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Old 10-03-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
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Anybody had this problem?

Pardon the formatting; I've tried editing four times to get this message to format the way I want, and no joy. It keeps putting in extra blank lines, and splitting up my quoted text into two or more quotes…

Please read this, and let me know if you've experienced something similar in your Sprinter-based vehicles, or if you can offer other things I might try…

When I came back from the "Airstream of Mississippi" grand opening on Saturday, the yellow "check engine" light came on as soon as I started the engine, but the message center says, "No messages." The light stayed on the whole 80 miles home. I drove my Interstate to work today, and the "check engine" light came on as soon as I started the engine again.

I consulted the Operator's Manual. There are three potential causes listed in the manual:

Quote:
You have used up all fuel in the tank. The engine is running in emergency mode.
Refuel at the nearest gas station (see page 142).
Bleed the fuel system.
Start the engine three to four times in succession after refueling.

Emergency running mode will be canceled. The vehicle does not need to be checked.

Doubt it's this, because the tank is still over half full. Still, when I leave work today, I'll refuel and try several starts, just to be sure.


Quote:
The injection system is malfunctioning. The engine is running in emergency mode. Engine power output may be reduced.

Have the vehicle checked as soon as possible at a qualified specialist workshop.
In some states it is legally prescribed that after the check engine indicator lamp lights up you must contact a qualified specialist workshop immediately. Observe legal requirements.





Haven't noticed any reduced engine power, and fuel economy is still the same. Still, I don't normally drive like I'm at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I suppose I could be experiencing less power and never noticed.


Quote:

The exhaust gas after-treatment system is defective or an emissions-relevant malfunction has occurred. This malfunction or defect can damage the exhaust gas aftertreatment.

After the first message and under normal operating conditions, you can drive on for up to approximately 500 miles (800 km). Then a warning tone sequence sounds and the engine can only be started 20 times.
Quote:

Quote:




Observe the messages in the display:
- on vehicles without steering-wheel buttons (see page 199)


- on vehicles with steering-wheel buttons (see page 202) and (see page 204).

Have the exhaust gas aftertreatment checked as soon as possible at a qualified specialist workshop.
In some states it is legally prescribed that after the check engine indicator lamp lights up you must contact a qualified specialist workshop immediately. Observe legal requirements.












My vehicle has steering wheel buttons, so I checked pages 202 and 204 of the manual. Page 202 of the Operator's Manual says:



Quote:

Check Diesel Exhaust Fluid see Operator's Manual
If the yellow engine diagnosis indicator lamp lights up in addition, the DEF reducing agent is contaminated, diluted or not compliant with ISO 22241.




After the message appears for the first time, and under normal driving conditions, you can continue driving for approximately 50 miles (80 km). After this, a warning tone sequence sounds. The engine can then only be started another sixteen times.
Have the DEF tank cleaned and refilled at a qualified specialist workshop as soon as possible.






Since there is no message in the message center, it's not this. Besides, as of this morning, the vehicle only has 4801 miles on it, too soon to need more DEF.




Page 204 of the Operator's Manual says:

Quote:
xx starts remaining

Quote:



In addition, the yellow engine diagnosis indicator lamp lights up.
After the message appears for the first time, the engine can only be started another twenty times.


The number of remaining engine starts(20 to 0) is shown in the message every time the engine is started. Once the number 0 is shown, the engine can no longer be started.







There's no message about the number of starts remaining, so it isn't this, either.





Before anyone suggests it, I already checked to see if the fuel cap is loose. It isn't. Besides, the Operator's manual says that if the cap is loose, the "low fuel" light comes on no matter what the fuel level in the tank, not the "check engine" light.





I'm stumped. I've requested an appointment with the closest authorized Sprinter dealer, in Baton Rouge (it's still under warranty, so no choice there). They have yet to get back with me to confirm the appointment.




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Old 10-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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We are a tad bit older than you but have had the check engine light go on for years. We are diligent about maintenance and upkeep.

Seems to be precipitated by hitting a bump, but not always.

It stays on for a day or two, then goes off.

We have learned to cautiously ignore it, Doug watching and listening for additional indicators that there is something amiss. So far, it just goes off on its own with no attention from us.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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Anything related to emissions can trip the check engine light. However, if it was an intermittent problem, and it doesn't occur again within the next few start cycles, it will probably turn itself off. So, if it's running okay, ignore it and it should go out within a couple of days of regular use. If it stays on, something needs attention and it will have to be fixed and reset by a dealer.
Consider buying a Scangauge II and installing it on the dash. It will enable you to read and erase codes and turn out the light. It will give you the codes thrown, so that you can assess the problem on your own (except that it won't give you Mercedes codes - only the universal ones, but that's a good start). You can monitor mpg, turbo boost, and a host of engine functions, as well as trip functions. I wouldn't want to take a trip without mine. You can get one online or at parts places, or even at Camping World. Around $150
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert claus View Post
So, if it's running okay, ignore it and it should go out within a couple of days of regular use. If it stays on, something needs attention and it will have to be fixed and reset by a dealer.
Unfortunately, my next trip is 750 miles one-way, to visit my parents. My dad's in the hospital with heart and kidney failure and isn't expected to recover. Don't want to get part-way there and then find the onboard computer has locked out the engine because of whatever is the problem.

