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Old 11-19-2018, 07:25 PM   #1
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2018 Interstate Red PARK light AND Check DEF notice: won’t drive HELP

It’s always something, backed out of storage spot no problem but Message to check DEF was on. When I put it in drive it hesitated as if the emergency break were on which it was not and a red “PARK” came on the dash . I stopped and double checked the brake, turned the vehicle off and let it sit for a while. Turned it back on, same “PARK” light . Tapped the gas & heard horrifying sound, turned it off & am about two spaces from where I started in the middle of the storage lot road waiting to hear from a tow truck driver.
Anybody have a guess as to what is going on?
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by carpenc View Post
It’s always something, backed out of storage spot no problem but Message to check DEF was on. When I put it in drive it hesitated as if the emergency break were on which it was not and a red “PARK” came on the dash . I stopped and double checked the brake, turned the vehicle off and let it sit for a while. Turned it back on, same “PARK” light . Tapped the gas & heard horrifying sound, turned it off & am about two spaces from where I started in the middle of the storage lot road waiting to hear from a tow truck driver.
Anybody have a guess as to what is going on?
The parking brake can be left on even when you push down the lever. It is set up that way so you can swivel the driver's seat with the parking brake on.


To take the parking brake off, you have to lift the lever higher than it was when you set it (it will go up without resistance to the position where you set the brake, then you'll feel resistance as you lift it higher), press the button on the end of the lever, and lower the lever completely.


Even if you left the lever up after applying the parking brake, you still have to lift the lever some more before you can release the brake.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:35 PM   #3
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The parking brake can be left on even when you push down the lever. It is set up that way so you can swivel the driver's seat with the parking brake on.


To take the parking brake off, you have to lift the lever higher than it was when you set it (it will go up without resistance to the position where you set the brake, then you'll feel resistance as you lift it higher), press the button on the end of the lever, and lower the lever completely.


Even if you left the lever up after applying the parking brake, you still have to lift the lever some more before you can release the brake.
OMG if that is all it is, I wish you worked for Mercedes 24hr-not-really service. I called hoping to get someone who knew something but they had never even heard of the interstate! So, my van is blocking others in an RV storage lot in ST Augustine and supposed to got to RVOne in Winter Park for service in am for shades that were supposed to be fixed a year ago and I’m in WP because no one knew anything and apparently 24hour tow service stops ar 8pm in St Aug JACKSONVILLE area!
Thank you for the reply. My gut said it was the break even though I nevee use it. Hmmmm
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Does it go backwards better/quieter than it goes forward? If so that is a good clue that the emergency brake is on. If not, then it is probably something else.

The DEF light has me confused - maybe DEF light and PARK light are simply a coincidence? If the DEF level is really low you will go into a limp-home mode which on the older Sprinters prevented more than a certain number of engine starts. On 2018 I suppose they may have a different sort of limp-home mode, but I doubt that has anything to do with PARK or a horrible noise. It is probably a speed or power limit.
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #5
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PROTAG is often right. However, my eyes fixated on the OP's use of the word "horrifying". Could a stuck parking brake cause a horrifying noise when the accelerator is tapped?

Like a dumb bunny, I sometimes start driving with the brake on, or partially on. The only horrifying noise is the BEEP BEEP BEEP as the Sprinter expresses its acute displeasure. There's no noise that comes from the brake itself, but our rig is much older and maybe this is not the case with the newer ones.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:38 AM   #6
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I think a full level of DEF should carry you at least 15k-20k miles. When the light comes on, you need to add a minimum of 2 gallons so the system registers a change. Those 2.5gal containers at WalMart or auto parts stores are easy to handle.

(Not so) Funny story: I had my DEF light come on in Wyoming. I added 2.5 gallons and wanted to see how far it would take me. I went in for an oil change at a Mercedes dealership in a far away NE state 5000 miles later. The Svc Mgr says "oh, and we topped off the DEF for you" and off I went. 20 miles later my DEF light came on. He lied to me. My 2.5 gallons had just depleted, that's all. I took it back to him and got to see his face when I told him I was out of DEF. 15 minutes later he apologized and said this time he actually watched the guy put it in.

