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wild trouble codes


SnaykeByte

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Evening everyone, got a question for those in the know. The old beast in my signature is giving me a few fits. Twice last weekend and three times a week before that we have been going down the road (rural and interstate) and it just shuts down like you turn the key off. I cycle the key off and to run and it runs normally till it happens again. Happened twice at operating temp about 20 miles into our past Sunday about 10 min apart, ran fine for about half hour and done it one more time. We drove about another 4-5 hours and it ran perfectly. I suspect some sort of engine perameter safety thing shutting it down but I'm not sure. I know it's not shutting down on the low coolant level sensor because I jumped it out. I pulled the hard codes that were stored and they are 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36. I can't see all the injectors being bad, so any ideas would be appreciated. I'd like to see a diagram to see what all is in the injector driver circuit, but I don't have the info and getting it from a dealer around here is not like pulling teeth...........it's like cutting out a wisdom tooth.

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1st thing I did when I bought my tractor new was to disable the automatic shutdowns. They were designed for entry level drivers who don't have enough knowledge or experience to recognize a mechanical problem and stop the truck before damage occurs.

Let all the lights and buzzers go on and then you decide where to put the truck. As far as error codes, they can be erratic, I have codes that come and go for no apparent reason. If the truck is running fine, schedule an appointment when convenient let a good tech interpret them .

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Wow. That sounds like one of those "nightmare" wiring problems. I'm no truck mechanic, but the fact that it shuts down without any other trouble codes makes me suspect that you might actually have a "delivery" problem, either in the electrical or possibly even fuel??

The reason I mention fuel is I have a 6.5L diesel PU that just "Shuts off" when it gets air into the injection system. No coughing or hard starts. After sitting a week, It will fire right up, run a minute or two, and then "bam" like you turned off the key. Let it sit a couple minutes and run the fuel pump and it'll sputter back to life. Do that 2-3 time and then run fine for the rest of the day. Probably a leak back by the tank. I mention this cause it can happen, but not as likely while you are going down the road. Does the engine restart clean, or does it cough and sputter after a shutdown?

Electrical--I'm wondering if you are losing supply. Possible check the connection and fuse holder for the ECM Fuse (small wire and fuse holder back in the battery compartment)? Also, try wiggling the key assembly when the engine is running...a bad key switch? Try wiggling things while the motor is running.

The other thought is the ECM is overheating and shutting down.....scary. Maybe the Injector outputs are dying, and that's why the codes pop up?

I'm not saying it isn't an auto shutdown, I just would think it should be throwing some OTHER kind of code.

I've got two of these trucks (with Cummins, though) and I really want to get my hands on schematics. But so far, no luck.

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The code numbers you reference are not the same as we see on later model D12 engines. I am not familiar with fault code meanings on a 1994 D12. When I blow a code on my 2004 D12 it is in the format below. Usually a MID followed by a PID. For example a MID128 PID111 would be a coolant level fault.

 

I am inclined to agree with Jeff's reasoning. If you are not getting a warning from a buzzer or dash display I would suspect something other than a normal engine shut down sensor (oil, coolant, temperature).

 

Definitions
MID Message Identification Description (identification
of ECU)
PID Parameter Identification Description (identification
of parameter (value))
PPID Proprietary Parameter Identification Description
(Volvo-unique identification of parameter (value))
SID Subsystem Identification Description (identification
of component)
PSID Proprietary Subsystem Identification Description
(Volvo-unique identification of component)
FMI Failure Mode Identifier (identification of fault type);
see also “FMI Codes” page 5

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My experience (even though it is not Volvo related) but may still be relevant....

 

 

At one point in my trucking career I drove a Peterbilt 379EX with a Cummins N14 Celect Plus 525HP that began tossing random codes and would cut out (DIE) for a second or so and then come back to life, after half a dozen visits to various dealers in Canada and the USA (Cummins and Peterbilt) and replacing various sensors as indicated by the codes I ended up at the truck dealer in Greeley, CO and after patiently waiting for their Cummins specialist for a couple of hours(I wasn't about to go anywhere as it was happening every couple minutes and was ready to burn the truck to the ground), gave him the history of the problem, he calmly nodded his head grabbed the assortment pack of fuses in his toolbox walked over to my truck reached inside the frame near the starter, pulled out two identical looking fuse holders, opened them up, replaced the one that was blown, told me that for some reason someone decided it was a "good idea" to put fuses on the ECM grounds and told me to have a good day. No charge. I thanked him, slipped him some appreciation and drove back to Canada and never missed a beat.

