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Old 08-07-2015, 09:48 PM   #1
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Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

I was heading down the 99 last Sunday and my 2004 diesel Sprinter started shaking and running poorly. I managed to make it to Fresno MB dealership and left it there. Could not find a rental car anywhere and ended up with a Uhaul truck as a last resort.
Three days later MB Fresno diagnosed a blown piston and a cracked block. Only 85,000 miles on my rig. $16 grand for a new engine and 3-4 weeks repair time.
Hopefully no one has had a similar problem. I am wondering if any members have any experience with MB Fresno? Does $16 grand seem about right for a refurbished engine? It comes with a new 4 year 100,000 warranty. Do you feel my pain?
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

Just got word from some friends here in town that they just filed with MB just 3 days shy, of their brand new, 1 year old diesel sprinter that's been in the shop 4 odd times totaling over 80+ days with problems that included numerous electrical issues, persistent oil leaks and to have the entire EGR system replaced. They are now looking at the Ford Transit as a replacement......good luck with the fix, or whatever you decide to do, it's a big bummer for sure.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:49 AM   #3
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=106

Way more people on the sprinter source forum with T1n sprinter expirience than here.

MB Fresno has only been a sprinter dealer for between one and two years.
They most likely have not had much interaction with the older, completely different, out of warranty, sprinters vs. the new ones.
The model and year sprinter you have was only sold by freightliner and dodge dealers.
I'd get a second, or third opinion before I committed.


Would I recommend MB Fresno to replace the engine on a 10+ year old sprinter? Probably not without some very detailed discussion beforehand. How many engines have they replaced in vans similar to yours?

See if you can contact linden engineering in Denver to get a second opinion over the phone, he is very active on the sprinter-source forum and seems more than willing to help people, regardless of him doing the work (distance)

Bummer about the engine failure.
Good luck.
Where do you live? Did you drive a u-haul back home?
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:26 AM   #4
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

I certainly feel your pain. That's a pretty rare failure. I had to go back and reread '2004 Sprinter'. I was surprised. I figured it was a new one. It wouldn't surprise me if this happened to a new one but a 2004? That is rare. I work for a company that has thousands of these in our fleet and the T1N's are the good ones. They typically run trouble free for the first few hundred thousand miles. The mechanics absolutely hate the newest ones, but it's usually more DEF system and electrical related (constant CELs) than anything else. I hope you get rolling again soon and hopefully at least you've bought 100k miles. I would say any Mercedes product with a cracked block is a rare failure.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:44 AM   #5
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

Ugh, that is scary. Our 2006 SMB Sprinter has the same OM-647 engine, and our mechanic has mentioned a rebuild would cost about $12k if ever needed. So $16k for a new engine from a Mercedes dealer sounds realistic.

Any clues as to cause of the engine failure? Overheating or coolant loss?
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

I had NO signs anything was wrong, no leaks, no low fluids, no warning lights. The dealer took pictures down the piston and you could clearly see problems with one of the pistons. I am kinda stuck with Mercedes of Fresno as the next closest dealership is in Bakersfield..two plus hours away. I did call Sportsmobile and they had good things to say about MBZ Fresno.
To add to my pain I was towing a Trailmanor trailer when all this happened and I had to dump it in a residential neighborhood off the 99 freeway. Four days later I finally got back to check on the trailer in my Kia rental car. Luckily it was still there and no tagging so I thought my luck had changed. Called the insurance company and waited two hours to tow it to an RV storage yard 5 minutes away. Oh yeah, it was 108 degrees outside. Got to the yard and they would not let me leave it without the registration. Where was the registration? Back in the freaking van in Fresno!!! Had to leave the wife as collateral while I went back to Fresno and got the registration. Fun times in Cali's central Valley. Back home finally in Orange County and trying to come up with $16 grand.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:32 AM   #7
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

Find an independent shop!
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

sixteen thousand dollars to pull an engine out and put a new one in... six. teen. thousand. Daaayum
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

Best of luck.

Sounds like a very hot, not fun day in Fresno.
Any chance you are able to negotiate just a bit on cost of this service?
Not sure how to help you with the 16k beyond that.
Think about what 10% off would be? Even 5% seems better than nothing?
The margin has to be pretty good, as they are most likely ordering the engine vs. pulling it off their shelf.

I really hope this works out well for you.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Sprinter at Fresno Mercedes with cracked block

I did get the dealer to give me $1,000 off the quote but we all know they will find a way to get that back. Kinda like remodeling your house. Get 3 quotes from 3 different contractors...add them all together...and that is what you will spend.

I did talk to an independent shop and they would not touch it as they didn't have the experience and the warranty would only be good at their location. My usual mechanic at Tuttle Click agreed that the 16 grand was about right.
No matter how you look at it I am screwed.
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