Oh, and that oil change? That same guy had quoted me $290 (Back home I get charged $229). When I was in the waiting room I chatted with a family that were just finishing a 18 month long journey with two kids and a dog in their ClassB RoadTrek. They too were getting an oil change. But for $185. I got the guy to match the price.

In the frigid far NE, the tourist "hunting season" is only six months long. Be careful my friends.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:53 PM   #7
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Interested to hear the result from the brake. They indeed can make noise. Horrifying is subjective. Tronadora, List the name of that unscrupulous dealer. As always, verify the work that is done.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:10 PM   #8
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My son-in-law started to move my AI with the brake partially on. It made quite a bit of noise and alerted me a few yards away. He did not understand the folding brake handle until I explained how it worked.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:18 PM   #9
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The 2010 Sprinter cargo van I used to have NEVER got even 10,000 miles from a full tank of DEF. One time, when I was trying to "nurse" it to 10k, I got the warning message "20 Starts Remaining"! I quickly found a place where I could buy a 2.5 gallon jug of DEF. Once I added that DEF, the warning message reset.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
Does it go backwards better/quieter than it goes forward? If so that is a good clue that the emergency brake is on. If not, then it is probably something else.

The DEF light has me confused - maybe DEF light and PARK light are simply a coincidence? If the DEF level is really low you will go into a limp-home mode which on the older Sprinters prevented more than a certain number of engine starts. On 2018 I suppose they may have a different sort of limp-home mode, but I doubt that has anything to do with PARK or a horrible noise. It is probably a speed or power limit.
It did go back very quietly! I can’t say I understand why having your emergency brake on would allow you to drive backwards & not forward . But the sound going forward reminded me of the sound of a crash: metal forced against metal.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:49 AM   #11
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Interested to hear the result from the brake. They indeed can make noise. Horrifying is subjective. Tronadora, List the name of that unscrupulous dealer. As always, verify the work that is done.
Sounded like metal forced against metal—like a car crash.
It’s at the Mercedes Sprinter Dealer in Jax. Will know next week what is going on and will post.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
PROTAG is often right. However, my eyes fixated on the OP's use of the word "horrifying". Could a stuck parking brake cause a horrifying noise when the accelerator is tapped?

Like a dumb bunny, I sometimes start driving with the brake on, or partially on. The only horrifying noise is the BEEP BEEP BEEP as the Sprinter expresses its acute displeasure. There's no noise that comes from the brake itself, but our rig is much older and maybe this is not the case with the newer ones.
It was a beep, beep at first & then became the sound of metal on metal like a car crash. Horrifying because it was loud and sounded like the under carroage crumbled. It’s at Mercedes in Jax. Should know something next week & will post
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
I think a full level of DEF should carry you at least 15k-20k miles. When the light comes on, you need to add a minimum of 2 gallons so the system registers a change. Those 2.5gal containers at WalMart or auto parts stores are easy to handle.

(Not so) Funny story: I had my DEF light come on in Wyoming. I added 2.5 gallons and wanted to see how far it would take me. I went in for an oil change at a Mercedes dealership in a far away NE state 5000 miles later. The Svc Mgr says "oh, and we topped off the DEF for you" and off I went. 20 miles later my DEF light came on. He lied to me. My 2.5 gallons had just depleted, that's all. I took it back to him and got to see his face when I told him I was out of DEF. 15 minutes later he apologized and said this time he actually watched the guy put it in.

Oh, and that oil change? That same guy had quoted me $290 (Back home I get charged $229). When I was in the waiting room I chatted with a family that were just finishing a 18 month long journey with two kids and a dog in their ClassB RoadTrek. They too were getting an oil change. But for $185. I got the guy to match the price.