 

 

Long story short....check ALL of your fuses carefully, as well as any ground connections you can find(not just at the battery) and anywhere you can see where wires could rub on a sharp corner and short out. Electrical problems (if that is what it is) are usually a very simple fix but can be nearly impossible to diagnose, even with a really smart computer.

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Boys I appreciate all the info, gives me some ideas anyway. And to clarify, when it happens I don't even stop I just cycle the key and keep on trucking till it happens again. I'll keep the thread current with my findings and you all keep the input coming please.

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This link help?

 

http://www.volvotrucksemedia.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductId=1862&GroupId=-1

 

Granted I don't have a clue what a 94 Volvo engine even looks like, but that PSR relay (page 65) looks suspect to me. Maybe it is losing it's latch, kills everything, then the key cycle relatches it? Maybe everything that is on that "engine plate" needs a checking, wherever that is? Also looks like the 31-36 codes are idle balance (p 22) so I guess they aren't a worry. Good luck!

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That relay / fuse was exactly what I was thinking of as a possibility.

 

Dang it Scrap, You are just too good. Think you could find that same thing but for a N14/M11?? With your link as a starter, I've been looking, but haven't hit gold yet. I HAVE found a lot of other nice things that should help in the future (how to adjust the hood, electrical center identifications, stuff like that). So thanks a bunch!

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Y'all don't remember that they used to call them Vectro's? :D That turned out to be the lucky search term. Vendor engines you probably won't get that lucky for an all in one. It'll probably take a little bit of the truck schematics combined with a little bit of Quickserve to get it all put together.

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Somebody new to pick on!!!! Seriously, Joseph, welcome to our motley band of mis-fits. Hope you can pick up tid-bits, and share some as well.

Mine did the same thing.Turned out to be the oil censor.It was a bugger to replace,cost $125.00 for a new one but it fixed the shut down problem.

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Somebody new to pick on!!!! Seriously, Joseph, welcome to our motley band of mis-fits. Hope you can pick up tid-bits, and share some as well.

Rickeleio;I love being picked on,truth is I joined Escapees over 10 years ago.My computer crashed recently and I could not get on Escapees with my new computer so I started a new membership.I have been pulling my trailer with my Volvo since 2001.I found out about this forum in 2003 and joined.This is a great forum and a great resource for information.Glad to be back on.

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When we first got the truck we had some issues with trouble codes and the system dropping cruise control and high idle. I made 3 trips to the shop with it the first month and they could not find the issue. It would simply not happen while in the shop or on a test drive. On the last trip the mechanic was giving up and starting to put all his stuff away when he bumped the main cannon plug on the side of the engine, then the high idle cut out. Turned out the issue was a loose pin and dirty connection in the plug. He fixed that and in 9 years no further issues. I have pulled all fuses and relays, using contact cleaner on them about every other year as well.

 

Well let me qualify that. We just started showing a code for the airbag / seatbelt. My guess is a loose wire at the seat area or steering wheel column. I'll be checking that this week.

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Mine did the same thing.Turned out to be the oil censor.It was a bugger to replace,cost $125.00 for a new one but it fixed the shut down problem.

That is certainly something to look into, it would be nice to have a compatible data recorder to take a snapshot of the data stream.

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I just had another thought....my '97 goes into "shut off" after 5 minutes at idle. The reason I thought of this is because you can immediately restart the truck, no problem. I'm curious, lets be hypothetical....IF your truck was only "dieing" when you were on Cruise control, and IF you had a failing TPS, I wonder if it would be possible for the computer to get mixed up and decide to shut off the motor "because you are at idle"??? I mean, far fetched, but the TPS is a common failure point, and the "autoshutdown" does exactly what you describe. (I'm really glad the previous owner warned me or I woulda had a heart attack the first time it happened sitting loaded in the field...!) Scrap?

