Mercedes Sprinter Van Reliability poll

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by XpressCS, Oct 4, 2018.

?

How reliable has your Sprinter been?

  1. Flawless!

    18 vote(s)
    17.6%
  2. I've had issues, but the warranty covered it.

    15 vote(s)
    14.7%
  3. I've had issues that cost me $0-$2000.

    24 vote(s)
    23.5%
  4. I've had issues that cost me $2001-$5000.

    7 vote(s)
    6.9%
  5. I've had issues costing $5001+.

    12 vote(s)
    11.8%
  6. It's a boat anchor and don't want to talk about how much it cost me.

    26 vote(s)
    25.5%
  1. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,946
    Location:
    The big box California
    Hello all,

    In trying to gather as much info as I can before making the purchase, I would like to hear from actual MBZ Sprinter owners about their experiences. If you wouldn't mind, fill me in with all of the gritty details, both happy and sad and how many miles you have on it (or at what mileage you had an issue). Thank you for your time.

    To clarify, I don't ever want a Ford or Dodge van- we will not be purchasing a Ford Transit or Dodge ProMaster (don't bother suggesting, thanks). Currently have a Chevy 2500, just need more space.
    #1
  2. matloik

    matloik kludge

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,813
    Location:
    White Salmon WA
    10K miles on a 2016 4x4. No issues yet.
    #2
    DakarNick and XpressCS like this.
  3. DUNDERHEAD

    DUNDERHEAD Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    755
    Location:
    CT
    2015 2500 Cargo with 65,000 miles.
    The two issues I've had are ; I had to replace the TPMS after two failed within days of each other. I replaced them with an aftermarket brand a few weeks ago while mounting new Michelin tires. Van rides on a cloud of boobies now ! The other is the seat belt reminder bell comes on at random and will not shut off . Ignore and it will stop after a while.
    Overall I'm happy with the van, and the 22MPG around town !
    #3
  4. Dirt Rider

    Dirt Rider Old Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    CA
    2015 Pleasure Way expensive conversion (2014) dual wheel chassis. Conversion ok but chassis made us reroute our vacations three years in a row to a repair station. Had the magic 10 starts left or we shut you down message. All problems occurred in the exhaust system. Don't want to put out any extra smog. Drove home on 5 starts the second time as we could find anyone to work on it, including a dealer in Provo. Said he could not look on it for a week or 10 days. All of the problems were always sensors in the exhaust system. A couple with the blu-def area. Could not trust it anymore. The biggest burn is if you can't find a repair station within 10 starts, the computer will shut you down. Not all Benz dealers are Sprinter certified. And with all the trouble messages the van still ran great. Emissions issues.

    Decided to get a class c on a Ford chassis. The day it arrived the Benz struck again. This time something in the EGR. Report said no parts replaced and reset sensors. Owner to monitor. Ya right, I'm leaving Seattle for Anchorage and just waiting for it to crap out again where there are no repair stations up there. NOT.
    #4
  5. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.
    2013 Crew 144 low roof. Couple minor issues done under warranty. Luckily dealer is only 15 minutes away. I don't think id want to own one without dealer support nearby. When I bought MB thru in first 3 years of maintenance. I bought 4 th and 5 th service at time of purchase. I will have my final 5 th annual service done this month. I also bought extended warranty that runs out at 6 years. I will consider buying another one perhaps in a few years. Hope that we get German built ones in Canada right now the dealers don't know if our 2019's will be made in US or Germany.
    #5
  6. bcbullet

    bcbullet From eh to zed

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    North and west
    I'm feeling ripped off here...I want to view the poll results but don't want to screw up the results by putting in a fake vote!!!
    #6
    Mr. Fisherman and Maggot12 like this.
  7. Mountainhound

    Mountainhound Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,234
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I guess you don't want anyone else that is also interested in pole results to know because you have to vote before I or anyone else can see results, so I guess if I want to see results I need to vote, now I have no sprinter and never have but if I want to see results I have to vote. I sure hope results don't get skewered by fake votes to view pole.
    #7
    Mr. Fisherman likes this.
  8. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,181
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Mine is a 2005 and just turned 330,000 miles. The largest issue has been from injector seal leaks, caused in my opinion by a poorly made injector mount system.

