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Old 09-02-2017, 01:50 PM   #1
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Losing power on the hills. Please Help!

I currently have a 2003 Winnebago Adventurer 33V with a Workhorse Chassis and Allision Transmission. Everything seems to run great on the level or smaller hills that are not very long but in the mountains when I hit a steady grade for an extended time I lose almost everything. When this first happened I was on my way for inspection and the check engine light came on and lost all power. I barely had enough power to get up the off ramp. Cooled down for a bit and ran pretty good to the shop. I had oil changed, new wires and plugs, fuel and air filter replaced as well as several sensors that the mechanic said were the check engine issues. Well after 1500.00 I head home to only slowly start developing the same issues and the check engine light came back on. I filled the tank added Sea Foam to the gas and tranny and took for a ride hoping maybe something in that would help. No luck after 100 miles and lost all power once again on the same slope as the first time. Sorry so long but wanted to try and include everything. The only other work I have had done recently was A/C charge and a new belt.

Thanks in advance for any advice
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:02 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have already done what many of us would have suggested, changed the plugs and wires. Am I to understand that things got better for a while but you're now having the same performance issues as you had prior to the service work? How many miles since you had the service work done?

Any idea if the service tech used good plugs, wires, sensors, etc or did he use non OEM replacements?

One thing you really need is a scan gauge. This gauge will help you diagnose trouble and Check Engine Light codes. In many cases you will be able to see trouble brewing before the CEL picks it up.

I use this one. It is simple to program and easy to use. These guys also sponsor this forum.

https://www.ultrarvproducts.com/inde...facturer_id=25
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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I could not tell you what kind of parts were used but only what he said he did to it. I just picked it up Tuesday and the problems restarted that same day. Seemed good at first until I hit the mountains again. With each upward slope it got worse and the check engine light came back on. He was "supposed" to check if the exhaust might be blocked and said was not. I have had everything done that I can think of and am not just really upset and frustrated.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
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I must add that as I sat along the highway yesterday a couple of times when this happened I shut it off and let it cool down for about 5-10 minutes. It gave me back enough power to get up the mountain but quickly started to do the same thing.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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Sounds like you have something cutting engine power when it gets under load and running hotter. The CEL should help with this diagnosis, it should set a code. Are you getting too hot and the computer is shutting down power to save overheating? What coolant temp are you running on flat vs pulling the hill?

Worse case, a technician can hook up an active reader to the engine computer while you drive and go up a hill to see what is happening in real time and be able to figure out why the reduced power.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:49 PM   #6
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I must add that as I sat along the highway yesterday a couple of times when this happened I shut it off and let it cool down for about 5-10 minutes. It gave me back enough power to get up the mountain but quickly started to do the same thing.
Do you hear the fan kicking on and roaring loudly as you spool up and try to go up the hills? The fan on the front of the engine should be making an almost obnoxiously loud roar as it tries to cool the engine down.

When the motor cools down completely does it seem to have normal power?

How hot is it outside?
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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Do you know if the temperature was climbing when this happened?

Did they change the fuel filter?

Did they clean the MAF?

Do either of your CAT's sound loose inside if you shake them?

Is/was the CEL light on? Do you know what the codes were if it was/is?
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:41 PM   #8
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I can not recall the fan ever kicking on like that when this happens. The temperature gauge has never gone hot. It was only in the 60's yesterday when I ran it. I am not sure but do not think overheating is the issue. They did change the fuel filter and changed a couple sensors. I will have to check the Catalytic Converters to see if I hear anything. This may be a good starting point since all of the other suggestions were supposedly replaced at the garage. I say supposedly because I do not trust garages very much. Another motor home friend of mine also suggested that my issues may come from catalytic converter. I am baffled. It seems to run great on the level and small hills. The mountain however I can have it to the floor and it just keeps losing power.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:58 PM   #9
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Borrow a fuel pressure gauge and monitor the fuel pressure while this happens. It may be a fuel pump going bad.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:08 PM   #10
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I would like to thank everyone for all of their advice. I do not post much but am pleased that each time I have the responses come in very quickly. Have my first ever snowbird trip planned this year and need to get all of the bugs worked out.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:16 PM   #11
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I have a 2015 Winnabaego with a 450 HP Cummings. i also had the exact same problem a couple of days ago.No power uphill, check engine light on. I crawled into a Freightliner shop and they hooked my rig up to a computer. It turned out to be a electronic module that spoke to the fuel pump went bad . Simple fix. Took 15 minutes.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Poppy View Post
I can not recall the fan ever kicking on like that when this happens. The temperature gauge has never gone hot. It was only in the 60's yesterday when I ran it. I am not sure but do not think overheating is the issue. They did change the fuel filter and changed a couple sensors. I will have to check the Catalytic Converters to see if I hear anything. This may be a good starting point since all of the other suggestions were supposedly replaced at the garage. I say supposedly because I do not trust garages very much. Another motor home friend of mine also suggested that my issues may come from catalytic converter. I am baffled. It seems to run great on the level and small hills. The mountain however I can have it to the floor and it just keeps losing power.
Your engine fan should kick on and off periodically even at 60f. You might have an overheating issue. The stock temp gauge in the inst. cluster is notoriously wrong. It typically reads on the cooler side of normal even when the engine temperature is above 210. Your engine temperature will go from 140f to 215f and the gauge in the dash won't move.

As mentioned, fuel pressure is something that might also be causing your problems. Unfortunately the stock Workhorse ECM does not monitor fuel pressure so you can't see fuel pressure with a Scan Tool.

On our Itasca, I installed gauges for Fuel Pressure and Transmission Temperature. I also have the Scan Gauge 2. It's really nice to see what's going on inside the motor and transmission. This can help you prevent just throwing parts on it trying to run down the issue. Knowing what's going on can save you lots of money in the long run.



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02 Itasca Suncruiser 35U. Workhorse W22 w/Safe-T-Plus, Koni FSDs, UltraTrac, etc, etc.
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:40 AM   #13
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What is the check engine light code?

I suggest cleaning the MAF. Had the same problem and once the MAF was cleaned all my power came back.

Can of MAF cleaner is $10.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:31 AM   #14
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The last couple of times that it almost quit on me there was a backfire right before she almost quit completely. Thanks Arch and for 10.00 will try that first. Bad thing is that I am not a mechanic and have no idea where that part is. I will see if I can find a picture.
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