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Question for you Cummins experts about an engine code


Bobi and Dick McKee

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Today our Freightliner Sports Chassis threw a check engine code. It was the light for emissions. It is a 2015 ISL 9 Cummins. Went to a Cummins shop here in Clarkston WA and they hooked it up to a computer and said the code was for a line heater on the DEF system. They of course didn't have any parts. I called a large Cummins dealer in Spokane and got a pretty good run around. Could be this, could be that and it could be a problem with a Freightliner part like the tank heater, and besides they are booked all next week. He referred me to a Freightliner dealer who is also an authorized Cummins dealer. My question is this: I'm being warned if I drive too far the engine can go into low power mode and I'll be limited to 5 mph. When asked no one could tell me how far is too far. The shop is about 100 miles from us. Do I need to worry. Seems odd that the engine would shut down over a DEF heater. I'm leaving at 4:30 for a first come first come service in the morning. Thanks in Advance, Dick

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It's rather strange that the DEF heater would have issues so soon. Has anyone checked to see if the harness to the DEF has no issues, all connectors plugged in tight and all connections on the top of the DEF tank tight ? I would also check the connectors to make sure they are dry. Moisture in them will cause ECU trip.

 

Many people have asked how far before limp mode and there is no definitive answer for that. I have look at the code for various ECU's and it really depends on how the engine is used, loads, temperature, emission output, etc. You can go for 5 or 5000 miles before it decides to trip. If you have a scan gauge handy, you can clear the code and let it trigger again.

 

With DEF, you thank our wonderful EPA on that stupid decision !!

 

DEF heater is not needed until the DEF fluid drops to its freezing temperature which is 12 degrees F. If your outside ambient air temperature is 50 of higher, you should be good to go and make it non stop. Do not stop the engine at any point on the way. On the triggers in the ECU is if you stop and shut it down, it will not allow you to start again.

 

Hope that helps.

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DIck sorry to hear this. I can tell you that I have not been very impressed with my local Freightliner dealership. I am cringing and apprehensive about ever returning there. Everything I have read about large truck dealerships as far as putting you on the back burner because you are not the priority has come to be so true. It may be under warranty but trust me you are not their priority and they will take their sweet a$$ time to repair it. I have heard good things about the Freightliner shop in Portland Oregon although you are probably in Spokane now.

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Took the truck to Freedom Freightliner in Spokane this morning. Interesting thing is they don't take reservations it is first come first served and are open 7 days a week. A huge absolutely immaculate facility. They have a neat system. There are 4 bays that the analyze the problem, and if it is a quick fix they do the repair in that bay also. Rolled in at 7:30 and was given the thumbs up at 9:30. Problem was as the mechanic was starting and stropping the motor to test it the light came back on. The initial test he did indicated a short in the DEF line heater and even gave a part number to replace, which he did. He told me he was concerned about 2 very sharp kinks in the harness to the heater were tie wrapped very tightly to the truck, and he was afraid that a wire was broke in the kink. Problem is, under warranty they must do what the computer says to do first or Cummins won't cover the warranty. Bottom line is I left the truck and they will ohm out the wires this afternoon and tomorrow as soon as he finishes analyzing 2 OTR rigs that are waiting and were actually there before me, but the drivers left instructions not to wake them, so in I went. I'll keep you posted.

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Update on the DEF short. They started tracing wiring on Sunday afternoon and continued on Monday. There are 58 wires in 3 different looms that could cause the problem. After 6 hours of work they could find no short, so they called in their "ACE" (read old timer real mechanic not a parts changer). He crawled under the truck and came right out. He said if you will put the new part in the correct way the problem will go away and he walked away. On Sunday the parts changer put the new DEF line heater in backwards...just my luck. We are back on the road in up in Canada now.

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Hope that you arent paying for 6 hours of troubleshooting for a mistake made by a "parts changer". This happens all too often. In my industry, I get called ( I guess cuz I'm seen as a sort of ACE) when others have replaced equipment and it has failed under use, so call the ACE and I tell them if it had been installed correctly originally, then the customer wouldnt be upset because your guys installed it FAST just not RIGHT. So, now pay me to do it again, remove it, and install it the right way. That couldnt have saved any $$

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