have the fluid changed every 60K or so. Can't be sure of the $300 price, but it MUST include the filter, gasket, and several quarts of that MOPAR (MB Spec, probably SHELL) fully synthetic ATF that they love to charge high$'s for at dodge/FL.

    About $75 is my cost for an oil change with fully synthetic oil (AMSOIL) and a filter from Autozone. The dealer premium is not good.

    The air filter is not a bad deal if they install it for that $50 bill... the filter is usually over $35 at most parts places (if they even have one) in my area OKC, OK. You have to remove some parts to get the filter out... MB didn't do you any favor when they placed the air filter down in the pit on the passenger side of the engine compartment. (I really wonder what that is like for the British, right-hand drive, version)?

    The fuel filter at $120 is obviously dealer installed, and though not tragically high (is also certainly no bargain either). At least they will be responsible for repriming and getting your diesel up and running after the change out.

    All-in-all, I plan to do all of those same actions on my own because I am allergic to dealer pricing on such simple labor items.

    I have already removed and checked and cleaned the air filter of what little dust was in the box and on the surface... so I know that part pretty well (20K miles).

    The fuel filter is not due until about 60K miles barring any encounter with moisture in the fuel supply.

    You know my history with the oil change... one free from dealer, one on me ($75, self-performed, easy), one almost due prior to next big trip (28K miles). The dealer appears to me to have used the wrong oil and/or did not fill it completely (3 quarts used to top-up in 9K miles, first 2 quarts needed after just 1K miles). My own oil change with MOBIL 1 (as required for ASSYST, but I don't have ASSYST) has not used any that can be seen lost on the dipstick level.

    I have seen a few '07's as well, but my dealer only has on or two and the rumor is that they will be losing 5-star/business link status soon which should mean they lose Sprinters as well...

  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Thanks Ken, As usual :D Its kind of scary having service done, then when you pay the bill its higher. They did that to be before on an oil change. By 20.00. Speaking of wrong oil, when I get mine back, there is the usual sticker in the upper left hand corner on the windshield, Saying my next change is in 3K miles. How can you tell they are doing it right? I have the ASSYST.

    If Mb is going to sell off chrysler, What becomes of the dodge sprinter dealers? Kind of scary. We have a limited service network as it is. Thanks again the the reply. Tom
    PS just filled up and got a hair over 24 MPG @298.9 PG.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Ask them what oil... the manual says that for ASSYST it HAS to be fully synthetic (such as Mobil 1 0w40). It has been brought up that this Mobil 1 is not for diesels, but the Sprinter does not require "diesel" oil. What is required is that the oil is MB spec 228+ or CI-4+.

    I have used the oils, fully synthetic, as required in the book and you should not use hardly ANY oil in even 10K miles. Maybe 1/2 to 1 quart tops. This is in line with old specs for the FLM 302 C.I. in the Mercury Grand Marquis for just 3,000-5,000 miles (1 quart per change interval) and that was with regular oil, maybe CF/CG API spec oil.

  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Hey Ken, Well I had the oil changed, the others will do soon. Oil change went from 130.00 to 149.00. Nice increase. What is involved in doing the air filter. I think once I do it, it will be a breeze next time. Thanks, Tom

    P.S. I may have told you that they repainted the van under warranty (both sides only) and did a great job. :D
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239

    I will never have anyone else do the oil change again if I can help it. :mad:

    To get to the air filter you obviously have to get the cover out of the way...

    Start on a cold engine if you can... You will not be working around the hot end of the turbo MOST of the time, but why risk a burn?

    First, remove the turbo cover/heatshield and be carful with the wires/connector attached to the front end of that...

    Second, carfully disconnect the box lid, wires, hose(s) etc.

    Third, remove the box lid from the Air box.

    Remember to vacuum out the box and to put the new filter back in the same way (air comes in from the bottom and out the top).

    Place the box lid back, connect hose(s), wires, etc. and lock down lid.

    reroute wire attached to heat shield bracket as it was before you moved all around and put heat shield back on.

