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Old 06-09-2021, 04:10 PM   #1
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Wink Bad DEF Pump

I have 29,505 miles on my 2017 Newmar Ventana 3412. Approximately 2,000 miles into our summer travel and 20 miles on the new day, the coach threw an amber check engine light, with LOW DEF warning. I knew this wasn't the correct indication since I had topped off DEF at the last fillup and was still showing a full tank. First thought of course was DEF head failure although after watching and reading the forums closely, I could not recall a DEF head failure starting in this fashion. We immediately started researching the next Freightliner/Cummin facility, we were just over 300 miles outside of Bills, MT on I94. Not knowing the extent of the problem yet, I called I-State Truck Center (Freightliner/Cummins) in Billings and Coachnet in case we hit a derate situation and needed a tow. White knuckled for over 300 miles and an increase to just over interstate speeds (I normally travel at 65mph), we made it. Did I have more information available to me that I didn't know how to access? Now the facility diagnostics begin for the next two days. First indication was a short in the DEF harness. As a former Electronics Technician, the antenna and red flags immediately went up. Further troubleshooting lead to a short or failure of the DEF pump. I was a little concern since the tech was fairly green but asked for help from more experienced techs. Feeling pretty good at this point because this part would fall under the 5 yr emission's warranty, a DEF pump was ordered. A two day receipt on a Critical Engine Failure order was made with Cummins, no problem. Two days later, I-State tells me that Cummins has 300 back-orders on DEF fuel pumps and they are looking elsewhere. I'm now hearing of more and more Cummins issues with parts but why didn't I-State or Cummins admit a back-order upfront and why did I have to wait two days to learn of it? A short time later I get a call from the Service Tech that a part has been located in Iowa and it's being Overnighted. A few hours after this, I get a call from the Parts Dept to request that I pay $200 for the Overnight delivery which I promptly refused and requested escalation to the Service Manager. The next call I let go to voicemail and the message left by the Parts Dept was that it was taken care of. The next day the part came in and within a couple of hours our coach was taken in and the DEF pump installed within an hour (an easy installation, looked pretty modular). Although I feel like a dodged a bullet with zero charges due to warranty work and only time lost on our summer trip (hopefully to Alaska if Canada opens the border), how much of a problem is the back-order of Cummins parts becoming? Of course I'm now waiting for the other shoe to drop, is this any indication of a DEF Head sensor failure being around the corner? I half-jokingly asked the technician whether they could tie this trouble into a DEF Head sensor failure for replacement as well (huh, No)? I also met a Newmar Dutch Star owner on the way out, 58,xxx miles on his coach (surprised because it looked new) and had just wrapped up with a DEF Head failure (a week to diagnose, order and fix). I'm absolutely amazed that our industry is putting up with massive DEF Head failures across the board of diesel engines and in the 7th generation without a fix. We can turn out a COVID vaccine within months but we can't fix a DEF head sensor in how many years? Happily biding our time now outside of the magnificent East Glacier National Park, awaiting the politics to work it's way out to open the Canadian border so that Americans can access their 49th state by land. Vaccine and Commercial/Retail traffic not an issue but if you don't own a home or have a documented job in Alaska,forget it. Never mind the fact that most RV owners can make the trip from the US to Alaska with zero human contact and as a worst case scenario, travel with our own quarantine container.
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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My DEF pump failed in Dec 2020, on the 25th actually en route to a family camp trip. The coach had around 30k on it at that point. I couldn’t get anyone to nail down why, but I suspect in part it’s because the DEF filter has a 3 year/300k mile maintenance interval. Other makes are slightly less, but they are all long. This is probably fine for trucks that do that in a year or so, but for a coach that sits several months every year, and runs around 10k/year, that’s not so good.

Anyway, I’m sure mine was the original and maybe plugged up enough to put too much demand on the pump. It had lots of time for crusty stuff to precipitate out of the DEF in an otherwise dry filter (since the pump runs after shut down).

