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Old 05-21-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
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Glad I had my VMSpc yesterday!

I'm dusting off the coach after it being stored for five months in prep for hitting the road again for the summer/fall. I took it on a 170 mile round trip yesterday to shake it down and get it serviced at SpeedCo for the first time.

I hit the road on the way home about 4pm and hadn't gone 10 miles when the CHECK ENGINE light came on. My first instinct was to tie it to something they had done (or not done) during the service and I was pretty sure the STOP ENGINE light would follow.

Fortunately, my VMSpc on the dash was flashing a red light at me telling me the system voltage was too low at 11.8v. I pulled into the first rest stop and checked the specific gravity on both chassis batteries and they were good but I hadn't serviced the batteries in nearly a year and they looked like they could use a good cleaning. I continued the remaining 70 miles home watching the system voltage reading on the VMSpc and it held constant between 11.7 and 11.8 but wouldn't charge... even when I ran the generator.

I got home fine and spent a couple of hours today removing the batteries and cleanning all of the connections. Fired her up and she started charging like a champ.

Not a big deal but it gave me a lot of peace of mind to be able to see right away what error code was tripping the Check Engine light and to be able to watch the voltage closely while trying to get home. If I hadn't had that information I would have been a lot more nervous and anxious about how I was going to figure out what the problem was.

I LOVE gadgets and sometimes they even make practical contributions.

Rick
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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I had the same symptoms! Pulling Cabbage Hill. Watched the VMSpc for a while and it kept reporting the voltage at 12.2. Checked the charge with the VOM, 12.2V. The DW called Freightliner and got the number of the next service shop down the road (La Grande, OR) Called ahead and they said come on in. My Alternator was bad, they overnighted one and I was back on the road before noon the next day. $200 deductible was the charge. I love the VMSpc.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #3
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Curious: Do you ever see intermittant batter charging you your VMSpc? Sometime my battery gauge drops out completely, showing zero. I believe that this is a VMSpc problem as I don't see any flicker on my dash battery gauge. I tried calling Silverleaf, but they weren't much help.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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I have noticed an odd thing on my VMSpc. One of the gauges that I have set up is for maximum road speed and occasionally it will show a "1" in front of the correct read out. This means that if my actual max speed has been 63 the gauge will show "163" which is obviously wrong. This will usually self correct later and I just ignore it but its weird.

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Old 05-22-2011, 09:20 PM   #5
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I haven't seen either of those issues with mine yet but I've only had it for about 3000 miles so I'll watch for them.

That's some heavy foot you've got there JT!

Rick
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:20 PM   #6
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I'm glad that VMSpc was able to help you. Your situation is exactly why I bought mine. I hate being stuck out someplace with no idea about what is happening. I'm glad that you were able to resolve your charging problem as a result.

I know that every action can have consequences but I've taken to removing all of the cables from both sets of batteries about once a year and cleaning them up good. I've had corrosion on them that didn't show up visually. It was between the lugs themselves.

We've had great success with our VMSpc, too. I had a nasty intermittent speedometer problem that Freightliner didn't fix in several tries and, without VMSpc, I never would have fixed it myself. We also had a problem where the exhaust brake was shutting down the engine but we never were able to make the association because other times the exhaust brake worked fine. With the VMSpc info and help from folks on this forum, I added a diode package to the exhaust brake solenoid and the problem disappeared. I love being able to watch the engine thermostat cycle while the silly gauge on the dash never moves. Being able to watch turbo boost is also reassuring.
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