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Old 11-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
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Newbie to Interstate

Just took delivery on our new Interstate EXT yesterday. Drove about 40 miles back from dealer....and "practice" driving around. We have a relatively steep driveway and were concerned about dragging when we returned. The good news was we cleared....no problems at all backing up the driveway. Today was a different story.

We spent the afternoon in the RV in the driveway, reading learning, running the furnace (30 degrees outside). We started up and drove out of the driveway (to get a car out of garage), but when we started to back up the driveway it would not do it!!! The engine roared, but movement.

Took the RV for a short drive (6 miles or so) and noticed no problems. When we returned.....backed right up the driveway.

I am assuming we just needed to "warm up" the transmission. At least I am hoping that is it. Will watch this for awhile.......

Any others experience something like this? Did I just not read the Sprinter manual far enough yet? Am I a worry-wart?
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club and hope you enjoy your Interstate as much as the rest of us.

We have had our Interstate now for about 6 months so this is from limited experience: I cannot explain the reason why, but when a diesel is cold it doesn't have the pull of a fully-warmed up unit. I found out the hard way when I had to turn around in a tight space and the back wheels went onto some rough ground. When I put it in drive to move forward, it seemed like the engine hardly had the power to pull us out.

Back in the UK I was running a diesel LandRover Discover and starting cold on a steep incline was practically impossible unless I used the low ratio.

My conclusion from this is that this is more apparent with European vehicles with small capacity diesel engines; the larger Detroit diesels just have more grunt even when cold.
Eventually you'll learn to live with these shortcomings.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
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Many thanks UKDUDE. We are also new to diesel equipment.... We are in for many new experiences with this baby. The adventure has just begun......
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
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I am not sure why you're pointing to the engine and a possible lack of power. If the engine is roaring and I assume you mean high rpm and the vehicle is not moving, then that means the torque converter in the transmission is spinning. In that case, the transmission is slipping. That would lead me to believe that it's the cold transmission that is the problem and not the cold diesel.

I just spent the weekend in Tulsa where the lows were in the low 20s overnight. Both mornings when I started it up to go to the soccer tournament, I felt no loss of power or slipping.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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I agree, the transmission on the latest Sprinters has a lot of technology built in - anti-slip, traction control, etc, etc, so it could be hard to pinpoint where a loss of power is coming from. But if you've been waiting at some lights to turn left and "floored it" to make use of a small gap in the traffic - only to find it hasn't responded in the way a normal car would, then I think you could put that delay down to turbo lag in the Sprinter. And this is considerably worse when the engine is cold. Perhaps that is what toskeysam is experiencing here?
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Great discussion guys...at this point I am just going to ensure good warmups. When it was cold the forward motion was fine, albeit not the same challenge as backing up our driveway. Our street is also steep and by the time we returned, all was well in the movement vs throttle department. If it manifests itself again, in a warmed up condition, I will visit/call the service techs. I plan for this one to be around a very long time.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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One thing to remember on cold starts is to wait until the glow plug symbol goes out before starting. My experience this weekend with low 20 degree temperatures was that the indicator only stays on for about 2 seconds what makes all the difference in the world in how easy the engine starts.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:37 AM   #8
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Our diesel F-250 WON'T shift out of first until the transmission is a certain temperature. Same goes for second. Gotta be careful pulling out into traffic that first time on cold mornings... I wonder if you're experiencing something like that.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #9
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When my 2013 Interstate was brand new, less than 1,000 miles, I would put it into what I thought was reverse, step on the accelerator and the only thing that happened was the engine revving freely with an accompanying roar. Shifting back to neutral and then into reverse once again, or simply tapping the shift lever caused it to drop into place. I discovered the shift lever was "catching" before it was completely engaged. I don't know if the "catch" wore down or if my right hand became accustomed to fully engaging the lever but the mis-shift has not recurred in the last few thousand miles.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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another newbie question

Learning more and more about the Sprinter.....

The heater/blower controls have left me with a bit of confusion. I see/feel the vents across the front of the dash, and the floor. One each left and right side, one each left and right center (~) console, floor vents......There are two more vents on the top of the dashboard (not the long vents for defrost). No matter what position I select on the vent selector knob these two vents blast out cold air. I keep them closed (at the vent wheel) when I need heat.

Is this right? Or did I miss something in the manual?
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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Mine does the same thing. The HVAC controls have odd quirks. I am going to go to a Mercedes dealer for a rundown. My Airstream dealer did a lot of hand waving on explaining those controls. My latest discovery is when I am plugged into cable the front TV works best when what I think is the amplifier is turned off, or at least the little red LED is off. The rear TV on the other hand isn't doing very well with the amplifier on or off. It was doing great running on the antenna.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemikeb View Post
My latest discovery is when I am plugged into cable the front TV works best when what I think is the amplifier is turned off, or at least the little red LED is off. The rear TV on the other hand isn't doing very well with the amplifier on or off. It was doing great running on the antenna.
Look on the back of the television where all of the inputs are located. You may find that the television doesn't have separate cable and antenna inputs, but rather one coax input for both. In which case there would be a splitter— wired in reverse as a combiner— somewhere nearby, so that two inputs (antenna and cable) feed to one output (television). Such a setup may cause signal interference when you have signals coming in from both sources at once.

If this is the case then replacing the splitter with an A/B switch— so that you can manually select which input to use— could resolve the problem.

I haven't checked my front television to see if there are separate coax cables for antenna and cable— I hardly ever use it— but having just replaced my rear television with a higher-definition one, I know for certain that there is only one coax input to it.

If I have any idle time this weekend during my Christmas weekend camping trip, I may explore to see if there's a splitter, as I suspect there is.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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Mine does the same thing. The HVAC controls have odd quirks. I am going to go to a Mercedes dealer for a rundown. My Airstream dealer did a lot of hand waving on explaining those controls. .Ö
It was cold this morning when we hit the road and I was forced to figure out the two vents on top of the dash are strictly fresh air vents and are filtered but not heated or cooled. The recirculate switch on the dash when set to recirculate almost, but not completely, shuts those vents off. It is not what I am used to, but once I got the hang of it, those are very flexible way of managing interior air.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #14
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I seem to recall that the temp setting has to be above a certain point before heat is supplied to the windshield defrost vents. I don't remember the details but I will research it further tomorrow and report here.
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