top of page

Top 11 Most Common Problems With Sprinter Van (RV)?

Willing to purchase a used Sprinter Van? You need to find out some issues & technical difficulties you might bу dealing with. It is obvious to everyone that Sprinters have grown in popularity in the past decade. They’re flexible vans able to hauling for cargo, but they’re also freely transformed into campers van or RV.

Regardless of their versatility and german high-quality, it’s important to know the top common fails and issues with Sprinter Vans. 

I’ll say right away that everything can be repaired, so I won’t dramatize it. Nevertheless, the Sprinter has its weaknesses. I have selected the most common problems in these greate vans that require your attention.

Top_11 Most_Common_problems_with_Sprinte

The Top 11 Most Common Issues with Sprinter Van:

Anchor 1

The “Rumble” Sound / Torque converter TC

Rumblestrip_closeup rumble strips sprint


We gave the name to this problem “rumble strip sound” because of the sound and feel like driving over a rumble strip on side of the freeway. This “Rumble” Torque converter (TC) noise can be resulting from a few things which include wrong transmission fluid oil or lack of fluid level, etc. This issue can affect any Sprinter (except 4 cylinders eng). Why? The answer is not complicated, but the repair is complicated. The lock-up clutch of TC wears out and this is the main reason a shuddering in certain circumstances the transmission work. To fix this we need to take a few steps. We will get out the transmission, and we rebuild your TC and we will use HD (heavy- duty) parts and reinstall. TC after rebuilding is more durable than the original. And also you will find that it is less costly than a new one (MB still put to use weak construct). Parts & labor $1200 — $1350 More...

Anchor 2

Injector issue or “Black death“

Black Death on sprinter van.jpg


An additional typical problem is usually called “black death“ I will try to explain the reason for this phenomenon. The copper seal ring which is located middle the injector and cylinder head neglects and makes it possible for combustion gasses to escape by. This creates a black tar and coal-like black material to accumulate over fuel injectors. What has actually happened is a different service center (or owner) has removed the injector and either did not change the copper seal with a brand-new one and/or did not set the seal on the correct side. This allows the combustion gasses to leakage by overtime. Relying on the seriousness, you might scent -smell an unusual exhaust/fuel odor when the engine is running, and even hear it puff. Depending upon the seriousness, it can need tons of time to break down and loosen up this "black death" build-up accumulation and secure injector out to change the seal. Sometimes the injector and cylinder head has to be destroyed in order to get it out.

Prices vary as it depends on each situation. More...

Glow Plug & Module Failure

Anchor 3


A glow plug is an electrical heating tool that facilitates diesel-powered cars/vans to reach the needed ignition temp. The glow plugs + modules in vans do not everlasting... Sooner or later it will fail, in the end. If you live in cold climates you will immediately feel this problem. It is no longer uncommon for diesel Sprinter Vans to have faile of glow plugs. Sometimes even it can get stuck in the engine cylinder head.  Glow plugs replacement. $50 - $70 each More...

Exhaust Flex Pipe Leakage

Anchor 4
Exhaust Flex Pipe sprinter sprinter.jpg


This is not rare trouble. Essentially, the flex pipe will (can) have exhaust leaking out- melting any electrical wiring in its path and also forcing the engine to shut down. Additionally, melt the DEF nozzle and lines. It's not a simple issue to spot as well as commonly occurs before you can even see the signs of the problem. This impacts the 2007+ “906“ Sprinters with V6 engine. In the 2007-2009 this is part of the catalytic converter assembly. On the 2010+ this is part of the DPF/ Cat assembly. In 2010+, the exhaust will be leaking out from the flex pipe and will melt wiring close-by triggering the engine to shut, and start a count down Starts. Remember there typically never any warning in advance, as the flex pipe breaks all at one time.  From $1,850  More...

Launch of Count Down to “0“  

Anchor 5
sprinter of_Count_Down__starts.jpg


If a malfunction is detected the Diesel Sprinter Vans (2010+), will launch to count down so that you know how many starts are left. But when it reaches “0“, your Sprinter will be impossible to start. If one of these two: NOX oxygen sensors or DEF complex system breaks, it will be quite complicated and costly repair work. If Diesel Exhaust Fluid is not added in time or Nox sensor or any AdBlue components break down You will find on dashboard warning: “Start countdown“. The computer will launch the count down from 9 (or 16) remaining Starts and will go to 0. 

We want to warn about the importance right away to call us. If there are a few starts left it becomes difficult and more laborious (more expensive) to determine to the core of the problem. 
Do not let the count down go to “0“, otherwise you will have to tow your Sprinter to the dealer (for factory reset) where you will pay several thousand $. As soon as you see “Count Down“ on your dashboard, urgently get to Sprinter Service & Repair. We will help you find out the cause and will restore your Sprinter. More...

