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Old 12-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #1
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yellow engine light on dash-how far can I go before the engine shuts down

Was driving down to Gaffney for my annual service land then on to my annual Florida trip when a yellow motor icon appeared on the dash. Called the hot line and there is code stored that says it is a nox sensor. Hot line suggested that I get it looked at as soon as possible but try to find someplace on the Saturday afternoon before New Years. Most places are normally closed on Saturday anyway but being just before New Years, even more places are closed. I asked the hot line how long I could drive it in this condition and he said he didn't know- it could de-rate the engine and the icon could go to red indicating that it should be shut down immediately meaning we would need to be towed.

I would like to get out of the Philadelphia-Clarksboro KOA and get back to my travels. Does anyone have any better idea as to how long my coach could be driven before the engine de-rates and goes into limp mode?
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:50 PM   #2
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A read a number of truckers sites about nox codes. The solution for a fix was pretty inconsistent, But many of them said the code would come and go for a couple of weeks. Most were saying that the in OX sensor Was not the actual problem but some other condition causing the sensor to read out of spec. Some suggested that the issue might be caused by crystals on the DEF dosing valve. I did have my dosing valve changed This fall. The code clear before I got it to the shop.
In any case, I don't think anyone can answer the Question accurately. I believe it's would be a crapshoot. Do you feel lucky?
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:24 PM   #3
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I wish I could help, but I have not experienced this yet. Everything I read in researching it leads me to say you should have it checked out before you travel too much further. Sorry to hear it happened on the beginning of your trip where it is still cold.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:26 PM   #4
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I had the exact same predicament back in 2016... Freightliner basically told me that the code referenced a NoX sensor 'out of sync', but that it would NOT inhibit me from driving it until my next SCHEDULED service, where it could easily be diagnosed and replaced, which it was, by Cummins in Ft Wayne, over 1,000 miles and a month later....

no worries... I don't believe this is any situation where the system will suddenly 'derate' the engine... it's simply a technical measurement of the NoX reading, not necessarily any 'issue' with the emissions system overall. Derating is generally only because of lack of DEF.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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If it is only the yellow engine outline it probably won’t detune on you. If it’s the next one over with the yellow outline with the warning in it that could and is more serious. Ours was that the connection pins in the wiring harness weren’t fully seated (this after we had driven it 17,000 miles before showing up). We called the factory when this happened on a trip and they told us to get it checked for sure at first convenient opportunity but if it went to the second symbol with the warning then get it looked at immediately. Of course if you get the red one it’s telling you to shut it off.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:59 AM   #6
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right, the 'yellow outline' of an engine ALERT is actually a little misleading, as it is really a function of the EMISSIONS system, not the engine itself.

now, the Engine Warning yellow alert, and the red alert, would be a different story...

when you first turn on your ignition, take a quick PHOTO of all of the Alerts icons on the screen, as you can then more easily remember 'which' one is the real concern, as several of these look very similar. The Cummins manual should reveal the true explanation of each.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:22 AM   #7
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I've always been told that if the warning light is yellow, it means that it won't stop your vehicle from running but get it checked out as soon as possible. If the light is red, stop the vehicle immediately and don not use until corrected.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:34 AM   #8
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These "check engine" lights are typically emissions related, nothing more unless the car/truck computer wants to make an issue of it.

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Old 12-31-2018, 09:39 AM   #9
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Newer diesels will make an issue out of emissions issues and will gradually limit your top speed until eventually your truck won't run until it's fixed.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timfromma View Post
Newer diesels will make an issue out of emissions issues and will gradually limit your top speed until eventually your truck won't run until it's fixed.
After 48 hours of constant rain, our DP check engine light came on in Dothan, AL. I kept driving and the regent light came on. I kept driving and the regen light started flashing. I kept driving because like you, it was Saturday. I fueled up south of Ocala, FL just 10 miles from my campground. The stop engine light came on in red, the engine derated and would only craw along about 5 mph. I had to be towed by a huge wrecker back to Ocala. I am now at Cummins coach care, have over a dozen fault codes and the problem is a bad sensor in the coolant system. So like Clint Eastwood said, "Do you feel lucky?"
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