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Old 08-06-2020, 02:32 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Power Distribution Module Recall **Update**

I know this has been discussed, but I thought I would open a new thread with some new information. I signed onto NHTSA with my motor home VIN so I would receive any recalls that might be posted. I got a notification last year that there was a Freightliner recall (19V426) having to do with the Power Distribution Module (PDM). At the time, my coach was NOT part of the recall. I even participated in a discussion about it here....

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/rec...le-450906.html

The module is located in the chassis battery bay at the passenger side rear of the coach. It's a big black module with numerous plugs, made by EATON. The recall primarily discussed the failure of the turn signals, brake lights and marker lights. It didn't include dash A/C issues, which are also caused by the PDM failure. The A/C clutch apparently loses power. This box pretty much supplies power to everything at the rear of the coach.

I know I'm rehashing some old news, but my PDM just started acting up this week, after 21 months. I was leaving a campground when I noticed my boat trailer, running lights, were not on. I pulled over to check the plug and found the taillights were not operating, but I had brake and turn signals, so we kept going. After about 20 minutes, the taillights began operating again.

On the way home, I got the dash A/C going early as it was going to be 100+ degrees. It worked GREAT for about 90 minutes and then started to fade while the outside temp was under 80 degrees. The next five hours, it barely blew 75 degrees and on occasion, would drop for a few minutes to 55 degrees.

In the linked thread above, "redbaron73" provided a serial number for the defective units. He never said where he got it and it's not listed in any of the recall information that I could find. He said anything above 18103500 was okay. I didn't/couldn't locate the serial number on my PDM initially, until I saw a photo of used one last night. The S/N is located on the bottom right side of the unit. It can be easily photographed with a phone. My S/N was 18103377, within the recall, yet I was never notified.

I took my coach to Freightliner today, kind of expecting a battle. I went to check on the coach after waiting three hours and it was done. They said the failure numbers I had (from redbaron73) were accurate. They also performed the test on mine and it failed. I didn't get to see the test, but I believe they connect a large box, looks like a battery charger, to the PDM and put a load on it.

So......the moral of the story....you may still have issues with the PDM, even though you never received a recall. The link above discusses what coaches are involved. If you seem to be having A/C issues...the PDM could be it.

Here are some photos of what the serial number looks like and the PDM.

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Old 08-06-2020, 02:50 PM   #2
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Hi Don:
Same boat as you.
Just before we left for vacation a couple of weeks ago, my right rear turn/brake light started working intermittently. I already had an appointment at Freightliner in Sacramento to investigate why my tag axle steering was not releasing at slow forward speeds, so I added the tail light to the order. Within 15 minutes, the tech came out and said the PDM had failed. I told him I was outside of the recall and he said the recall was going to be expanded. He also thought the tag steer was linked to the PDM failure. They had the new PDM the next day, installed in a short amount of time and test drove the coach. Tail lights AND tag steer now working fine. The tech said he had never seen the tag impacted, but tail lights were always the first indication, A/C was another. He had a side radiator DS in that where the PDM impacted the clutch fan creating an overheating issue.
All work done under warranty.
Glad to see Freightliner taking care of business.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:45 PM   #3
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It's amazing what that module affects. I can't be sure, but my engine fan has been running on high, at idle, a lot more than I originally remember. We'll be taking the coach out in three weeks and will see if the fan changes how it acts.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:12 PM   #4
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PDM Recall - Update

New/Updated recall issued today (20V421000).
I happen to have a FL appointment to look at my dash A/C for next week.

Thanks Dutch Star Don - you're a tremendous resource.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadwoody View Post
New/Updated recall issued today (20V421000).
I happen to have a FL appointment to look at my dash A/C for next week.

Thanks Dutch Star Don - you're a tremendous resource.

If I read the supporting docs correctly, 2,005 units affected with the estimated percentage of defect listed as 100%. Would that suggest they're replacing all
the PDM's???
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:37 PM   #6
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The dash AC issue has always been part of the PDM issue, going back to at least 2017, and FCCC has been fully aware of it, since then, if not earlier. This is more specific to hi-line and XCP, though the DS and other units exhibited similar issue.


The problem was originally described by fccc tech as the pdm observing too much amp draw, assuming a short, and it would cut the power supply for that particular outlet. This "seemed" to suggest a problem with a wiring harness.


It was a surprise to see recall 18V address a different issue. and obviously, 18v did not address the pdm issue, though, it did change the characteristic of the problem noticeably. The problem persists with 18v.


Originally, the pdm problem could activate with just turning the parking lights. Now it seems, the problems is activated (randomly for now) by turning on the Dash AC. none the less, it seems to impact the "same" components on XCP, tail lights, marker lights, dash AC, havn't confirmed the camera 'display' functions and the optional dash silver leaf that some of the earlier 16-17 hi-lines had.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:47 PM   #7
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It may Don. Let us know what you find.
The tech did say the PDM influenced (As RD1 states) many electrical components in the system.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:29 PM   #8
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I was caught up in this. My PDM was not on the recall list, but started acting up. Freightliner troubleshoot my turn signal problem and found my PDM to have the same failure as the “recalled” ones. So I don’t trust these lists much anymore.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:59 PM   #9
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I have not had any trouble with PDM so far. I have only had the coach for 4 months. Do the problems show up early or do the evolve with time? Should I contact FL anyway?


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Old 08-07-2020, 12:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahdi View Post
I have not had any trouble with PDM so far. I have only had the coach for 4 months. Do the problems show up early or do the evolve with time? Should I contact FL anyway?


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Mine took 21 months before I had issues.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:01 AM   #11
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It may be overkill, but the battery bay, with the PDM, is right above the exhaust system. I've already had the maintenance free batteries need water and then the failure of the PDM. I ordered some engine insulation and will be wrapping the exterior of the metal box that holds the chassis batteries and PDM. No use baking everything.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:05 AM   #12
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Thanks Don, Headed out on 2 month trip and noticed my tail lights not working properly. Toad lights working OK and brake lights so going on. Thanks for the update. Didn't know about any recall.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:07 AM   #13
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I took our 2017 DS into FL Tolleson last October for service and the recall. I asked if the PDM passed and was told they had not seen one within the recall ever pass. Ours was replaced and we had not seen any ill effects on the original.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:14 AM   #14
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Have there been any failures of the replacement PDMs? Our friends have a Fleetwood on a Freightliner chassis. They PDM was replaced a few months ago on the recall and they still continue to have some of the same problems.
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