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Messages - sajohnson

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A very impressive list of companies that Mercedes-Benz partners with:


They must be doing something right.

The Ebay bidding or Buy-It-Now process is not always the means.  Often the auction ends and there is no buyer, whether nobody bid, or a reserve was not met.  Afterwards, you can contact the seller and discuss it between just the two of you as you would on RVtrader, craigslist, etc.

I remember you mentioning that before, earlier in this thread when you found that low-priced RV on eBay.

Of course, if I find a 2350 that's what we're looking for I'd want to bid, or maybe even take the 'buy it now' price if it is reasonable.  I gather you're saying that if I bid but do not win the auction I should check with the seller to see if the 'winner' backed out, or the reserve wasn't met, and try to make a private deal -- is that right?   

General Discussion / Re: New layout for specs
« on: April 07, 2012, 05:40:32 pm »
Great job Aimee, very helpful! 

Ebay has them pop up on occasion, and ebay has an auto-notifier too.

Thanks Ron, great suggestion!

I'm not in the habit of using eBay (although I have in the past) so I hadn't thought to try there.

I've already set up a search with email notification.

To get back to the original topic of this thread -- we're still looking for a 2350 but instead of the larger dinette and no slide (like Ron's) we've decided that the more common sofa/bed in a slide will work best for us.

I'm looking for ideas as to where to look for late model used PC 2350s.

Of course I looked at PC's website first and continue to check it.  I've also tried:


One feature I find useful is being able to sign up for notifications if what you're looking for is listed.  If you're aware of any site with that feature it's a big plus.

Any suggestions appreciated.


But wait -- there's more!!

Something that hasn't been mentioned is the Espar heater.  It has the ability to keep the engine at proper operating temperature, which goes a long way toward eliminating many of the problems associated with idling the 3.0L diesel engine, and can be used as an aux coach heat source.

So unless a higher than stock idle speed is needed for greater output from the alternator, there is no reason to bump the idle speed up when using an Espar.

Looks like the Sprinter engine may be a very good source of back up power after all.

If I had all of the answers I'd be a very rich man indeed!

As it is, I seem to have all the information I need about idling the V-6 in the Sprinter chassis.  M-B in Germany says up to one hour at the stock idle speed is ok, and that should be enough for my needs.  If not, I know it definitely is possible to get an authorized Sprinter dealer to install the M-B high idle option.

I do find it interesting when there is conflicting information about any subject though.  There may be one or more reasons for that:

1) There are plenty of people who think they know better than engineers and damage or destroy equipment as a result.
2) There are times when 'real-world' experience is truly different from what the engineers had counted on.
3) Information doesn't always get disseminated well within an organization.
4) Sometimes well-intentioned employees will give out false or inaccurate information without realizing it.
5) Mfrs want to please the customer and sell their products, but they also have liability and warranty concerns that may influence their answers to questions.
6) If information is not in writing, and must be passed on verbally, it can quickly get corrupted.

As I said, I have enough info for my needs.  Unless I have a strong reason to believe otherwise, I am going to go by what Neal S. @ M-B USA said -- one hour max. at normal/stock idle speed.  Who knows, if enough people question this, M-B engineering may come out with a revised, written statement -- something that will be added to the Sprinter owners manual.  I'm very surprised that there is currently nothing in writing about idle time, both with and w/o the high idle option.

In Mel's defense, he did not come across like a know-it-all.  At no point in our conversation did he say or even hint that he knew more than the M-B engineers -- he simply relayed his real-world experience as a shop foreman in a large Sprinter repair facility.  What he _did_ say was that he was curious as to why M-B would limit the idle times, since in his experience it isn't an issue.  He intends to check into it further at M-B USA headquarters when he is there in the near future because he realizes there may be concerns he is not aware of.

Mel and I actually spoke about the DEF/urea (which I was aware of).  It came up in our conversation because we were talking about how the various Sprinter engines (I-5, V-6, V-6 w/DEF) might react differently to idling and how that might explain some of the conflicting stories and info.  The DEF is a big improvement in that it allows the Sprinter V-6 to put out significantly more torque and hp while producing fewer emissions.  M-B sized the DEF tank so that it only needs to be filled every 10,000 miles, with every oil change.  From what I've read, filling the DEF tank costs about $8.

