Poppo

Engine Warning Lights

15 posts in this topic

We have just come back from a 5700 mile trip from Boston out 90/80 to Denver, Tetons, Yellowstone, Salt Lake, Cheyenne and back to Boston. The trip was everything we hoped it could be. This was the first long trip in a new to us 09' Sportscoach Legend 500 TG with a Cummins ISM 500 and an Allison 4000.

Early on the way out we started getting "Check Cooling System" warnings. The operating gauges were all indicating ideal operating conditions. I called Freightliner and was advised that there can be false warnings and since the engine temperature gauge was indicating a normal range then there was no immediate critical issue and I should have it looked at when I get back . I dropped it off at Freightliner today. The ambient temperatures during this trip were quite high.

As we continued on with the trip I had occasion to use the engine brake and at different times I would get an amber Engine warning and in fact on two occasions got a red Engine alarm. When I received the alarm I would shut the engine brake off and the alarm lights would eventually go out. I stopped using the engine brake and was not happy on those 7% grades in the Rockies.

I am reaching out to the FMCA community to see if anyone else has experienced such a situation. We appreciate your feedback and thank you in advance.

"Poppo"

09 Sportscoach Legend 500 TG

Allison 4000

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Didn't you say you had it at Freigthliner? Did you take it for a drive with them? Did you see these issues? What is Freightliner saying?

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Just dropped it off to Freightliner this afternoon. At this time they have offered no opinion. I'll hear from them in the next couple of days. In the meantime I am curious to find any other members who may have experienced the same or similar situation.

I did not take it for a drive with them .... at this time the amber or red engine lights are not comming on. The "Service Cooling System" happens all the time.

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Jim,

While attempting to get to Arizona from Georgia in June, I experienced the following on our 2009 Fleetwood Discovery. We have a 350 HP Cummins, with an Allison Transmission. On day 2 of the trip, i got a "Coolant Temp High" warning light on 2 separate occasions within about a 2 hr period. The temperature gauge was also noted to be rising. I down shifted, as recommended in the owners manual, and the engine cooled down immediately, and the warning extinguished. Although it was quite hot outside, mid 90's, I did not think too much about it.

The following day we had only been on the road for an hour when we started getting the same warnings and temperature readings. Although I downshifted in an attempt to cool the engine down, this procedure was not working as it had the day before. I was finally forced to pull off the freeway to allow the engine to cool down. My first call was to Coach-Net. After explaining what was going on, they dispatched a tow truck to tow us back to Santa Rosa, NM to a big rig repair station. The mechanic looked under the coach and saw no apparent problems/leaks and felt we just had a dirty radiator. After he power washed the radiator, I drove the coach and all problems seemed to be fixed. We hooked our tow vehicle back up, and off we went. Unfortunately, not very far. We made it to a rest area about 10 minutes west of Santa Rosa before we were overheating again.

I too called Freightliner and after describing the symptoms, they walked me thru the process of pulling a fuse which controlled the cooling fan for the radiator. This was supposed to make the fan turn at the same RPM as the engine, thus providing more cooling across the radiator. I also decided that maybe it just was too hot (again mid 90's) and for some reason we would have to unhook the Jeep to keep the temperature down, at least until we could got to Albuquerque to the Freightliner dealer there. Jeep unhooked, fuse pulled, on the road again. Made it as far as the first place we had to pull off earlier. Now we had the previous coolant overtemp warning and a check engine light. Called Coach-Net again and they dispatched another big rig tow to tow us the 2 hours into Albuquerque.

Arrived around 10:00PM on a Friday night and the mechanic on duty came out and informed us he couldn't do anything for us until Sunday, maybe Monday. So much for our vacation. The next morning we got a call from the daytime service manager and he advised us he had squeezed us in for a diagnostic evaluation. He had narrowed our problem down to the radiator fan clutch. Apparently it is a viscous fluid fan, with approximately 4-6 ozs of fluid that had failed. With that small amount of fluid, I could see where it might have possible for the mechanic in Santa Rosa to have missed it when he crawled under the coach to inspect it. That was the good news. The bad news was that they did not have the part in stock as this is apparently unique to the RV industry and that UPS nor FEDEX delivered on Sunday. Well as luck would have it, the part did not get shipped on Monday, finally arrived Tuesday morning, and by 4:00PM that afternoon I was out of patience, out of vacation, and out $1200.00 for a new fan clutch.

Fortunately the trip back to Georgia was uneventful. As a side note, and I know this has nothing to do with your overheating issue, when the tow truck driver arrived to tow us back to santa Rosa the first time, he had me use my leveling jacks to lift the front of the coach up so he could slide the tow bar underneath. He then had me retract the jacks. What he had not done was to raise his tow bar up to the front axle. There is only one speed on my leveling jacks when I hit the retract button, FAST! Needless to say, the sound of the crunching of the front end cap on the coach and the look on my wife's face was pretty exciting. Our coach is still in for repairs to the front end which totalled over $8000.00. Part of the lengthy repair time is they need 30 days for the Diamond Shield to cure once it's installed. So much for summer vacation plans.

