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Old 10-24-2016, 05:05 PM   #1
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Chassis batteries not holding charge

We have a 3-week old 2017 Dutch Star 4369. When cranking on cool mornings I wait 5 to 10 seconds until the "Wait to Start" light goes out. I typically get a "Low Battery" warning in the Lightbar Control Unit. I called Freightliner and they said this is normal since the engine inlet heater draws a lot of amperage on cool days.

Today, after driving for three hours, I turned the engine off for 10 minutes. When I re-started the engine I immediately turned the ket to start since the engine was warm. Again, I experienced the "Low Battery" warning on startup. This should not have happened since the batteries were being charged as the engine was running at highway speeds. The voltmeter on the dash shows around 14 volts.

I called Freightliner and they told me to check the battery connections to ensure they are tight. I did and found I could snug up a couple of the connections but they were definitely not loose.

We live in our motor home and it is rarely not connected to shore power or engine running. The chassis batteries should be in a high state of charge.

It is my understanding that there is an onboard system that charges the chassis battery when connected to shore power. Is it possible this system is malfunctioning? If so, how might I check it?

Your thoughts?

Rex
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:13 PM   #2
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To check if charging is occurring. With a voltmeter, without charging enabled, check the voltage at the battery. Then enable charging. The voltage should increase ~1 volt when charging. If no change, it's not charging.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LK23 View Post
We have a 3-week old 2017 Dutch Star 4369. When cranking on cool mornings I wait 5 to 10 seconds until the "Wait to Start" light goes out. I typically get a "Low Battery" warning in the Lightbar Control Unit. I called Freightliner and they said this is normal since the engine inlet heater draws a lot of amperage on cool days.

Today, after driving for three hours, I turned the engine off for 10 minutes. When I re-started the engine I immediately turned the ket to start since the engine was warm. Again, I experienced the "Low Battery" warning on startup. This should not have happened since the batteries were being charged as the engine was running at highway speeds. The voltmeter on the dash shows around 14 volts.

I called Freightliner and they told me to check the battery connections to ensure they are tight. I did and found I could snug up a couple of the connections but they were definitely not loose.

We live in our motor home and it is rarely not connected to shore power or engine running. The chassis batteries should be in a high state of charge.

It is my understanding that there is an onboard system that charges the chassis battery when connected to shore power. Is it possible this system is malfunctioning? If so, how might I check it?

Your thoughts?

Rex
What Freightliner said the first time is correct. When it is cold outside, the inlet air grid heater will draw plenty of amps. This freaked me out the first time I saw the LBCU and my volt meter bouncing back and forth. The second time maybe not so unless the outside temp was really cold. Does the warning go out after maybe 30 - 60 seconds.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:15 PM   #4
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How do I "enable charging?"
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:16 PM   #5
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Yes the "Low Battery" warning is on only momentarily once the engine has started.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
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How do I "enable charging?"
By starting the engine OR, plugging into shore power.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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Yes the "Low Battery" warning is on only momentarily once the engine has started.
Just my opinion, but, I don't think you have a problem unless it stays on.

However, when you go to start, regardless of the length of time you have been stopped, you should wait for the Wait Light to clear. If not, it could cause issues with the ECU.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:09 PM   #8
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Have you checked the chassis battery ground cable to the chassis frame and I think you have a battery buss cable box on fire wall possibly are the nuts tight on buss bars in box?
If your BCO switch is on all the batteries will be charged by alternator when driving and converter when on shore power by the B.I.M. System.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:12 PM   #9
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I had (have) this issue too... I monitored my voltage during these initial start phases and what Freightliner said about the amperage draw when starting makes sense to me.1) The voltage dropped from the 14.x to 12.x immediately upon starting (the warning being displayed). This only lasted a short time when the voltage jumped right back to the 14.x (when the heater went off I assume). 2) I stopped and had the batteries checked when this happened and they were just fine. 3) The batteries were not low on water. 4) This seems to happen more when it is colder outside.


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Old 10-24-2016, 09:19 PM   #10
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This has been a normal occurrence on our 2012 and 2016 Dutch Stars.

Mike
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:48 PM   #11
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You don't suppose this TSB from 2014 is still causing problems with 15,16 and 17 FL owners.
From what I read has to do with + battery and grounds.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:19 AM   #12
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LK23, I do not know who your dealer is but he and Newmar should be working together to resolve your discharging chassis battery problem.
Your FL chassis and some of the Bay Star Ford chassis owners have more battery problems of this type, discharged battery for chassis, your under warranty and do not need this aggravation.
The ball is in Newmar' hands to correct this problem, for years both gas and DP owners have had this same battery charging system in their coach's and have never had the problems that recent since 2015 coach owners are experiencing.
I with my gas chassis and DP owners I know never had these problems, in fact my small chassis battery last for 12 years and the coach was always plugged into 120 when home and when camping or the alternator took over when driving and the DP owners did the same.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:28 AM   #13
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I agree with dennis45 and would suggest you wait a little longer before starting. It is necessary to allow the normal system startup before cranking. I usually wait until the engine light goes out ensuring a proper startup of all systems. If you do, I don't think you will have the low voltage problem any longer. Good luck
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