Does Ford publish any information about idling the V-10?

Does Ford offer a high idle option?

Any idea how long the V-10 can be idled, both at stock idle rpm and high idle (if available)?

It may be able to be idled longer since gasoline engines tend to maintain their operating temp better.


1) Neal S. @ M-B USA (800) 222-0100 got the answers to the idle time questions straight from Germany and left me a voice mail:

With high idle option idle time is 1.5 to 2 hours.  The rpm is programmable (if necessary) by dealer using "Century Diagnostics" (M-B proprietary equip., $22,000, for anyone considering DIY).
With stock idle, maximum idle time is one hour.

I just called and confirmed the above with Neal, to make sure I understood him correctly.

2) Mel Condon, shop foreman @ Sun Motors, Inc. said:

He would need the VIN to give an accurate quote but that they can do the high idle option.

There are two option codes from M-B -- one indicates that the Sprinter is pre-wired for the module, the other indicates that it has the module installed.

Mel said that if the cooling system is working properly, the Sprinter can idle indefinitely.  Sun Motors has many customers with Sprinters who are contractors and let them idle for hours at a time and they've never seen any problems.

I told him what Neal had said about the idle time and Mel said that he would be going to M-B USA headquarters soon for training and would try to get the question of idle time settled.

3) Sheldon, service advisor @ Freightliner of Hagerstown gave me some (steep) prices for the high idle installation at their shop:

The Sprinter does not need to have cruise to have the high idle installed, but there are two sets of prices:

W/ cruise:

A)  With M-B code EB5 -- $417.43
B)  With M-B code EB8 -- $1,450.44(!)

Without cruise:

A)  With M-B code EB5 -- $588.60
B)  With M-B code EB8 -- $1,621.61(!!)

Sheldon said again that with the high idle the Sprinter can idle indefinitely.

The safe bet at this point would be to assume that Neal has the right info.  If that's the case, then I'm inclined not to bother with the high idle because that's a lot of money to spend for just 0.5-1 hour additional idling time. 

I'm curious as to what Mel will find out -- I'm guessing he'll get the same answer Neal did.

The plot thickens -- I just called Freightliner of Hagerstown (MD) and spoke with their service dept.

They said that with the high idle option the Sprinter can be idled indefinitely ("until the fuel runs out").

They said much of the confusion about whether or not idling is ok is because it is not advisable to idle for long periods of time at the stock idle speed.

They also said they can install it.

I also have calls in to:

1) M-B Sprinter USA (877) 762-8267
2) Sun Motor Cars (Mechanicsburg, PA) (717) 691-3333
3) M-B of Catonsville (MD) (410) 788-7744 

This is what I found on another forum concerning the "high idle switch:  and I quote
Another option for the Sprinter is the OEM, "high idle" switch. Something that is included in all semi trucks, where you can idle it up.

The Sprinter option takes it to a prset 850rpms. It is most common on ambulance conversions, and those using the truck for other commerical purposes.

I believe the pricing on it is about $850.00 amd needs a dealer install, because it alte[/color]rs the ECM program. [/font]"

So that should settle some of the questions?

One would think so, but apparently not.

I'm very surprised that M-B sells this high idle kit as an option but does not indicate how long the engine can safely be idled.

The closest I've found to a solid answer is what I posted above.  The grooming van company that supposedly spoke with a M-B engineer who said 1/2 hour max.  If true, that's not very encouraging.

I'm going to try and get a straight answer directly from M-B, or at least an authorized Sprinter service center.


Well this doesn't sound good...

"Also, a recent conversation with the head of Sprinter engineering at Mercedes Benz, we were informed that they don’t recommend idling the engine unless it’s equipped with a high RPM idle control. This control runs the engine faster to keep it hot. He added that “even with a high idle system, the engine should never idle more than 30 minutes”."

As Homer Simpson says, "D'oh!"

