Fuel Filter Maintenance Alert
The Solera fuel filter, per the owner's manual, is to be changed every 20,000 miles. I just had a bad experience involving that maintenance item I thought I should alert other Solera owners to.
There is no Freightliner or Mercedes Sprinter facility anywhere near me. I called our local Ford dealer, and he told me he does Sprinter maintenance and could handle the periodic maintenance on my Solera. I had him do the 10K maintenance, all seemed okay, so I had him do the 20K maintenance when that came do.
About 9000 miles after the 20K maintenance (while we were approaching Oklahoma City) we suddenly lost power. Got the Solera to the Oklahoma City Freightliner facility. On investigation, they found that a seal on a large air hose - which has to be removed to access the fuel filter, and was therefore removed and replaced by Ford at the 20K maintenance - had been improperly re-installed, and had been sucked into the turbocharger - destroying the turbo. They replaced the turbocharger, the charge cooler, the large air hose, the seal that did the damage, and did the 30K maintenance with a fuel filter replacement. As the damage was caused by improper installation of the seal / air hose by Ford, not covered by warranty. They got us back on the road in 24 hours - and the vehicle ran well on the trip back to California - kudos to OK City Freightliner! I'm currently in contact with Ford to attempt to get reimbursed for the job.
So - if you do your own PM's on your Solera, or use an independent or other non-Freightliner/Mercedes facility, be extremely careful with the turbo air hose and the seal between the hose and the turbo - which must be removed to access the fuel filter. The tech at OK City Freightliner said he always replaces the air hose seal to the turbo when he does a fuel filter change. The hose clamp installation is also critical, I understand. Big expensive (over $3K) mess if done improperly and lets go - as mine did.
2012 Solera "S"
Calif SF Bay Area