Auto repair shop in Whitmore Lake, MI

Sprinter diesel service near Ann Arbor, MI

Sprinter Diesel Repair Service near Ann Arbor MI

Diesel Sprinter van service and repair near Ann Arbor, MI. We service all makes and versions of the Sprinter van with diesel engines. Experienced truck & diesel ASE-Certified technicians. If you have a gasoline Sprinter Van please see our general Sprinter Van repair service page.

We service Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Dodge Sprinter, Freightliner Sprinter, and Volkswagen Sprinter vans. Commercial fleet trucks, recreation van conversions, or personal vehicles.

Although diesel Sprinter vans come in different styles and sold as a Dodge Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Freightliner Sprinter, or Volkswagen Sprinter they are all based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter diesel chassis in the following versions: Sprinter passenger van, Sprinter RV conversion van, Sprinter cargo van, Sprinter minibus, or Sprinter cab-chassis.

Sprinter Van Repair Shop

State Street Auto Service is one of the few light and medium diesel truck repair shops near Ann Arbor area that specialize in Sprinter diesel repair and service. We know the common Sprinter diesel problems and how to repair them as economically as possible. We are conveniently located 12 miles north of Ann Arbor, MI 48189.

Fleet Service

Our experienced Sprinter diesel service technicians specialize in fleet repair. They understand the cost of down time and prioritizing service and repair for budget reasons. Our customers trust us to get their Sprinter van serviced or repaired as quickly as possible. Check out our customer feedback and testimonials.

Experienced Sprinter Diesel Mechanics

Our Sprinter service team understands the importance of keeping your Sprinter van on the road. Reliability is very important for commercial fleet vehicle service. With our experienced Sprinter diesel mechanics they know what needs to be serviced to get maximum life from your Sprinter diesel and prevent unexpected breakdowns. And stay within your budget.

All service and repair on diesel Sprinter Van near Ann Arbor MI. We specialize in Fleet repair.


With State Street Auto Service you know you’re getting reliable, skilled repairs and service for your diesel Sprinter Van. And we stand behind our work with a guarantee rarely matched in the Ann Arbor area. Also, as a NAPA AutoCare Center we guarantee that you’ll drive away safe and sound if you travel outside our service area.

Sprinter Dealership Alternative

For diesel Sprinter Van owners, there are not many dealership alternatives in the Ann Arbor region, especially those with diesel experience. State Street Auto Service is one of the few light diesel truck repair shops near Ann Arbor that can handle the special needs of your Sprinter diesel. If you need your Sprinter Van serviced by capable, highly trained, and skilled Sprinter mechanics, then your search is over! Sprint on over, and we’ll see you soon!

Magnuson-Moss Act buyer beware

Having State Street Auto Service work on your Sprinter in NO way limits or restricts your vehicle manufacturer warranty. All that is important is that you service your vehicle. By law, having your vehicle serviced by a Sprinter dealer is not required.

Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975 - Federal Law Prohibits any auto dealer from implying or denying routine warranty service because scheduled routine maintenance was performed at an independent facility. Title 15 Chapter 50 sections 2301-2312 US Federal Code.

Mercedes 3 Liter Diesel Repair Service

The Mercedes 3 Liter OM642 and OM651 engine are very popular in Sprinter vans starting in 2005. The engine is still used today.

The OM642 and OM651 diesel engines are also popular in Mercedes vehicles from sedans, wagons and SUV’s, and used in Jeep Grand Cherokees.

While these engines provide excellent performance, fuel economy, and quiet operation, they have many common repair and service issues. The Mercedes BlueTEC diesel engine is very high-tech and need regular maintenance.

Exhaust emissions are controlled by exhaust after-treatment devices such as catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters, and Urea-injected SCR catalyst systems.

With this complex engine, and numerous emission control devices, these engines can experience very expensive repairs.

Common Repairs

Here is a list of the common Mercedes OM642 and OM651 repairs that we see in our shop:

Engine Oil Leaks 

The most common Sprinter diesel oil leak is from the engine oil cooler seals. Replacement of these oil cooler seals requires labor-intensive parts removal to gain access to the seals.

Oil leaks from the rear main crankshaft seal are also very common.

Oil filter housing seal oil leaks are also common.

Also, the engine vacuum pump oil leaks. 

Fuel Injectors

Mercedes OM642 diesel fuel injectors leak fuel from either the injector itself or leak from the seal between the fuel injector and the cylinder head.

