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Sprinter Van Oil Cooler Seal Leak: What You Need to Know

"Find out what causes oil cooler leaks on Mercedes V6 engines and how to get it repaired. Learn about the affected vehicles, signs and symptoms, and the repair process."

Sprinter Van Oil Cooler Gasket Leak: A Common Problem for V6 3.0L Engines

If you own a Sprinter Van with a V6 3.0L engine, you may have encountered a common problem: oil cooler gasket leaks. This issue can cause damage to the engine and result in costly repairs if not addressed in a timely manner. In this post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and solutions for this issue.

Mercedes vehicles equipped with the 3.0L V6 diesel engine, engine code OM642, are prone to oil cooler seal leaks. The combination of power, durability, and fuel economy makes this engine a superior choice, but the oil cooler seal design is its Achilles heel. In this blog post, we will go over the affected vehicles, signs and symptoms of the leak, and what to expect from a repair.


Affected Vehicles V6 3.0L

All models that were equipped with the 3.0L V6 diesel engine, including the “CDI” and “BlueTEC” models, can be affected by this problem. The following is a full list of affected vehicles:

  • 2006-2018 Mercedes Sprinter V6

  • 2007-2014 Mercedes E320 & E350 BlueTEC

  • 2007-2012 Mercedes R Class 320 CDI & 350 BlueTEC

  • 2007-2016 Mercedes GL 320 CDI & GL 350 BlueTEC

  • 2007-2014 Mercedes ML 320 CDI & ML 350 BlueTEC

  • 2007-2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD

In 2010, Mercedes upgraded the seal material to Viton, which has increased its lifespan. While leaks do occur in 2010+ vehicles, they are less common than in pre-2010 vehicles.

Symptoms of an Oil Cooler Gasket Leak

  • "Check oil level" or "Oil level low" message on the instrument cluster

  • Decreasing oil level measurements on the oil level dipstick

  • Oil stains or puddles when parked

  • Engine oil level decreases

  • Engine warning light comes on

  • Engine oil

  •  leaks near the front of the engine

  • Engine runs hot or overheats

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to take your Sprinter Van to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Initially, you may only see a small collection of oil at the bottom of the transmission bell housing. If you notice any wetness in this area, monitor your vehicle closely for increased oil loss. Once the seals start to leak slowly, the rate of the leak will increase rapidly. Mercedes vehicles come with a large undercarriage cover that can collect a significant amount of oil before it leaks over, so you may not initially see oil stains when parked.

What Causes an Oil Cooler Gasket Leak?

An oil cooler gasket leak can occur due to a number of reasons, including age, overheating, and excessive pressure. Over time, the gasket may deteriorate, leading to cracks and leaks. High temperatures can also cause the gasket to become brittle and eventually fail. Additionally, high engine oil pressure can put extra stress on the gasket, leading to leaks.

Repairing the Leak

The repair process involves replacing the two seals on the oil cooler. The oil cooler itself does not need to be replaced and can be reinstalled. When purchasing oil cooler seals, always get the factory purple color seals made of Viton. The older or aftermarket orange seals will leak much sooner.

Unfortunately, the oil cooler is located at the bottom of the engine "V" design, underneath intake manifolds, EGR equipment, coolant lines, and the turbocharger. All these items must be removed before the oil cooler can be removed and the seals can be replaced.

Considering the amount of work required to reach the oil cooler, repair times can vary widely, but it is generally accepted that 10 to 15 hours is a good starting point. The oil cooler seals themselves are not very expensive (about $5 each), but there is about $120 worth of other seals for the other items that must be replaced as well. We recommend getting a full oil cooler seal kit to do the job right.

Depending on the year, Sprinter oil cooler seal replacement can range from $1999 to $2,500.

Solutions for Oil Cooler Gasket Leak

The solution for an oil cooler gasket leak will depend on the severity of the issue. In some cases, a simple gasket replacement may be all that is needed. However, if the issue has caused damage to other parts of the engine, more extensive repairs may be required.

If you suspect an oil cooler gasket leak, it is important to take your Sprinter Van to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide a solution to keep your engine running smoothly.

In conclusion, oil cooler gasket leaks are a common problem for Sprinter Vans with V6 3.0L engines. By paying attention to the symptoms and taking prompt action, you can prevent damage to your engine and keep your Sprinter Van running smoothly for years to come. Visit Sprinter Service & Repair for a FREE inspection.

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Sprinter Service & Repair is a top-rated full-service shop in San Diego and Vista, CA specializing in Sprinter van repair and maintenance. Our skilled technicians provide a range of services including regular maintenance, oil changes, brake repairs, transmission services, and engine repairs using the latest diagnostic tools and equipment. We understand the importance of your van to your business and work to provide quick and efficient service. Our complimentary diagnostic and inspection services help identify potential issues before they become major problems. Trust us for the best Sprinter van service and repair in San Diego and Vista. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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