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I have the 1st diesel promaster in the U.S. It operates in south florida. I have around 22,000 miles on it. I have had numerous silly problems with the vehicle but none of them overpowered my like of the fuel economy and load capacity so I just kept taking it to the Dealer almost every month for repairs. HOWEVER The latest problem had the glow plug light and the engine light on so I took it to the Dealer. They put the scanner on it and "IT NEEDS NEW GLOW PLUGS". Service bulletin says you must change all 4. One of them came right out, One of them broke off in the head and 2 of them mangled the threads so now they have to drop the motor. Now I get the call that they have to order a new head for it.......week 2 without my service vehicle. Week 3, the Tech is gone for a few days and the parts are still not in. Week 4 is almost up and we get a call that they are having problems getting the head off so it will be few more days.

I love the space and fuel economy.
I love the way it handles and drives.
I hate the way the tranny shifts.

I have a Lemon Law Claim for sure. My Vehicle is a complete custom build inside so it would take me 3 days of labor for myself and one of my guys to make the transfer of contents. So my questions are.....
1. What would you do?
2. Anyone know if I can make them pay me for the time to transfer if I choose to return the vehicle.
 

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I would doubt they will be persuaded to pay for the upfit transfer unless it was done as part of the purchase which I take yours was not. However it would seem to be a small cost for you compared to the time you have been without the vehicle. Read the small print and I bet it says “not responsible for additions......... etc.” That being said you raise a question for us diesel owners. Sooner or later we will need to replace the glow plugs and your tale is a scary one. Your mileage is the same as my ’15 and I have had ZERO issues. I’d try to do the buyback as you will end up with a better van. Sucks having the first in this case.
 

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Boy does this sound familiar! My 2014 2500 Promaster diesel was the first one to arrive in Maine. I got it in December 2014,now have about 35,696 miles on it,and it has been in and out of the dealer's since last winter on a regular basis with annoying error codes,lost of electronic glitches it seems...(details later). This summer it fried the AC compressor in the hottest week of July.This forced me to leave it with them for a few days--no parts it seemed--then when the got the new compressor in and road tested it,AC worked fine...but it threw and "Service Glow Plugs" warning during the road test.
To make a very long story shorter,the engine tested out to have one glow plug "bad",it broke off in the head when they tried to replace it.
Two calls later they,"...it will be a few days,we can't get the head off without pulling the engine"
Bottom line? Several weeks later -- New head and all injectors,glow plugs and fittings as they all broke off when they tried to remove them. Hello FCA? What is your engineering dept doing? Either you have wicked bad metal incompatibility or terrible torque wrench calibrations at the factory.
Some hickups with the new head/injectors,another trip to fix those...

To the credit of my dealer in Central Maine,they have bent over backwards to help me with loaner Promasters (low roof,ugh) as this is a business vehicle ,but this stream of error codes continues. They are great,and I recommend them all the time to people who ask about the van...but at this point I dunno if I'd say buy one of these again. I'd like to because I love the way the vehicle hauls and handles in snowy weather.

Latest was during a recent rain storm,two days after another visit for check engine codes,and it threw a "Service ETC- Service DEF - Service Engine- See Dealer " and flashed on the engine icon. It went into a weird mode where it would not downshift on hills automatically. I called dealer--can't get there today(they are two hours away) but will asap.They seemed to have no idea what was causing this. So a few days,and four restarts later , it went back to normal with no warning lights. Drove up today,another wasted 5 hrs of work time,and they checked it out to no avail. It has a "stored code" showing some sort of injector performance malady,but they have no idea why.
I am very very frustrated at this point.I love the vehicle,but come on....all these problems while the 36K basic warranty is almost up,and the reliability is getting more questionable every month? Where is FCA on all these problems?

A brand new van with less than 36K miles should not need a new computer brain,new head,e brake problem/fix sort of,door latch issues,all kinds of error codes fixed with a new ground lead.....and so on.
Anyone else have insights into how to deal with FCA on extending warranty coverages that they sure owe us all?
 

