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Old 04-29-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Check Engine/water in fuel

We're on a shakedown cruise and having some issues:

Left home with a little more than a 1/4 tank. Filled up before leaving town. Drove 1.5 hrs, camped for the night, then drove another hour to the first stop.

When we left that first stop, the "Water in fuel" notification came up on the information center (but no win he warning lights). I pulled over, left the engine idling, and looked through the manuals. It wasn't too clear what action to take.
In the process, I hit the Information Center joystick, and the Water in fuel notification went away.

We drove on down the road, but 10-20 miles later, I got the engine warning light, plus "engine warning" in the display. I immediately looked for a place to pull over, and as I did, the engine warning light went out, and everything g appeared normal.



Now I'm parked, and when I turn on the key, it shows the engine arming light, "engine warning" in the display, followed by "water in fuel". After 3 seconds, the engine warning light goes off off, but the water in fuel notice remains until I hit the joystick.

All this sounds like it needs service. However, there is one more thing: the generator won't start. The charger shows 12.4v on the batteries, and the in error seems to be working correctly. It when I hold the top of the Generator Start switch, it makes a fast ticking noise, but nothing else.

I'm just wondering if it's an overall electrical problem, and the two are related. Or maybe not.

Not sure what I'm going to do at to this point...
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:46 PM   #2
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Would help to know what year, model and the mileage you have on the coach. As for the ticking noise, the generator needs the glow plug to warm up before the generator starts. This could be a normal situation. I would hold the start switch a little longer to see if it starts. Also, your fuel water separator my need changing. Do you know if/when this service may have been performed?
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Ha! Sorry! I'm in a 2008 390bh...ISB 6.7 Cummins. 10,800 miles. It has sat in a storage lot for the past year. I just bought it a few weeks ago.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:54 PM   #4
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Drain off your fuel filter housing to remove any water that may be in the filter housing.

after draining the fuel/water close the valve and to prime the fuel bowl again you need to turn the ignition on for 5-10 seconds. Shut off. and repeat 3 or four times. This will have the lift pump send fuel to replace the fuel you drained off out of the bowl.

Most likely you picked up a minimal amount of moisture in your fuel and it needs to be bled out!

If you need a helpful hand finding the fuel filter housing just shout and I can get you a picture of what it looks like.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
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As avolnek indicated, you may have picked up some water. If you look on the passenger side of the engine, you will see a filter with a clear, yellow bowl and a black knob on the bottom. If you turn the knob it will open and you can drain some of the fuel/water out. It won't drain completely because it is gravity fed and fuel will continue to flow into the filter. Don't ask me how I know this -ok, the first time I change the fuel water separator, fuel kept pouring out and I got a soaking in diesel fuel. If that doesn't fix the problem, you may need to change the fuel/water separator completely.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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I would also recommend replacing the filter at the same time if at all possible! Otherwise this is a quick bandaid... would recommend the filter sooner than later though... water into the cummins injectors can spell bad news!
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks. I'm draining it now. Does it ever stop? I drained for about 10 minutes, and it was still going strong. I closed it, turn on the key for a few seconds (until the noise stopped) and then opened it again. It's been draining for almost another 10 minutes now. (It still showed "water in fuel"). Click image for larger version

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Old 04-29-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
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You missed what tmmar said... he said it continued to pour out as long as it is open... Must be siphoning from the tank...

You may need to pull the housing off completely and drain it by holding it upside down. Or just completely replace it. I am not terribly familiar with the motor home style of cummins. VERY familiar with the light truck applications though...
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:12 PM   #9
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As I said in my earlier post, it will continue to flow as long as the valve is opened because it is gravity fed as long as the fuel is higher than the level of the filter. If you still get the water in fuel light, it is probably a bad load of diesel. Not sure if it will be resolved by just changing the filter. Don't know what the next step would be. Did you try starting the engine to see if it resets?
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:17 PM   #10
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You've drained more then enough fuel. That receptacle, is where the water collects when it gets separated. Once that is drained off, your good to go again.
It may take a couple of on and off cycles and a little travel time to clear the code, kinda like the loose gas cap thing on some cars. You can snug the cap, but until you've driven a bit, and turned the ignition on and off a few times, the check engine light will stay on.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:49 PM   #11
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Ok, I was able to remove the bottom section of the separator (the clear part), dump that out, and put it back on. (It's almost like the drain was pulling fuel from the tank, but not actually draining off the water). When I turned on the key, there was no water warning.
I did that two more times (key off, unscrew bottom portion, dump, replace, key on for 10-20 seconds), and no code. It started right up after that.