    Avoid the tempting idea to remove the washer fluid tank to get to the air box... it is much harder to do than you might originally think, and you are likely to lose all of the fluid in the tank while trying this route.

    As I am nearing 30K miles, I will be changing the air filter at this oil change. Since my Autozone carried only the Dusty Region filter, that is what is going to go in. The price is very good, can't remember how much though.

    At 18K miles I removed the air filter, tapped it out gently and vacuumed out the box... I can't remember, but I think that the interval on the filter is every second 30K service... will have to read the books closely again. However, I like Clean Filters A LOT as do most enthusiasts.

    Still haven't found the cabin filter in stock, but Autozone, for one, is carrying cabin filters on the shelves now. One of the local Diesel service companies is now stocking Sprinter parts (a request of the FED/EX guys that use them for fuel injector service).

    The diesel service center guy was at the OKC Farm and Ranch show last weekend. He is a Stanadyne diesel injector systems and Bosch Injector/CDI rep as well. I bought the Stanadyne Diesel Jr. Injector lube/diesel improver (summer use) about $15/half-gal (4oz treats 30gal). Winter diesel improver (with Cetane booster/antigel) is about $23/half-gal. and takes 8oz to treat 30 gal (twice as much).

    He says it takes at least 8 oz to add enough treatment to boost cetane (more important in cold temps).

    KenB :shades:
  • kurt6kurt6 Posts: 22
    One can execute most maintenance on your Sprinter,like filters (air motor,cab,fuel and oil) and save 50%-70% from dealer cost.
    However stay away from your transmission unless U"ve proper training and equipment (DRBIII,diagnostic read out box) from MB.
    To check your proper tranmission oil level requires the right temperature.A dipstick check only at the wrong temp can overfill or underfill your transmission and efect the performance and life of your transmission.
    So disregard "Sprinter know it all high tech posters" a periodic dipstick check is all you need can damage your tensmission (cost $2800)
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    You appear to be on the right track about the TRANs... I might add that the good Mercedes Benz specialists (not necessarily at a dealer) in your area may have a much better cost on checking/maintaining your Sprinter Transmission.

    It is a common MB Automatic Trans used in several other models (all just as picky about fluid level, quality, temp, etc.) The automatic in the Chrysler Crossfire and similar MB Kompressor model sportscar (don't know the model #) is this same auto trans.

    Kurt, I don't quite know what your last sentence says? A periodic dipstick check is not actually possible for regular owners without specialized equipment as you say earlier in your posting. so, what is probably a really good practice is to look around your Trans at least at every oil change to see if you kind find any leaks. This is not high-tech, or Know-It-All... just common sense, but not often thought about.

    What might seem Know-It-All to some is that these forums that I have read, and subscribed to, give great experience-based advise:

    Change Trans fluid more often than just the one time at 80K miles. (about 60K or less if in an RV or tow-vehicle)

    We MUST use the fully synthetic ATF meeting all MB/DC specs and it must be at the right level (as you state above).

    The infamous RSN (rumble strip noise) can be a problem associated with nothing more complex than the trans fluid, its level, or its quality.

    Don't try to cheap out on trans maintenance when the time comes to do it, even a rebuilt Sprinter Trans is EXPEN$IVE...

    please explain that last sentence... I really want to understand it better.

  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Ken, Thanks much for the info. Sounds simple enough, But will take it slow. Thanks again, Tom :D
  • Speaking of maintenance . . .
    I tend to keep my new vehicles and always purchase the manuals the dealer techs use. (the 3, 4" thick binders at $80 for my '95 Saturn SL2 with 189k miles have paid for themselves many times) Has anyone purchased them for the Sprinter and/or are they available without cracking the master dealer database?
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Fuel Filter Replacement at Bob Howard Dodge in OKC, OK is now $170 (U.S.D.) about $50 for the filter and $120 for the labor... My guess is that the 2 hour minimum has to be met?

    KenB :confuse:
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Generally will have to find the CD online, maybe on EBAY.