Timing Chains

The Mercedes OM642 and OM651 diesel use a timing chain that wears, stretches and becomes noisy. The repair requires sprockets, chain tensioners, and timing chain replacement. If left too long without service, the timing chain can break and cause complete engine failure.

Although Mercedes provides no specific mileage or age at which the timing chain needs to be replaced, the life of a timing chain greatly depends on how frequently the engine oil and filter are changed. The OM642 and OM651 timing chains have incredible durability and longevity, but they will experience rapid wear if the engine oil is not regularly changed.

Oil filtration: Diesel engines produce soot. Soot is unburnt fuel, the nasty black smoke part of diesel exhaust. Soot is the number one enemy of your engine. Soot gets into the engine oil, causing significant engine wear. Soot is VERY abrasive. It causes rapid timing chain wear and extreme wear of all moving engine parts. The only way to get rid of soot is to change the engine oil and use a high-quality oil filter. Frequent oil service is the best thing you can do to extend the OM642 and OM651 engine life. We recommend changing the engine oil every 5,000 miles and replacing the Mercedes oil filter every 2,500 miles. Do this and the timing chain will last the life of the engine.

There is an adapter to use an aftermarket oil filter with three times the filtering capacity as the OEM Mercedes factory oil filter. The Mercedes cartridge oil filter removes soot particles down to 30 microns in diameter. The aftermarket oil filter removes soot particles down to 10 microns. With this better oil filter, both the engine oil and filter can be extended to every 5,000 miles.

Intake Manifolds

Intake manifold runners experience several problems, including actuator motor failure, worn actuator rods, and excessive carbon buildup in the intake passages.

The actuator motor failure and worn actuator rods are just a matter of wear from high mileage. There is no preventative action you can take. Repair requires actuator motor replacement and actuator rod replacement.

The Mercedes OM642 intake manifold carbon build is a progressive problem that affects engine performance. It is usually caused by not changing the engine oil frequently enough, and a lack of PCV maintenance.

Diagnosis of intake manifold carbon buildup usually happens when the owner complains of poor engine performance, or it is noticed by the technician when repairing the actuator motor or rods. Repair requires the removal of the intake manifold, using a chemical cleaner, then walnut-shell blasting to remove the baked-on carbon buildup.

The Mercedes BlueTEC engine has a PCV system that directs crankcase vapor into the turbocharger, where it is burnt by the engine. This design decreases emissions but creates a problem when hot oil vapor coats and bakes onto the inside of the air intake manifold turning into oil sludge and eventually hard carbon.

Intake manifold carbon buildup can be prevented with frequent oil changes, using high-quality engine oil, PCV valve replacement every 60K as routine maintenance, and checking the operation of the PCV system.

EGR Valves

EGR valves fail, and EGR passages become plugged with exhaust carbon deposits. This is a common problem with vehicles used mostly for short trips and idle for extended periods, such as in city traffic. The EGR valve passages carbon up, and the valve fails.

Repair requires EGR valve replacement and cleaning of the carbon-plugged EGR passages.

A minimum of 30 minutes of highway driving each week can prevent or delay most EGR problems.


Turbochargers fail in several ways, from worn or seized bearings to electronic actuator failures.

Sprinter Diesel Turbocharger bearing failures are common on vehicles that follow Mercedes extended oil change intervals. Changing engine oil more frequently will make the turbocharger last longer.

Turbocharger actuators fail mostly due to the high under-hood temperatures they operate under. Repair requires Mercedes OM642 OM651 turbocharger actuator replacement.

Glow Plugs

Mercedes OM642 and OM651 glow plugs wear out, and the glow plug control units fail. Sometimes the glow plugs will be seized in the cylinder head and will break off when the technician attempts to remove them, requiring addition repair time.

The OM642 glow plug problem results from the engine design and cannot be prevented. Repair requires glow plug replacement.

Complete Engine Failures

Complete engine failures are rare and are mostly caused by poor maintenance, or ignoring problems until the engine self-destructs. This very expensive problem can be prevented with regular oil and filter changes, and having problems checked and repaired as soon as possible.

Exhaust Emission Control Problems

The exhaust emission after-treatment components: catalysts, and DPF have a high failure rate.

Exhaust emission repairs are very expensive due to the labor involved for most repairs and the price of the replacement parts. Mercedes OM642 emission system can be minimized by limiting short trips and repairing any problems as soon as possible. Exhaust emission problems need to repair quickly so that they don't progress into larger problems. Emission system and DPF repair costs will escalate very quickly if ignored. Fixing the small things will prevent many large, expensive emission repairs!

