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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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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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Old 12-31-2018, 02:44 PM   #11
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Buy the Good Sam towing service for a year and hit the road. At least you have coverage in case you have trouble.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:46 PM   #12
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yellow engine light on dash-how far can I go before the engine shuts down

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Originally Posted by Kuppajoe View Post
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?"


Similar here: I left home went about 6 mile. The stop engine light came on. About a mile later the motor shut down. It started back up and I turned around to get back home. Coach would run up to 60 MPH and die again. Was able to do that three times and get back home.

My mechanic hooked his computer to the motor. Talked about a nox -issue best I remember. He did a forced regent on it. Could find nothing else wrong with it. 15,000 mile later never another issue.

Russell
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:17 PM   #13
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Similar here: I left home went about 6 mile. The stop engine light came on. About a mile later the motor shut down. It started back up and I turned around to get back home. Coach would run up to 60 MPH and die again. Was able to do that three times and get back home.

My mechanic hooked his computer to the motor. Talked about a nox -issue best I remember. He did a forced regen on it. Could find nothing else wrong with it. 15,000 mile later never another issue.

Russell
On the truckers Websites I was reading A bunch of them said that a parked regent might clear the issue.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:20 PM   #14
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On the truckers Websites I was reading A bunch of them said that a parked regent might clear the issue.


Yes a forced regent not hurt a thing. Even if no lights are showing.

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Old 12-31-2018, 03:38 PM   #15
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Usually the check engine light is a warning that there is a potential problem. However if the light flashes then it is serious. So a steady light means have it attended to in the near future no immediate need to service today
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:00 PM   #16
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Well, to start with, I did not fell lucky at all. I started the trip off with a huge rock hitting my windshield and putting a silver dollar sized (maybe larger) multi point star in the windshield. Not a pretty sight and probably not repairable- meaning that the windshield will need to be replaced. Then when the yellow icon came on I didn't want to take any chances. I got to a Freightliner dealer/service center at 6 am this morning because I wanted to make sure they were going to be able get me in and check out my coach. The service tech came out with his laptop and hooked it up. He then proceeded to tell me that there were 18 entries for the same issue - none of them were active. I asked if the nox sensor needed to be replaced and said no. He did say that there were updates to the software and he could do the update -for a nominal fee- $175+tax. He said that the updated software takes care of a lot of issues that normally cause a warning light to come on. So, I had the update done (my coach had version 20 of the software and the new versions were in the 40'a) so there were many revisions to the software that were not installed in my coach. So, that's where we stand so hopefully this will take care of any other issues as well.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:32 PM   #17
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Well that sounds like a good deal. To get thru a Freightliner door for less than $200 is amazing in itself!! Best of luck. Hope they got it fixed.

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:41 PM   #18
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Glad to hear it worked out for you Tom. Safe travels.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:07 PM   #19
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Glad you're back on the road.

This is an FIY as it came up above. And, as always, this applies to many but not necessarily ALL BERKSHIRE chassis (although I don't know of any where it does NOT apply) Yes, this is a BERKSHIRE forum.

YOU CAN NOT DO A FORCED REGEN ON THESE UNITS.

When it starts bitching at you you can only hope that all it needs is a regen and get on the highway and get motoring at speed for a half hour. If there's something else going on that won't help....

As always, read the book for the specifics here.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:17 AM   #20
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yellow engine light on dash-how far can I go before the engine shuts down

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Glad you're back on the road.

This is an FIY as it came up above. And, as always, this applies to many but not necessarily ALL BERKSHIRE chassis (although I don't know of any where it does NOT apply) Yes, this is a BERKSHIRE forum.

YOU CAN NOT DO A FORCED REGEN ON THESE UNITS.

When it starts bitching at you you can only hope that all it needs is a regen and get on the highway and get motoring at speed for a half hour. If there's something else going on that won't help....

As always, read the book for the specifics here.


I know nothing about your 2017 unit. But on my 2014 FL 390 there is a shorting plug on the steering column that will allow for a forced regen. Hard to get to first time as it is in a cluster of wires. But unplug that switch and plug it back in and the regen will start. Mine may be the only one in the country with this set up but I doubt it !!

Russell
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