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I just had another thought....my '97 goes into "shut off" after 5 minutes at idle. The reason I thought of this is because you can immediately restart the truck, no problem. I'm curious, lets be hypothetical....IF your truck was only "dieing" when you were on Cruise control, and IF you had a failing TPS, I wonder if it would be possible for the computer to get mixed up and decide to shut off the motor "because you are at idle"??? I mean, far fetched, but the TPS is a common failure point, and the "autoshutdown" does exactly what you describe. (I'm really glad the previous owner warned me or I woulda had a heart attack the first time it happened sitting loaded in the field...!) Scrap?

Yeah.................Scrap?

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Anythings possible, but I think that would be waaay down the list. I'm sure idle validation circuit saves itself in that situation somehow as well. Its gotta be something worn through or loose.

 

I found some inspiration for you on my phone. Our Challenger would up and die out of the blue every time you'd put a good load on it - like every time you'd turn an uphill corner. What good is a 650HP tractor when it can only go downhill? They make wheel tractors for that. <_< Anyways we fought fuel filters, tank vents, seat grounds, and everything else for a week until one day I was takin a leak and lookin at it and thinkin and... Found it! They tied the engine harness too tight, it rubbed into the fuel line[ :o ], and every time the engine would torque over it would ground out the sensor harness on the wirebraid hose and she'd give it up.

 

Moral of the story - always take a leak around it with the hood up and eventually you'll get there?

 

<embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid84.photobucket.com/albums/k15/scrapmaker_bnr/VID_20130818_131611_582_zps17475de5.mp4">

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Scrap's tractor example reminds me of being the afternoon engine test tech watching a bunch of bright young engineers trying to debug the engine electronics for an OEM factory reman. engine program to fulfill warranty obligations, after watching them replace parts with known good, "new" sensors (factory troubleshooting procedure) for several days and calling In multiple reinforcements I made the comment that the test harnesses wire probably over 10 years old and had been in storage for probably 8 years and that also the computers operate on a 5 volt system with 0 to 1.5V is a binary 0 while 3.5 to 5v is a 1 and anything in between is a guess, and that it doesn't take a lot of corrosion or a bad connection to create a problem. The senior engineer picked up the phone, made a phone call back to their harness shop and then sent one of the junior engineers on a mission th procure a brand new harness that was being fabricated priority one while he took our project engineer out to dinner while I removed the original harness and prepped for the new harness install, fast forward about 4 hours the new harness has been installed, turn on test cell services power up the harness and push the start button to here the sound of success.

 

It's easy to armchair quarterback, but the problem on these older harness is usually going to be something tied up to tight and insulation chaffed thru, something not tied up properly and not making good contact at a sensor or a funky connection in the harness where wires are spliced and either corrosion or an intermittent open is testing your resolve and temperament. while looking at the plugin connections for corrosion and tightness also check the back side of the plug for signs of corrosion and or bad connections betrwwe the wire and the crimped on terminal

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Deutsch Connectors had some nice info on terminal use, harness tie up, etc. Unfortunately since they were bought out I can't find the link anymore. The upshot is that for any voltage less than ~ 10V, any material other than gold will eventually form a layer of oxide thick enough the low voltage will not "break thru" and it will lose contact. So all the low voltage (5V) signals (think CAN) made w/o gold pins are eventually gonna go pffft.

The other major mistake often made is to tie up a harness so tight it pulls the wires sideways in the connector, opening the seals up to moisture. Properly securing a harness against movement and wear can be a real "art" in and of itself.

Reminds me of a neighbor whose NEW combine would do weird stuff every time he lowered the header. Eventually we tracked it down to a harness tied up just a bit to tightly. Every time he lowered the header, it would pull thru the harness and down to the connectors just enough to "break" the contact, the computer would recognize a loss of signal, and would shut everything off. 2 days of frustration solved by cutting 2 zipties.

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