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Sprinter power loss.


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My van is based on a sprinter 316 cdi. Great engine, never given any problems, only done 64000, well serviced etc.

Driving up to the Air Balloon roundabout which most of you will know is a long steep ascent, I got stuck behind a lorry in the outside lane who would not pull over and lost momentum so pulled in and changed down to 4th but no power all of a sudden. I ended up in 2nd gear to get to the top.

Now I take this route often and the van normally kills this hill, I don't have to get out of 5th. So for the rest of the trip if I drop below 2800 rpm it feels like the turbo drops out and I'm crawling up moderate inclines that it didn't even notice before.

I have checked what pipes I can see and all seems fine. Has anyone had similar symptoms with this or any other engine?

By the way there are no warning lights showing, no smoke, no noises or anything unusual.

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Hi Alan,


It certainly sounds like you have lost boost pressure. Do you have a scanner or any means of reading 'Live' boost pressure?


If not get someone to put it into reverse and load the engine by revving against the handbrake, slipping the clutch, and listen to all the turbo hoses for a leak. Note to use reverse in case the brakes let go!


Failing that get it scanned for codes with a Sprinter specific code reader. Note again An 'ordinary' OBD code reader will be unable to read your 2003 Sprinter as it does not have an OBD socket. It has a 14 pin Benz CV-14 socket below the glovebox on the LH side of the dash.




PS I have an Autel MD802 scanner which can successfully read Sprinter codes but am in Birmingham.

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Greetings, hope that it's sorted by now.


I had 2 problems with the loss of power with my sprinter.


The first was just a clogged fuel filter, just a couple of pounds to fix.


Second problem.

My van has a sprintshift gearbox, in automatic mode the speed sender on the back wheel was giving incorrect speed info to the control unit , it wouldn't therefore change gear when it was supposed to, I stalled on a hill near Bath thinking I had an engine problem before I realised that I could continue in manual mode.


Apart from that the van is great.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just to close this thread the van had its usual service and the turbo looked at by my normal garage. They could find no fault with the turbo and suggested that the fuel and air filter replacement may cure the problem and it did.

It's back to its best now so alls well that ends well.

Thanks to everyone for their advice as always.



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