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Discussion Starter #1
Joined the forum to educate myself about the PM. I am not sure if I will buy one, maybe one day. Today's diesels are way too complicated and the added robotic manual transmission is an additional time bomb ready to explode one day. I still think that the mechanics in this country are not well trained to maintain these Euro vans and instead of building them simpler and easier to work on they are a night mare of electronic jungle that the average Joe at the Dodge shop has no idea on how to work and use the technology. Couldn't they just put a regular manual transmission that the rest of the world uses for thousands of years and has been bullet proof is something that I can't put around my head to understand and they've been developing this van for NA market since 2009? If the new vans are built more complicated the more problems will occur and more trips to the dealer equals more frustrations for the owners, but with this in mind they are the perfect golden eggs hen for the stealership.

I start my introduction by expressing my frustration with the NA market and I don't feel the need to be apologetic. Owning a 2005 Sprinter that's starting to show some aging signs brings me to think about the replacement options, but the more I read about the long term expense of the new and very complicated because of emission requirements Sprinters and the flimsy other options on the market I honestly don't think that at the moment I could find a viable replacement. Hopefully if a long term ownership of the PM proofs to be a reliable option I might reconsider and change my view.

Cheers and happy trouble free miles to everyone who reads this post!
 

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There are many ex-Sprinters owners here and very, very few would ever consider trading this Promaster in for another Sprinter (including me)!

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome,
Kind of a downer post though. I hope you read here and see how well this van is working for most of its owners. Complainers and problems get most of the attention on any forum so be prepared. BTW automated manual transmissions have been around quite a while now and have proven to be a very good option on even large trucks. This one works well and we have owners with 100K+ miles and no issues. I think the diesel emissions are becoming a mature technology and your concerns are a result of the recent more stringent NOX reductions. Gas engines have lots of that black box mystery electronics and no one is bothered. We live in the golden age of internal combustion! Well running engines, clean emissions, power galore, and 100K tuneups. Brighten up, enjoy the good life! We will help you through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks guys. I was coming to my conclusions based on a very extensive article published by a Sprinter owner who has a fleet of over 50 of the new Sprinters, the one made after 2007. The writer realized that many Sprinter shops couldn't figure out the different codes and properly diagnose the problems he experienced, problems that for most part were caused by the new emission system, I guess the DPF. These problems usually become evident after the 100k mark. The cost of repairs were very often over 10k US$ per vehicle and the repaired vehicles were not as reliable, blaming incompetency on the shop mechanics. In comparison my Sprinter is the i 5 diesel that is much more forgiving on fuel and very easy to work on, plus I am getting around 20 mpg on average or better. The only reason I started thinking about a new buy is that some small rust started showing, hence my concern. My Sprinter was imported with the Dodge logo and my experience working with Dodge dealers has been also a mixed bag. Purchasing parts had never been a problem, but the only one time in my 10 years ownership of the vehicle that I had to resolute to a Dodge dealer my experience was not very pleasant. I left the van for transmission diagnostic on Saturday afternoon, on Monday morning I went to pick up my Sprinter and the windshield was cracked across the whole length, the dealership refused to pay for the damage and calling Dodge main office produce nothing. How could you trust a company as big as Dodge that refused to pay for damage caused to your vehicle by their own shop?

I like the concept of the PM and that's the reason I joined the forum, but my negativity is based on my experience working with Dodge and the experience of others including forum members here who got frustrated with the inability of shops to properly resolve their problems costing time and money. I hope I am wrong in my assessment and as I said in my initial post I will continue visiting this forum to gain more info before I comite to buy one of this handsome vans.
 

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As you know only select Dodge/Ram dealers sell the Promaster. These dealers are generally "Business Link" dealers that have the equipment, tools, high roofs over lifts, and trained people to handle the Promaster. Although not a business, my experience with my dealer in southeast Virginia has been excellent from the beginning of the sales process through the latest service.

This forum like the Sprinter forum attracts those who have complaints. The happy silent majority seldom follow a forum like this. Early Promasters had some problems and there were a few recalls. My 2015 was built in early 2015 part way through that model year production year. I have had no significant problems. From following this forum I get the impression that problems have been ironed out and that current production vans are as reliable as the competition.

I have a gasser. I continue each day to be impressed with the economic front wheel drive and crisp handling. It drives very much like a car.

I have previously owned 2 Sprinters with the V6 diesel. I am far happier with the Promaster gasser.
 

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I have no argument to you keeping the I-5 diesel. I looked for one used and found that I had to take one with 300++K miles or rusty as **** to afford one, and finally I realized it didn’t pay to buy a nice used diesel if it was going to be 2/3 the price of a new van and 12 years old, some rust, huge miles. The latter ones scared me. You might just get the rust fixed if you are good to go otherwise. You are right, yours will run any oil that will flow, last forever (transmission exempted) and rust away, but you can do that for a while I bet.
We had lots of codes and a few EGR and possibly turbo issues in the first 9 months but now NO ONE is having diesel trouble. There will always be one or two issues as this is a complex machine but beyond that NADA. Ram dealers seem to be getting up to speed on parts, recalls, service, and training. My dealer has been great! YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the positive notes. I am happy that through discussions like this we can educate our self and help each other to resolve problems. I will definitely follow the forum anduse other sources to get an idea on how the PM performs. I should also take one for a ride to be honest with myself and decide if I want one of these unique vans.

Cheers and happy mileage!
 

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Regarding diesel emissions, I think we are getting past the initial learning phase. Now into the time of things just working, though perhaps with some long term issues.

I liken it to the early deployment of catalytic converters for gas engines. When those were initially required they and the associated emissions controls were horrible devices designed by <insert evil deity here>. Then manufacturers learned and got better, but there was still long term problems with cats getting clogged and needing replacement, but overall they did quite well. And then it got even better, to where most folks don't even think about 'em.


As for the 3.0 diesel engine and the automated manual transmission, its the same engine that is used in Mitsubishi Fuso trucks up to 28,000# GVW rating. With all of us coming in under 9,000#, its hardly stressed. The transmission is a bit unknown, but I recall reading that it's been used in Europe for similarly larger sized vehicles and doing quite well. If anything though, the transmission is just plain fun. If you get along with it, some folks never do. Me, I still smile nearly every time it shifts. Love it.
 
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