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Truck Issue - Opinions solicited....


Jack Mayer

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Ok, I have my own theory (theories) but I'm asking for your educated guesses.

 

Background:

  • Truck has been running fine. I just completed an 1800 mile trip without any performance issues.
  • There has been an intermittent "Service" light for the last year. It has been on three computers, at three different dealers. No one has found a code (or anything else) and the light is mostly on, but sometimes off. It has been off for 300 miles. And is still off.
  • Truck tanks are at around 30 - 40 gallons each. Way lower than I normally let them get.
  • No conditioner, etc in the fuel. Until now - I just put a full dose in, but have not re-run the truck.
  • Last fueling was at a large country store that catered to logging trucks....Normally I don't do that, but I did. This was FL fuel...probably no anti-gel in it, and we are in southern AL (Summerdale, Rainbow Plantation).
  • Davco looks good. No air apparent in it. Fuel in it looks fine. Nothing really gross looking in the tanks...but it is hard to tell.
  • Everything else checks out as far as obvious things - hoses, etc.

Symptoms:

  • On starting the truck after a week sitting it stumbled some. It smoothed out, but continued to stumble once a minute or so, recovering each time. I popped the idle up to make sure it did not die.
  • After airing up and sitting for a couple of minutes a low speed drive in the park showed some stumbling - not much - and more white smoke than normal. It is cool out, though.
  • An attempted drive on the road showed lack of power. A real lack. Not quite limp mode, but not a whole lot more.
  • No indications, codes or faulty readings. No service light. No unusual engine noises.

So, what ideas does the "Community" have? So far I've dosed the fuel (remaining). I'll run it some tomorrow and try to stir up the additive.

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You mentioned a code also. We, Furball Express, had a 'code' and symbol come up that was not in any of the books. Engine is a 2007 D12D, AS3, and the symbol was a "filter' (diamond with a screen). Similar symptoms, and if I recall there was a problem with the secondary fuel filter casting. As I recall, it was in Effingham, IL and he spent a couple of days there in a McDonald parking lot.

 

I say all that in case he answers also as a memory jogger.

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I'd run the treatment for a few miles to get it through the plumbing and see if it helps as a first step. Second would be to add enough fuel to dilute the iffy batch to at least 50% and see if that makes a difference. I hate spending shop money if it is just bad fuel.

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Stating the obvious-

-Bad fuel

-If it was a leak that was sucking enough air to make it stumble, would it weep when not running

-In small diesels, stumble and white smoke is a sign of a malfunctioning injector- either harness, computer, or injector itself

- As the fuel level in the tanks drop, any water/trash becomes more apparent. While the Davco may look good, do you have any other filters you could change

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If it is NOT just a bad load of fuel, then there are a few directions your hunt for the problem could take.

 

Is there any oil in the coolant tank?

How new is the EGR?

 

Rick

 

And to add to what Rick #1 said, is your coolant level okay? I know, there's a coolant level sensor, but does it work?

 

Stumbling and white exhaust might be antifreeze in the cylinder(s). A drip can make a lot of steam.

 

I seriously doubt you could get fuel clouding in the deep south.

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Ok, I have my own theory (theories) but I'm asking for your educated guesses.

 

Background:

  • Truck has been running fine. I just completed an 1800 mile trip without any performance issues.
  • There has been an intermittent "Service" light for the last year. It has been on three computers, at three different dealers. No one has found a code (or anything else) and the light is mostly on, but sometimes off. It has been off for 300 miles. And is still off.
  • Truck tanks are at around 30 - 40 gallons each. Way lower than I normally let them get.
  • No conditioner, etc in the fuel. Until now - I just put a full dose in, but have not re-run the truck.
  • Last fueling was at a large country store that catered to logging trucks....Normally I don't do that, but I did. This was FL fuel...probably no anti-gel in it, and we are in southern AL (Summerdale, Rainbow Plantation).
  • Davco looks good. No air apparent in it. Fuel in it looks fine. Nothing really gross looking in the tanks...but it is hard to tell.
  • Everything else checks out as far as obvious things - hoses, etc.

Symptoms:

  • On starting the truck after a week sitting it stumbled some. It smoothed out, but continued to stumble once a minute or so, recovering each time. I popped the idle up to make sure it did not die.
  • After airing up and sitting for a couple of minutes a low speed drive in the park showed some stumbling - not much - and more white smoke than normal. It is cool out, though.
  • An attempted drive on the road showed lack of power. A real lack. Not quite limp mode, but not a whole lot more.
  • No indications, codes or faulty readings. No service light. No unusual engine noises.

So, what ideas does the "Community" have? So far I've dosed the fuel (remaining). I'll run it some tomorrow and try to stir up the additive.

 

Just curious how to come up with that number? Did you calculate the depth in a cylindrical tank?

 

I wonder if the pickup tubes in the tanks are pointing straight up and down or did someone roll the tanks in the saddles for easier fueling etc.?

 

If not fuel related, the older Cummins engines were known for cam sensor failures and as the tech at Hillsboro Diesel told me, they wont always throw a code, and even if they do, if you have battery cut off switches it will clear the code each time you cut power.

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The engine is a Volvo D16.

 

One of my first paths of investigation was coolant, but everything is normal, and there is no coolant level drop or oil in the coolant. All that is checked each pre-trip, so I know that it has been good. Oil levels are normal and oil looks good as well.

