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Old 09-03-2019, 10:04 PM   #1
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DPF Light on Dash Flickered

I saw something new today. We just got back from a very successful trip up to Canada and back with everything running well. Fuel mileage was excellent and the engine consistently made good power. On the way to our storage yard I was slowing to a stop at an intersection and I saw a yellow turbocharger shaped light flicker on the dash. It didn't stay on, but flickered again briefly when I started rolling. I rolled my display down to show turbo boost level. The rig ran just fine on the remaining mile to the yard. I floored it and saw boost go to 28 psi. When I backed off and slowed for the next corner the boost level dropped to 6 psi, then floated between 3 psi and zero. There was no Check Engine light or any other indication of anything unusual. I didn't have time to visually inspect the turbo for anything obvious but will do so in the next day or so.
Our 6.7 ISB was built in 2009, pre-DEF. It's installed in a 2011 Coachmen Sportscoach on a Freightliner XC chassis, pretty common stuff.
Any thoughts, ideas, and experiences are very welcome! Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #2
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My coach just went to Cummins for a new actuator and turbo. Our coach was running great when the check engine light came on and the SilverLeaf displayed turbo actuator failure. The boost was changing as I accelerated and there was no other sign of a fault. 10 miles down the road I was at a Cummins shop and they read the codes, I needed a new actuator. Further inspection showed both the actuator and turbo needed replacing.

I would suggest heading to someone to have the codes read.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for the comment. Even just a flicker of a warning light should not be ignored, so getting engine codes checked is no doubt in my future.
-Does anybody know if there will be any codes to see if the Check Engine light has not come on?
-Will an intermittent event throw a code that is kept in memory?
-Does anybody know what causes the turbo light to come on?

I will inspect the turbo for anything obvious. Then I will drive the bus on a short trip or two while keeping the boost level displayed. Even if I don't see or feel anything wrong, I think I should definitely get it in to a shop for a code check. I don't have another long trip planned until next year, and I have a warranty on mechanical repairs, so if I've got an issue it can be set right. My biggest fear is having a breakdown during a major trip, far from home and inconvenient as all get-out.

Thanks again for your time. If anybody can provide insight into my questions above I would be grateful.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:58 AM   #4
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I have never seen a turbo light on a dash.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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Neither had I until a couple of days ago. To be specific, the light is on the left side of the black rectangular Freightliner 'information' box. Forgive me, I can't recall the correct name for the thing. You can use a joystick on the dash to navigate through a number of bits of information. I normally display my trip mileage, engine temperature, and transmission temperature. Now I'll be displaying engine temp, transmission temp, and turbo boost pressure, at least until I get things sorted out.
The light was a yellow symbol that resembled a cloud puffing, so I am boldly assuming it has to do with the turbo.
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:18 PM   #6
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The cloud puffing symbol is for the dpf.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
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Thanks NevadaNick!

Never too old to learn.
I've begun searching for DPF info and found this in an earlier post by a member, implies I likely don't have a serious problem but I'm going to keep digging for more info, and will get in touch with Cummins tomorrow for more education:

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmcycle View Post
What do you mean "regeneration"?
From my manual...

Diesel Particulate Filter

The exhaust system is equipped with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) to lower particulate emissions. The DPF traps particulate matter. Naturally occurring exhaust heat oxidizes built up particulate and regenerates the filter. This is called passive regeneration. If passive regeneration is not sufficient, an active regeneration cycle will automatically initiate at speeds greater than 20 mph. Both passive and active regeneration cycles initiate automatically.

Passive Regeneration:

Passive regeneration uses heat from naturally occurring exhaust gasses to oxidize built-up
particulate.

Active Regeneration:

An active regeneration cycle will be initiated if exhaust temperatures are not high enough to regenerate the filter. The motorhome must be traveling in excess of 20 mph for an active regeneration cycle to initiate. During an active regeneration cycle, diesel fuel is introduced into the exhaust system upstream of the DPF. The fuel will ignite and super-heat the
DPF to oxidize particulate matter. The HEST (High Exhaust System Temperature) dash light will illuminate when exhaust temperatures reach 1450ļ F., indicating that an active regeneration is underway and exhaust system temperatures are elevated above normal levels. These temperature levels may occur for up to 40 minutes. The HEST light will remain on until the exhaust temperature cools to 650ļ F., which may not be until the engine is turned off and the exhaust system cools before restarting. The HEST light does not indicate a fault as long as there are no other active warning lights.

