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SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

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Dale and Cindy

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SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« on: March 25, 2015, 06:00:18 pm »
We took delivery of our brand new 2015 Diesel Sprinter PC2350 on October 15, 2014.

We currently have 7,800+ miles on our beloved PC.  I was thinking that we were probably very close to needing to have the oil changed (even my mechanic said that diesel trucks should have their oil changed between 7K and 8K miles); but, our Sprinter Maintenance Booklet says that our first oil change is at 15,000 miles.  REALLY!!!!

Does anyone have a maintenance schedule, or know where I can obtain a Sprinter maintenance schedule, for things like oil & filter changes, coolant, air filter, fuel filter, etc.. 

Also, we are very perplexed that our Sprinter Maintenance Booklet states "Check and add DEF every 15,000 Miles".   REALLY?   We have added DEF twice since we have owned our PC because we got a indicator light on our dashboard's "multifunctional display" that said we needed to add DEF.  This display for adding DEF appears every 3,500 miles. So we added the DEF; and the light went out.   So why does our Maintenance Booklet state to check DEF every 15,000 miles when it is needed every 3,500 miles?  I am so confused.

So I guess we should believe our dashboard displays and just get the maintenance required when a "light" appears?  I'm not too comfortable with this "dashboard" method and would prefer a maintenance schedule so we can be proactive and get the oil changed before our next "three month trip".
How can we be proactive with making sure we are performing the required maintenance when we have to rely on "dashboard lights".  I want to know ahead of time when maintenance is due, not when the dashboard says it is due.   OK, maybe I'm weird.

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Joseph

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 06:10:54 pm »
DEF as I understand it is set at a usage rate of about 2 to 3% of fuel usage. So how often you need to fill will depend on the tank size and how many miles you've driven.  My understanding (which isn't much I might add) is if you run out it will become difficult to start and performance will suffer. Does the manual state to check it every 15,000 miles or to add DEF every 15,000 miles? IE, check your transmission fluid every 5,000 miles and replace and service every 30,000.  No idea if this helps but its all I got.  One other thought, if your using more than what  Mercedes states it requires in DEF it could be something that needs to be adjusted by the dealer.

Also with a smaller Diesel they may not require the oil changed before 15,000 due to its under much less of a load than a 500 HP big rig and it also probably holds 15 quarts?  Now if it were me, when ever you do get around to changing it be that at 8,000 or 15,000 I would send an oil sample into blackstone labs. They can tell you how the engine is breaking in and how the oil is holding up to determine if you can continue to go 15,000 miles or if you should change earlier. Its, 25 bucks for a basic test and 35 if you want viscosity test as well.  For the cost of a couple tests you'll know exactly where you need to be regardless of what the book says you can go to.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 06:22:32 pm by Joseph »

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 10:21:27 pm »
Ok 2 time Sprinter owner here. Your owners manual is your best reference for this info. 15k miles or 1 yr from date of first in service, (your purchase date) for your oil. It takes about 13 quarts in the V6 of a special 229.52 European spec 5w-30 or 0w-30 oil. You MUST use this oil to maintain warranty. Mobil 1 is the preferred brand, and it usually has to be ordered if you buy at auto parts stores. It's not a normal stock item. And it's not available at WalMart.
Stick with an OEM brand, (Mercedes, Mann, Hengst), of oil filter as some of the store brands are made in China and have been known to collapse, ruining that $15,000.00 diesel engine, (on your dollar).

If you have a 2015 chassis, I believe you have a 4.75 gallon DEF tank. If you are adding as much as you say, you are not getting it full. It needs to be filled up to get your proper miles and time between refills. You have roughly 500 miles to refill after the DEF light comes on. We get about 5k miles per 2 gallons. We have a 3.2 gallon tank. Idling and slow speed, stop & go use more DEF.

The engine fluid maintenance on a Sprinter is critical to it's life, and the correct fluids have to be used, which are mostly not off the shelf. Sprinters are great vehicles, but are very finicky in their requirements.
If your Sprinter has Continental tires on it, expect about 30k miles for their life, and I suggest you get a front end alignment ASAP for max life. All RV's should get an alignment around 5k miles if bought new because they were aligned at the chassis factory with no weight on them.
If you take your Sprinter to a dealer, be sure you understand what service they will do and if it's something you can do yourself, (DEF, windshield washer fluid, cabin air filter), do it yourself. MB dealers, not all of them now, are notorious for presenting an unknowing owner with $3,4, & 500.00 service bills.

Oh, and one of the big Sprinter no, no's is don't let it idle at it's 790 rpm idle speed for more than necessary as it can cause all kinds of emission related issues requiring a dealer visit. And don't be afraid to drive it hard once in awhile. Don't putter it around...

Any other questions I'll try to help you with them....
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 10:25:24 pm by bobojay »
Bob & Sharon
Current: 2013 Winnebago ERA Class B Sprinter Van
Future: 2100 special, 2350, ?? on a hopefully Ford Transit 350 or 450

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Joseph

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 11:03:42 am »
Are there multiple idle speeds?  I'm guessing there must be, I've never heard of a diesel that couldn't idle for hours on end.

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ragoodsp

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 12:21:32 pm »
Joeseph:  There is no idle adjustment at all on the Sprinter and they do not and should not be idled longer than a few minutes.  Yes, the old diesels use to idle all night long but not any longer for air quality equipment has changed everything and that is a good thing.....
Ron Goodspeed

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 05:31:40 pm »
Joseph, no multiple idle capabilities unless factory installed by Mercedes.

