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Sprinter repair near Ventura County

k6dcp
Explorer
Explorer
Does anyone know of a shop that repairs 2008 Freightliner-badged Sprinter vans anywhere near Ventura County?

Warning! Long boring whine ahead: I happily took the Sprinter to Crown Dodge who had a great Sprinter technician. He got promoted to foreman. God for him, bad for me. They referred me to Shaver Dodge in Thousand Oaks. When I called, they said their Sprinter tech had left.

Previously, I had used Dependable Dodge in Canoga Park, about 45 minutes away from home. I called and made an appointment to drop off the Sprinter today. I told them that they had serviced it previously. They seemed happy to have me bring in the Sprinter for service.

Upon arrival, I stood by the van in the service driveway for a goodly period of time as other cars were taken in. I could see a Sprinter van in a service bay, so I was reassured.

Finally we cornered the one and only service advisor. He could find no record of our appointment, and said that they weren't taking appointments because their technician had left. He had no explanation for why I had been encouraged to bring the van in, and it was clear that he doubted my story.

He told us to take the van to Rydell Chrysler in San Fernando. I called them and was told that they weren't making appointments until the middle of next week, but I could leave the van and they would try to take a look at it when they could. So, we made the 20 minute drive to Rydell.

There, the manager told us that because the van is badged as a Freightliner, a Dodge dealer couldn't work on it. When I told him that two other Dodge service departments had worked on it, he smiled and said he wasn't responsible for what other people did, but he wouldn't touch it.

(Sorry for the long whine, but I wanted to give the names of places that won't fix the van so people would not refer me there.)

So -- at this point, I have no clue where to take the van, other than the gold-plated Mercedes dealer whose labor rate is around $170 per hour. And I haven't even checked to see if they would deign to touch my vehicle.

Surely all you good folks who love and drive Sprinter vans can give me a heads-up on a good mechanic, dealer or independent, who will baby my van and keep it purring for the foreseeable future. I will settle for anyone in Western Los Angeles County, Ventura County, or Santa Barbara County, or even further if necessary.

As you have so generously in the past, please help me once again. Where should I take my Sprinter van for service? Thanks in advance.
"IVan" (short for "I love this Van!")
2009 Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit
33 REPLIES 33

MaxMaximo
Explorer II
Explorer II

Sprinter Service & Repair is your one-stop shop for all your Sprinter Van needs. We provide comprehensive maintenance and repair services to keep your Sprinter running in tip-top shape. Our team of highly-trained technicians is knowledgeable in all aspects of Sprinter Van service and repair. With locations in Vista, San Diego Shop, and Redlands / San Bernardino, we are able to service and repair any Sprinter Van! Sprinter Service & Repair

jmtandem
Explorer II
Explorer II
All geeks have a built in flak shield, do you consider yourself a geek...


Nerd...Geek....Whatever.
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

gregmchugh
Explorer
Explorer
jmtandem wrote:
I used the word Flack first, sorry for the bad spelling, should have been flak, in the sense of criticism, not anti aircraft fire...


Don't be sorry. I am sure nobody thought you were referring to anti aircraft fire. Like I said prior, my intent was never to not be civil to you if it came across that way. And........I have my anti flak force shield on full power. Flak just bounces off. So bring it on!!!!!


All geeks have a built in flak shield, do you consider yourself a geek...

http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/tact.html

jmtandem
Explorer II
Explorer II
I used the word Flack first, sorry for the bad spelling, should have been flak, in the sense of criticism, not anti aircraft fire...


Don't be sorry. I am sure nobody thought you were referring to anti aircraft fire. Like I said prior, my intent was never to not be civil to you if it came across that way. And........I have my anti flak force shield on full power. Flak just bounces off. So bring it on!!!!!
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

gregmchugh
Explorer
Explorer
jmtandem wrote:
In every case, the previous service department referred me to the next one, assuring me that they had referred their Sprinter customers to that agency. Each one of them also told me that that was the only place they knew that fixed Sprinters. I suppose I really should get back to all of them and tell them that their referrals are inaccurate.

Also, to avoid running on forever, I chose not to list all the nonproductive phone calls I've made to local independent service places.


This is definitely interesting. In all of the Los Angeles basin there is not one place that knows of another place that can fix a Sprinter? Amazing! Is there a Sprinter owners group that you can tap into to get the information you need to get your van fixed? I am not sure people on this forum trying to help you with suggestions are 'flack' but maybe that is your definition of flack. Maybe not every suggestion will work but it is better than driving away from a Dodge dealer with your tail between you legs wondering where you go next.