    The online version of the parts/diagrams at athe Berry Dodge website have been most helpful to me and many others.

    KenB :shades:
  • Good call KenB, very informative website.
    Is there a way to post pics in this forum?
    I'm looking for other Sprinter factory colors besides white.

    MINI :D
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Photos can be included in posts. Click on "Img", paste the photo URL in, and then click on "Img" again.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • 2000_valk2000_valk Posts: 67
    Good idea, anyone want to send a picture of their rigs?? :shades:
  • skiyupskiyup Posts: 1
    I love my big ugly sprinter van. I have a few ideas to "pimp it out" ie. custom touches. Anyone out there jumped on their's yet? piks available? It handles great, runs well, but the connect with the dealer really bites. Also that turbo hose clamp has let me down several times and it goes into cripple mode when too big a bug hits the grill or Io eclipses Saturn. Thanks for the engine light fix.
  • I would like to change my own fuel filter in my 2004 Sprinter cargo van. I've heard that on a diesel engine if this is not done correctly it could cost you alot. Is there a step by step manual out that would explain the process? Or is there someone out there who can walk me thru it?
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Have correct fuel filter and o-rings (2004 USA model Sprinter should use top-sensor type filter).

    Have extra (band-type or else OEM) hose clamps on hand. If you are careful, the old clamps may be re-used, otherwise you want more on-hand.

    Turn off engine of course, and remove the key.

    Clamp off the hoses (if you have non-damaging hose clamp pliers or clamps) This step is not supposed to be needed.

    Remove the hoses and catch drips.

    Loosen clamp(s) on canister and remove.

    Twist sensor in direction to prepare to remove.

    Remove sensor pulling straight out gently.

    Replace O-rings on sensor. Remove/move over any other pieces and move them to the new canister along with the sensor.

    Reinstall NEW cansiter filter.

    Put hoses on, install clamps, check fit, tighten canister in place.

    Open drain, add a length of hose and run it to a catch container safe for diesel fuel. It helps much to have someone to to hold hose, container, and to signal when to shut off the key.

    Turn key to run position, but DO NOT start engine. Allow the tranfer pump to push fuel into the canister filter and then to flow out of the drain tube (about a pint or two max). This goes fast. Shut off key.

    CLOSE the drain carefully and snug, but do not over tighten.

    Again, turn the key to on, but wait and do not start immediately, let the system pump up pressure, then shut off.

    Now, turn to run, wait for the pump to run, the glow plugs light to go out, then start the engine and let it run for a while to ensure that you get all of the bubbles out of the system before you decide you're are ready to say your job is completed and your'e ready to put all of the tools away.

    The keys to this job going well are primarily to get fuel back into the system/filter and primed back to inlet of the high pressure pump with minimal chance for air in the system.

    My first fuel filter change is soon and I have planned carefully just in case.