Limp mode / Sprinter losing power

Anchor 6
 Sprinter Limp Home Mode.jpg


A Limp Mode is a safety feature in Sprinter that protects the engine from damage. It may be activated if you push the engine to the limit. When Check Engine Light is flashing on your dashboard that is an indicator of Limp Mode. It tries to lower engine power to prevent worse scenarios. Switching the turbo off the computer forced the owner to get the van to the Sprinter shop and have it serviced. Why “Limp Mode” is activated and engine lights come on? It is generally caused by EGR, or faulty oxygen sensor, swirl flap motor, intercooler hoses leaking, actuator, resonator, etc. More...

DEF Heater Failure

Anchor 7
sprinter_replacement def.jpg


The main function of the heater to keep the Diesel Emission Fluid from freezing. Sprinter Van AdBlue heater collapse appears whilst the heater on the emission fluid tank burns out. This reason why engine warning light turns on. While the problem will be much less notable in the hot season as the liquid does not freeze, but there’s a big opportunity it'll freeze in the course of the chillier months. This can affect any Sprinters from 2010+. (all Bluetec) 

So there is a high probability that heater element burns out one day and it will cause a “check engine" to appear and this failure will launch “starts countdown“. We can deal with DEF and remove and replace the Sprinter DEF heating unit with a brand-new OEM. The exchanging cost of DEF heater $1,500. More...

Turbo Resonator “Oil Leak“ Air leak

Anchor 8


The original Sprinter Van Turbo Resonators are known to be problematic seals and O-Ring. Many call this symptom “Turbo leaking oil“ in fact this is an Air Leak. This leak from the turbo output. Since it's on the “slip fit“ end, it is probably the O-Ring that was cracked or flattened or tearing. There's constantly the threat that the leak will worsen over time (it is very clear that air move erodes the rubber seal as it passes through under high pressure) and eventually, you could begin seeing rapid drop-out when the ECU (Engine Control Unit) notices the loss of pressure. And where does the oil come from, if there is air? A small amount of oil within the air in the turbo is OK. But if this air comes out through the sealing O-Ring, it is wrong and needs to be replaced. $180 The Sprinter Service & Repair in Vista CA performs quick and efficient diagnostics and repair on any Sprinter Vans & RV.  More...

Clogged DPF / Regeneration

Anchor 9



The Diesel Particulate Filter created to catch particles from the exhaust to prevent the appearance of harmful substances and thereby protect the environment. The DPF keeps the particles up to a certain capacity level, and once its volume full, the Sprinter ECU computer will automatically increase temp approximately to 1200 F° of the exhaust to burn it. This burn happens while you drive for longer distances on the highway speed in Particulate Filter. But, let's say you use the wrong oil for your Sprinter (not 229.52) and you do not drive a van on longer highway speed, only in city mode. It can create a build-up accumulation of particles that can not be burned automatically during auto regeneration. So it will be a clogging filter as well as interrupting the flow of exhaust, at that point clogs limits exhaust flow and blocks it, so van needs manual regeneration.

If after regeneration ash level is still very high then only one choice left: replace old DPF.

An additional cause of the "clogs" problem may be a defective temp sensor, or EGR, or any problems that maintain DPF from doing regeneration. In those cases, we will hook up diagnostic tools and instruments and demand van manual regeneration. $150. More..

Oil Cooler Leaking 

Anchor 10

Oil leaks commonly from the oil cooler gasket on Sprinters from 2007+. You can say this gasket the Achilles Heel of the Sprinters with V6 engine. Usually, this problem may occur after 120K miles. MB has modernized this gasket to improved material called Viton which prolongs life. You should know right away: this is a costly repair. Because it's challenging to get to an oil cooler. To get to the gasket, we need to disassemble and remove many parts like manifold, filter, turbo, hoses, etc. Depending on model year gasket replacement from $1,500-$1,900   More...


Intercooler Hose Leaking 

Anchor 11
Intercooler_Hose_Leaking sprinter.jpg


The turbo to intercooler hoses, as well as the intercooler to intake hoses, are without a doubt BOTH OF THESE breaking down (cracking) and blowing and cracking  out at the ends (sides) in the end, leading to the engines to go right into "limp home mode." These hoses have a metallic fitting "formed" onto the hoses. These hoses breakdown failure start out along with cracks developing at the fitting. In the beginning, the very small crack split might create} an "occasional" limp home mode issue and after that apparently go back to normal mode. Pretty soon, these tiny small cracks "blow out" and even come to be significantly big cracks, setting the engine in limp and also destroying your timetable and plans. One of the most frequent hose to crack is actually the driver's side intercooler to intake hose although both of these hoses are definitely experiencing this breakdown.  More...

​What are the Most Common and Typical Troubles With used Sprinter Vans?


  • “Rumble Strip” Noise or Torque converter
  • Injector issue or “Black death“ 
  • Glow Plug Failure
  • Broken Exhaust Flex Pipe
  • Start Count Down 
  • Losing power Limp mode
  • Clogged DPF 
  • Air leak in Turbo Resonator
  • DEF Heater Failure
  • Oil Cooler Leak 
  • Intercooler Hose Leaking 
bottom of page