OM642 & OM651 Service Tips:

  1. OM642 and OM651 diesel engines need to run hot. Short trips where the engine does not reach full operating temperature will cause many problems and shorten engine life. If your driving requires many short trips, you are strongly advised to take the vehicle for a 30-minute highway drive every week.

  2. Change the oil before the manufacturer's recommended service interval. We recommend an oil and filter change a minimum of every 5,000 miles. Some BlueTech diesel experts recommend changing the oil filter every 2,500 miles if using the factory Mercedes oil filter (see above note on using a better quality aftermarket oil filter). Change the oil and filter at least once yearly, even if you drive very little.

  3. Repair any concerns or problems as soon as possible. Often one failure will cause other parts to fail. Waiting or ignoring problems can add greatly to your BlueTec repair costs.

Bottom Line

The Mercedes 3L diesel is a good engine, but one that has high repair and service costs. If you neglect the maintenance, the repair costs will be significantly more!

Common Diesel Sprinter Van Problems

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter Injector Leak

Problem: Sprinter fuel injector hold-down bolts become loose or the seals erode, causing the injector seals to leak, producing black goo (coking) in the cylinder head injector compartment.
Repair: Can be a major repair, depending on how long it has progressed. Inspect injector compartment for leaks. Replace injector seals.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter Glow plug failure

Problem: Sprinter Glow plugs on T1N Sprinters can seize into the cylinder head, making Sprinter Glow plug replacement a major repair. The Engine Control Module (ECM) monitors the glow plugs, and can issue a fault for glow plug problems.
Repair: Glow plug replacement. NOTE: glow plugs should not be replaced based on just the ECM fault codes since these are often false error codes.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter Turbocharger Resonator Failure

Problem: Sprinter Turbo Resonator are made of plastic and the seal at a seam fails causing turbocharger boost pressure to be lost causing the computer to falsely signal a catastrophic turbo failure. The engine computer switches into Limp Home Mode which limits the vehicle speed to about 35 mph.
Repair: Turbo resonator replacement. A new plastic OEM resonator can be used, or an aftermarket Turbo resonator eliminator can be used.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter EGR valve oil leak

Problem: A black, oily film over the driver’s side of the engine. Caused by Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve dripping oil.
Repair: Sprinter EGR valve replacement every 70,000 miles.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter DEF heater failure

Problem: The Sprinter DEF tank heater element fails and causes a check engine light error code. In colder winter climates the DEF solution will freeze. The frozen DEF will cause an active start block countdown being initiated.
Repair: Sprinter DEF tank heater replacement.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter Oil Cooler Leak

Problem: Sprinter oil cooler seal leaks are common on 2007-present OM642 V6 engine. Manufacturer has updated oil cooler seals made from Viton material which increases their life.
Repair: Because of the oil cooler's difficult to reach location, the Sprinter oil cooler is an expensive repair. The turbocharger, intake manifold & more have to be removed to gain access to the oil cooler.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter Broken Exhaust Flex Pipe

Problem: Sprinter V6 diesel engine broken exhaust flex pipe will leak from the break and melt nearby wiring causing engine to shut off, start the DEF counter to become active, melt DEF nozzle and lines and often other issues. There usually no warning when the pipe breaks. With some Sprinter models the catalytic converter and flex pipe are replaced as an assembly.
Repair: Replacement of Sprinter flex pipe, repair the exhaust damaged wiring.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter DEF Fail To Start

Problem: DEF Start count down warning due issue with the DEF Adblue system. If DEF is not added and it runs dry, or NOX sensor fail, or any other components for DEF system fail the Sprinter will enter Start countdown mode.
Repair: It is very important that the Sprinter is serviced before DEF counts gets down to the last few counts because it gets more difficult & expensive to diagnose.

Dodge Mercedes-Benz Freightliner Volkswagen Sprinter DPF clogged restricted exhaust flow

Problem: Sprinter DPF clogged due to use of incorrect engine oil, faulty engine temperature sensor, swirl flap motor, EGR valve, or other issue preventing DPF regeneration. Sprinter restricted exhaust flow.
Repair: Sprinter's DPF unit replacement. Engine temperature sensor replacement, Swirl flap motor replacement, EGR valve replacement, or other problems preventing DPF regeneration.