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Old 01-07-2011, 04:45 AM   #11
cvdreamer
 
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by clark View Post
What are you planning to do with the van? For me, the Sprinter can do things a Ford can not. So that was the deciding factor for me. I wanted to build out a van that, without popping up or out, could:
1. I can stand up. I'm 6'4" and can pretty much stand up.
2. Sleep 4. Couches slide out to bed plus two fold up beds for the kids, check.
3. Seat 10 with seat belts for short rides.
4. Have fridge, sink, water tank, grey water, a/c, etc.

Sprinter was the only one... I have had all of the normal things happen - turbo hose, charging cable, crappy tires, egr sometimes sticky. Once you work through those, the van is frickin awesome....

I wouldn't be able to justify a Sprinter as a passenger van. Probably could as a work van.

Also, the MB dealership I have been to in San Diego is pretty good. The Dodge dealer the worst. If I had to ever go back to dodge there is no way I would recommend the van.
I was planning on using the Sprinter Crew Van 144 high roof to mostly haul cargo, which I am currently doing with my mini-van. I don't need all the space most of the time, but a few months out of the year during the busy season, I will wish I had more space. For this purpose, I can get a Ford or GM van and rent a Sprinter 170 high roof from Ryder whenever I need to, for about $70/day plus 30 cents per mile.

My additional plan for the Crew Van is to use it as a weekend camping vehicle. I have already figured out that I can put 2 bunk cots in the cargo area for sleeping. The 5 passenger seats are perfect for my family of 4. With this set up, we don't have to sleep in a tent, which I find very noisy at many campsites. We can also go on a longer camping trip traversing several states. There are alternatives for this, too. For longer camping trips, I can always rent a RV. For weekend camping trip, I might try finding quieter campgrounds.

The Sprinter would have been an ideal vehicle, filling both purposes extremely nicely. However, if reliability is going to be a problem, then it might not be worth the extra headaches.

Assume owning a Sprinter will cost me $3000 per year of repairs after warranty expires, I should be able to rent a RV for a week plus a Sprinter 170 whenever I need to. The question really is - will I be expected to spend about $3000/year on repairs after the warranty expires?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

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Originally Posted by cvdreamer View Post
I was planning on using the Sprinter Crew Van 144 high roof to mostly haul cargo, which I am currently doing with my mini-van. I don't need all the space most of the time, but a few months out of the year during the busy season, I will wish I had more space. For this purpose, I can get a Ford or GM van and rent a Sprinter 170 high roof from Ryder whenever I need to, for about $70/day plus 30 cents per mile.

My additional plan for the Crew Van is to use it as a weekend camping vehicle. I have already figured out that I can put 2 bunk cots in the cargo area for sleeping. The 5 passenger seats are perfect for my family of 4. With this set up, we don't have to sleep in a tent, which I find very noisy at many campsites. We can also go on a longer camping trip traversing several states. There are alternatives for this, too. For longer camping trips, I can always rent a RV. For weekend camping trip, I might try finding quieter campgrounds.

The Sprinter would have been an ideal vehicle, filling both purposes extremely nicely. However, if reliability is going to be a problem, then it might not be worth the extra headaches.

Assume owning a Sprinter will cost me $3000 per year of repairs after warranty expires, I should be able to rent a RV for a week plus a Sprinter 170 whenever I need to. The question really is - will I be expected to spend about $3000/year on repairs after the warranty expires?
Just to give you an isght and NOTE: this is not showing on the forum
My 2005 Sprinter purchased new ,not secondhand has performed without fault for all this time.
Brakes were replaced the rest is 100% original apart from side mirror not my fault either. Service every 10 months oil is flushed the sump plug has never been removed.
Filters fuel 5 of.Oil filters five of,Air box filters two of.
Brake fluid is flushed and renewed every two years getting close for another.
Power steering once every five years coolant every two years.
Continuous use of upper cylinder lubricants Redline RL+2 never had fuel or injector issues
One false code only every shown No 3 Glow plug due to and open injectors that caught a tad of carbon on the jet . a double douse of Redline cleared the fault inside of 30 dollars worth of EULSD diesel 10/ppm 51 cetane.
N/A sprinters most faults are emission generated and use of wrong fuels, but being fair in as many cases,it's not the owners fault either.
One million is more than normal lets say 500 thou and the head mat need some work. Tanny's well , your stuck with automatics they can be troublesome, but fixable with the Doctor A's Dad everyone has a Dad or your an orphan without.
They are a good van hold their value, and give good MPG in the van class of 2500.
Richard
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

Both my Sprinters are the older model. The repair costs are about what my 2 ford vans cost. Fuel cost per mile is about the same for the fords and sprinters, but the Sprinters haul more stuff and safer. Much Better braking, & handling. Right now I am layed up w/an injury, so I am getting by with the Ranger, and being driven by my girlfriend. My work van, the 2005 158 WB SHC is being used while a ford sits. By end of tomorrow, the Sprinter will have been on four fire sprinkler repair jobs. The only stops have been to stock up on more pipe and fittings. The pipe fitting tools have stayed in the van. It is so nice to be able to lay pipe flat on the floor and not at an angle as in the Fords. When I am released to go back to work, I am going to have a fight on my hands when I attempt to reclaim my Sprinter. The guys are not going to be happy driving the Fords again.

And my customers like seeing me drive a MB van.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvdreamer View Post
The question really is - will I be expected to spend about $3000/year on repairs after the warranty expires?
If you plan to do all your repairs and service at the dealer, and use your van commercially (ie put miles on it)...

Yes, you will spend $3,000 a year. And before the warranty expires, plan on spending 4 cents or more per mile in what MB calls regular maintenance.

