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Old 03-22-2016, 06:29 AM   #1
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Vibration while driving

Have new 2016 Interstate. Experiencing vibration between 35-60 mph. Took back to factory and they cannot find problem. Sent me to Mercedes and they think it might be in the added airsuspension?? It is at the Mercedes dealer now and they are ordering some sort of apparatus do some measurements. At first they were going to change drive shafts but then decided to wait till they do more testing. they did perform Road force balance on tires and vibration is still there.
Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:39 AM   #2
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Have new 2016 Interstate. Experiencing vibration between 35-60 mph. Took back to factory and they cannot find problem. Sent me to Mercedes and they think it might be in the added airsuspension?? It is at the Mercedes dealer now and they are ordering some sort of apparatus do some measurements. At first they were going to change drive shafts but then decided to wait till they do more testing. they did perform Road force balance on tires and vibration is still there.
Any suggestions appreciated. Thank you
Welcome to the Airforums!

Basic principle of troubleshooting is, check the easy things first. Wheel balance was an easy thing to check, but not the only easy thing.

Front end alignment is your next step. When Airstream buys the empty Sprinter vans to do the conversion, they are properly aligned— for an empty van. Then Airstream adds a few thousand pounds of interior furnishings, and the alignment changes. But Airstream isn't equipped to do front end alignments. So EVERY owner of a new Interstate should take it straight to their Mercedes dealer, or Freightliner dealer, or some other place with service bays big enough for a Sprinter, and get the front end aligned.

Since your van is already at a Mercedes dealer, it's a simple matter of asking them to do the alignment.

If there's still vibration after that, then you can look for more esoteric causes.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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Welcome Aboard....

Seems this is not a new concern...... A bit surprised MB has not fingered it out.

We had a similar problem with a used Sprinter back in 2009 at the Chevy Store...torque converter & drive shaft if memory serves me.

We found it using a chassis ear.

Bob
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:19 AM   #4
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Do you feel the vibration more in your seat or in the steering wheel? That will tell you whether it's in the front suspension or somewhere in the rear of the vehicle. The next question is whether it is speed based or rpm based? Speed points to tires, wheel bearings, and the driveline aft of the transmission.

When chasing vibrations in my old car, the next test would be to shift into neutral at speed and coast down. This reduces the load on certain components (and engine noise) to help isolate the driveline components.

In neutral with the engine idling you mostly eliminate the engine and transmission from the equation. The driveshaft and rear axel will still be spinning so driveshaft and wheel vibrations will remain. However since there is no load on those components, all but the worst u-joint and center support bearing vibrations will drop out as well.

The driveshaft is spinning much faster than the wheels and thus has a higher vibration frequency than the rear axel or wheels. Roll down the window and watch the wheels. Does the vibration match their rotation rate? Driveshaft vibrations may not be perceptible at really high speeds and may only show up when it starts matching chassis or suspension harmonics.

A new tool I've always want to try are some of the phone apps that graph accelerations. The should be accurate enough to pick up these vibrations if firmly affixed to the vehicle. Dividing speed by tire diameter will give the rotation frequency of the wheels. Multiplying this by the differential ratio will give the driveshaft frequency, etc. if the vibrations match one of these numbers, you know where to look. I assume the dealer was waiting on a customer like the OP to justify the cost of purchasing a custom kit to do this sort of analysis.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:53 AM   #5
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Early sprinters had driveshaft problems.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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Driveshaft problems have also been reported on new Sprinters. It is a possible cause.

But don't let the dealer try to tell you the VB Air Suspension is at fault without firm proof. That air suspension has been tested and approved by Mercedes. It is an available option from Mercedes in Europe. It might also help to get the USA VB Representative involved to help a Mercedes dealer who probably hasn't seen this suspension before. Check out their web site link below.

http://www.vbairsuspensionusa.com/us/

... and look at their dealer list.

http://www.vbairsuspensionusa.com/us/page/dealers.html
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #7
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Update. Replaced drive shaft and that seems to solve the vibration. Picked up today from Mercedes dealer and leaving for Fla soon.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:50 AM   #8
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Great news!
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:20 AM   #9
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Vibration while driving

Thanks for the update on the fix. It's always nice to know how these problems finally get solved. Driveshaft problems have a long history on Sprinters.


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Old 03-29-2016, 02:25 PM   #10
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seems you've probably driven it a while since your fix...is it still holding up? we just took delivery of a 2016 Interstate Lounge EXT and I notice the same sort of steering wheel vibration until i got over 65...
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:07 AM   #11
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I have driven about 1000 miles and it is still holding very well. My vibration was mainly felt in the floor and seat. in the process of determining the cause Mercedes balanced tires, aligned front and vibration was still there. so then they replaced drive shaft and vibration is gone. I did notice however the front alignment seemed to help with the driving and handling much better. I would consider having the front alignment checked. I would take to Mercedes.
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