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Old 03-10-2019, 09:55 PM   #1
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Chassis Electrical Issue

I am reporting here as a service to others who may have the same problem with the same, or similar symptoms.

There are some questions I am looking for answers for. I am encouraging participation from people with specific knowledge. Please, no general "Charge the batteries" advice. And PLEASE... this is a BERKSHIRE on a FREIGHTLINER chassis. I don't care how a Volvo is wired.

The facts:

1: We shut down the engine in a campground last night. Everything was working. This morning started up and had no tail lights on the coach AND no marker lights above the rear axle and at the top of the rear cap AND no tail/marker lights on the connected trailer. Headlights, FRONT marker lights and stop and turn signal on the coach AND the trailer were working.

2: Since it was daylight and we had stop and turn we were legal and headed out on the road. Once we got going I discovered the dash AC was not working. (Started generator and ran front cabin AC).

3: After about 120 miles stopped for fuel. When I restarted the engine ALL lights worked AND the AC dash worked.

Diagnostic/Repair efforts:

1: I was unable to locate fuses for the lighting. I have attached the labeling for the front "three", the front FL fuse/relay box, and the rear fuse/relay box. There is no mention of headlights/turn/stop/marker lighting. There is a lot of labeling for the tow lighting, including marker lights. I will, tomorrow, take pictures of the panels themselves. The front "three" are OK, but the front and rear FL panels make no sense. Specifically there are a lot of fuses in there that are not on the label. I suspect that some of these are lighting fuses, but I have not confirmed that yet. I did, of course, do some wiggling and pushing on the various components on the panels.

Anyone who has in fact identified the lighting fuses please chip in here.

2: The "blue light" in the dash AC control panel was working. I could hear the front AC cooling fan running. I ran the temp selector to "Full Hot" and it got hot. Then ran it back to "Full Cold" and it got not-hot.

Thoughts.....

1: Fuses don't fix themselves. It all worked for another 250 miles I don't believe there was anything wrong with a fuse. (I'd still like to know where they are)

2: There appears to be a fuse for the TOW marker lights in the rear panel. I find it VERY ODD that the rear lights on the coach AND the trailer went. They are separate.

3: Are the COACH tail and rear marker lights on the same circuit? I find that odd too.

4: Since the AC worked as advertised again, we did NOT lose refrigerant, we did NOT crater the compressor. The error was transient. I suspect the compressor was not getting the signal to engage the clutch.

5: I can NOT believe that the two/three issues are unrelated. Although I discovered them at different times, the fact that they fixed themselves at the same time cannot be coincidental.

6: Where do these two/three meet? Are some of the unknown fuses on the REAR panel the lights and the compressor clutch? Does that mean they meet at the rear module? Are there canon plugs where they meet? I'm intending to delve into the DTNA site to see if I can see any schematics......

7: I remember a recall on the rear module re tail lights and one of the turn signals....? This recall is NOT applicable to my chassis number. Does anyone have the number and the exact description?

Anything else SPECIFIC anyone has to offer? Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:09 PM   #2
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OK.....

As I was digging around I stumbled on a chassis specific page on another forum. Read a post from a person who had almost identical problems as I did, and had his rear power module replaced. Also had the recall which I don't.

A call to Freightliner is in order.
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarvan View Post
OK.....

As I was digging around I stumbled on a chassis specific page on another forum. Read a post from a person who had almost identical problems as I did, and had his rear power module replaced. Also had the recall which I don't.

A call to Freightliner is in order.
Anxious to hear more after your call to FL. Also please post link to the post of referenced person with almost identical problem. THX
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:20 PM   #4
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OK... the recall is not out there yet, there's an interim recall notice, and FL informs me that my chassis is indeed subject to said recall, the letter is probably in the mail at home.

The interim part means there's no fix at this time.

So, I can probably have the module replaced under warrantee, but there's a distinct possibility that they're going to stick a new module in there that will also be subject to recall.....
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #5
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Mods if reference to a competing forum is inappropriate please pull...

The other discussion on this subject is here:

Freightliner Recalled for Brake Light Failure - iRV2 Forums
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
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OK... the recall is not out there yet, there's an interim recall notice, and FL informs me that my chassis is indeed subject to said recall, the letter is probably in the mail at home.

The interim part means there's no fix at this time.

So, I can probably have the module replaced under warrantee, but there's a distinct possibility that they're going to stick a new module in there that will also be subject to recall.....
My '17 38A chassis born-on date is 06/29/16 so I'm probably in the same boat.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:59 PM   #7
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You won't find fuses for lights on pretty much any modern vehicle. MY 2014 truck doesn't have any either. The lights are controlled by a body control module (or similar fancy name depending on manufacturer) which in addition to turning lights on and off does two things: Turn off power if there is a short and monitor the bulb for open condition. Either condition should trigger a warning light or message.
The modules in a modern vehicle communicate via some sort of bus, again often manufacturer specific variants of a CAN bus. The lights not turning on could be a failure in a module (not necessarily the one controlling the lights but also the one sending the commands) or the bus itself. Apparently resetting everything by turning it off and on cleared the problem for now.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
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Nope. Lights not working today. Didn't start it so don't know if dash AC is working.

As far as monitoring, no warning lights of any kind.

Called FL 24/7. My question is whether replacing the rear PCM will require any kind of programming. If not, trying to get them to authorize a module for me to swap out.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:43 PM   #9
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OK... the recall is not out there yet, there's an interim recall notice, and FL informs me that my chassis is indeed subject to said recall, the letter is probably in the mail at home.

The interim part means there's no fix at this time.

So, I can probably have the module replaced under warrantee, but there's a distinct possibility that they're going to stick a new module in there that will also be subject to recall.....

Ordinarily that's not how it works when recalling defective parts. Notices go out to all dealers to pull and return suspect parts and attempts to order them are met with "unavailable" notices on the computer. New parts are shipped to replace both returned items and as ordered to meet warranty requests.

The automotive (includes trucks too) industry is pretty wise to what happens if they allow suspect parts to remain in the supply stream and are quick to quarantine or remove them.

CANbus is a lot like that old IBM Pc. Lots of problems went away when you re-booted only to show up again later.

Hopefully yours will continue to work properly until the replacement part is available. If not ------ Re-boot (shut down. let things cool off, try again).
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:46 PM   #10
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It's technically not a recall yet, it's an interim reacall...... And according to the Fl dude on the phone today the fix is not available yet. Here's the language:
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