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Old 07-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Check engine light, 10 starts remaining

I guess this problem is common
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #2
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Have you filled your DEF tank?
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:36 PM   #3
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Maybe more than you wanted to know:
This message is courtesy of your friends at the US EPA. DEF is required to make the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system work. SCR reduces NOx (a precursor to ground level ozone or 'smog') to N2 and O2. DEF is consumed at about 2% of the rate that diesel fuel is consumed. So the 6-ish gallon DEF tank will last about 300 gallons of fuel. About 6000 miles +/-. The engine runs just fine without DEF. The DEF costs about $3 per gallon and those driving the Sprinter many many miles per year and using it to make money might be tempted to not fill the DEF tank, and save less than a penny of DEF per mile driven. So EPA reguires the engine manufacturer to somehow force the driver to refill the DEF. MErcedes does so by preventing restarts when the DEF is empty - hence your 10 restart warning. Others may choose to limit vehicle speed to 5 mph when DEF is low/empty. Unfortunately (IMHO) Mercedes chose not to have a DEF level gauge, so you have no idea when DEF is getting low until you get the 10 restart message.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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Usually when it is DEF the display will say so. I think it may be something different. I can't tell what the symbol is that it is displaying.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:59 PM   #5
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IIRC, the first DEF message is for 25 starts. FWIW, I get about 10K miles on the five gallon tank. YMMV.

Best to get scanned for any DTCs
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:43 PM   #6
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I just had my 15k service A 2 weeks ago
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:45 AM   #7
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I had that happen to me a few months ago, when the DEF countdown indicator showed 9 starts remaining. I had filled the DEF tank about a month prior, but found more and added a couple of pints. The clock remained at 9 after 3 more starts, so I knew there was an electronic problem.

Took it to Mercedes the next day and they re-flashed the ECU and all was good. HOWEVER, I have had more repair bills for DEF related issues, things like bad pre-heater, bad injection pump and bad level sensor than with any other part of the van. Now at 120,000 miles.

PS: the symbol in your second shot is the indicator for a DEF issue. All of the warning symbols are listed in your Sprinter owners' manual.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:05 AM   #8
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That symbol (and ice cream cone on its side, hovering over a body of water) is the universally recognized (or not) symbol for DEF. A somewhat similar looking symbol with a bunch of dots over the ice cream cone (which is supposed to represent the exhaust pipe) is supposed to alert you to issues with the particulate filter.

In addition to the Mercedes commercial warranty there is also an EPA-mandated (and CARB mandated if you are so unfortunate as to live in California) emissions warranty. That (longer?) emissions warranty may keep you from having to pay for SCR-related repairs.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:08 PM   #9
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The problem was the nox sensor.
The DEF was full .
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:12 PM   #10
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All these reports of diesel emission problems remind me the early days of gas emission controls back in the 70s.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:56 PM   #11
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Curious. Did you happen to use biofuel and if so, was that when the NOX sensor's failed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gambita View Post
The problem was the nox sensor.
The DEF was full .
See details below
Attachment 243067Attachment 243068
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:17 PM   #12
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The Sprinter seems rather prone to issues like this. I wonder if diesel Mercedes cars have the same problems. Our diesel Touareg is 18 months old and so far has never experienced any of these things.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:35 PM   #13
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My AI is almost five years old and that is one problem I haven't had. Not that I've had many problems with the MB part. My issues are on the Airstream side.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gambita View Post
The problem was the nox sensor.
The DEF was full .
See details below
Attachment 243067Attachment 243068

Interesting, I just had the same issue with my 2014 AI. DEF error and my DEF tank was close to being full. Had it serviced yesterday. It was warranty work also, but the dealer included costs on the invoice. Parts and labor came to $835. Glad I didn't have to pay for it. I hope this isn't a reoccurring issue.


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