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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! The 2004 118 low passenger Sprinter is patching the patches rusty, so: A dealer 100 miles away has 2015 136 low diesel, conversion "started", about what I want in a van. It's 21K miles, low price, But, BUT it's a lemon law buy back. Note dealer is 100 miles away IE every trip would be a day shot. I'm retired, have lots of motorcycles for back and forth, not a afraid to spin a wrench or read and research OBDII codes, but I DO have a life. Been reading here, I think you can see I'm already kinda leery. Obviously the PO was committed to making this his dream van but.................
What're the odds that this thing can be expected to get "quickly" sorted to go down the road reliably for years? One mission; my wife, pulling a 3-4K horse trailer on 100 to 200 mile away, weekend long, race events, frequently camping in sometimes muddy farm fields. The sprinter has been amazing doing this and everything else asked of it, from all over the nation "outback" camping, to loading it up with 2/3 of a cord of fire wood and bumping it out through the woods. All missions the new van would be expected to perform.
Fire at will! All opinions listened to.
 

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I, for one, would never consider buying a "buy back" unless the price was basically salvage and it came with a 100k mile full warranty, especial if the dealer was 100 miles away.

But then I wouldn't even take a Sprinter if it was given to me after owning one for 11 years and 165k rusty, break down miles ;)
 

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First shot from a diesel owner and one who watched the botched introduction of them. FCA brought the diesel over from Europe and tweaked the emissions package and sold it beginning in mid 2014 as 2014’s. MOST were fine but some were not! Codes for Low Turbo Boost got a new turbo and it did not fix the problem same for EGR codes, and some DEF and DPF codes. New parts were generally not effective at curing the problems. After about 5 months of this, FCA began to solve many of the problems with software and some parts if the issues had ruined the DPF for instance. We diesel owners also got the software flashes. Some vans had to have wiring harnesses on the DEF dosing pump repaired due to corrosion from leaks and some DEF issues were fixed by just filling or replacing what seemed to be bad DEF from Mexico.
No one knows how many Lemon law or volunteer buybacks occurred AFAIK. There had to be quite a few because the local tech was clueless unless they got Star help so vans sat at dealerships for months! Mine is a June 2015 build and almost no vans from about February 2015 had issues. FCA does know how to fix them now. A resale of a lemon law van should have a warrantee.
Here is my humble and not expert opinion. Tell the dealership you want to take the van for a weekend, put down a deposit to buy it if you want it, with the condition you may withdraw if it throws a code or misbehaves in the 500 miles you need to drive it to know. In that time it will regenerate the DPF, have a bunch of cold starts, allow you to idle it for 15 minutes in neutral a few times, take a 50 mile interstate trip at 75 and pull the horse trailer for 50 miles at 60+ too. If it does that you are good to go and the return to finish the paperwork will be worth it. BTW I did all mine 3000 miles away!
I hope this helps.
RD
 

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I would also try to get full maintenance records, what was wrong, did they really fix it? And the best add-on warranty available.
 

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My obd code reader (obd fusion) will show how many engine starts, how many miles since codes were cleared and how many miles driven with mil light on. Setup your code reader to show what you may want to know and plug it in on your test drive. The epa frowns on messing with the obd permanent memory as the obd is for emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great stuff! RD that's about my exact plan, taking a motorcycle to go look now and some ratchet straps..............
killerbees excellent! will take my OBDII reader with me!
Think this would get read more if I moved it to the general forum?
 

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I had one of the 15 Diesels that went back to FCA. What RD said is very true, real issue was the dealer staff who had no clue and just started throwing parts at it. Ultimately it was fixed with FCA assistance and I got it back for a month before the replacement arrived, never had another issue and turned it in when the replacement showed up. FCA was easy to work with, offered all the assistance I needed and then some even though at times I was frustrated it was always with the local folks not FCA.
Any returned vehicle via buyback or lemon law will likely be just fine, price should be great and warranty should be offered so I'd do it if price and warranty are there.
By the way, it makes an awesome Bike Hauler/camper as mine regularly is loaded up and off to the races it goes.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Took a motorcycle over and drove the van home for the labor day weekend. So far so good. manumatic about as advertised here. Driving this 136 low is about identical to the 118 Sprinter. The passenger sprinter was quieter in the rear. This van had been camperized, then it was all torn out so there's holes all around the rear including the roof, looks like it had solar panels. Like the folding ears!
 