So long story short (though not as long as yours), I think it should be annual at the most. Maybe that will improve pump longevity, maybe not, but it’s something we can control. It’s also an easy job and a $40 filter.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:22 PM   #3
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FL doesn't use the same company for their DEF head in there system but like Spartan they are having numerous DEF head failures. We need to find a electronic emission engineer to come up with a by pass or some other means to allow us to use our coaches and get there and back without troubles.
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:34 PM   #4
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Just had the DEF head in my 17 Dutch star freightliner w 32k miles replaced. Got stuck in Van Buren Arkansas over Memorial Day weekend.

I donít blame Cummins or Freightliner. Blame HORRIBLE politics and the EEEPEEAYE.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:45 AM   #5
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R. Wold ... good information on maintenance practice for DEF filters and makes good sense, I put it on my maintenance list of things to do annually. Speaking of maintenance, I met a 30 year Cummins mechanic at a Good Sams gas pump a couple of weeks back. Got to talking and interesting that he mentioned that he's done dozens of Cummins valve adjustments at the recommended 120,000 mile point and none have required adjustment. He recommended 300,000 at a minimum. Good news for me since to get to the top of my engine, one has to go through the bedroom floor. Wondering of similar experiences.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:50 AM   #6
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I really don't care who's to blame on these DEF Head sensor failures but I do would like one of these agencies to take the lead and provide direction for a hardware or software fix/bypass. How much pain and suffering is enough?
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:38 PM   #7
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I was under the impression that Shaw was the sole provider of DEF heads for both Spartan and Freightliner. That would make sense since the failures are happening with both chassis manufacturers. While the problem seems to even be for those with diesel pick up trucks, the pick up truck failures doesn't seem as prevalent. This may support the theory about sitting for extended periods of time. It would be interesting to find out if those who change their DEF filters every year are experiencing a lower failure rate.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:02 PM   #8
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Bad DEF Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Roy View Post
I was under the impression that Shaw was the sole provider of DEF heads for both Spartan and Freightliner. That would make sense since the failures are happening with both chassis manufacturers.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/freightliner-chassis-540017-post5783284.html

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/freightliner-chassis-540017-post5783590.html
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:12 PM   #9
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Do you remember what the fault code was?





Quote:
Originally Posted by pzxzqg View Post
I have 29,505 miles on my 2017 Newmar Ventana 3412. Approximately 2,000 miles into our summer travel and 20 miles on the new day, the coach threw an amber check engine light, with LOW DEF warning. I knew this wasn't the correct indication since I had topped off DEF at the last fillup and was still showing a full tank. First thought of course was DEF head failure although after watching and reading the forums closely, I could not recall a DEF head failure starting in this fashion. We immediately started researching the next Freightliner/Cummin facility, we were just over 300 miles outside of Bills, MT on I94. Not knowing the extent of the problem yet, I called I-State Truck Center (Freightliner/Cummins) in Billings and Coachnet in case we hit a derate situation and needed a tow. White knuckled for over 300 miles and an increase to just over interstate speeds (I normally travel at 65mph), we made it. Did I have more information available to me that I didn't know how to access? Now the facility diagnostics begin for the next two days. First indication was a short in the DEF harness. As a former Electronics Technician, the antenna and red flags immediately went up. Further troubleshooting lead to a short or failure of the DEF pump. I was a little concern since the tech was fairly green but asked for help from more experienced techs. Feeling pretty good at this point because this part would fall under the 5 yr emission's warranty, a DEF pump was ordered. A two day receipt on a Critical Engine Failure order was made with Cummins, no problem. Two days later, I-State tells me that Cummins has 300 back-orders on DEF fuel pumps and they are looking elsewhere. I'm now hearing of more and more Cummins issues with parts but why didn't I-State or Cummins admit a back-order upfront and why did I have to wait two days to learn of it? A short time later I get a call from the Service Tech that a part has been located in Iowa and it's being Overnighted. A few hours after this, I get a call from the Parts Dept to request that I pay $200 for the Overnight delivery which I promptly refused and requested escalation to the Service Manager. The next call I let go to voicemail and the message left by the Parts Dept was that it was taken care of. The next day the part came in and within a couple of hours our coach was taken in and the DEF pump installed within an hour (an easy installation, looked pretty modular). Although I feel like a dodged a bullet with zero charges due to warranty work and only time lost on our summer trip (hopefully to Alaska if Canada opens the border), how much of a problem is the back-order of Cummins parts becoming? Of course I'm now waiting for the other shoe to drop, is this any indication of a DEF Head sensor failure being around the corner? I half-jokingly asked the technician whether they could tie this trouble into a DEF Head sensor failure for replacement as well (huh, No)? I also met a Newmar Dutch Star owner on the way out, 58,xxx miles on his coach (surprised because it looked new) and had just wrapped up with a DEF Head failure (a week to diagnose, order and fix). I'm absolutely amazed that our industry is putting up with massive DEF Head failures across the board of diesel engines and in the 7th generation without a fix. We can turn out a COVID vaccine within months but we can't fix a DEF head sensor in how many years? Happily biding our time now outside of the magnificent East Glacier National Park, awaiting the politics to work it's way out to open the Canadian border so that Americans can access their 49th state by land. Vaccine and Commercial/Retail traffic not an issue but if you don't own a home or have a documented job in Alaska,forget it. Never mind the fact that most RV owners can make the trip from the US to Alaska with zero human contact and as a worst case scenario, travel with our own quarantine container.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russtj60 View Post
Do you remember what the fault code was?
On mine it was a “low DEF” code leading to derate, so that code too. I don’t think there is a code for a failing pump. More like there is not enough DEF making it to the doser, so the computer thinks it must be low on DEF.

