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Old 08-25-2014, 08:30 AM   #29
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I wonder if it was hit with lightning.. My truck did the same thing a few years ago.. I got in after a severe storm and turned the key, the dash lit up but it would not start... Had it towed to the dealership and they said it was hit... My antenna was fried and I was surprised that the insurance company paid to have the truck fixed.. It spent two months at the dealership... After my rental car days ran out I used my AI to get around for a couple of weeks... Good luck and hopefully it is something small and not a lightning strike...
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:32 AM   #30
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Correct about the two fuse panels. My 06? Had a second one under the drivers seat inside by the door. Don't know if the newer ones are the same. Jim
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:45 PM   #31
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What 's the verdict, Protag?

Hope it is something simple and inexpensive to repair.


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Old 08-26-2014, 05:59 PM   #32
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What 's the verdict, Protag?

Hope it is something simple and inexpensive to repair.
Won't know until sometime next week. Since my Interstate right here at home and I have other transportation in the meantime, there wasn't enough of a hurry to justify taking off from work to get it towed in. I set up the appointment at the dealer for noon on Saturday, canceled my Labor Day camping trip, and will call Good Sam Roadside Assistance on Thursday afternoon to arrange for Saturday morning's tow.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #33
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Was the dealer's service manager able to shed any light on the problem?
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:00 PM   #34
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No one mentioned ignition switch, starter solenoid or relay? All things worth checking. I'm sure the dealer will go thru it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:04 AM   #35
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Was the dealer's service manager able to shed any light on the problem?
They won't speculate until they have a chance to see it. Which won't happen until Saturday at the earliest.
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No one mentioned ignition switch, starter solenoid or relay? All things worth checking. I'm sure the dealer will go thru it.
The ignition system has an anti-theft lockout, so that you must use a key with the properly-coded chip to start the vehicle. That coincidentally means that I can't crawl underneath to check the starter unless I'm willing to unbolt the starter and bench-test it (which I have no place to do that, being an apartment-dweller with no garage or workshop); trying to activate the starter solenoid manually while still hooked up to the vehicle tells the vehicle it's being stolen. So if it's the starter, solenoid, or relay, the dealer will have to tell me.

As it happens, when I had the Viper alarm system installed, the remote-start module wasn't available, and I didn't have one installed when it did become available. The Viper remote-start would have disconnected the anti-theft lockout in order to make the wireless remote work in place of the key. Which is one reason why I never had it done— disabling an anti-theft device as part of an alarm system seemed weird.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:59 AM   #36
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Gee Protag come man we are all dieing out here ....... whats the word ?
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:36 AM   #37
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He was just getting it towed to Dealer? yesterday. Probably haven't even looked at it yet.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:46 PM   #38
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And a three day weekend. Probably lucky to just get them to take it in on Sat.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:49 PM   #39
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Hi, I'm pretty sure that the dealer already knows what's wrong; They want to sell a part a get about two hours of labor out of it. We'll find out soon.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:55 PM   #40
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Just getting it towed was an adventure in itself.