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I bought new, leftover 2016 stock. My warranty gives me peace of mind. Which is great, because in the less than 4 weeks I've had mine I've already had to use the warranty (new DEF pump.) In my case both the dealer and FCA were a good experience.

Been reading about the ecodiesel in the Ram pickup trucks as those units have sold many times over what the promasters have. And the forums are alive with issues and problems. But the counterpoint to that are threads with many many owners whose experiences have been flawless.

What does bother me just a little are reports that FCA might potentially try and weasel out of warranty repairs. Like having to use Mopar DEF at $11 a gallon instead of the freshest stuff from a truck stop (took pictures of the bottle and receipts just in case.) Good thing my DEF pump went bad before I had to add any as I had been intending on using a high volume truck stop. After it went bad and was repaired, down to the local Ram dealer I went for their DEF. Also, being in California at the moment, I filled up with Propel diesel (low or no soot from the little I understand.) And even that has me wondering whether FCA might blame me if something goes awry.

YMMV. If the price is right and the warranty is there...

I love mine. Maybe just because the novelty hasn't worn off yet. Future problems would affect that in a big way. Hoping that thing turns out to be all I hoped it would be.
 

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Remember that 3.0 EcoDiesel in any other Ram vehicles is a V6 from a different manufacturer (VM Motori S.p.A) than ours (IVECO S.p.A.) and has NO relationship to our I4 3.0 EcoDiesel. Confusing? YaBetcya!
 
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Thank you for that.
 

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There is a button for thanks, it saves posts, time and gives someone a warm and fuzzy feeling. I have managed to use it 525 times! Oh I see you have too. Bravo!
 

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Here my 2 cents: Every body has an idea of what they believe is a good price. I shop these things daily looking at 2500 and 3500 high roof 159's. i look mostly at new. my current van is a 2014 diesel 159 high roof with most options. i bought it new in july 2015, out the door taxes and all about $29,000. mine had transmission issues that took way to long to resolve. that has made me skiddish and why ive shopped them so heavily. if i gotta bail on mine, i still need one for delivery. about mid july of this year a dealer had 3 new 2017 2500 high roof 159s advertised for $15,999. i did not want a gas van as i have not owned one in the last 5 vans ive had. but heck that is a great price. I rang the phone next morning ready to buy at that price. The salesmanager called me back and said he would make me a deal but not that price. he said it was a mistake that it got printed. that price he said is what they sell it to the state for and im not the state. i asked my price, he said i gotta come in to discuss it. no way its 140 miles one way. they will not give me a price over the phone. they call about 3 or 4 times a month wanting me to come in. steve landers dodge in little rock arkansas.

as for transmission repair, mine started giving problems at 58k miles, was rebuilt by dealer at 112k miles and finally replaced by fca at 124k miles. i have about 53k miles on it since. its working. i have a friend that his went broke at 99k miles and was replaced after much drama. i last soke to him the van has a little over 220k miles. his transmission is working. he did say that he had injector problems and the injectors seized in the head and broke the head. i saw a few buy backs for sale while looking and they had carfax. all buy backs i found were transmission related. seems i read somewhere that the warranty would not cover that item again. i know the usual 2 year unlimited mile guarantee does not apply to my transmission because im not the one that paid for it. fca paid for it. next repair is on me.

if the issue for buy back was transmission and the selling price was similar to kkb value. i personally would not be afraid. the replacements seem to have solved the issue of jumping out of 6th gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Build date 04/2015 Van has 23K or will by the end of the weekend. Issues centered around the exhaust, DEF. Transmission seems fine. A slight whine is noticeable during "clutching".

20-21K +TTL the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Was very impressed with van, empty it towed a 4000 pound horse trailer with no issues. Van did not have trailer brake contoller but van brakes did the job more than fine. Power was impressive, we drove it up Sauk hill on highway 12 with the loaded trailer, a good long test of engine guts. The opening windows this van has in back are a nice feature, We found having a window behind the driver was quite useful for sharp intersections. Really; no problems I just couldn't quite pull the trigger on the diesel manumatic set up. The removed "conversion" left some issues with holes and such in the body/roof.
Here's the listing
https://www.vhcars.com/vehicle-details/used-2015-ram-promaster-1500-low-roof-3C6TRVADXFE513281
Nick Landgraf, salesman at Van Horn Ram, Plymouth, WI couldn't have been better or more helpful, I'd buy from him anytime.
We also tried a used 136 gas transit and GREATLY preferred the handling of the Promaster.
I have different promaster I'm looking into now.
 
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