The only way to figure out what was going on was to start testing things. It’s supposed to put out something like 90 psi (don’t quote me because I don’t remember exactly) but mine was making about .5 psi.

The new pump would shoot DEF half way across the shop, and I have around 5,000 trouble free miles since.
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Old 06-12-2021, 07:14 AM   #11
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I didn't see a fault code, just a LOW DEF warning and two amber check engine lights, first at 50 miles into the day and another (w/ !) about 200 miles from destination. I'm wondering whether I should have gone to a diagnostic menu on my 2017 Ventana or something to see a code? I'm guessing that it's probably cleared by now.
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:25 AM   #12
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Thanks... it's not deleted until someone plugs in and deletes it. I have the same symptoms with a 1669 code. Mine does the same thing ... comes on, clears then activates again.





Quote:
Originally Posted by pzxzqg View Post
I didn't see a fault code, just a LOW DEF warning and two amber check engine lights, first at 50 miles into the day and another (w/ !) about 200 miles from destination. I'm wondering whether I should have gone to a diagnostic menu on my 2017 Ventana or something to see a code? I'm guessing that it's probably cleared by now.
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pzxzqg View Post
I didn't see a fault code, just a LOW DEF warning and two amber check engine lights, first at 50 miles into the day and another (w/ !) about 200 miles from destination. I'm wondering whether I should have gone to a diagnostic menu on my 2017 Ventana or something to see a code? I'm guessing that it's probably cleared by now.
Always stop and read codes via the light bar if you have no other/better code reader. Then look up the codes (google) and if its DEF related dont shut off the engine until you get where you’re going to avoid a derate. Among other things, a lot of this emissions garbage is controlled in part by ignition cycles. And if you’re getting a “low DEF” warning or code with plenty of DEF in the tank, you are headed to derate. Just a matter of time.

And who knows? It might be a legitimate code for an actual problem...... It could happen and you’d want to know before driving any further. Although if it was, you’d probably already know from your gauges.

Hundreds, if not thousands of codes, and really if you’ve got oil and air pressure and the temp is ok, the rest is a lot of heaped-on bologna sandwich How did we ever survive before ECMs.....? Even ATEC and DDEC seemed over the top at the time.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:04 AM   #14
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Does anyone have the nomenclature and source (besides Spartan) for the pump?
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