Pleasure to drive, not to pay for.

BTW, fuel mileage for MB vs Ford vs GM, all things being equal (same driving style, workload and all 2010+ model year) is almost identical, the slight edge the MB has gets totally eaten up in service costs.

Pleasure to drive though.....
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298,000 k on the clock (06/22/11). Valvoline SynPower MST, Shell ATF134

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Old 01-07-2011, 08:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

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Originally Posted by piper1 View Post
If you plan to do all your repairs and service at the dealer, and use your van commercially (ie put miles on it)...

Yes, you will spend $3,000 a year. And before the warranty expires, plan on spending 4 cents or more per mile in what MB calls regular maintenance.

Pleasure to drive, not to pay for.

BTW, fuel mileage for MB vs Ford vs GM, all things being equal (same driving style, workload and all 2010+ model year) is almost identical, the slight edge the MB has gets totally eaten up in service costs.

Pleasure to drive though.....
Thanks everyone for all the good insights.

I realize that many people who own Sprinters put on a lot of miles for work, and maybe that is the reason why the van seems to be in the shop more often. More miles equals more wear and tear. Would be interesting to see how many miles you guys put on the van per year vs. your annual cost of repair.

I will probably put on about 15K miles each year. Does that change my estimate of expected annual expected cost of repairs ($3K/yr after warranty) or time between visits to the shop for repairs (every 6 months)? These numbers are my guesses and could be completely wrong. Please correct me if I am wrong as I am basing this info on my purchase decision.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

If you don't live close to Doktor A (Pittsburgh) I'd give this a hard thought. Secondly I would NEVER buy another Sprinter before I checked out the new Nissan.

Ok its ugly - I can live with ugly when I pick up: real frame rails, lower cost, straight sides, inside attachment points, and no Mercedes Benz!

I haven't talked to Doktor A in a while but, what is he calling the Black Death? That just might have gotten started with our transmission problem. (?) When the computer(s) ain't happy you don't GO!

Anyone know where I can get a used ECU for a 2004 (USA). (seriously)

Thanks,

Larry
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvdreamer View Post
Thanks everyone for all the good insights.

I realize that many people who own Sprinters put on a lot of miles for work, and maybe that is the reason why the van seems to be in the shop more often. More miles equals more wear and tear. Would be interesting to see how many miles you guys put on the van per year vs. your annual cost of repair.

I will probably put on about 15K miles each year. Does that change my estimate of expected annual expected cost of repairs ($3K/yr after warranty) or time between visits to the shop for repairs (every 6 months)? These numbers are my guesses and could be completely wrong. Please correct me if I am wrong as I am basing this info on my purchase decision.

Thanks in advance.
We've owned ours for ~ 8 months, and have spend exactly $0 in repairs. Neither has the dealer, although they are going to replace a ripped strut boot on warrantee. I have spent ~ $250 for oils and filters for 3 changes. That is ~ 30,000 miles.

$3000 per years for repairs sounds kinda steep for only 15k a year.

Icarus
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

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Originally Posted by cvdreamer View Post
I will probably put on about 15K miles each year.
At 15k per year, you will not spend much on repairs or service...just payments.

That mileage translates into 1 and a half services per year, you will likely tire of the van (everyone likes a new vehicle now and then right) before it costs you any serious coin.
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I had a.....2008 NCV3 (badged as Freightliner) 170wb ext body 6 foot roof. 12 feet for cargo, 42 inch bunk sealed off from the back, battery powered A/C and 120 v power and Air Tabs! Flettner Roof Vent....but it's gone.

298,000 k on the clock (06/22/11). Valvoline SynPower MST, Shell ATF134

Now driving a CargoMax 600.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

My informal study shows there a two kinds of happy sprinter owners: carefully maintained T1N owners and within warranty NCV3 owners. And something else I said in another thread:

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Originally Posted by ebsprintin View Post
At the beginning of 2010 I passed the 200,000 mile mark. For two months I was down for a front end rebuild, rear axle replacement, transmission rebuild, and egr and swirl valve replacement. Your $5000 dollars would have been fully consumed by week five. From 150-200K miles on the odometer I was towed three times. Since then I've been stranded one more time and another time had to limp home with my electrical system tied into my solar panels for electrical power, so I could spend more money on an alternator. One way or the other, if you have the right kind of luck, you'll find a way to spend that $5000.

eb
The math will tell you how these kind of repairs can relate to a <15,000 mile a year lifestyle. It comes down to "to each his own." I still think you can't beat being able to do jumping jacks while standing upright.


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Old 01-09-2011, 12:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Sprinter reliability

Comparing the Sprinter to a Honda Odyssey (we own one too) reminds me of the old saying we had when i was a mechanic at BMW; It take the Germans to invent them, the Americans to make them cheap, and the Japanese to get them right. I find MB's have always pushed the envelope on most anything technological, and that adds to complexity. If you consider how many parts it takes to make a vehicle, and consider even a 1% failure rate, that's still a lot of parts to fail. And that's what warranties are about.
We have had ours for nearly 3 years now, and only have 17,600 miles on it. In that time we've changed the oil once, had one EGR valve replaced at 6,000 miles, and a failure in an interior light control because of a leaking antennae base, under warranty. That control has just gone out again from condensation dripping on it, and the heater fan has stopped working, but they should be covered under warranty. So basically, this van has just cost me the price of the 10,000 mile service so far.
And after having lived with the Honda for 9 years, i LOVE being able to stand up in a van that gets almost the same mileage. To me that is astounding, still.
The only thing that will get me out of this Sprinter is a 4 cylinder version of the same thing.
Jef
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