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Old 02-03-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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Check Engine Light On in my Cummings 275 Turbo Diesel. Oil Level too high???

Hey guys. I have a 2000 Cummings 275 HP turbo diesel engine in my coach. I recently had the engine fully serviced. In the 3 months I've owned the coach, my check engine light has never come on and I've put many miles on it. Pulling away from the dealership after the service, my yellow check engine light came on.

I checked all my fluids and found my coolant container almost empty. I went to Walmart and bought Prestone anti-freeze and added nearly a gallon. The light went out for a while but recently came back on during my last trip. Did I used the wrong anti-freeze type or could it be my engine oil level is too high? I checked the oil level and it was nearly 1/2 inch above the full line.

Could too much oil in the engine cause the check engine light come on or is it an engine coolant level problem? Should I drain some oil out until it falls below the full line? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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Hi Lee,
Too much oil is not good. The oil tends to foam instead of remaining a liquid. For me, I'd take the coach back to the dealer where the service was performed. The only way I'd try to drain out extra oil is if I had a pump and could use the dip stick tube to pump out the extra oil. Trying to drain out a small amount of oil from the drain plug is going to be messy.

I have never heard of too much oil making the engine light come on. However, if the oil is foaming to the point the low oil sensor trips, that may be what is happening.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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I would be concerned about adding Prestone antifreeze. Cummins like to be fed their premixed coolant. Would definately check the PH level of the coolant now. At least talk to Cummins or Freightliner about this.
Sounds like you had an air buble go thru the system. I had the same situation when I changed the recovery resevoir.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:15 AM   #4
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How much oil did they charge you for? My 2002 275 HP takes 14.5 quarts when filter and crankcase are changed.

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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You probably should not have used regular automotive antifreeze - diesel coolant is a different formulation. However, the difference will not cause the Check light to come on. Low coolant will, however.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:55 AM   #6
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By far, I am not an expert on diesel engines and what may or may not cause the check engine light to come on, however WRT my auto, '06 Saturn Vue, when the check engine light comes on, more often than not, it generally has something to do with power-train problems that could have an impact on the emissions systems. Whether this pertains to diesel engines or not, not sure but thought I would throw in my 2 cents, FWIW.

The best method of diagnostics is to hook up a code reader to the OBD port and read what code or codes may be causing the light to come on.

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:06 AM   #7
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The ISB Cummins is a parent bore engine. It does not use wet cylinder liners, is not subject to cavitation and does not require coolant with the DCA package. All the ISBs in Dodge Rams of this vintage came equipped and operate quite satisfactorily with ethylene glycol (e.g., Prestone-type) coolant.

If you are losing coolant, you'd better check for a blown head gasket. The coolant could be leaking externally or internally - in the latter case, if it's going into the oil, it could explain your high oil level.

If you'll post up the OBDII code that's causing the check engine light (see previous post regarding getting the codes checked via the OBDII port), we'll see if we can identify what's going on.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:38 AM   #8
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Prestone is not the recommended coolant for your engine. Check your manuals or get manuals and find out the recommended fluids. If this is your first diesel then be ready to do things differently than for a gas engine. If the dealer changed the coolant then a lot of trapped air could be in your system. It takes up to a year for all the air to come out of my cooling system after a coolant change. You surely had a low coolant situation if your overflow tank was empty. You could have the dealer read codes for you and the code will still be in the memory. You might consider buying a Silverleaf VMSpc which reads out codes and a lot of other things on your laptop. Last, I would get some expert advice about whether to leave the Prestone in the system or flush it out and start over.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Walker View Post
Prestone is not the recommended coolant for your engine. Check your manuals or get manuals and find out the recommended fluids.
Here is what Cummins says:

Quote:

Definition of Heavy-Duty Coolant
A combination of 50/50 water and low silicate antifreeze
(ethylene glycol or propylene glycol are acceptable) protects
to -34ļF. Freeze protection decreases above 68%
antifreeze. In addition to freeze protection, antifreeze is
essential for overheat and corrosion protection.

Antifreeze must meet ASTM D4985 (GM6038M) specs.
The link to their spec sheet is HERE.


