Steering and Suspension
The Mercedes Sprinter is a light commercial workhorse and therefore high mileage or excessively loaded examples are particularly susceptible to increased wear of the front suspension arm ball joints and stabiliser links, which can lead to the premature failure of the component.
In addition, when replacing any of these items, FLG recommends they are changed in pairs as it likely that the corresponding component on the opposite side will have also suffered a similar amount of wear. The result of replacing just one side at a time can sometimes cause increased pressure and wear on the opposite hand and the subsequent risk of unpredictable handling characteristics.
Again, due to the nature of the work they generally undertake and the mileages they cover, the Sprinter has a healthy appetite for both brake pads and discs.
To reduce the effects of excessive wear to these components, FLG recommend technicians fit Borg & Beck BECKTEC coated discs. Incorporating the latest innovative technology, BECKTEC utilises a water based zinc and aluminium flake to increase the corrosion protection of the entire brake disc, including the braking surface and the inner vein structure. As well as its excellent corrosion resistance, the coating also improves the efficiency of the thermal exchange properties within the braking cycle, which means they deliver improved braking performance.
Technicians often overlook the cabin filter when servicing the Sprinter. Symptoms of a blocked filter include the windows misting up on the inside and poor performance from the interior heating/ventilation system, which is why FLG recommends the filter is replaced every 12 months.
Bearings can be another issue with the Sprinter with high mileage and high load examples requiring more regular wheel bearing replacement than average. The front wheel bearings are a Type 2.1 design bearing, which means they require special tooling to remove and refit.
If more than 17-tonnes of force is required to remove the old bearing, the knuckle must also be replaced. Once the bearing has been removed the technician must check the knuckle carefully to make sure there is no damage to the bore. On fitting the bearing, care must be taken to ensure the locking ring is fully located into the knuckle.
As with any rubber product, the material naturally degrades over time, but as turbo hoses are constantly exposed to large changes in temperature and pressure and can suffer from the effects of engine over-boosting and failing turbo oil seals, they are subject to high levels of stress, which along with contamination from oil and other common automotive chemicals, means they will eventually fail and need replacing.