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Old 06-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
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Newby Diesel - some things I would have like to know

Some things you have to learn on your own. But - I will pass them on in case it saves you some head scratching.

1. DEF. Never heard of it before except in reading the manual. Certainly not from the Campworld dealer. Finally, a nice guy at Jiffy Lube showed me how to check all the fluid levels. I heard that you had to fill DEF every two gas fill-ups. Ok, that wasn't true. Also, there is no fluid level dipstick like with engine oil. So, what to do? What I did was buy a gallon of DEF and a funnel and carry them along. When the DEF light came on I put in a gallon of DEF at the next fuel stop and it took the whole gallon. That was about 2500 miles. I plan to just keep doing that unless I hear differently.

2. Jump starting. Never hope to need it, but have to know how. The access to the chassis batteries is under the driver seat floor and requires a star shaped screwdriver. That would be a bummer if you need a jump. Turns out there is easy access from the engine compartment. A clearly marked post with a red cover is the positive. A negative post is on the driver side wall. The trick is you twist the red cover a quarter turn, but it doesn't stay in - it is held in place by the jumper cable clamp.

Although still some what fuzzy on this I believe there is a trickle charge to the chassis battery as well as the coach batteries when plugged into shore power.

3. High Winds. Two warning lights come on - an image of a rotating tire and a car going into a skid. In the Trouble Shooting section of the Sprinter manual - these lights have multiple meaning, which created quite a panic. We stopped and restarted after a short time and the lights went off. The Mercedes Dealer told me later that the warning lights are doing what they supposed to do. When you are fighting the wind, these lights show a problem with the anti-skid system (Don't recall if that is the correct name). So, you can keep driving and realize that the winds are indeed a possible issue, or stop driving. Since we were crossing Wyoming we had no choice - there is always the likelihood of strong winds in Wyoming. I kept going at 50-55 MPH, which is not fun but felt save.

Hope this helps someone else. Cheers, Steve
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by steveboise6 View Post
Some things you have to learn on your own. But - I will pass them on in case it saves you some head scratching.

1. DEF. Never heard of it before except in reading the manual. Certainly not from the Campworld dealer. Finally, a nice guy at Jiffy Lube showed me how to check all the fluid levels. I heard that you had to fill DEF every two gas fill-ups. Ok, that wasn't true. Also, there is no fluid level dipstick like with engine oil. So, what to do? What I did was buy a gallon of DEF and a funnel and carry them along. When the DEF light came on I put in a gallon of DEF at the next fuel stop and it took the whole gallon. That was about 2500 miles. I plan to just keep doing that unless I hear differently.

2. Jump starting. Never hope to need it, but have to know how. The access to the chassis batteries is under the driver seat floor and requires a star shaped screwdriver. That would be a bummer if you need a jump. Turns out there is easy access from the engine compartment. A clearly marked post with a red cover is the positive. A negative post is on the driver side wall. The trick is you twist the red cover a quarter turn, but it doesn't stay in - it is held in place by the jumper cable clamp.

Although still some what fuzzy on this I believe there is a trickle charge to the chassis battery as well as the coach batteries when plugged into shore power.

3. High Winds. Two warning lights come on - an image of a rotating tire and a car going into a skid. In the Trouble Shooting section of the Sprinter manual - these lights have multiple meaning, which created quite a panic. We stopped and restarted after a short time and the lights went off. The Mercedes Dealer told me later that the warning lights are doing what they supposed to do. When you are fighting the wind, these lights show a problem with the anti-skid system (Don't recall if that is the correct name). So, you can keep driving and realize that the winds are indeed a possible issue, or stop driving. Since we were crossing Wyoming we had no choice - there is always the likelihood of strong winds in Wyoming. I kept going at 50-55 MPH, which is not fun but felt save.

Hope this helps someone else. Cheers, Steve
Ty!
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve! Very helpful to know.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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I'm carrying a 3 gallon jug of DEF with me this year on our trip. Been filling it up after about 1000 miles takes about 1 gallon. I've heard that the DEF tank is 3 gallons? I didn't know about the jump start in the hood until I posted a picture here on the forum and someone enlighten me.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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Pretty sure the DEF tank is 3.6 gallons. When we started, obviously there was no DEF, then the first system had a 7 gallon tank that went...right where we put our generator. So we had to redesign...then they moved it to the engine compartment in a 3.6 gallon size, had to redesign but at least they gave us a storage compartment back.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Pretty sure the DEF tank is 3.6 gallons. When we started, obviously there was no DEF, then the first system had a 7 gallon tank that went...right where we put our generator. So we had to redesign...then they moved it to the engine compartment in a 3.6 gallon size, had to redesign but at least they gave us a storage compartment back.
Before we took delivery on our 2013 Solera, I wanted to learn everything I could about the Mercedes chassis. So, I downloaded some information and started reading. I was particularly interested in the DEF system, and read that the filler for the DEF was along the curb side (as you stated). When we took delivery, I looked all over for that filler, and of course couldn't find it. Duhhhhh.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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I was told by someone that it was a 3 gallon tank, can't say I seen anything about it's size posted with the material that came with it. Know one thing for sure I always keep some DEF with me to fill up if needed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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Remember with the DEF to clean it up from all surfaces of vehicle if you happen to splash. Also flush your skin thoroughly if you get it on you. Usually the DEF comes with a spout that will prohibit overfilling
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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Red face Def

When we purchased our 2014 Solera, we asked about DEF and the RV dealer said we didn't need it. We asked him if he was sure about that and he looked under the hood and said "No, you don't need it." Do we or don't we?
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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I believe all modern low sulfur diesels require it to meet pollution standards
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