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The earliest diesels were either fine or a nightmare. The problems seemed to disappear in late 2014 with builds in November and December although a few problems were reported until about February 2015. Since then it is “normal” vehicle issues. A few CEL’s and the sort of things any complex machine will have. No engine failures yet and I wouldn’t classify yours needing a head as one either since the broken glow plugs caused the repair not the engine itself failing. All of us will need those glow plugs changed in the life of the engine so it is concerning that you had that issue. Lets hope FCA got that cured. I’m close to your miles with really no issues.
 

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As I wait for the 2017 Diesels to be released for ordering, I continue to wonder if I should just get a gasser. I've owned two diesels, a 2009 X5 and a 2012 Golf Wagon TDI. I loved the fuel economy and the torque of diesel, but stories like this and the cost of service on my X5 (traded it in needing a $3000 DEF preheater element IIRC) are starting to scare me. RH, I know you are a big fan of your diesel, but if you were starting again with a new build with you go diesel again? I don't want to turn this into a gas vs. diesel thread, just looking for some input.
 

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Just last night we got to thinking we might be tempted to retail off my diesel and selectively repurchase a 136" gasser with swivel seats... IF there is a demand for the diesels that give more than the $2700 residue value that Kelly's Blue Book claims. And I do mean RETAIL it.
 

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Why would you replace the bad glow plugs if you live in Florida? I had 2 out of 5 bad ones in my Sprinter that just would never come out. I just put an oil pan heater on it and it always started in the dead of winter outside (if I kept it plugged in, of course)! Is the glow plug requirement emissions related these days rather than having anything to do with cold weather starting?
 

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As I wait for the 2017 Diesels to be released for ordering, I continue to wonder if I should just get a gasser. .............CUT............ RH, I know you are a big fan of your diesel, but if you were starting again with a new build with you go diesel again? I don't want to turn this into a gas vs. diesel thread, just looking for some input.
I would get a diesel in a moment, even if I had to wait 8 months for it to be built. I LOVE this drive chain. I have had other diesels (few really) and when I fill it up, or when I look and I’ve gone 350 miles and it says 225 left on its range I grin. When the transmission shifts by itself, I grin, when I am on the interstate and it holds 6th gear all day, I grin. I know it will be nearly two more years before it has paid for itself but that has become irrelevant. I bought it because of its reputation for driving and it has been much better than I expected. When I realize I am riding along grinning I look over at Ms. RD and say, “I love this Van!” She grins.
I think the diesel is now giving less problems than the gasser but it is difficult to judge as there are so many more gassers represented here. Just try to find any serious issues mentioned here for diesels built from mid 2015 on. They are insignificant. I don’t criticize the gasser as I don’t have one and I don’t have much tolerance for those that criticize the diesel if they don’t have one either.
 

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RD, as you describe your pleasure, I can feel it. I can taste it. It's the same pleasure I get from the gasser. :D;):D

Isn't it grand that we both get what we want!
 

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Thanks RD! I got the same pleasure from the efficiency and drive-ability of my past diesels. I don't care if the payback due to the $6000 Cdn premium of diesel over gas ever pays for itself. I just love the idea of getting 1000km in a 6000lb non-aero vehicle. My only concern is the potential for unplanned emission control related expenses in 3-5 years. On a slightly related note, I took a look at the Ford Transit 250/350 Hi Roof, Extended body in diesel. However, in my opinion the Promaster seems to have the best footprint for a camper conversion. I predict I will end up ordering the PM.... I just don't know when that will be.
 