I'm assuming that a replacement would be the entire separator, not just the clear part I was able to unscrew? I'm gonna see if I can track one of those down now.

Thanks for everyone's help so far!
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:56 PM   #12
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Chester,
The filter is sold without the clear bowl. The bowl can be reused but I bought a second clear bowl and attached it to the filter so that I could swap the whole thing quickly without having too much fuel spill out.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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So, at the risk of a stupid question: I should be able to unscrew the clear part, then pull out the filter cartridge, then put in a new cartridge and screw on the clear part again?

I didn't try hard, but when I unscrewed the clear part, I wasn't sure if I should pull out the filter or not.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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If by 'pull out' the filter cartridge you mean unscrew it, then you are correct. The yellow cartridge is one piece and there is no separate filter insert. The whole unit is 2 pieces only - the yellow filter (which unscrews) and the accumulator bow (which is attached to the yellow filter/separator).
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Ah! That makes sense. So the filter part is actually the yellow peice that that clear accumulator bowl screws onto.

Well, the water in fuel warning just came back on, so I'm gonna dump it out again and see if we can get on down the road. Must be a bad bunch of diesel.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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If you are near a boat yard, they may be able to run the fuel through something to remove the water- I believe they call it 'polishing'. There may be other places that do the same thing. The other route would be to dump the whole tank and start over. Not sure which would cost less but if you have a lot of water in the tank you would need to do something.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:00 PM   #17
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You may want to call wherever you bought the fuel from and let them know... so if you damage anything they will be liable for the bad fuel... Also so they can let other people know of the contamination!
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:30 PM   #18
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You might also have a loose connection on the sensor or the sensor might be bad. I had the same issue as you with the water in fuel. It turned out to be a bad sensor.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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As I read the post the OP said he bought the MH after being stored for a year. If the tank was not full it would make a lot if water in a years time. I would add some diesel additive and keep dumping the filter. The water should get filtered as it goes through. A call to a Cummins shop wouldn't hurt. I will be a firm believer in keeping the tank full a at any stop over two or three weeks.



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Old 04-29-2014, 07:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterhull View Post
We're on a shakedown cruise and having some issues:

Left home with a little more than a 1/4 tank. Filled up before leaving town. Drove 1.5 hrs, camped for the night, then drove another hour to the first stop.

When we left that first stop, the "Water in fuel" notification came up on the information center (but no win he warning lights). I pulled over, left the engine idling, and looked through the manuals. It wasn't too clear what action to take.
In the process, I hit the Information Center joystick, and the Water in fuel notification went away.

We drove on down the road, but 10-20 miles later, I got the engine warning light, plus "engine warning" in the display. I immediately looked for a place to pull over, and as I did, the engine warning light went out, and everything g appeared normal.



Now I'm parked, and when I turn on the key, it shows the engine arming light, "engine warning" in the display, followed by "water in fuel". After 3 seconds, the engine warning light goes off off, but the water in fuel notice remains until I hit the joystick.

All this sounds like it needs service. However, there is one more thing: the generator won't start. The charger shows 12.4v on the batteries, and the in error seems to be working correctly. It when I hold the top of the Generator Start switch, it makes a fast ticking noise, but nothing else.

I'm just wondering if it's an overall electrical problem, and the two are related. Or maybe not.

Not sure what I'm going to do at to this point...
Aside from the water in fuel issue, the gen start circuit is another headache. Coach batteries are used to start the gen-set and a reading of 12.4 is too low for a reserve of starting and coach operations. Could be they weren't charged in the past year and still can be saved. Was this reading that low when the engine running? It should have been more like 13.6-14.2 volts with the alternator. Fully charged batteries without the alt should be 13.2-13.6. Either the batteries are shot or discharged. You can try the gen-set again with the engine running or have the coach batteries tested for load capacity by nearly any battery retail shop. If they are original to the M/H they could very well be bad. Normal life is 3-5 years for Lead acid batteries.
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