    There has been some other stuff- bad intake temp sensors. (Warranty fix) a selonoid in the tramnsmission at 150k, the radiator developed a leak at 300k, and the fucking multifunction switch seems to need replacement every other year. I can now swap it in under 20 minutes.

    Regular maintenance and wear items have been brakes, shocks, struts, tires, and oil/filters. All the above have been done by me and the T1N chassis is remarkably easy to service- struts can be done in an hour with no special tools and no allignment changes occur.

    On the older rigs the biggest thing is rust- nothing learned in the last 50 years about rust-proofing was applied to these trucks and they began to get acne on the lot before sale. Rust is what is going to kill mine.

    As to a new one- I'm hearing good things about the 4 cylinder mill, and it appears much of the reliability issues with the new 6 has to do with the higher oil temperatures and thinner oil specified for the US market to meet emission specs- 10k oil changes are no longer the norm.

    ........ Unless you cheat by running thicker oil and a european oil temp control.

    I'm looking to purchase another but the cost has rissen to the degree that I may instead settle for a Promaste or Transit. I'll miss 24mpg.
    #8
    JohnnyKillmore likes this.
  9. EnduroAmerica

    EnduroAmerica Worldwide Adventure Guide

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    723
    Location:
    EARTH
    I know you don't want a Ford but I'm going to give you my opinion anyway.
    I've had my 2017 transit now for about 7 months. It's been flawless and has 17,000 trouble free miles on it. I too was looking for a Mercedes van but when I started asking questions about basic things like maintenance etc... I decided against it. My local Mercedes dealer was 6+ weeks out on even getting an oil change. The Ford with the ecoboost motor was a better value for far less of an investment and I can get anything I need for it should a problem arise on any street corner in America.
    Just a few $.01 for you. I'll buy another Ford any day if I ever wear this one out and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a solid van for camping or hauling bikes around.
    IMG_20180324_150207_282.jpg
    IMG_20171219_160813_102.jpg IMG_20171219_160813_105.jpg
    #9
    Magus, Carlo Muro, Denvech and 5 others like this.
  10. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,946
    Location:
    The big box California
    Sorry, too many horror stories surrounding Ford and Dodge vehicles for me to even consider it. My other half is also about as against buying a Ford or Dodge van as possible, so to reiterate, it's not happening. Plus we need the space the Sprinter offers. Rust won't be an issue here in the southwestern areas.

    I made the poll visible.
    #10
  11. DakarNick

    DakarNick Swabee

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,782
    Location:
    Colorado
    No Ford or Dodge because of reliability? Hmm. Chevy doesn't make one that compares, space wise. So, either a Sprinter or keep your Express?

    You do know that not all MB dealers will work on Sprinters, correct? At least that used to be true.

    I'm looking at Ford shuttle bus V10s due to Ford dealers EVERYWHERE and not wanting to get stuck with DEF or other issues and, of course, they're larger and I'm putting a solid axle 4x4 system on. (Yes, I know V10s have their own issues).

    @Geek has a 2011. I know he has had a few minor issues. Maybe he'll give his opinion.
    #11
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  12. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,946
    Location:
    The big box California
    Worked for an auto dealer, have a few buddies that worked for many different auto companies. They made the most money off of Ford and Dodge, which Chevy a close 3rd.