I used the word Flack first, sorry for the bad spelling, should have been flak, in the sense of criticism, not anti aircraft fire...

I was referring to comments like your last sentence...

gregmchugh
Explorer
Explorer
jmtandem wrote:
In every case, the previous service department referred me to the next one, assuring me that they had referred their Sprinter customers to that agency. Each one of them also told me that that was the only place they knew that fixed Sprinters. I suppose I really should get back to all of them and tell them that their referrals are inaccurate.

Also, to avoid running on forever, I chose not to list all the nonproductive phone calls I've made to local independent service places.


This is definitely interesting. In all of the Los Angeles basin there is not one place that knows or another place that can fix a Sprinter? Amazing! Is there a Sprinter owners group that you can tap into to get the information you need to get your van fixed? I am not sure people on this forum trying to help you with suggestions are 'flak' but maybe that is your definition of flak.


I provided a link to a good source for getting info on independent service locations based on owners experiences. I posted a direct link to the CA data...

jmtandem
Explorer II
Explorer II
In every case, the previous service department referred me to the next one, assuring me that they had referred their Sprinter customers to that agency. Each one of them also told me that that was the only place they knew that fixed Sprinters. I suppose I really should get back to all of them and tell them that their referrals are inaccurate.

Also, to avoid running on forever, I chose not to list all the nonproductive phone calls I've made to local independent service places.


This is definitely interesting. In all of the Los Angeles basin there is not one place that knows of another place that can fix a Sprinter? Amazing! Is there a Sprinter owners group that you can tap into to get the information you need to get your van fixed? I am not sure people on this forum trying to help you with suggestions are 'flack' but maybe that is your definition of flack. Maybe not every suggestion will work but it is better than driving away from a Dodge dealer with your tail between you legs wondering where you go next.
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

gregmchugh
Explorer
Explorer
You may wonder why a Freightliner dealer doesn't service the Sprinter unless the are a dealer for the Sprinter. The fact is that the Sprinter has nothing in common with the rest of the Freightliner model lineup. It is built in a plant in Germany and it is a Mercedes design and may not have any parts in common with any other Freightliner model. It does have parts in common with other Mercedes vehicles. It would be a major investment for a Freightliner dealer to have Sprinter qualified technicians, stock Sprinter parts, tie into the Mercedes parts supply system, purchase the specialized and expensive diagnostic equipment unique to Mercedes vehicles, etc.

There are not enough Freightliner Sprinters on the road to create enough service business to justify the investment unless they happen to also sell the Sprinter. That is why you will get a laugh when you try to get help with your Sprinter at a Freightliner dealer who does not sell the Sprinter. Again, there may be exceptions but I have yet to find a Freightliner dealer who does not sell the Sprinter do anything but shake their head and laugh on occasion when confronted with a Sprinter that needs service...

gregmchugh
Explorer
Explorer
Trackrig wrote:
gregmchugh wrote:
jmtandem wrote:
These are dealers for larger Freightliner trucks, not Sprinter vans...


Are you sure? Did you contact each one of these Freightliner dealers and ask them if they can service a Sprinter?


If I was in CA looking for service I would call them but based on my experiences with finding a Freightliner dealer who will service my Freightliner Sprinter there has never been a Freightliner dealer who will service it unless they also sell them. Freightliner Sprinter dealers are few and far between, fewer than the number of Mercedes dealers who handle Sprinters.


NO!

My local Freightliner class 8 truck dealer has the Sprinters on the showroom floor and out on the line.

Bill


NO! for what?

The vast majority of Freightliner dealers do not sell or service the Sprinter van. The ones that do sell the Sprinter also service the Sprinter. The ones that do not sell the Sprinter do not service the Sprinter, there may be exceptions but I have never found one. This one sells them but that is not common.

I have also gotten a good laugh from a Freightliner dealer, in my case in Prince George BC when I needed a repair on my way to Alaska. Wouldn't look at it or even order the $20 part to let me fix it myself.

Since the original poster is back, I can suggest you go to the Sprinter Source Forum to get a lead on a good independent Sprinter service facility. Here is a link to the reviews of California service options including independents. if you don't find one nearby with good reviews then post an inquiry and you are likely to get info from actual owners...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=133

Trackrig
Explorer II
Explorer II
gregmchugh wrote:
jmtandem wrote:
These are dealers for larger Freightliner trucks, not Sprinter vans...


