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Old 11-27-2014, 06:14 PM   #1
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CAT C7 check engine light

Happy Thanksgiving, all. We were supposed to come home with our motorhome today. However, when I started it up, the check engine/engine protect/ECU coolant low lights came on. I checked the coolant level. It seemed fine, but I added a little water just to be sure. Started her up again, same thing. Decided to err on the safe side and just drove the toad home. Gotta w--k tomorrow, so had to be here.
I'm thinking (hoping) that it's just a wonky sensor, since the level is good. Any thoughts? How do I reach the sensor? I'm headed back down this weekend to check it out, but hoping to have a good game plan...
Fire away with any questions or advice.
Here's a shot of the control panel screen.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-27-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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Sensor sometimes mounted near top of radiatior or in coolant recovery tank.

Locate the sensor first
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Old 11-27-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
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The ECU has a Fail safe, so you can drive it home without worry. The Max Temp is 226 degrees at which point the engine will shut down. So just watch your gauge.

In fact there are too many safe guards in the control system for you to do damage. It would go into Limp mode first before shutting down.

By the way I hope you used distilled water.
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Old 11-28-2014, 07:13 AM   #4
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No worries, it was distilled water. And less than a quart for sure. If I were to go looking for the sensor, what would it look like?
Thanks for the comments. Keep em coming...
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Old 11-28-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
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Look for something sticking out with wires connected.

Often they are located near filler neck or near the top of the tank.

If you have a remote tank or recovery tank then look there too.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Um, ok, so in the interest of full disclosure, I'll give you guys the follow up on what happened today. I had to leave the coach in a campground about 2 1/2 hours away from home because of the low coolant light. I didn't get a chance to go work on it until today, so I did some reading/research on cleaning sensors in the coolant surge tank. Here's what I learned-THERE ARE TWO TANKS IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT THAT LOOK LIKE COOLANT SURGE TANKS!!!! The one in front that has the instructions printed on it on how to fill the coolant system is, apparently, not the coolant surge tank. It is the hydraulic fluid tank. So, I first learned that the hydraulic fluid level has absolutely no effect on the coolant level light.
I then learned that the coolant surge tank is kind of hiding behind the hydraulic tank. It is supposed to be clear enough to get a visual on the fluid level, but it ain't. So I did the tried and true method of removing the cap and sticking my finger in. Felt a little low, so I topped her off with some antifreeze, and what do you know, the stupid light went out. I learned that the sensor is working just fine.
The final thing that I learned is something I've known for a long time. I'm an idiot.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:02 PM   #7
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In all seriousness, if some other newbie down the road reads this and realizes that just because something looks like a coolant surge tank doesn't mean that it necessarily is, then all my suffering will not have been in vain.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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Does that mean you put water in the hydraulic tank that should be hydraulic oil?
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfreak View Post
Does that mean you put water in the hydraulic tank that should be hydraulic oil?
Oh, yes it does.:bang head:Fortunately, I didn't put much in (less than a quart), and I was able to siphon off most if not all of it. The coach never moved after I put it in, and I pretty much emptied the tank with the siphon.
Yup, I'm an idiot.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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Low coolant resolved

All, FWIW Our Journey is the same vintage and engine and we put 10K miles on it this year across the country and the low coolant warning would come on then go out occasionally. I would put a qt or so coolant into the plastic tank every few hundred miles. I asked a reputable shop in San Antonio and a Freightliner shop in Memphis to find the leak but all they did was pressure test and tell me it was OK.
We've reached our winter place near Tampa and I brought it to Parliament in Clearwater for a leaky slide out ram and told them the story. They found the leaky water pump which required removal of the radiator. They sent the radiator out for cleaning and it had small leaks along with some kind of nest and junk. Fortunately it was repairable. They had to remove the dash a/c condensor to access the ram and that needed repair also. Parliament was great to work with.

With that done and the wallet open we then had 6 new Michelins installed through the FMCA program. We also switched to Blue Sky and saved $900 on insurance for next year on both vehicles.

We full time and love the Journey and it should be good for another 40K miles or until we can't travel any more. In the mean time we're looking forward to next year and touring the Canadian maritimes. Drive safe!!!
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