    I'm very well aware not all MB dealers will work on Sprinters, thanks :ear

    To clarify, I will be purchasing a Sprinter in the not so distant future. And I'll likely keep the Express, I have no reason to be rid of it. :beer
    #12
  13. a65l

    a65l Safeguarding our Precious Bodily Fluids

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,749
    Location:
    Where life is good and the air is sweet
    I've owned my '05 for going on 10 years now. Biggest issue I had was a broken windshield wiper arm. Oil changes are pricey and I'm finding rust in a few places, but I'm down south so the salt usage is light at worst. I can say without reservation it's the best vehicle I've ever bought, reliability and usefullness wise...
    #13
  14. HydroDog

    HydroDog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    227
    Location:
    Mossyrock, Wa
    At work I have a 2009 that I have driven since new and has just turned over 50,000 mi. At 30,000 I had a glow plug go bad. At 40,000 two more glow plugs and a EGR cooler. $4000 to change the cooler and all the glow plugs. At 42,000 the throttle by wire started to quit working intermittently. Handy feature. After coasting to the side of the road you just have to restart to clear the fault.

    We have have 2 others at work also. The other 2009 had a front ball joint go bad at 17,000 and had the transmission quit going into gear at about 25,000.

    The third one is a 2005 with 350000 miles and has had 2 lift pumps go bad leaving it stranded both times. They are great driving vans but I would not buy one for myself. As some one else mentioned not all dealers work on them, almost no independent shops will not work on them and it's always a wait to get parts.

    Buy the Ford Transit.
    #14
  15. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,946
    Location:
    The big box California
    I should note that we're heavily interested in factory 4x4. The Sprinter seems to be the only game in town.
    #15
  16. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    18,477
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    Keep telling yourself that. I know nothing rusts in that area, but if anything can ever figure out how to rust in that climate it will be a Sprinter.

    My ‘07 WB View (built on an ‘06 T1N chassis) was from the south where nothing ever rusts. The undercarriage was as clean and rust free as anything I’d ever seen. I soon found out after I bought it the windshield frame was rusting out under the surround molding :bluduh it was not cheap to have repaired.

    This is such a common problem with Sprinters it should be a class action suit.
    #16
  17. iflysideways

    iflysideways Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Delaware
    My work had a few of them. Quite a few issues and were disliked by most. Best incident was fuel blowing all over the engine inside the state DMV inspection lane. Shocked the sprinter didn’t burn and take the building with it. They were all replaced with Fords.
    #17
    DakarNick likes this.
  18. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,123
    Location:
    Apache Junction, Az
    2005 RV Leisure Travel van. 70k mi. Only issues I've had relate to it sitting and packrats eating a couple of wires; now we keep it parked with the hood open.
    #18
  19. DakarNick

    DakarNick Swabee

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,782
    Location:
    Colorado
    Indoors, I hope?
    #19
  20. ericm

    ericm Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,724
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    The old model 5 cyl Sprinters are pretty reliable but the paint is thin and it rusts. Even vans in the SoCal desert get rust.

    The newer Sprinters have terrible reliability. And you have to deal with MB dealers, most of whom would rather sell and maintain expensive cars for rich people than deal with regular person van scum. Check sprinter-source for sob stories of vans breaking and disinterest from dealers. Reading them cured me of wanting a Sprinter. I had a Eurovan; the next van will be a reliable one. It sucks to be on a long trip wondering if you'll get home.

    The Transit is far more reliable than the Sprinter. It is the same size and format as a Sprinter, not small like the old E series. If you don't know what the grills look like and miss the Ford badge it looks just like a Sprinter. No factory 4x4 yet but there's a couple companies that make 4x4 conversions using mostly Ford parts. That'll still be cheaper than a 4x4 Sprinter. You can get one with a 3.5 ecoboost just like the F150s. No DEF and EGR to break and better power. You can get parts and service from any Ford dealer.

    The 2019 Sprinters will have an available gas engine- a 2.0 turbo four with 200 hp from the Metris/Vito. That may help reliabilty but it's going to be slow when loaded down and it won't help many dealer's attitude problems.

    If you end up with a Sprinter despite the warnings, Europarts-SD is a good source for parts.
    #20