In the frigid far NE, the tourist "hunting season" is only six months long. Be careful my friends.
Wow—interesting difference in pricing. Will watch for that. The service rep said it would not be unusual to need a top off after 3-4k . I had peobably driven about that on my last big trip.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:41 AM   #14
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I have 8K miles on mine, filled almost empty DEF once, and topped off once. Mercedes told me not to let it get too low or you can have emissions problems.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:08 AM   #15
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OP, you said you were trying to come out of a storage facility when this occurred. You were not in a tight turn by any chance when you heard the noise, were you?

This is probably not relevant, but here it is for everyone's potential future reference. When I recently got an alignment job, they warned me about the potential for wheel-frame impacts. The chassis flex of the Sprinter under the Interstate upfit weight load is great enough to potentially allow a wheel to touch the frame (this outcome is reflected in the caster number). The way they put it is, "You're gonna hear it if you turn too tightly."

I fail to see how a wheel scrape could be what you heard, however. Your subsequent description sounds more like transmission or something.

Everyone's curiosity is piqued about this one, obviously. Especially in a brand new rig.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:55 AM   #16
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When going forward with the emergency brake on I would not call the noise horrific. But my experience is based on daily driving. After sitting in storage I would guess there is some rust on the surface of the brake rotor. This could make the noise 'horrific'.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:27 AM   #17
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Yep, we're all very curious. My guess is the two issues "park" and "DEF" are not related and were only a coincidence that you saw both lights.

Regarding the van not moving and horrendous noise - My vote is the parking brake was applied and you didn't realize it. Not knowing how the brake handle/lever worked you didn't understand how to disengage the brake. I'm wondering how the vehicle was moved from storage to the dealer for evaluation? Did the tow truck operator take time to check the parking brake and release it if necessary?

Something we can learn from your situation is to keep the chassis issues separate from the motorhome issues although sometimes the two are interrelated. For example, warning lights for "park" and "DEF" are likely not related to the Airstream side of things. It may make sense when calling Mercedes to keep it simple and refer to the 3500 Sprinter chassis rather than confusing Mercedes with any comments related to Airstream. Similarly, most Airstream dealers are quick to tell Interstate owners they don't perform Mercedes service. Yes, there are some Mercedes dealers who work on motorhomes. I've heard the Mercedes/Interstate dealer in north metro Atlanta is extremely talented in doing both chassis and motorhome repairs.

P.S. There have been a few times that I've put our van in gear and tried to drive forward when the parking brake was applied. The vehicle didn't move much before I realized the brake was on. But there were some "clunks" in the drivetrain. If I tried to go further the clunks may have become horrendous but I don't know for sure.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:48 AM   #18
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The 2010 Sprinter cargo van I used to have NEVER got even 10,000 miles from a full tank of DEF. One time, when I was trying to "nurse" it to 10k, I got the warning message "20 Starts Remaining"! I quickly found a place where I could buy a 2.5 gallon jug of DEF. Once I added that DEF, the warning message reset.

NY24 - I stand corrected...

I checked my own logs and we had traveled just over 10,000 miles from Full until the First Warning. The manual says at that point we have 1.5gal left, or 2500 miles before empty. The Second Warning happens at 0.8gal remaining and the dreaded Engine Start Countdowns begin (either 16 or 20 or? starts remaining depending on which year and which configuration).
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:20 AM   #19
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For DEF I add 2.5 gallons half way through my 10,000 mile service interval at about 5,000 miles. Then always have the dealer top it off during the oil change. I've been doing this for six year and 120,000 miles - I've never seen a low DEF warning.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:56 AM   #20
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I have kept track of DEF consumption as best I can by keeping track of mileage and between top-offs. and quantity needed to top-off I get about 2200 miles/gal of DEF. For the 5.9 gal DEF tank we have on 2012's, this does about equate to the 2.5 gallon jug half way between 10,000 mile oil changes. I too have never seen a low DEF warning. It seems that people report that other SCR system problems occur at low DEF levels. Coincidence?
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