From Prestone's website:

Quote:






When tested in ASTM D 1384, D 4340, D 2570, and D 2809, Prestoneģ Extended Life 5/150 Antifreeze/Coolant will meet the chemical, physical property characteristics and performance requirements of the following standards and specifications:
  • GM 1825M
  • Ford WSE-M97B44-A
  • Ford ESE-M97B44-B
  • DaimlerChrysler MS 7170 and MS 9769
  • General Services Administration A-A-52624
  • ASTM D 3306
  • SAE J 1034
  • ASTM D 4985
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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1) I could be wrong, but I think the codes won't be OBD2, but rather the Cummins proprietary codes for medium duty engines (MDEngines and larger were not covered by OBD2 IIRC). Can still post Cummins codes here and get advice.
2) Low coolant will light check engine light. So will a fuel problem. If you had fuel filter(s) changed, one may be loose and suck air, or one may be overtight (thereby deforming the thread boss and upper flange) and be sucking air (this is not common, but when it happens it is a problem). Sucking air may or may not light the MIL (Malfunction Indicator, or check engine light) depending on how the condition presents.
3) any service center that does service which produces an immediate MIL should be happy to deal with the problem (they created) free of charge. There is a wild possibility the MIL is a coincidence and something different went wrong, or that the service precipitated a problem waiting to happen; if that is the case the coach owner needs to be prepared to deal w/that problem and its cost as well. Any shop w/a superfluity of these coincidences is lying to their customers, but its hard to find out if the coincidence being explained to you is a duplicate experience of other customers- part of the happy unknown of motorcoaching.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
1) I could be wrong, but I think the codes won't be OBD2, but rather the Cummins proprietary codes for medium duty engines (MDEngines and larger were not covered by OBD2 IIRC). Can still post Cummins codes here and get advice.
Could be. The ECUs used with the ISB in the Dodge Ram applications were OBDII compliant, but they were different than the ones supplied by Cummins for other applications. In a Dodge of my vintage, turn the key from "off" to "on" 3 times and any stored codes will pop up in the electronic odometer window as the ECM and PCM go through diagnostic self-checks.

At any rate, as Mike says, if you get a code, we'll figure out what it means.

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:10 PM   #12
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Hey guys. Here is an update. I called Freightliner and Cummings today. Boy are they friendly. Really. I wish all company customer service reps were as helpful and kind as these two companies. Anyway. The tech from Freightliner told me I need to drain and flush my radiator asap. Refill it with proper (not prestone) anti-freeze that contains the proper SCA additives. He put me in touch with my local Freightliner service center in my town. It's $8.50 a gallon. I need 5 gallons. It hold 10 gallons. Use 5 gallons of anti-freeze with 5 gallons of distilled water.

He also put me in touch with Cummings. Said too much oil doesn't allow the engine to built proper pressure. I checked my Camping World service ticket and it states they added and charged me for 20 quarts of 15W-40 oil. The Cummings rep said my engine only holds 17 quarts max. That may explain my check engine light on. He recommended me draining approx 3 quarts of oil from the engine. I plan to do that this weekend as well as drain and flush the radiator. I hope it warms up a little.

Additionally, to Engineer Mike, yes you are correct. I put anti-freeze in the coolant container and the light went off for a 150 miles trip. I actually thought the problem was resolved. When I returned, I changed my fuel filter and accidently starved the engine from fuel. Had to loosen the injector valves and bleed the air in order to get the engine running again. It's ran smooth every since. I just wonder if I over tightened the fuel filter and it's taking in air. I will check this weekend. Is it supposed to be hand tightened?

Thanks guys for your info. After reading RUSTYJC comments about the internal blow gaskets, my heart skipped a few beats. Gosh I hope that's not the problem.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leedowney View Post
Anyway. The tech from Freightliner told me I need to drain and flush my radiator asap. Refill it with proper (not prestone) anti-freeze that contains the proper SCA additives.
From the Cummins sheet linked above:

Quote:

The ISB was designed to utilize a Heavy-Duty Coolant.
Use of supplemental coolant additives are NOT required
for the ISB.



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Old 02-05-2010, 09:45 AM   #14
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As Rusty pointed out Prestone meets the specification required by Cummins, and that is to my great surprise. SCA is not required by the ISB engine, I have one. Freightliner provides the radiator for the chassis so they have some input into the required coolant. You might ask them if there is any other reason than SCA for flushing out the Prestone. Prestone antifreeze will not provide the extended change interval of 4 years, and you will have to change it at 2 years. You must use extended life coolant for a 4 year change interval.
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