Hope some of this helped.

Brian

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Brian, Weclome to the Forum. For $10,000.00 on your first post you did well.

Sorry for your problems.

Herman

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Jim,

I'm on my way back East after driving on I-70, I-80, and I-90 to the West Coast, across those 7% hills and had some of those problems with my Fleetwood, Cummins with Allison also. I went to a Cummins garage where they told me I needed to flush the radiator, otherwise, it was okay. After I did this, my warning light did not come on unless the temp gauge went redline. I became a trucker real fast by monitoring my rpms vs the grade of the hill. I downshifted and dropped the rpms down, from 1750 to 1250 rpms, based on the severity and length of the hill. What I found was hills that didn't seem too steep but continued on for miles required the most monitoring. My temperature normally rides at the 11 o'clock position, but out on those hills it rode up to 12 o'clock easily. I employed the above technique to keep the needle below 2 o'clock and my warning lights didn't come on. A couple of the hills in Tennessee have slowed me slightly, but no overheating.

Brian,

Sorry to hear about your vacation, but enlighting that Coach-Net responded timely. I'd be interested in whether this fuse solves your problem, maybe I should check it out.

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I experienced some very similar problems on my coach.

Everything mentioned in this thread was tried on a trip 3 years ago.Plus new belts and belt tensioner.

My coach is and older model,so it does not have a clutch fan or hydraulic cooling fan set up.

The problem turned out to be a failed thermostat. The valve spring retaining system failed. This caused the valve to fail to open or close properly. This restricted coolant flow and over heating problems when the engine was under heavy loads.

Rich.

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Hi Brian,

Thank you for your comments. I picked up the Bus on Friday. Please remember that I received the 'Check Coolant System' warnings and the guages were always indicating the proper range. I was told by the Freightliner/Cummins authorized service center that the problem would be corrected with a recalibration of the engine..... had it done. The recalibration was downloading the latest computer program update from Cummins. This was $400 +. ... not covered by warranty. Drove it 50 miles from the service center and all seems good.

I'll need to see if my Cornerstone Extended Warranty will cover it. Compared to your experience mine was quite minor ... we continued and finished our vacation ... ignoring the "Service Coolant System" warnings.

We are eager to hit the road again and find some 7% grades to see if the upgraded computer program did the trick.

Thanks to all for the feedback! I truly appreciate this forum ...

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Jankit, replacing the fan clutch solved our issue. No overheating problems on our trip back to Georgia.

Point2man, Coach-net was spectacular. They paid for both tows for the motorhome no questions asked. Gotta love that. I will definitely renew when the time comes. What I didn't mention in my previous post was that the next morning after being towed into Albuquerque, my wife and I decided to do some exploring in the Jeep. Went to the local car wash to hose off the Jeep and since it was so hot, decided to leave the engine running while I washed it off. Finished that, jumped in and went to put it in gear. The shifter just slid back and forth. I looked at my wife who immediately declared she hadn't touched anything.

I called Coach-Net and wallah, a tow truck was there in 20 minutes. Turned out to be a $1.54 part that connected the shifter cable to the transmission that was easily replaced by me after it cooled down. You can't make this stuff up. Good news is, I think I will get my coach home from the shop tomorrow.

Reference the fuse pulling, although it did in fact over ride the fan clutch, it did not allow the fan to operate at the same RPM as the engine because the fan had already failed.

Poppo, hope all is well with your rig. Sounds like you may have solved your problem. Good luck.

Brian

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This seem to be a problem with Jeeps.

Was parking a M/H at the Goodsams Rally in Louisville and the same thing happen on a Jeep.

Had to get under the Jeep and was able to reconnect.

He was luck that the pin was still attached to the vehicle.

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Re warning lights on Frieghtliner: Don't let them tell you not to worry about this because this happened in my coach within less then a year after I bought it and when Frieghtliner checked it out, they even told me it was OK.

At less than 16k miles the over heat light came on then the coach shut down. I was out on an interstate in Mass at the time. I got out to see antifreeze running all over the place and thought I had blown a hose. I called Cummins road service who was there in less than one hour. He crawled under the coach, and then he had a big grin on his face when he told me the block was cracked! Luckily I had a road service that towed the unit back to Metroliner in Ct where they replaced the block. The stink to all this is that the Cummins tec told me they were aware of this problem but had not sent out a recall.

So BEWARE and pursue the problem with Frieghtliner. That was on the 275hp IB engine.

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Interesting!!

There are a number of coach owners that have the ISB series engines with 100,000 to 200K or more miles on the engines and this the first time I have heard of the block issue.

Could you post the Year and Model of your Coach?

Rich.

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