NOTE

If the engine is turned off during an active regeneration cycle, the cycle will automatically begin again (if necessary) when the motorhome is operated at speeds above 20 mph.

DPF Dash Light:

A DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) indicator light on the dash illuminates when an active regeneration cycle is necessary and has not been able to initiate. Driving the motorhome above speeds of 20 mph will allow an active regeneration cycle to initiate. The HEST light will turn on when exhaust temperatures reach 1450ļ F, indicating an active regeneration cycle is underway. Once the DPF is clear of particulate matter the DPF light will turn off.

DPF Light Warning System:

If the DPF remains clogged, there are four stages of the DPF light warning system. The HEST light may illuminate during this sequence, which indicates that an active regeneration cycle is underway. This should successfully regenerate the filter. The only indication that the DPF is clear and in good working order is the DPF light turning back off.

Stage One: The DPF light glows steady. This means that an active regeneration cycle is necessary but has not been able to initiate.

Stage Two: The DPF light flashes. The DPF filter is clogged to the point that the engine will slightly derate (lose power).

Stage Three: The DPF light flashes and the Check engine light turns on. The DPF is clogged to the point that service is required immediately. The engine will severely derate at this point.

Stage Four: The DPF light and Check Engine lights extinguish and the Stop Engine light turns on. Turn off the engine as soon as possible to avoid severe engine and/or system component damage. Do not drive the motorhome in this condition. The DPF will need to be removed for repair.

Hope this helps!

Ron
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
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We have 78,000 miles on our Entegra and went 11,000 miles this summer. This is the first time we have been shut down twice because of regeneration.

After paying for 2 mobile mechanics to do a force regeneration I bought a unit on Amazon for $500. Now if I get shut down I can get back on the road fast. Each mobile mechanic told me that most trucks have this issue all the time
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:12 PM   #9
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info PhilNail. Due to other aspects of living, my coach remains in storage untouched since the flickering DPF light caught my attention.
I plan to drive it hard on the freeway for an hour or so and see whether it goes through a regen or not, something I haven't seen in 3 seasons and 23k miles of ownership. I'm hoping everything is fine but I suppose in the worst case I might have a plugged DPF to deal with.
I'm hanging on to the info you've provided on the regen reset tool. I've not heard of this on my little ISB 6.7, but I'm the guy who first thought the DPF light was a 'turbo problem'. It seems the more I learn the more I find out that I don't know. If I keep learning at this rate, I'll eventually know practically nothing about practically everything!
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #11
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I had the same engine in a pickup truck, and I assure you it’s regenerated many times. The OEMs decided to give no indication of regeneration unless there’s a problem. Figured we weren’t on the need to know list. The regeneration cycle for a pre DEF Cummins 6.7 in my experience is 200 miles or less. But it varies a lot depending on driving habits.

I learned to detect it in the truck by the suddenly decreased instantaneous fuel mileage. Your mpg will take a hit when the system dumps fuel into the exhaust stream to heat up the system and burn out the deposits.

In some vehicles the warning light also is used to indicate high exhaust temps. As in don’t park on dry grass or you’ll start a fire.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:38 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info! Our coach does not have the instantaneous mileage calculation (or maybe I haven't found it in the Freightliner system) and it appears to work the same way as your pickup truck did, i.e. no other indication of a regen in progress. Our usage is typically long freeway days and very little idling, but a couple of times we have been caught in construction or accident delays and I never gave the long idle sessions a thought. It's probably been doing regens all along without my knowledge. This was the first time I have ever seen the DPF light and it happened while in town, slowing down for a traffic light and then again while idling at the light. It appears that it is 'ready' for a regen so the next time I move it I'm going to make a freeway run of at least a half hour. Hopefully the light isn't the first sign of a DPF that's beginning to get plugged......

I appreciate your response!
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:45 AM   #13
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That sounds like a high temperature exhaust warning. My coach has done that. If it’s regenerating and you slow down the high temp warning is (I think) triggered by the combination of high temp and low speed.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:49 PM   #14
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That sounds logical and I hope it's what happened. It implies I don't have a pending expensive repair in my future. Thanks again!
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