Quote:
Consider buying a Scangauge II and installing it on the dash.
Looked into that a couple of months ago when I first heard about the Scangauge. Sadly, it doesn't fit the round European diagnostic sockets. That's the downside of a vehicle that came off the assembly line in Dusseldorf. I'm told there are adaptors available, but I haven't found a place that sells them.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #5
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You can get the adapter at NewEgg.com; Item#: 9SIA0XA0BF2394 for $18.

A ScanGauge will not read the same codes that an MB tech can relate to. But, a ScanGauge or similar code reader will be absolutely invaluable in helping you decide if the CEL is indicating something serious or not by giving you access to an accurate reading of lots of engine data parameters. You can use this data along with your feel of how the van is acting to decide if you have a serious problem or not. Also a ScanGauge can help you drive for better fuel economy, avoid overheating, and more.

MB has gone way overboard (IMHO) with sensors on the Sprinter. You would be amazed at the number of things that can cause a CEL on your Sprinter. I've had multiple occurances of CELs; only one of them put the engine into LHM. LHM will be pretty obvious to you if it happens; the van will be a dog performance wise. The others had no impact on performance and went away after a few hours and several stop-start cycles. This summer I invested 2 trips to the dealer in Boise, ID and several hours of my time. The result was that they could only guess at the exact cause; an out of spec temp for one of the 5 temperature sensors in the exhaust system. They would need to have the van for another day to determine which one it was. Drives a person nuts!
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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You can get the adapter at NewEgg.com; Item#: 9SIA0XA0BF2394 for $18.
Thanks. I'll have to check it out once the family crisis is over one way or the other. In the meantime, Saturday is about the latest I can delay heading up to Oklahoma to be with the family; they're already freaked that I'm not already there pacing the hospital waiting room floor along with them. No way I can get parts in hand before I go, so I'll just have to hop in, drive, and trust to luck.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your father.
Sending thoughts and prayers.
Jane
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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Update:

Regarding my Interstate and its "check engine" light, when I drove to Oklahoma to visit my ailing father, I drove a total of 1460 miles with the "check engine" light on, refueled five times, and the light is still on. Fuel economy topped out at 18.6 mpg in a section of US 190 where the speed limit is 55 mph. For the round trip, average was 17.1 mpg at an overall average speed of 62 mph, . The average speed would have been higher but for several instances of construction zones in the Dallas and Baton Rouge areas where my speed was closer to 5 mph. The fuel economy I obtained is typical for my Interstate.

Whatever caused the light to come on appears to have no adverse effect. I'll definitely have to check out the ScanGauge, as soon as I can afford it.

On the plus side, my Interstate is the first vehicle I've ever owned that is comfortable enough to travel that far in a single day. It took me a little over 13 hours to drive 730 miles, including the fuel and lunch stops. And that's keeping it (barely) within the speed limit the whole way. Every other time I've made the same trip, I arrived at my destination so tired and sore that I could barely walk; in my Interstate, I was still tired, but not sore at all.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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Disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes?
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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Disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes?
That might work. Will disconnecting the battery cause any problems with the Kenwood unit? I don't want to fix my "check engine" light at the cost of screwing up my GPS and stereo system.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Update:



On the plus side, my Interstate is the first vehicle I've ever owned that is comfortable enough to travel that far in a single day. It took me a little over 13 hours to drive 730 miles, including the fuel and lunch stops. And that's keeping it (barely) within the speed limit the whole way. Every other time I've made the same trip, I arrived at my destination so tired and sore that I could barely walk; in my Interstate, I was still tired, but not sore at all.
That's been my perception also. Not sure what to attribute it to except that the seats are higher above the floor, more like a normal chair. Also more comfortable. I drove straight thru from Santa Fe to KC stopping only for fuel and food. When I got home, I could actually walk w/o any stiffness I usually get from other vehicles after a 2-3 hour stint.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Update:

Regarding my Interstate and its "check engine" light, when I drove to Oklahoma to visit my ailing father, I drove a total of 1460 miles with the "check engine" light on, refueled five times, and the light is still on.
You should have gotten in touch with if you were near Tulsa. My shop that specializes on BMW, Mini and Mercedes could have quarried it for you.
On the seat issue, European seats have always been more human anatomy friendly for touring than domestic or asian seats. After working on these cars for 30 years it is true, the seats are good.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #13
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That might work. Will disconnecting the battery cause any problems with the Kenwood unit? I don't want to fix my "check engine" light at the cost of screwing up my GPS and stereo system.
They should be OK. All auto electronics have to be able to withstand having the battery removed because, eventually, all batteries fail.

Depending on the design, you might have to reprogram your favorite radio stations-but perhaps not. I pulled a Blaupunkt unit off the shelf that had been disconnected for several years. The favorite stations were still there.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
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I think I recall someone saying that auto service departments sometimes jumper 12-volts to your electronics when they replace a starter battery, so that all settings are preserved. You might be able to jumper 12-volts to your stereo, GPS, etc., and then temporarily unplug them individually from the vehicle wiring harness. Then, disconnect the starter battery (and house battery, if applicable) to reset the engine computer and fail codes.

Just a thought, although this sounds like a lot of trouble after writing this down.
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