Automatic transmissions are the backbone of your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, allowing your transmission's gears to produce the correct amount of torque based on driving speed. Without it, shifts in speed would be virtually impossible and cause premature wear and tear on your engine due to consistently high RPMs.
Other issues related to automatic transmission problems on your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter include sluggish acceleration, excessive gear slipping, and stalling, especially when climbing uphill.
Keep reading to learn more about Sprinter automatic gearbox problems, common issues with Sprinter's automatic transmission, and solutions to these issues.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Defective Automatic Transmission Symptoms
Leaking Transmission Fluid
A defective transmission could dispel transmission fluid, which could be due to a puncture pan or loose plugs. Transmission pans routinely get blasted by debris and rocks on the road, causing damage over time.
Other causes of transmission leaks include broken transmission seals in your input and output shafts or a cracked pan gasket due to overheating.
To troubleshoot, watch for an amber-colored puddle pooling under your vehicle as a tell-tale sign. Watch your vehicle's acceleration when going up or downhill. Does it feel sluggish? Do you hear grinding noises while driving? This may be an indication it is time to replace your transmission fluid.
If your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's transmission pan is defective, it may be time to replace it. Replacing a transmission pan involves replacing your gasket and filter, which is preceded by draining the transmission fluid and capped off with checking for leaks and test driving to ensure proper acceleration.
Low Fluid Levels
Another symptom of an automatic transmission malfunction with your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a burning smell from your transmission, which is most likely due to low fluid levels. Transmission fluids are integral in keeping your transmission properly lubricated to prevent overheating.
In short, overheating is the leading cause of automatic transmission failures, thanks to old transmission fluid that needs to be replaced. Checking for low transmission fluid levels is a relatively straightforward process using a dipstick tool.
Check Engine Light turns on
When your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's Check Engine Light turns on, it may be indicative of a larger problem. A Mercedes-Benz certified technician/dealership could conduct a proper diagnosis of the issue.
In this case, you or your licensed Mercedes-Benz technician/dealership would use an ODB II scanner to read fault codes in your vehicle's computer. Transmission-specific codes are stored in your engine's control unit and detect outliers such as low battery voltage. When purchasing an ODB II scanner, please ensure compatibility with your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Some scanners may not be able to read trouble codes from older model transmission control units and may require a 38 pin connector.
Broken Oil Cooler Hose and Broken Oil Pressure Switch
Your oil cooler hose is responsible for managing your engine oil and transmission temperatures from the radiator. If your oil cooler hose is defective, it could cause your engine to overheat. Replace your old oil cooler hose with a new OEM Mercedes-Benz oil cooler hose. Similarly, oil pressure switches read hydraulic pressure levels. If you detect sluggish acceleration out of second gear or irregular shifting, it may be time to replace your oil pressure switch.
Avoiding Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transmission and Transmission Fluid Problems
As a general rule, transmission fluid service should be conducted every 40,000 miles or sooner depending on driving conditions. In the event you want to do this yourself, be sure to purchase replacement OEM Mercedes-Benz transmission components here on the Mercedes-Benz National Parts Store and visit a licensed Mercedes-Benz technician if the part cannot be repaired or if the issue is too complicated for you to address.
All in all, your automatic transmission is an integral part of your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's operation. Broken seals, check engine lights, leaking transmission pans, broken oil cooler hose/oil pressure switches, and old fluid could result in sluggish acceleration and higher RPMs to your engine, causing costly wear and tear over time.