Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek - 2047
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Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek - 2047

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Not Starting - How To Troubleshoot and Fix

There are many reasons why a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter may fail to start. It could be the result of a dead battery, leaking fuel pump, faulty ignition switch/lock cylinder, a broken starter motor, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about common reasons for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's not starting and solutions to those issues.

Common Reasons Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's Won't Start?

The first telltale sign of a starter motor problem is when you turn the ignition key and the engine does not start.


Dead Battery

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter starter motor problems may be evident when you turn the ignition key and the engine does not start.

Your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's battery is responsible for providing electrical power to your engine and dashboard components. It is very easy to tell if you have a dead battery. Is your interior dashboard lighting up when cranking the ignition switch? Is your radio and AC system turning on? If not, then the battery is likely dead. 

If you are experiencing a dead battery, here are some steps you can take to fix it:

  1. Locate another vehicle with a working battery and pull it alongside the vehicle with the dead battery, ensuring enough distance to connect a pair of jumper cables.
  2. Place both vehicles in Park.
  3. Locate the positive (red) and negative (black) cables on your dead car's battery.
  4. Retrieve a pair of jumper cables. Connect your red (positive) jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery, which should be marked with a POS" or "+".
  5. Attach the other red cable to the other vehicle's positive terminal and connect one of the black clips to the other vehicle's negative terminal. Be sure to rest your last black clip on an unpainted metal surface. Failing to do so could cause your engine compartment to spark and ignite on fire.
  6. Apply a few cranks of the dead battery vehicle's ignition switch until the engine turns on.

Note: Do not turn off the vehicle as soon as you detect a working battery. Drive around the block for five to ten minutes to help the battery recharge.


Faulty Ignition Switch

Another reason for failure to start may be caused by Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ignition switch problems.

Located in your dashboard or steering column, the ignition switch is responsible for providing power to your vehicle's components. This includes your AC system, warning lights, and instrument cluster. Watch for clicking or grinding noises when turning the ignition key.

Failure to replace a faulty ignition switch could result in permanent failure to start your vehicle until it is repaired or replaced.

If you decide to troubleshoot and replace your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's ignition switch on your own, you will first need to access the switch behind your key cylinder, located in your dashboard or steering column.

It also requires loosening a negative battery cable clamping bolt to remove it from the battery, loosening screws from your steering column's cover or dash panel, removing the upper steering column cover, and removing the key lock cylinder and ignition switch. Some key lock cylinders have different layouts (bolt in place, the key to run position, and locking tabs configurations vary). You will need to figure out which layout your vehicle has to remove it. Make sure to get a new OEM Mercedes-Benz ignition switch when it comes time to replace your old one. 


Clogged Fuel Filter

Fuel tanks attract plenty of contaminants and debris. Enough clogging and gas will not be able to reach your pump. Generally, you should replace your fuel filters every 150,000 miles or more often depending on driving conditions.

Replacing your fuel filter requires removing your fuel pump fuse from the fuse box, reducing fuel line pressure, disconnecting the fuel lines, and replacing the fuel pump's fuse. If you are not comfortable performing these steps, please visit your local certified Mercedes-Benz technician/dealership. Make sure to shop here on the Mercedes-Benz National store for any Mercedes-Benz fuel filters you need. 

In short, there are a variety of reasons why a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will not start. Some of the most common reasons are faulty ignition switches, dead batteries, and a clogged fuel filter. Don't forget to have your key fob nearby. Without your key fob inside or close to the vehicle, it will not start.