Mercedes Sprinter Not Starting – What To Do?

The Mercedes Sprinter is one of the most reliable vehicles you can trust. They can last you a long time without much trouble. But like most vehicles, there comes a time where something goes wrong. More specifically, the Sprinter won't start. If you're wondering why that's the case, let's look at some of the common causes. 

The reason your Mercedes Sprinter won't start will vary from case to case. There are many factors to consider. Instances like your environment, how frequently you use the vehicle, and more matter in finding out why it won't start again. Regardless, here are some of the common causes you should look for: 

  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Dead battery
  • Faulty ignition switch

Now that you know the common causes, there's still the aspect of doing the repairs. Additionally, you might want to find out more about why it's not starting. Of course, these cases won't all apply to your situation. So, if you'd like to get to the specifics, keep reading ahead. 

A huge black Mercedes Sprinter, Mercedes Sprinter Not Starting - What To Do?

Clogged Fuel Filter

If you've been driving for a while, it might be time to take a look at the fuel filter. In general, the fuel tank will attract a ton of debris and contaminants over time.

Once you let the buildup amount considerably, gas won't be able to reach your pump. As some recommend, you should replace your fuel filter every 150,000 miles or so. 

Of course, we can't determine this case applies to your situation. So, to find out if this is your problem, let's go over some signs of a clogged fuel filter. 

Engine Performance

The first sign of a clogged fuel filter is noticeable in your engine's performance. If you've noticed your engine was hesitating, spurging, or sputtering in the past, a clogged fuel filter could be the cause. 

Hard Starting

The second sign would be a hard start. In this situation, the engine does not hinder the ability of your Sprinter to start. Instead, you'll notice a few hiccups than usual. For example, you might have to crank the car more than usual before the engine starts.

System Part Failures

As you might guess, when one part goes wrong, the others will try to compensate for it. In this instance, the pump will attempt to counterbalance the clogged fuel filter by increasing fuel pump pressure. So, the pump will overheat and fail trying to do so. 

From here, a clogged fuel filter will also allow dirt to pass. As a result, you might have clogged fuel injectors. They won't be able to open or close completely. 

The Fix

If you're new to car maintenance, the answer you might expect is to clean the filter to get it working back as usual. But, for fuel filters, that isn't the case. You'll need to replace the whole thing.

If you're not sure what that entails, it means disassembling your entire fuel system to clean the surrounding area and replace the filter. 

Dead Battery

The battery is another crucial component to check if your car is not starting. The sign of a dead battery is an evident one. If you turn your ignition key and the engine doesn't start, you might have a dead battery. 

The battery plays a role in powering a lot of components in your vehicle. Other signs you can notice are evident on parts like the interior dashboard, radio, or AC. Is the interior dashboard lighting up? Are the AC and radio able to turn on? 

If you answer no, a dead battery might apply to your situation. So, let's take a look at what you can do. 

Jumpstarting the Sprinter

You should test if the battery is still working. To do so, you will need to:

  1. Get another car with a working battery. Set it in an area where it's close enough to connect to the dead one. You will be attaching a pair of jumper cables to each battery. 
  2. Make sure both vehicles are in "Park."
  3. Locate the red and black cables on the dead battery. Red represents positive, while black represents negative. 
  4. Using jumper cables, connect the red capable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. You can find it by locating a POS or + symbol. 
  5. Attach the other red cable to the other vehicle's positive terminal. Take the black cable and attach it to the other vehicle's negative terminal. 
  6. You won't need to clip the last black cable. So, set it aside on an unpainted metal surface. If you don't, the engine can spark and cause a fire.
  7. Finally, try to start the vehicle with the dead battery. Once the engine turns on, drive around for five to ten minutes. This way, you help the battery recharge. 

If your battery doesn't start after a jump, you'll need to replace the battery. Depending on your situation, you might also need to call a towing service to deliver your vehicle to a repair shop or your home. 

Faulty Ignition Switch

Finally, the other problem on our list is a faulty ignition switch. It's a crucial component for any car. The ignition switch provides power to multiple parts in your Sprinter.

The problem will be evident when you turn the ignition key. If you notice grinding or clicking, you will have to troubleshoot the ignition key. 

Regardless of your plan of action, you won't be able to start the Sprinter until it is fixed or replaced. Replacing the ignition switch isn't the most DIY-friendly task. So, if this applies to your situation, it's best if you seek professional assistance. 

What Would Cause My Mercedes Sprinter Not To Start?

There could be many reasons why your Mercedes Sprinter is not starting. Why your car may not start is dependent on your situation. Since we can't diagnose your vehicle, we can do our best to narrow down the places you can look. 

As some suggest, there are three components that you can inspect. The first would be the battery. It is the culprit of your problem 38% of the time. 

The next component to check on would be the alternator. The alternator comes in as the culprit 27% of the time. 

Lastly, the starter could be your troublemaker. It comes in as the problematic component 20% of the time. However, one thing to keep in mind, this situation applies to a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500. 

Regardless of the situation, the fix for most of these cases would be to replace the component causing the problem. Some are easy to do yourself. Otherwise, you'd have to seek professional help to do the job for you. 

How Do You Reset a Mercedes Sprinter Van?

Resetting your Mercedes Sprinter van's service light starts with a few steps. Most importantly, you'll have to address any problems that your van is having. The service light gets triggered when the vehicle needs to be serviced. 

After you fix the problems, you can reset the service light without requiring any special tools. From here, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start by inserting your key into the ignition. You want to set it to the "ON" position. However, don't start the engine yet. Locate the speedometer and tachometer displays. It should be near the instrument panel. 
  2. Press the button located at the lower left part of the steering wheel.
  3. Go back to the instrument panel. Find and press the reset button. It should be near the left side of it. Hold the button for three seconds before releasing it. 
  4. Press the reset button a second time. However, this time you'll have to hold it until the display indicates it has been reset. Then, turn off the vehicle and wait 60 seconds. 
  5. Finally, confirm it was reset by switching on the engine. The service light should not be on anymore. 

How Do You Jumpstart Mercedes Sprinter Diesel?

We mention how to jumpstart a Mercedes Sprinter under the dead battery section.

But sometimes words aren't enough. You might need visual guidance to ensure you follow the steps correctly. So, if you need assistance, here's a YouTube video to help: 

Why Won't the Ignition Key Turn in My Sprinter Van?

Once again, there could be many reasons why you could be having this problem. It may sound annoying at this point. But, let's narrow down what we can do

The first problem you might run into is a locked steering wheel. In this case, you'll want to move the steering wheel around as you turn the key. It's crucial to note that you should not force the key into the ignition. Some patience will be necessary for this procedure. 

In other cases, you'll have to look out for:

  • Discharged battery
  • Defective key tumbler
  • Defective switch system
  • The key itself
  • ECU malfunction

Some situations might call for a replacement component. Otherwise, there will be more troubleshooting to determine what's the cause of the problem. 

Final Takeaway

Mercedes Sprinters can last you a long while. But, that won't always be the case. In these situations, it's crucial that you prepare yourself to find out what could be causing the problem. We hope you found the information above helpful. 

Before you go, do you have other questions regarding the Mercedes Sprinter? Are you wondering if it has cruise control? Check out our post here, where we cover the topic in detail. 

Are you also wondering if the Sprinter is 4WD or AWD? You can find out more by checking out our post here. Until next time! 

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