 

I agree that there is no gelling of the fuel...not around here.

 

My fuel level estimate is just that - an estimate. It is low, but not critical.

 

The EGR state is unknown. I sure hope it is not an injector, but it could be. An injector would be better than EGR(s) (because doing one EGR in my mind means doing both).

 

I have a reasonable fuel station about 5 miles from here. I'm going to try to add some (hopefully) clean fuel tomorrow. I have too many commitments today to do it. Hopefully the truck makes it there and back. Otherwise it is on the hook - and I really don't want to do that unless there is no option.

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A fuel system schematics would help for diagnosing the situation.

The first thing that I have seen cause your situation that did not show up on a code was a bad [maybe intermittent] fuel solenoid. Maybe intermittent proper voltage to solenoid. Or both problems combined to make it hard to find.

Then a air leak after the Davco. It can suck air but not leak fuel. A schematic would help on that also.

Then is there a filter after the Davco filter.

It is still hard to believe that a NAPA filter was the cause of hard starting on out N-14 for years until I put on a Baldwin filter.

As said before about antifreeze being the culprit but hopefully not the case.

 

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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Most everyone already said, fuel, fuel pumping, delivery and filtering system. My first thoughts too.

Your plan is good, dilution is the solution. Dump >100gal of fresh fuel in there, maybe a can of that

dry gas stuff to suck up any water that might have appeared, and try to drive is a bit. A new filter is

cheap, put that on there. I sure would like a fuel pump pressure gauge on my motors, that only happens

after I can't figure out a problem.

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I am on the fuel side here. The type of service HDT's go through, sitting a good bit then partial fills at unusual places tends to make problems. Change the filter, I hate to say it but you might have to get rid of all the fuel and start fresh. Tanks need to be kept full or moisture accumulates, even in warm climates like Florida, which is humid anyway.

 

If you hear hoof beats it is probably a horse, not a Zebra

 

With that said you might have an algae infestation in the fuel system. Happens in the marine side of diesel use all the time. There are special chemicals and processes for getting rid of it, but once infected it can create big problems and is hard to remedy.

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Jack,

My knowledge on the newer diesel engines is ZERO..

However, my question would be is this the first time you have let the fuel get this low since you have owned this truck?

If so, I would lean toward fuel delivery problems.

Can't be specific on what to check, but may narrow down your problem a bit.

Good luck,

Cheers,

Bob

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LIke Jeff, I tend to lean toward the obvious. Fuel. We will see.

 

This is the lowest these tanks have been. They are usually never below 3/8.

 

I see no signs of algae...but that does not mean it is not there. I'm hoping diluting what is in the tanks with good fuel will do it....

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I have a simple solution. Being the kind hearted soul that I am, I'll swap trucks with you. Ours is running pretty well, so that will off-set the years and mileage differences.

 

I am free this coming week, so I can even do the driving. Just give me your location and I'll leave in the morning, title in hand.

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If the problem persists after a new load of fuel, and I believe it will because you can see bad fuel in the filter, I would install a sight glass between the secondary fuel filter and the pump. It's the best way to check for air in the fuel system, short of pulling fuel from a bucket.

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I never said I could see bad fuel in the filter.....the fuel in the filter looks fine. No water, no trash....

 

I understand. From an earlier post you made it appeared as though you were treating this first as a bad fuel problem. No problem with doing that since it's the least expensive first action to take.

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I intend to treat this as a bad fuel problem, mainly because it shows all the symptoms of bad fuel. And I'm going to hope I'm right. New filters tomorrow, and a trip (assuming it makes it the 4 miles) to the fuel pump to dilute the little I have in my tanks. That is operating under the theory that the truck ran normally getting here, and thus a cleanup of the filters and some better fuel "may" solve the issue. Or mitigate it greatly. Fuel seems to be the highest probability for the problem. As Jeff said, "if it quacks like a duck......" Gotta wait till tomorrow since NAPA is not open today, and I want 3 swaps of each filter. Plus, if I HAVE to get towed, it is easier on Monday.

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Hmmmm. I'm gonna be against the flow here. The truck has no power. If the Davco was plugged, the fuel would be high in the bowl. I believe Jack said elsewhere its the only filter on the truck? That, and the fact that it ran fine..and then didn't, and has this code flashing occasionally... all makes me believe that this may be an electronic problem. Cam sensor or even more likely the ECM. Or a connection. QUestion...did the weather turn damp and muggy?

 

Obviously fill up and change filters first...I sure hope that fixes it.

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You may be right Jeff...but I hope not. The Davco is more than half full....it was empty at the last pretrip. So there is definitely a flow issue. There is a secondary filter....I have to get a new one before pulling it. I thought I had one and do not....bad on me. That won't happen again :)

 

I dumped more of the fuel "stuff" in the tanks....but have done nothing else. Gotta order filters from NAPA today. Then I'll either drive over and add fuel first, or I'll change the filters first then add fuel. By Wed I should know if it is more involved. I'm pretty busy with other things so this is a distraction I don't need at the moment....but I need to get it resolved soon so I know where I stand....not moving locations again until the first week of March, so I have "some" time.

 

I'm also going to pull an oil sample and make sure nothing is getting in there. Just to be sure - besides it is time for my 6-month oil sample.

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