Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

June 12, 2012

Van Maintenance

I've been reading a lot of Sprinter-source in the last couple of weeks to get the details on what maintenance my van needs.  I have put on a little over 9,000 miles since I bought it and it was supposed to have had it's maintenance done just before I bought it.  I probably shouldn't have trusted that it was done, but I did.  I checked the oil level and it still looks good.  I had it in my mind that the oil was good for 10K miles and didn't think about the time.

A lot of the Sprinter vans have a computer called the ASSYST that tell you when things need to be done.  I don't think mine has it.  I turned the key like the manual said to but, nothing happened like it said it would if I had the ASSYST.  That might be a bit of  a blessing as it would need to be reset after doing the maintenance if I had it.  That will make doing the maintenance easier and it won't nag at me if I couldn't reset it properly.

I'm supposed to change the 9.5 qts. of oil every 10K miles or every year.  I got the long list of approved oil for my Sprinter, copied it to my spreadsheets, then decided it would be a lot easier to use if I excised the oils that are actually available in the US and didn't have to plow thru all those oils that are for other countries.  That made a 2 page list that I could take to the store and be sure I got the right kind.  Then I found the maintenance list in the manual and I'm also supposed to change the fuel filter as well as the oil filter.  I seen reports that it costs anywhere from $150-300 for the oil change.  That seems like a lot of money when the plug and filter is so accessible.  How hard can it be?
The oil pan is easily accessible
Then I got to thinking that I put a Fumoto valve on my car years ago that makes changing the oil a lot easier and cleaner.  So I searched for what people thought about doing that on the Sprinter, and most thought it great.  So, I ordered one of those along with the fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, and cabin air filter.  I took a peek at the air filter and it looked pretty good but I might as well have one on hand.

There's a fellow known as Doktor A who puts out tech warnings on the forums and he warned about some oil filters not being very good and sluffing off fibers.  One of the filters that he cited as ok was the Hengst.  I found that on Amazon.com and it came the day after I ordered it, to my great surprise.  I toddled off to Wally World to get oil and found Valvoline synthetic that was on my list for $26/5qt jug.  I picked up 2 big jugs.  I ordered the other filters last Thursday and the air filter came Saturday.  The rest should be here tomorrow.  I need to go to an auto parts store and pick up a couple clamps for the fuel filter, then I'll be set to start the maintenance work.

I found detailed instructions on  Sprinter-source for all the maintenance, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do it all.  The heat is supposed to abate after a rain storm so that should be a good time to do it.


  1. Never say that again.

    Just kidding! I understood the part where you said "2 big jugs," although I didn't think this was that kind of blog. Not that I'm judging.

    1. Thanks for a morning laugh!


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