Are you sure? Did you contact each one of these Freightliner dealers and ask them if they can service a Sprinter?


If I was in CA looking for service I would call them but based on my experiences with finding a Freightliner dealer who will service my Freightliner Sprinter there has never been a Freightliner dealer who will service it unless they also sell them. Freightliner Sprinter dealers are few and far between, fewer than the number of Mercedes dealers who handle Sprinters.


NO!

My local Freightliner class 8 truck dealer has the Sprinters on the showroom floor and out on the line.

Bill
Nodwell RN110 out moose hunting. 4-53 Detroit, Clark 5 spd, 40" wide tracks, 10:00x20 tires, 16,000# capacity, 22,000# weight. You know the mud is getting deep when it's coming in the doors.

k6dcp
Explorer
Explorer
jmtandem wrote:
These are dealers for larger Freightliner trucks, not Sprinter vans...


Are you sure? Did you contact each one of these Freightliner dealers and ask them if they can service a Sprinter? Google 'Freightliner Sprinter Van repair service in Los Angeles' and at least ten places come up including some that also service Freightliner's other products. Just because they are not in the website does not mean they are not in Los Angeles. This is disappointing to me that the OP does not take it upon him/herself to do a search or to even ask the Dodge dealers who they refer Sprinter vans to for repairs. It seems that the OP just takes a simple 'no' from the Dodge dealers and walks away without asking for a little help. The OP cannot possibly be the only Freightliner Sprinter van owner in Los Angeles greater metro area that has needed some service and asked a Dodge dealer for a referral.


jmtandem, I've got to reply. I believe you're making some false assumptions here. Previously, I did visit the Ventura County Freightliner repair facility. They do not repair Sprinters (laughed, in fact), and knew of no one who did.

You are also incorrect in assuming that I "just took a simple 'no' from the Dodge dealers". In every case, the previous service department referred me to the next one, assuring me that they had referred their Sprinter customers to that agency. Each one of them also told me that that was the only place they knew that fixed Sprinters. I suppose I really should get back to all of them and tell them that their referrals are inaccurate.

Also, to avoid running on forever, I chose not to list all the nonproductive phone calls I've made to local independent service places.

Finally, gregmchugh, you are spot on when you say, "Not worth the flack". Has anyone besides me noticed that, in three pages of responses, not a single one has given me the name of any place within an hour's drive that will repair my van? No, I don't care if it is an independent or a dealer. I'm not fussy. Like all of us, I'm just trying to take good care of my RV.

K6DCP, out.
"IVan" (short for "I love this Van!")
2009 Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit

jmtandem
Explorer II
Explorer II
Thank you for your less than civil suggestion, there is no book, just the Freightliner Sprinter dealer locator on their website. Never said I was helping to find independent service locations, just authorized service centers besides Mercedes...

That's enough for me, have a nice day...


Didn't intend to hurt your feelings, just trying to be helpful to the OP by letting him/her know that there are other options besides those mentioned in the Freightliner/Sprinter website that you refer to. You are correct, it is a website not a book. My bad!
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

jmtandem
Explorer II
Explorer II
RAM did not drop the Sprinter, Daimler dropped Chrysler and they became part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Daimler moved the Sprinter sales in the US over to Mercedes but not all Mercedes dealers handle the Sprinter.


There is an incredible amount of information on the Daimler, Fiat, Ram and Chrysler topics and who is together and who is not anymore in the Turbo Diesel Register. Some Sprinter vans were Rams, some Freightliners; some pickups were Rams, some Sterlings. It actually is interesting and in some cases complicated. For example, the very successful and long lasting partnership between Ram and Cummins does not extend to the Ram 1500, as it does not use a Cummins diesel. Yet, Nissan decided to partner with Cummins.

I guess the most important point in your entire discussion on the reliance of the Freightliner/Sprinter website is to be sure you can get what you purchase serviced. And that not all places will service the vans even if they are Freightliner dealers and the Sprinter van is also badged 'Freightliner'. Or the same apparently can be said for not all Mercedes dealers. Good to know. I learned something tonight.
'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

Sebtown
Explorer
Explorer
k6dcp wrote:
Does anyone know of a shop that repairs?...
Previously, I had used Dependable Dodge in Canoga Park, about 45 minutes away from home.


Dealers are not the only source of Sprinter repair! Look for a qualifed independent. I know they exist becase at least a couple of the are valued members of this forum.