What things really void your vehicle warranty?

Mercedes Sprinter extended warranty brochure cover crop

A while back we made a joke about voiding the warranty on the van by cutting a hole in the roof. Some people took it seriously and we still get questions about what really is OK to do on a van conversion without voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.

The short answer is, it’s completely up to your dealer and Mercedes what they say they will cover or not cover, but knowing what the manufacturer warranty claims to cover and knowing what the law states about warranties is a good starting point for any warranty-based claim you might need to make.

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DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) – the other engine fluid

DEF filler cap under hood

Along with oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and fuel, modern diesel engines also need DEF to run properly. All North American Sprinters built after 2010 have DEF tanks.

DEF helps with emissions control and the computer in your van will stop you from driving if it detects an empty DEF tank. But don’t panic if the DEF light on your dash comes on. You’ve got plenty of time to fill up.

So, what is DEF, why does your engine need it, and what’s the best way to fill the DEF tank?
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Drill press: the proper tool for drilling straight, round holes

Drilling out the hitch pin to fit the Reese lock

Our latest entry in the “Why didn’t we do this two years ago?” category is buying a bench mounted drill press. This thing is so much easier to work with than a hand drill.

We’ve been able to borrow access to our neighbor’s floor mounted monster drill on occasion, but he’s a woodworker and aluminum swarf is a bad idea to have around his shop. Now we have our own hole maker.

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What to do with your 3-person passenger seat bench when it’s not in the van

Three-person passenger bench seat removed from van

The bench seats in a Sprinter are burly. They are designed to keep three passengers safe in a crash, so they are heavy and sturdy.

We move our seat out of the van every now and again, either when we’re working on the interior or when we need to carry oversize objects.

What we needed was a way to get the seat from the van to wherever we want to store it, and also a way to make sure the seat can be easily moved by just one person if it’s in the way of other stuff we need.

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There’s nothing “Stealth” about camping in a Sprinter

Overnight city parking - urban camping

People often refer to parking overnight in an inhabited area as “stealth camping.” Unless your Sprinter has no exterior adornments, no condensation on the window glass, local license plates, and absolutely no light showing through the window covers, it’s unlikely you’ve gone unnoticed. What’s more important is that you are not disturbed.

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