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I agree on that. This is a much better diesel than those too if my past experience is any guide.
I wish I knew what the long term issues will be in the emissions system will be, but nobody yet knows and we have few really long term diesels on the forum. In our gas cars the things like EGR valves, catalysts, sensors, turbos, and about everything else have become very reliable, service is about 100,000 miles. I know we have a particulate filter and a diesel exhaust fluid injector and sensors that don’t have such a long history but they are working and I don’t see why they should wear out if maintained properly. If they have a life, like timing chains and some other parts do, it may mean replacement in the long run. I hope the long run is about 200,000 miles.
 

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Just dropped off my 2014 diesel with 38,000 miles at the dealer. Had the "glow plug" light and service engine light on. Code showed #4 cylinder glow plug bad. stated earlier, "all 4 need to be changed" guess what? #4 is stuck in the head, 2 came out fine 1 took some work and the one stuck. Tech was working on it when i left. This is about the 7th visit to the dealer, the van has issues, mostly up until today they have been electronic. I would almost bet money the glow plug wasnt bad, it started fine here in NC. should have told him to leave it alone. love the van, hate the reliability. I am in the same boat with a very extensive build out mostly finished (was going to post all pics of build when completed) would love to let them have it back and get a new one. I guess if they have to drop the engine that will be the last straw
 

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In modern diesel glow plugs became longer over years (and so more fragile).
A technitian should take extra care when servicing the diesel glow plugs, the intervention should be done with warm enough engine (so the aluminium head expands most), fluid to facilitate extraction, using a dynamometric key to not exceed break torque values as in glow plug technical sheet.
If engine head temperature goes down it should be warmed again, for example, running the engine for a while.

The "problem" is that it takes time and patience.

The recommended procedures can be found in glow plugs manufacturers websites such as Bosch, Beru, ...
 

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In modern diesel glow plugs became longer over years (and so more fragile).
A technitian should take extra care when servicing the diesel glow plugs, the intervention should be done with warm enough engine (so the aluminium head expands most), fluid to facilitate extraction, using a dynamometric key to not exceed break torque values as in glow plug technical sheet.
If engine head temperature goes down it should be warmed again, for example, running the engine for a while.

The "problem" is that it takes time and patience.

The recommended procedures can be found in glow plugs manufacturers websites such as Bosch, Beru, ...
so far he has about 10 hours working on 1! glow plug.....
on a 2 year old engine they should come right out.....
as someone mentioned, bad metal or bad engineering
 

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Most modern diesel engines have aluminium alloy heads, so subject to higher dilatation than other materials.
The glow plugs for direct injection engines are very long, not short as were with prechamber diesel engines and now heads are more complex.

All glow plug manufacturers recommends to remove plugs at engine working temperature and taking attention to break torque. To clean carefully the threads once removed, To plug at specified torque, ... ...

Than it happens sometimes that some plug are broken, even before entering in the workshop.
Some technitians, when possible, use extraction kits that are available for every engine manufacturer and brand.
The first extraction kits for diesel engines, if I remember well, were for Mercedes CDI engines.
 

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last glow plug out, threads buggered up so a new head installed, engine not dropped..... supposed to do a 2500 mile trip in 2 weeks, should be interesting
 

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Since had some time I searched for some videos I watched time ago.

Glow plug tips and tricks for the ones looking to change them themselves

For broken glow plugs there are kits for extraction and/or rethreading original thread and/or install a threaded in the damaged head.
There are many different kits, this is an example of one used on a Fiat Ducato.
 

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Agggh. I hope to avoid that. BUT try to get your spark plugs out of a modern gas engine after 140 k miles when they finally fail. They too break off. I have a friend who broke THREE in his 5.4 L F150 before he called me. I suggested he use anti-seize next time and service it at about 80k. No way a glow plug should seize in that time.
 

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Should we be putting a few drops of Mobil-1 or similar high temp synthetic oil down the necks of the glow plugs as preventative maintenance, as insurance against the threads/shafts getting carbon bound or corrosion welded in place?

I'm hating thinking what Minnesota liquid highway ice melt chemicals plus Acid Rain are doing out there right now...
 
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