2008 and Newer / Sprinter Maintenance Costs


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 13, 2017 - 10:55am PT
Anybody with a 2008+(and new) Sprinter have a review of maintenance costs / exhaust reliability?

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 14, 2017 - 09:23am PT
I have almost 3k miles on a brand new 2017 sprinter 2500 4x4 high roof. Too new for maintenance. But what worries me the most is what I read early on in the decision process and directly related to what you are asking (but it obviously didn't stop me from buying):

If I had viable alternatives, I would have pursued them. But my choices were:
 Ford Econoline with 4x4 conversion from AgileOffroad or Ujoint (expensive, old - not manufactured after 2013-2014, so with high odometer readings, low fuel efficiency, fewer safety features, etc.)
 Ford Transit - low clearance, not really suitable for 4x4 conversion
 Ram Promaster - ridiculously low rear axle design. Otherwise I liked this one.
 Nissan - not sure why I didn't take this one more seriously....

So I went with the lesser evil: expensive repairs maybe on the horizon.

Aug 14, 2017 - 09:32am PT
Sprinter have a review of maintenance costs

You didn't specify diesel or gas versions ......

Trad climber
Orange Murica!
Aug 14, 2017 - 10:00am PT
get a high-top van from the 90s. The cost of fuel for a big gasser, 8-12mpg is a safer bet in the long run, and super easy to work on yourself.

don't get me started on 2003-5 f350 6.0TD engines and what the exhaust restrictions do to it...

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
Aug 14, 2017 - 10:16am PT
Thanks for killing off my Sprinter lust.......

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 14, 2017 - 11:10am PT
Consider a vehicle with 8mpg (Econoline V8 or V10) vs. 18mpg (new Sprinter 4x4 V6 diesel).

After a 100,000 miles in the Econoline, that's 10,000 gallons of gas.

After 100,000 miles in Sprinter, that's 5,556 gallons of diesel #2.

In California, $3/gallon is a good baseline. A little cheaper sometimes and some places, often a little more especially while in the boonies like on a camping adventure. Other states gas is cheaper, so the numbers change a bit but the conclusion is basically the same.

So the cost of extra fuel for the Econoline is $13,332 for each 100k miles. As long as you can keep repairs under that cost in a Sprinter for each 100k miles, you get the benefit of a more comfortable vehicle with more safety features.

Now if you are a real mechanic and enjoy fixing or upgrading fundamental car parts, then going with an older technology that is more self-service friendly would look more attractive. But for me as basically an automotive idiot, Sprinter still looks more attractive.
the Fet

Aug 14, 2017 - 11:29am PT
Four Brands Encompass Nearly 70% Of The Vehicles With Over 200,000 Miles: If you stick with Chevy and Ford full-size trucks and SUVs, Honda cars, and Toyota everything, your chances of having that vehicle past 200k is about two and a half times the industry average.

From http://bestride.com/news/long-term-quality-index-seven-facts-that-shatter-the-myth-of-reliability


Sprinters are about average in reliablity. Can't give you maintenance cost but I vowed never to buy a German vehicle again due to it.

A sprinter will be a very comfortable, convenient, nice driving, efficient rig for sure.

But if you are concerned about cost I'd go with an American full size van for 2wd or a 4wd ford or chevy p/u with a camper. Pop up for speed and mpg, or hard side for space and comfort. Or a Toyota truck and pop up if you want to go smaller.

I just finished a 4,000 mile plus road trip with my sons in our truck camper. It was awesome. No problems with our 7.3 ford diesel with 200k+ on it. Boondocked almost every night except at Zion. Always have a full kitchen and bath ready. The drawbacks are you can't be in the camper when driving but that doesn't really bother me. And you'll want to drive slower.

Fuelly.com is a good source for real world mpg but won't give figures for campers. My rig is big and heavy. 4x4. Diesel. Crew cab. Long bed. 9.5 foot hard side camper. I get 13.5 mpg at 59 mph or 12 mpg at 70 mph. I get 19 or 17 mpg at 59/70 without the camper. With a pop up camperI 'd guess I'd get 16/14. 4wd weight and height probably costs 1-2 mpg.