    KenB ;)
  • sppspp Posts: 13
    The dealerships are independently owned and operated!!##XX ???? The mantra of the impotent Chrysler group. I'm curious if anyone has had similar problems both with their Sprinter, their dealerships service dept. arrogance, incompetance and Chrysler customer service ( or lack of it) uselessness. To list some of my problems:
    Replace: cargo area dome light(s), horn, radio, door latch (door would bounce open when trying to close, rear door dome light switch. These alone have been far more than any problems I've had with the aprox. 15 vehicles I've owned over the last 30yrs.
    There's more. After having my Sprinter serviced at 20k, by my selling dealership, Lee Dodge of Commack, New York, at 21k my transmission broke down and I needed to be towed. They would only tow me to the nearest dealership, Westbury Jeep. Three days later Thursday I got the truck back. Friday I brought it back to Westbury Jeep And said I felt the truck was hesitating and had a power issue. They test drove it and said "they could not duplicate the problem" On Monday, there is an explosion, not exagerating, from the engine compartment. I have to get towed back to Westbury Jeep for the second time in a week. This time it is a problem with the turbo booster. I am beyond frustration at this point, especially after the dealership not properly diagnosing the problem correctly the previous Friday. In fact they were rude and acted as if they were doing me a favor repairing a vehicle still under warranty. 3 weeks later I'm 150 miles from home starting a camping weekend with my fishing club. I pull into a supermarket to get some snacks and go back to the truck and start it up and it does not move!!! I have to be towed for the third time in a month. I call roadside assistance and they tell me they can not find a participating tow company in my area, Winstead Ct., at 9:30pm on a Friday night. At this point I lost it and demanded they get me towed to the nearest Dodge dealership and get me running. 2 1/2hrs later they get me towed to Crowley Dodge in Bristol CT. 36 miles to the southeast of my location. I slept in the truck in the dealership lot. The next morning a service rep. wakes me and gets my truck looked at asap. My complements to Crowley Dodge's pleasentness and politeness, for the first time from a Dodge affiliate. They diagnosed the problem as my linkage coming apart as it was not properly reassembled by the Westbury jeep tech. when they repaired my transmission. At this point I just drove home and gave up on my weekend from frustration and exhaustion. Just this past week, Nov 07, I needed to bring my truck back to Lee Dodge to have my door latch repaired, my linkage replaced, as Crowley Dodge just did a temporary fix on it to get me back on the road. Also to diagnose a problem with my Dashboard outside temperature digital thermometer. They fixed my door and linkage, but did not fix my thermometer and while taking apart my dash they broke the central locking system of my truck and left my instrument panel molding misaligned and protruding from the rest of the dash. When I called the service manager the next morning and demanded an immediate appointment for them to fix my locking system, that they had just broken and to fix my dash the service manager was rude and told me not to bring my truck back to his shop. I asked to speak with the general mgr. He had the same attitude. I currently have an appointment with another dealership to have the remaining problems repaired 3 weeks from now! I also have an additional problem. It seems that at low speed and when slowing down the truck it has developed a rumbling noise like I'm running on a shoulder. During all of this The Chrysler Group has been a non-entity, invisable and not worthy of the concept of customer service. This post is not only to get other owners feedback but also to put together my thoughts as I'm considering court action against my dealership and Chrysler.

    Thanks for reading,
  • sppspp Posts: 13
    Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 18:03:06 -0500
    > From:
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Chrysler LLC Customer Assistance (KMM52756xxxx25261xxxxx}
    > Dear
    > Thank you for contacting the Chrysler Customer Assistance Center
    > regarding Lee Dodge.
    > Your email has been received and the concerns you have raised are
    > appreciated.
    > After thoroughly reviewing your request and the files on this matter, we
    > respectfully concur with the information provided by our Customer
    > Service Representative.
    > Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us. It is regrettable
    > that a more favorable reply can not be provided.
    > Thanks again for your email.
    > Sincerely,
    > Leslie
    > Senior Staff Representative
    > Chrysler Customer Assistance Center
    > For any future communications related to this email, please refer to the
    > following information:
    > REFERENCE NUMBER: 16xxxxx
    > EMAIL CASE NUMBER: 1xxxx
    > Original Message Follows:
    > ----------
    > US Customer Service - Dodge Brand Site
    > Brief Description:
    > Comments:
    > CHRYSLER has no corporate culture.

    Chrysler customer service continues to be a joke! How do you agree with bringing a vehicle in for one thing and the service dept. brakes something else and refuses to repair damage they just did. You thoroughly reviewed? Be serious, not foolish!

    completely dissatisfied customer

    Chrysler are you even capable of listening?

    Dear MR., We here at Dodge are continuously looking for ways we can serve you better.Your assistance would be a significant help in our efforts if you could take a couple of minutes to give us your feedback. Recently you sent an email to Dodge, the subject of which you titled: "CHRYSLER GROUP..... LIKE TEETS ON A BULL!!!!!!!!!!" Please click on the link below to open our web page questionnaire and answer the questions based on this most recent email interaction. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us improve. The answers you provide will assist us to gauge your satisfaction with our handling of your questi
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