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Old 08-11-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Does your Interstate shudder?

Since picking up our 2016 Interstate last month I have taken it on 3 weekend trips - total about 700 driving miles. When I am braking, and the van gets down between 30-40 mph, I start to let up on the brake and the van shudders. It makes a noise, like a grinding noise, and it physically shakes a bit, then all of that goes away and it functions normally until I'm fully braked.

Yesterday, after contacting AS in JC, I took it to local Mercedes dealer to inspect. After 2 full days this is their response: "Once Airstream gets these they add a lot of weight. We couldn't find anything wrong. We did replace AC compressor. These vans will just normally do what you are experiencing."

First of all, I had no idea there was an AC problem. Sure didn't seem like one. But, have any of you experienced this? These vans are meant to be loaded down to carry cargo - I just didn't get that part. Should I follow up with AS on this or is this truly normal and not to worry?
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:04 PM   #2
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You probably need a front-end alignment. Airstream doesn't do one after they do the conversion, so it's probably aligned for an empty van, not for its present curb weight or its present weight distribution.

My Interstate only shudders when a semi passes me and cuts back into my lane close enough to put me in his slipstream. The turbulent air coming off the back end of the trailer can be felt until he either pulls away or I back off to regain a more reasonable following distance.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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Not normal. The grinding noise is a concern for sure but should'nt shake either.

Mine is completely smooth when stopping
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:59 PM   #4
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Since it's making a grinding noise, I suspect that it may be more than an alignment problem. I'm thinking it might be more like a wheel bearing going/gone bad.

If you do get an alignment, make sure they get as close to the zero side of the camber spec to prevent chewing up the outside of the front tires. It may take the special camber bolts to do this. MB should have these.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:12 PM   #5
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Since it's making a grinding noise, I suspect that it may be more than an alignment problem.
That is true, it could be more than just alignment.

But in the spirit of Troubleshooting Rule #1ó Check the easy things firstó front-end alignment is the easiest thing to check, and does no harm even if that proves not to be the actual, or only, problem.

Alignment is also something that can't be determined by plugging the van into the dealer's diagnostic computer, being a purely mechanical fault, not an electronic one. Any time the dealer says, "I can't find any problem," it's a good bet that the problem is either intermittent, non-electronic, or both.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:03 PM   #6
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Not sure how anything affected by alignment would cause a grinding noise but open to suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:21 PM   #7
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Not sure how anything affected by alignment would cause a grinding noise but open to suggestions.
Honestly I'm not sure either. But the OP reported TWO symptoms, a shuddering and a grinding noise. Faulty alignment definitely could cause the shuddering.

But you're right, faulty alignment probably wouldn't cause the grinding noise. Still, it's something easy to check, and considering the number of people here on the Forums who have reported excessive and uneven front tire wear, alignment is a common enough problem to be worth checking anyway.

But I'm not married to the idea, and if nothing is wrong with the alignment, it won't upset me at all to be told I'm wrong. The point is to help the OP, not to prove myself right.

If it is a wheel bearing going bad, the wheel(s) in question should get noticeably hot, so that's also easy to check without tools. Simply feel the wheel hubs after driving it for a while, and if one hub is notable hotter than the others, there you go. If there isn't a detectable difference in temperature, then back to the troubleshooting drawing board.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:01 PM   #8
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Warped rotor and/or pad sheared off.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:35 AM   #9
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Thank you, guys. When I go in to MB this morning to pick up I'll cover these issues with them. Alignment, rotors, pads. I'll let you know what happens.



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Old 08-12-2015, 07:11 AM   #10
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Older interstates had a driveshaft shudder on deceleration. Check the sprinter forums. Yours is newer but who knows.
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:27 AM   #11
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A warped rotor like Shark said is most likely the culprit.... An easy way to check alignment is to get on a straight road and let go of the wheel if it is tracking okay it's most likely not the alignment... If the shudder and noise only happen when you brake then it is most likely the rotor.. Good luck.. Keep us posted..
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:08 AM   #12
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Okay. Picked up van at Mercedes. Said they checked "everything" but couldn't determine cause of problem. I requested that an alignment be done but they cannot do one because they don't have a rack sized to handle it. Recommended an alignment business but upon calling them they no longer take motorhomes. Then went to Travel America - don't do alignments but the very nice guy there called his buddy at Freightliner who said, sure, bring it over. Dropped it off. They say they, too, will check everything; that it should not be doing this. Asked me if it pulls to the side, I said no, guy said probably not alignment but they will do it anyway. No harm, no foul. May be a couple of days before they can get to it. When I get a final resolution I'll let you guys know the result.

Again, the feedback - and education - on this forum is incredible. Thank you!
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:23 PM   #13
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The shaking, as you describe it, at precisely certain speeds, with relative consistency, is probably related to alignment. My bet is caster.

Think of the front wheel (that's not a true wheel, it's a "caster") on a grocery cart that "shakes" back and forth. It's a well-working "caster" on that makes the grocery cart roll forward in a (relatively) straight line.

If caster can't be adjusted, then something is bent. A good alignment tech at a medium duty truck shop will notice that immediately.

Tom
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:42 PM   #14
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I was told that there are 6 true Sprinter van techs in the entire state of Tennessee, and that one of them is at this Freightliner facility. Hopefully, that will count for something in this inspection/work.
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