A while back we made ourselves some DIY fork mounts for the back of the van. They worked well for our bikes with quick-release front wheels. When we got bikes with 110mm through axles, we upgraded the fork mounts too.Continue reading “New fork mount bike rack for our L-track”
There’s a copy of the 2007 Sprinter service manual circulating online. Most of the content of that manual is still applicable to later model Sprinters, although it’s obviously missing information about the DEF, DPF and other emissions systems.
It was only designed to run on Windows XP and a really old version of Internet Explorer because it relies on ActiveX to run. We updated the files so the manual works in newer browsers and across different platforms (Mac, Linux). Continue reading “NCV3 service manual (2007 vintage) – HTML version”
If you call a dealer and ask how much their Sprinter A and B services cost, it won’t sound too terrible. That’s because dealers have started quoting just for an oil change, not the additional preventative maintenance that is required.
Once you drop the van off, they’ll subsequently let you know the extra cost -and time – for items such as replacing fuel filters, etc.
Do your homework. You need to know what items are typically required during the two types of service and you need to make sure the dealer quotes for all of them before you commit to getting the service done.
It’s tempting to add hatches, sockets, ladders and racks on the outside of the van to provide better access to utilities and to provide places to strap stuff on.
The problem is, every hole and every screw or bolt is another place where you’ve breached the protective paint layer, so it’s an opportunity for the van to rust.
For such a big van, the Sprinter has terrible key fob reception for locking and unlocking the doors. Most of the time, you have to be within 20 feet of the vehicle for the remote control to work.
There are a couple of things you can do to improve reception though.
Mercedes has to disassemble every cargo Sprinter van it ships to the USA, and then reassemble it over here. That’s to avoid the chicken tax.
They worked out it costs them around 7% more on the vehicle price to do this, but that’s still better than paying the 25% tax.
Now that there’s a large enough market in the USA for Sprinters, Mercedes is building a plant in Charleston to make them directly in the USA. Its opening will probably coincide with the introduction of an updated Sprinter model.
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.
Its easy to get carried away with a van conversion and add all sorts of stuff. But the weight can add up much faster than you think, and soon you could be pushing up against the maximum vehicle weight.
If you’re using a long wheelbase 2500 crew van with a V6 engine and 4×4 transmission like we did, your payload weight isn’t very high at all.
Although 1-1/4 tons sounds like a lot, it soon disappears as you build out cabinets, a bed platform, a fridge, electrical system and some water tanks.
Add in a couple of people, a couple of mountain bikes, and some food, clothes, and water for a week’s getaway and things can get out of hand.
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?
Continue reading “DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) – the other engine fluid”
The Autel MaxiDiag MD802 will read and reset OBDII diagnostic codes on Sprinters. The “All systems” version will reset ABS and SRS warnings and can help you do a brake bleed too.
Although this reader can’t change values like the more expensive Mercedes STAR system can, it is still a useful tool for diagnosing and understanding Sprinter issues.