2nd in line for a campsite at Zion.
Credit: the Fet

Big Wall climber
Aug 14, 2017 - 12:04pm PT
Who the fuk gets 8mpg in an econoline? Crunch numbers if you want, but get realistic. Got buddies with 4x4 sportsmobiles that get 12 with the gas V10, and 16 with the 6.0 diesel.

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2017 - 12:12pm PT
My 1990 Ford E-150 with a 5.8 litre engine averages about 15mpg on cross country runs. That includes a sort of stop-alot mentality as I tend to stay off the interstates, and often find little towns I want to explore.

I ONCE got 6MPG(stuck in Flagstaff for a week rolling just around town, and when I went to top off the gas before leaving, was utterly shocked. I still wonder of somebody didn't siphon gas from the tank). But that was the only time It was ever that low. I have also gotten up to 18mpg, and once(again, just once) I got 22mpg.

The only problem with a 1990 Econoline is that if you ever come here asking for advice, you will become an inductee to the Secret Multimeter Society and get read the riot act for having a POS van and not buying something new.

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Aug 14, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
I drive a 2010 Ford diesel super duty company truck.. Chicks dig the hell out of me...But... The exhaust urea system washes out the #2 and #6 cylinders killing compression around 100,000 miles... A new diesel motor is 20 grand.. My company decided that 20 grand is better spent on a new Ford gas powered truck...I laugh when i see people driving brand new diesel Ford super duties...But chicks dig them..I parked at a construction road block the other day next to a parked CHP...I left the engine idling and pretty soon the chippy walks up next to my truck... I roll the window down and he tells me my truck is spewing black smoke into his patrol car winning me a fix it ticket...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Aug 14, 2017 - 12:22pm PT
How dare you, Happy?


Aug 14, 2017 - 12:50pm PT
I'd check out the sprinter-source.com

There are probably some threads on there talking about average maintenance costs.

I've owned my 2004 sprinter for almost 8 years now. I've generally had good luck with it. The stealership has definitely gotten me a few times but at this point I can only blame myself for taking it there. One of the hardest things about owning a sprinter is finding a qualified mechanic to work on them. It is pretty similar to finding a unicorn.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 14, 2017 - 01:09pm PT
Happie, yer pre-computer van was running WAAY rich in Flagstaff, not mention fouling the plugs.

RJ, for reelz? What a dickwad!

I was jonesing for a diesel until I read all the bad press about the urea system and them having to go into re-gen mode just before you get home from a short errand.
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Alex Bury
Aug 14, 2017 - 01:19pm PT
Credit: Ojai Alex

My 2010 144, currently at 135k miles. In September I'll have lived in it for 2 years.
$10k+ in upgrades (solar, heating system, fridge, composting toilet, etc.).

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2017 - 07:06pm PT
My 2001 2wd econoline with 4.6 v8 gets 16-17 ish on highway going 60 mph. 175000 miles and only one $500 plus repair to date in 16 years of ownership.

Aug 14, 2017 - 07:11pm PT
I knew a climber who lived in his Honda civic all year round for many years.

You modern climbers are pussies .....
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Alex Bury
Aug 14, 2017 - 08:40pm PT
True. But I'm still glad I'm not shitting in a bucket.

Big Wall climber
Aug 15, 2017 - 07:41am PT
You have a toilet in a 144?

Aug 15, 2017 - 07:42am PT

True. But I'm still glad I'm not shitting in a bucket.

Therein lies the heart of the matter. . . terlits ROCK!
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Alex Bury
Aug 15, 2017 - 08:21am PT
You have a toilet in a 144?

Yep. When most people build out a 144, there really isn't much room for a crapper (as you apparently know)...but I forewent the standard bed setup, which takes up about half of most people's builds. By having a convertible sleeping setup I can have a full size kitchen and toilet. I'm still finishing the woodwork but the toilet will be hidden within a cabinet that flips open.
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