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The Dodge Sprinter 3500, marketed in North America from 2003 to 2009, is a high-roof, light commercial vehicle spanning two generations. Initially designed to replace predecessor vans, it borrowed components from parallel models, with distinguishing features in badge and minor styling elements. The Sprinter 3500 was powered by a 2.7L I5 OM 612/ OM 647 CDI engine, outputting 156 hp. In the 2006 model year, a 2.7-liter inline, five-cylinder turbodiesel engine was introduced, boasting 154 hp and 243 lb-ft torque. 2007 saw the addition of a standard 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 and an optional 3.5-liter gasoline V6, producing 154 hp, 280 lb-ft torque and 254 hp, 250 lb-ft torque respectively. The first-generation model came standard with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Assembled primarily in Düsseldorf, Germany, parts were partially disassembled and shipped to Gaffney, South Carolina for reassembly. The Sprinter 3500 boasted fuel efficiency of approximately 25 mpg and towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The 2007 model was available in multiple body style choices, including two wheelbases (144 and 170 inches), two body lengths (233 and 273 inches), and two roof heights (standard and high), with varying seating arrangements and a passenger capacity of 12 in the 2009 edition. The Dodge Sprinter 3500, a classic passenger van model, was manufactured exclusively for the North American market.
The Dodge Sprinter 3500 has been identified with three primary issues faced by its users. Firstly, it's notorious for the "Limp Home Mode", impacting its turbocharged diesel versions. Triggered by the Engine Control Unit (ECU) when it detects anomalies like irregular boost readings in the turbocharger system, this mode causes a significant decrease in the turbocharger pressure and fueling. The engine subsequently runs at much lower power than usual, with symptoms like sudden drops in power, challenges in acceleration, especially uphill, an RPM limitation of 3,000 in certain models, and an ability to momentarily alleviate the condition by restarting the vehicle. Contrary to initial impressions, a malfunctioning turbocharger isn't the primary culprit. More often, the problem sources from blocked air filters that hamper the turbocharger's boost pressure or from leaks in the intercooler and turbocharger hoses, which disrupt the maintenance of the requisite boost pressure. These leaks are typically visible at hose fittings, identifiable by a black residue. Particularly in the V6 models, the common leakage area is around the green o-ring on the turbocharger. Curved hoses might exhibit splits when pressurized and should be swapped out, as oil vapors can render adhesive repairs ineffective. Secondly, the 2019 version of the Sprinter has had frequent complaints regarding its security alarm going off unexpectedly, predominantly during evenings or at sundown. Although it's assumed that this is connected to the motion sensors, deactivating them as per the user manual doesn't rectify the situation. An observation revealed the alarm stays inactive during daylight but often triggers after sunset or in pitch darkness. Attempts to cover these sensors reduced false alarms, but the problem still exists, especially around dusk. It's speculated that the sensors or connectors might be defective or sensitive to temperature changes. The motion detection technology, possibly the Passive Infrared Detectors (PIR), could also be influenced by heat or sunlight, questioning its reliability in specific conditions. Thirdly, another challenge is that the engine sometimes refuses to shut down, especially after being subjected to cold environments like during overnight snow camping. This glitch may arise due to moisture intrusion in the Electronic Ignition System (EIS) module located on the lower a-pillar on the driver's side. Excessive condensation inside the vehicle, especially on the front windshield, could result in moisture seeping down the a-pillar and the wire loom, contaminating the EIS module. In extreme cases, disconnecting the main chassis ground is the only way to turn off the vehicle, but moisture damage might mean the van refuses to start again. Remedies vary from pressing the ignition button longer to inspecting and re-plugging the fuse for the instrument cluster located in the passenger footwell.
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