No offense here, but you sound like a guy that didn't check out the needs and must do's of the new diesels, especially the Sprinter diesel....
Bob & Sharon
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Future: 2100 special, 2350, ?? on a hopefully Ford Transit 350 or 450

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Joseph

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 05:37:21 pm »
Not being able to idle a good thing; Being a farm boy I sure don't see it that way. That one issue alone would keep me from buying a Diesel rig with the DEF system.  Is this no idle issue on their diesel cars as well? Makes no sense, as an example,  if you get caught in a snow storm you can't idle your engine to keep warm.  Makes no sense at all that I can see. A motor that cant idle... ridiculous.

No offense taken, I'm just trying to learn. I will say this lesson sounds as if politicians once again stuck their nose into things and screwed things up....

I'm truly dumbfounded, a motor designed in such a way that it cant be allowed to idle more than a few minutes!

« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 05:39:13 pm by Joseph »

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 09:12:23 pm »
All the new diesels, basically from 2011 on use DEF fluid, so every manufacturer has these issues. I believe Navistar doesn't use DEF in the system, but that's the only one.

The idle problem is not with the DEF fluid itself, it's the EGR and the diesel particulate filter that have the issues if idled too much. That filter has to get hot enough to burn off it's soot collected while running, and idling causes more soot buildup and less heat to generate. The EGR system is another problem in that it gets clogged up from stop & go and idling. When that happens, or a bunch of other issues come along, it can throw the engine into what's called "limp home mode" which disables the turbo and pretty much keeps the vehicle from going over 45 mph. Restarting sometimes allows an override for a short period of time, but it almost always goes back into LHM. This LHM requires a Mercedes dealer visit to clear it and fix the issue for it to go away. That's why every once in awhile you should drive it hard to kinda blow things out.
Mercedes is now saying that you can fast idle, their factory high idle is 1100 rpm, for up to 3 hours, but then it needs to be highway driven for awhile, again to clear things out.

You are aware aren't you that only Mercedes Sprinter dealers can work on a Sprinter, not non-Sprinter MB dealers? Freightliner Sprinter dealers can also work on your Sprinter under warranty in most states, but again, not non-Sprinter Freightliner dealers. In some cases, the Freightliner dealer will be cheaper for the same work than the MB dealer is, but you run into the issue of here's little old you in with those big over the road trucks.

Now don't get us wrong here, no one said you absolutely can't idle. Traffic jams and the like you have to. It's more like you shouldn't unnecessarily, and if you do, you're playing with a breakdown possibility.
Some folks, mostly expediters that sleep in their vans in the winter and the heat of the summer, have figured out a method for fast idling by placing a wedge between the bottom of the dash and the accelerator pedal to maintain 1000+ rpm's. Takes a little tinkering.
You've bought a very complicated, multi-computer controlled, overly complicated engineered vehicle in a Sprinter, so read, read that manual.

Yes, the politicians got involved along with the EPA.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 09:24:25 pm by bobojay »
Bob & Sharon
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RKS

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 06:56:18 am »
If you haven't found it yet a great source of information  on sprinters can be found  on the Sprinter Source -Sprinter Forum.
I've learned a great deal about the unique driving and maintenance issues associated with Sprinters there, including the issues  associated with bio-diesel which is becoming more prevalent.
As far as The DEF issues we have been on the road since December and driven about 8000 miles, started with a full  tank and just had the light come on last week.   Last year we  had  the light go on and off which was related to a faulty sensor, that we had replaced under warranty. 
Good luck and enjoy, it's a great machine.
Bob and Michele
Previously owned a 2350 Sprinter

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2015, 10:58:26 am »
Since biodiesel came up in the conversation, Lichtsinn Motors RV up in Forest City, IA, the second biggest volume wise Winnebago dealer in the country, recently did a video on Sprinter upkeep and maintenance. They sell a lot of Sprinter RV's there.
In it they stated that MB is slowly backing off their no more than 5% bio allowed, heading upwards in that allowance with instructions that the oil needs to be changed more often if more than the 5% is used consistently.
The new Ford Transit and the Ram ProMaster diesels are both ok for up to 20% usage, again with more frequent oil changes. It's no big deal......just change the oil.


By the way, what's happened to the original poster Dale & Cindy?
Bob & Sharon
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Joseph

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2015, 04:38:49 pm »
Hopefully Dale and Cindy got the information they needed. I certainly learned quite a bit.

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 08:15:38 pm »
Hopefully I didn't sound like a "know it all".....Just trying to share what info I learned over the last 6 years of Sprinter ownership, and how to keep it in top shape with the least dealer visits
Bob & Sharon
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Joseph

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2015, 09:42:54 pm »
Bobojay....I don't think so, You have real world experience with the exact brand engine he had questions on. I certainly learned from your experience. 

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TomHanlon

Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2015, 06:29:42 am »
Bobojay keep infomation like what you posted coming. It is very useful and well put. I found it very interesting and I am a Ford guy, not a Sprinter guy.
 2o2  2o2  2o2

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bobojay

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Re: SPRINTER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2015, 11:44:50 am »
Thanks for the reassurances. My wife sometimes says I come off as knowing too much, but being a car guy all my life, and still doing my own maintenance stuff, as much as can be done on a Sprinter, I like to "pass it on" so unknowing folks don't get taken advantage of.
Never fails to amaze me talking to other Sprinter owners how much they don't know about their vehicles. They are not Ford or Chevys as far as maintenance needs go. They are very needy & picky compared to the USA brands.
I'm not a Ford guy per se, been GM all my life, but Ford makes a good RV platform. Can't wit for the Transit RV's to start showing so I can remove the Sprinter from my recreational life.. :)
Bob & Sharon
Current: 2013 Winnebago ERA Class B Sprinter Van
Future: 2100 special, 2350, ?? on a hopefully Ford Transit 350 or 450