I found that here:

They convert the Sprinter into a mobile dog grooming van.

Not _directly_ from M-B but getting close.  It does seem to confirm my theory that extended idling is ok with the 'high idle' system but not with the stock, lower, idle speed.  Even then, 30 minutes isn't very long.  Hopefully it's enough to charge the coach batteries.

A bit more interesting info, from Sportsmobile:

See, "Running Your Air Conditioner -- When Parked or Driving".

Just a bit of the text:

"You can run your roof 110V A/C for about 3 hours when parked with your engine at normal idle –  600 RPM with an inverter. After about 3 hours you would need to turn the roof A/C off so that the auxiliary batteries can recharge. See above for recharging. The Sprinter van's starting battery is isolated with Sportsmobile's battery separator. Note: in some states it is illegal to leave your engine running in an unoccupied vehicle.

To increase your run time at idle we recommend you order Sprinter's hi-idle option when you order your Sprinter...".

Once again, Sportsmobile doesn't have to warranty the engine or pay for repairs out of warranty (unlike their customers).  Still, I'd think M-B (or their attorneys) would have a thing or two to say to them if they were advising owners to do something that would harm the engine or emissions controls, since it's M-B that has to eat any repair costs during the (rather long) warranty period.

I'm still looking for solid objective info, but figured I'd post some of the more interesting things I come across.

Here's something else (FWIW):

This company: http://www.goexpediter.com/sprinter-expediter-van-price.htm sells a rear aux A/C unit for the Sprinter van and says:

"Hanvey "Monster Cool"  rear cargo area interior air conditioner.  42,000 BTU motive powered air conditioner for temperature sensitive carriers.  (Sprinter will idle approximately 3-4 hours on a single gallon of fuel to power the "Monster Cool" while generators with roof top air with only 13,500 BTU will only give you hour hour or less on a gallon to power much smaller BTU rooftop A/C units)."

Wow!  If true, that's a huge difference in fuel consumption -- 42,000 BTU for 3-4 hours vs. 13,500 BTU for one hour or less, for one gallon of diesel.  I mentioned these aux A/C units in another post but I didn't realize the difference in efficiency was so dramatic.

Of course,this doesn't answer the question of whether it's advisable to idle the Sprinter for extended periods -- Hanvey doesn't have to warranty the engine or pay for repairs -- but I wonder how many of these A/C units they'd sell if M-B recommended not idling for more than 2-3 minutes.  They'd be all but useless.

I'm wondering if the warnings about idling from various sources are referring to the stock idle speed, as opposed to the 'high speed idle' factory option. 

I know nothing about this company, but this is a nice review of the latest generation Sprinter that I came across while searching for center of gravity info:


Of course, they could be paid off by M-B.  ;-)

Go to Google and search for something like "does idling your car engine for long periods harm the engine"?  You'll find, as usual, a fair amount of discussion, but I think you'll find the majority view is that it can hurt the engine, the catalytic converter, and the environment.  My memory of the military is that the one exception are the big multifuel trucks which are better off if left idling rather than being shut down for short periods of time.  The most reliable of these answers probably come from people like Click and Clack on NPR or other practicing mechanics.  Check it out and see what you think.


I took your suggestion and found this:


"I can't believe I actually found this Car Talk column (http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/NEW_COLUMNS/Archive/1996/January/09.html) that I recall reading in the newspaper eight years ago. Anyway, the Car Talk guys (who seem to know what they're talking about) answered a guy who wrote:

"While I was away on business, my wife locked her keys inside her car. She decided to wait until I got home to unlock it, but unfortunately, she didn't realize the car was running. Approximately 36 hours later, when I got home and went to retrieve the car, the engine was still running. ...Did she damage the engine?"

Tom: Not to worry, Frank. I can tell you're annoyed at your wife, but you don't have to be. The engine can take it. There are lots of cars that idle for hours and hours at a time. Just look at the police cars in front of your local donut shop.

Ray: As long as the cooling system is working properly, the engine should be able to idle indefinitely. So no damage at all was done to the car..."

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