9:00 - I got a callback from Good Sam Roadside Assistance. They were having trouble finding a tow truck that could handle a Sprinter. That's why I called them on Thursday afternoon, but apparently they waited until a hour before the scheduled tow time. I reminded them that it needed to be a flatbed tow truck with bed big enough for a 23-foot-long Sprinter van.
9:02 - I went out to where I was parked, only to discover that for the first time ever, other tenants had me completely blocked in. Parked directly alongside on both sides so it could only go backwards. Parked directly behind so it couldn't go backwards far enough to get out of the parking space. When the tow truck arrived, they wouldn't be able to hook up to it.
9:05 - I checked at the office, only to discover that while they have every tenant's license plate numbers on file, they don't actually have a list; the information for each vehicle is in the tenant's file. They can't tell me who's got me blocked in.
9:07 - I start knocking on doors; there are about 200 apartments.
9:40 - I found one tenant who was both at home and willing to move their vehicle. It was the pickup parked on the driver's side of my Interstate. But there was an empty space alongside the pickup, so moving the pickup cleared two spaces for the Interstate to be maneuvered.
9:45 - I moved my Honda so that it was halfway in each of the two now-vacant spaces, so no one else could park there and ruin my efforts.
10:15 - I got a call from Good Sam. They had found a tow truck, and it was on its way from Baton Rouge. 60 miles away.
11:30 - The tow truck driver called to say he was on the bridge coming into town and wanted directions.
11:45 - The tow truck arrived. Despite my turn-by-turn directions, they missed a turn and got lost on the way. And to top it off, it wasn't a flatbed tow truck, either. It was a wheel-lift type. They assured me they had used it to haul Sprinter vans before. I looked in the Sprinter Operator's Manual, and found on page 248 where it said that a transported (flatbed tow) was preferable, but that it could be towed using a rigid towing bar, which is what the wheel-lift is. So I didn't fuss too much.
11:53 - I moved my Honda out of the way to clear those two very important adjacent parking spaces.
11:55 - We started pushing the Interstate in a tight turn to the right rear to get it into the aisle between parking rows. Five tons of fine German steel is heavy!
12:10 - The tow-truck driver started backing the tow truck in until he reached a point where he could hook up to the van's rear wheels.
12:30 - After much fiddly adjusting and a little bit of cursing over the fact that we were all getting thoroughly drenched by the ran that started last night and never let up, we finally reach the point where I discover that the wheel-lift's crossbar is in danger of crushing my Interstate's propane fill port. We have to stop what we're doing and figure out something else. The tow truck has to hook up to the front wheels, period, but the van's facing the wrong way for that.
12:35 - A tenant who was previously parked behind me finally came out to drive off somewhere, only to find that my Interstate had him blocked in. After telling him we would appreciate the help in pushing the van farther up the aisle to get it out of his way so he could leave, he refused because he didn't want to get wet; can't push a van and hold an umbrella at the same time. He sat in his SUV and waited while the tow truck driver and I pushed the van, and waited some more until the tow truck driver moved the tow truck out of the way.
12:50 - The tow truck driver had a brainstorm in a rainstorm, and figured that if we could get the van out to the street, we wouldn't have to push it back and forth half a dozen times to get it turned around. On the street he could circle around to get in front of it.
12:51 - I removed the Roadmaster towbar from the hitch because the tow truck driver wanted to attach a cable to the towbar to pull the van out to the street. I knew if he tried he'd break something. Later it would prove fortuitous that I had removed it.
12:53 - The tow truck driver found a shackle that would attach to one of the safety chain attachment points.
12:54 - The tow truck driver moved the tow truck back in position to tow the van, and reeled out a cable to attach to the shackle.
1:00 - We started towing the vehicle out to the street, backwards, on a cable, with a few very tense moments trying to make a 90° turn around the corner where the building contractor currently renovating the apartments had placed a dumpster for construction debris. It is really good to know that the brakes work even with the engine off; braking with no power brakes is a lot easier than steering with no power steering!
1:10 - We got the van onto the street alongside the curb. The tow truck driver unhooked the cable and reeled it in, then drove to the end of the block where he could turn around and drive back to pull in front of the van.
1:50 - After much fiddly adjustment and more cursing over how we were still getting soaked, the van is finally hooked up and ready to go. After a quick check to make sure the keys were in the ignition and the transmission was in neutral, I got in my Honda and prepared to follow the tow truck all the way to Baton Rouge.
2:15 - After getting off the 13-mile-long Bonnet Carré Spillway bridge, the tow truck gets off the Interstate at a truck stop, where the driver fills the tow truck's tank and we all drain our tanks. What exactly is it about being rained on that makes you need to pee, anyway?
2:35 - Back on the road for the rest of the drive, at a blisteringly-fast 45 miles per hour. Which was a perfectly reasonable speed considering how hard it was raining, and how little clearance there was between the Interstate's rear bumper and the road surface. Good thing my Interstate isn't an extended model! Good thing I removed the towbar, too, or it would have dragged. (Extended-model Interstate owners take note, if you do a wheel-lift tow, be VERY careful of the clearance at the rear! If you can get a roller that fits your hitch, you might get one just for towing your Interstate in the case of a breakdown.
3:25 - The tow truck driver gets off the Interstate one exit early in order to avoid Baton Rouge traffic. This will delay our arrival, but I don't mind (much) because Baton Rouge traffic is no fun, especially in the rain. Why is it that people who live in one of the rainiest parts of the country have so much trouble driving safely in rain?
3:50 - We finally arrive at the Baton Rouge Sprinter dealer. While the tow truck driver is unhooking the van, I go inside to complete the check-in process. There I find out that we got in just under the wire— the service department closes at 4:00 on Saturdays! I also find out that because I missed my appointment time by nearly four hours, I lost my place in the queue and now it will be Tuesday, not Monday, before they can take a look at what's wrong.
3:55 - The service rep and I go out to the Interstate to retrieve the keys, and the tow truck driver tells me that the van's doors are locked! All of them. With the keys still in the ignition, transmission in neutral. They placed a rock in front of a rear wheel to chock it. On the up-slope side. Nothing on the down-slope side, so only inertia was holding it in place from rolling back into another vehicle. Turns out that because the ignition switch was on and the rear wheels were turning, as soon as the van reached the right speed, the doors auto-locked. The Sprinter service techs will have to put a miniature "jaws of life" on the top edge of the passenger door to pry it open far enough to slip in a hook they can use to unlock the door. Hope they don't wait until Monday or Tuesday to do it!

And that's where we left things. So, the earliest I will hear back from the Sprinter dealer is sometime Tuesday.

Oh, and an odd thing, the tow truck driver was firmly convinced that it was AAA Roadside Assistance that dispatched him, not Good Sam. Does AAA manage the Good Same Roadside Assistance plan? I'll have to look into that sometime.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:23 PM   #41
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Hi, well that sounded like a nightmare to me. And four hours late for vehicle that it's going to sit a few days before they look at it was a really poor excuse to put it off for another day. Too bad that the keys got locked inside; And a decent tow truck driver should know all about automatic door locks. Auto door locks have done this for decades, ask any car wash. Ironically, many times a non-start vehicle was towed to our dealership and as soon as it was disconnected from the tow truck it would start like nothing ever happened. Towing from the front, on a rear drive vehicle could cause transmission damage if the driveshaft isn't removed. He probably should have put the rear wheels on dollies. Sometimes tow trucks are a necessary evil. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:32 PM   #42
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If you still have the spare key/fob, might be worth the trip to prevent them from having to pry the door. Never saw inside a Sprinter door but is there something preventing a "slim jim" from opening it?

Surprised they're open on Labor Day.
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