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Old 09-19-2020, 07:55 AM   #1
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New Motor NOOOOOOO! 5 year old Interstate

Yesterday I was traveling in my 2015 Airstream Interstate from Chicago to Steamboat Springs. I just crossed over the Mississippi and I started losing power. I pulled over and my baby quit. I had it towed to Smart Luxury Motors in Davenport, IA. They were amazing but had to give me the bad news. My motor seized. The mechanic said I did nothing, it sometimes just happens - very rare. Of course, it is out of warranty.

Has anyone ever had this happen to a motor that is only 5 years old 60,000 miles?

Does anyone have any suggestions on getting this fixed economically?

I can't believe I am going to have to get a new motor.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:34 AM   #2
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New Motor NOOOOOOO! 5 year old Interstate

Very sorry to hear that. It’s incredibly disappointing that a modern diesel self-destructs after such low mileage. Engine seizing is typically due to lack of oil.

I don’t own a Mercedes bluetec diesel but have been looking closely at buying a sprinter with one. I have not pulled the trigger yet. I may wait for the newer OM656 inline 6 to be introduced to the sprinter chassis vs the current OM642 v6 which is aging out / was Mercedes first attempt at instrumenting stricter emissions controls for the North American market.

I believe Mercedes had a lot of warranty issues combined with low sales volume in the US when they deployed the v6 turbo diesel in passenger cars in the IS market, and they subsequently pulled it from the market in 2018, only choosing to keep deploying it in sprinters...

Have a read here for some insights into the care and feeding required to keep these OM642 v6 turbo diesel motors healthy. This is posted from a long time Mercedes diesel mechanic. You may want to reach out to him.

http://www.stephensservice.com/bluet...ssuesproblems/

There will be nothing economical about the repair, unfortunately. This is a $12-$17k (ish) problem depending on if you choose a rebuilt vs new motor, assuming you use an independent mechanic. A Mercedes dealer (who services diesels) with new engine, parts and labor is in the $20-$25k range I believe.

Based on the above link I would most definitely not put a used motor into your sprinter where you don’t know the history on the unit.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:43 AM   #3
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What seized? Why?..
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:00 AM   #4
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They have no idea why the motor seized. It had oil. It had a check-up and oil change at the MB dealership in March. Once it gets towed back to St. Charles, Illinois dealership, they will know more.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:51 AM   #5
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Can you get an eyeball on the dipstick oil before you leave the rig?

Is it the normal for your engine oil color or something else?

Can you see coolant overflow and check visual level too.

Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2020, 12:59 PM   #6
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The MB mechanic said that the oil and coolant was fine. I am so confused of why and how this could have happened. The MB mechanic that has worked on her (the Whale) will see her on Tuesday. Hopefully, he will know what happened to her. When the first mechanic said "sometimes it just happens" is not sitting well with me.
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:14 PM   #7
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"sometines it just happens" Yeah that's not sitting well with me.

The suggestion was just so YOU could see these vital fluids before anything happens.

I don't have anything like your rig but I do have 211K on a Cummins 5.9L and 435K on a 1.9L VW TDI. I know what the normal oil color is and if it isn't a shade of dark black (MY ENGINES) something ain't right. Or if the engine is "making oil" a trait that a common rail diesel can develop but no need to go there w/o proof.

Not sure if you know about this tool but yuo can get/take an engine oil sample and get an independant analysis before this fluid is discarded. A typical test kit but other ones exist.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/FIL4077

https://www.genosgarage.com/product/cc2525/oil-filters

If it's outside contamination from a failed air filtration system likely it can detect it. Metallic contamination or wear of known engine metals are also reported, fuel or coolant dilution and other stuff gets reported.

It's a chemical Perry Mason for the fluid.

Gary
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:22 PM   #8
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I am not familiar with that model of Mercedes engine, but have overhauled many diesel engines. Two common causes of just one cylinder seizing could be that the injector in that cylinder has a spray pattern problem, fuel is washing down the cylinder wall so there is a lack of proper lubrication for the piston and rings causing the piston and rings to seize. Many diesel engines have a piston cooling nozzle that sprays lube oil to the under side of the piston for piston cooling. If there is some reason that the nozzle for that cylinder is not spraying the oil to the under side of the piston, the piston will over heat and over expand and there will be to little oil clearance between the rings/piston and the cylinder wall causing it to seize. I have seen this type of failure in many Diesel engines. Possibly the cause of your failure. Because of the low mileage on your engine maybe they can replace the piston and cylinder sleeve in that cylinder making the repair cost much lower. This type of repair is common in heavy duty diesel engines. Hope things work out for you.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:23 PM   #9
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“Sometimes this just happens” isn’t an acceptable answer. I wouldn’t trust this mechanic.

You need to find out what exactly failed in the motor. Only then can it be determined how to fix the problem. You may not need a used, rebuilt or new motor.

