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Robert R
Robert R, ASE Certified Technician
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 3932
Experience:  ASE Certifications in Engine Repair, Manual Drivetrain and Axles, Suspension and Steering, and Heating and A/C.
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I have a 2014 Sprinter 3500 RV that often dies at idle after

Customer Question

I have a 2014 Sprinter 3500 RV that often dies at idle after running for a long period on the road. I know it's about to happen as the rpms start fluctuating and it suddenly quits. When I go to re-start it, I have to turn the key off, wait a minute, and turn the key back on. It gives no "Wait to Start" buzzer, but can be started. It will die again shortly if not revved to at least 1,000 rpm and held there or above. It happened to me 6 times in a row yesterday after 200 miles of flawless highway driving. I had it to Mercedes who said it was dirty fuel, drained the tank, and changed the fuel filter to the tune of $860, which I thought was ridiculous, especially since it only has 11,000 miles, but it quit me on the way home from Mercedes. I called & told them, they wanted me to bring it right back, but it's a 3 hr trip, so I went ahed and went on a trip with it. I'm since using PRI-G in the full at each fillup, but still have the problem.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Robert R replied 1 year ago.

Hello, welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is*****'m a Certified Auto Technician with 28+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. please keep in mind that I may need to ask questions of you before I can answer. When you reply please feel free to add as much detailed information as possible pertaining to your concern.

Did they show you a fuel sample of the "Dirty Fuel"? If the fuel was in fact contaminated, it is very likely that damage has occurred to the fuel system. Fuel contamination is a major concern with this engine. Especially if it was driven for any distance since the bad fuel was added.

At this time, I HIGHLY recommend to get it back to the same dealer ASAP. If you continue to drive it, it's possible that further damage can occur. I have seen water contaminated fuel cause a fuel injector to stick open and burn up an engine in less than 30 seconds. Of course, fuel contamination is NOT covered by warranty and if the engine fails due to this issue it could cost you to the tune of $18,000 or more to replace the engine.

If you are on a trip and away from that dealer, at least stop at a dealer somewhere during your trip and have it looked at. Make sure that they scan for codes and also don't forget to explain the situation to them regarding the fuel contamination issue so that they will have a much better chance of getting this fixed properly the first time around, otherwise you may end up returning back repeatedly until it's figured out...

If you can post any codes that they retrieve here, I'll be glad to give you a "Second Opinion" on the dealer technician's diagnosis.

Keep me posted and let me know if you have any additional questions...

Thank you,

Robert

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If you need additional information, don't hesitate to ask, I am happy to help as long as necessary to help solve your concern. Remember, a "Positive" Rating will not close this question, You can post a reply here whenever you want, even after rating my answer!

Thank you!

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They stated that there was no dirty fuel left in the system. As I stated, they drained the tank, flushed the lines, & replaced the fuel filter. There are and were no codes, either. Let's try again.
Expert:  Robert R replied 1 year ago.

Correct, but how long did you drive it since the fill up of fuel to the time you visited the dealer? This is the "Time Frame" that I am referring to that could have caused the damage.. In other words, when the dealer flushed out the fuel system and added fresh fuel the damage had likely ALREADY occured. That is why it stalled out again after leaving the dealer...

I would have to say that depending on how long it was driven after bad fuel was added and what type of contamination was in there will determine what damage has likely occurred. Do you know how many miles it was driven from the very first time it stalled out to the time you took it to the dealer?

Keep me posted...

Thank you,

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I drove it 300 miles after calling Mercedes road service, as they advised me it was ok if I was comfortable driving it, & I was at least 300 miles from a dealer. When I got home, I called them & said it was still happening, & they sent a tow truck to take it in to their Sprinter service department. That's when they did the fuel drain, etc & declared it well & ready to drive. I just returned from a 400 mile trip with no problems until I got back yesterday, & it quit 6 times in a row at idle.
Mike
Expert:  Robert R replied 1 year ago.

It would have been nice if they would have saved a fuel sample. This way we would be able to know what was in there. If it was water, chances are likely that it has damaged one of the injectors. Even though the fuel filter includes a water separator, the "Churning" action of the in-tank fuel pump "emulsifies" the water with the fuel and when the fuel is in this state, water can easily pass the water separator of the fuel filter and make it to the injectors. What can happen at that point is accelerated wear of the injectors due to the fact that water is NOT a good lubricant and it can damage the injectors. Not to mention that if it would have stayed in there, it could have created rust in the fuel system. Any rust flakes breaking loose while driving and making it to an injector can cause it to stick open or closed. Hopefully closed as no damage to the engine can occur. You would just have a rough running engine. A stuck open injector WILL burn up a piston and cylinder. Since it appears you drive it at least 300 miles, damage definitely could have occurred. Since it is now stalling again, I'm suspecting excessive injector return flow is causing the stalling at low engine rpm's.

Take it back to the dealer asap to have it checked out. Remember, even though the check engine light may not be coming on, there may STILL be codes stored in the ECM that will likely help with the diagnosis....

Keep me posted...

Thank you,

Robert

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