I would also make a phone call to MB Corporate. They should be very concerned about this failure with only 60,000 miles on the motor.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
“Sometimes this just happens” isn’t an acceptable answer. I wouldn’t trust this mechanic.

Sometimes is does just happen. Without breaking down the engine it's impossible to determine, usually, what caused the problem. Implying the mechanic is untrustworthy isn't justified.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:30 AM   #11
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General all new vehicles hav 5 year 60,000 miles warr on engine and transmission. Diesel is longer. Contact Mercedes and ask for good will if it’s slightly out of warr. The squeaky wheel. Gets the grease. Ask for a representative to come look at vehicle. Tow it to a Mercedes dealer. Have ur records to prove u kept oil changed. Good will is given all the time even out of warranty. You deserve it. I’m confident Mercedes will step up to the plate and make it right. Especially sense there are lots of reviews online with problems on th e sprinter van. Good luck
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by fbgairstream View Post
General all new vehicles hav 5 year 60,000 miles warr on engine and transmission. Diesel is longer. Contact Mercedes and ask for good will if it’s slightly out of warr. The squeaky wheel. Gets the grease. Ask for a representative to come look at vehicle. Tow it to a Mercedes dealer. Have ur records to prove u kept oil changed. Good will is given all the time even out of warranty. You deserve it. I’m confident Mercedes will step up to the plate and make it right. Especially sense there are lots of reviews online with problems on th e sprinter van. Good luck


2015 sprinter came with a 3 yr/36,000 mi basic, 3 yr/36,000 mi powertrain warranty. Mercedes will not help here, unfortunately.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:51 AM   #13
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Fuel contaminated with water, DEF or gasoline?
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:57 AM   #14
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A leak down test will tell quite a bit. A good mechanic uses this to diagnose the problem. That is unless the engine is locked up solid.
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:44 PM   #15
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We had that 3.0L V6 turbo diesel in my 2007 ML320 CDI built in October 2006 and my wife’s 2009 E320 CDI pre def. The undocumented surprise in any sales literature is failure of the oil cooler at the back of the valley due to excessive heat from poor design at roughly 75,000 mile intervals.

Cost to repair runs about $3,500. Had 205,000 miles on my ML in May 2020 with sign of this occurring for the third time along with some shifting issues in the Transmission. My wife’s E class was at 70,000 miles showing signs for this event. Neither vehicle was worth that repair cost. We now gave up on Mercedes and wife has a 2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4x4 hybrid and I have a 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum 4x4.

Local independent shop with Mercedes trained mechanic told me this is a chronic problem on all the Sprinters as well including the chassis used by Airstream.

Hope the bullet proof 3.2L turbo charged straight six diesel returns like I have in my UK E320 CDI station wagon.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacdimarco View Post
The MB mechanic said that the oil and coolant was fine. I am so confused of why and how this could have happened. The MB mechanic that has worked on her (the Whale) will see her on Tuesday. Hopefully, he will know what happened to her. When the first mechanic said "sometimes it just happens" is not sitting well with me.
A couple of thoughts. . .

Best to get it to a Sprinter mechanic I don't think that dealer in Iowa services Sprinters. If you search for seized Sprinter engines you will find it does happen on low mileage Sprinters. Most failures were due to improper oil, even by dealers, that caused excessive sludge in oil. Apparently these OM642 V-6 diesel in Sprinter are very fussy about using proper oil.

The Sprinter forum is the best source for info about Sprinters. Here is a post about seized engines from one of the expert mechanics on the Sprinter forum. The info posted above by wulfraat from Stephen Service is questionable and has been widely criticized on several forums.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/i...-7#post-836550

You should post Interstate questions and seek opinions on the "Sprinter and B-van Forum". It is a sub-forum that will give you more relevant responses.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:06 PM   #17
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I just looked it up the engine warranty is 5 years 100,0000 miles. 2015 Mercedes sprinter
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:04 PM   #18
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Thank you, everyone! My husband is having her towed back tomorrow. The info you have all given me has been very helpful. I am printing it all out and will discuss with MB. If anyone has a good Independent independent MB Mechanic in the Chicagoland area can you please send the number my way? Thanks, again! Jacqui
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:47 PM   #19
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Following, and anyone heard anything about Mercedes cheating like VW? I had a VW TDI and was a VW owner off and on for about 45 years having about 10 VW/Audi products. That was a headache. Is Mercedes negligent as well?
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:24 PM   #20
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I wonder if using biodiesel is a contributing factor. It can cause cylinder wash down and severe oil dilution. What happens is the bio will not burn as completely as diesel and gets pushed by the rings into the crankcase thereby diluting the oil. Bio is in almost all diesel in the mid west. On my last trip to JC and back I could not find any pure diesel until I got to NE Texas and then I had to go to three stations to find it.
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