Originally Posted by kenhouse123
I have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence with a Cat 350 and an Allision 6 speed transmission. As I was driving down a hill today, I engaged my exhaust retarder switch, noticed the symbol activated on my dash and felt the system working properly. I hit my air brakes for a moment and the exhaust brakes failed to re-engage.
What's my problem? A fuse? Other?
Thank you for your help!
I must ask, does your dash or, any other part of your controls actually say "Exhaust Retarder"? Or, is this something you were told it was? Based on your year and model of coach, the engine you have and trans you have, you SHOULD have an EXHAUST BRAKE, not a retarder. The term retarder is normally used when a transmission is involved in braking.
Now, unless yours has been re-programmed, normally, the activation of the EXHAUST BRAKE will come into play, when no pressure is on the fuel pedal and, the switch for it, is in the ON position, and, you're heading down hill. Being that your coach is an '07, you should have what's called a "Light Bar Control Unit" or, LCBU across the dash with a bunch of colored squares that say different things. In the middle of that LCBU is an LCD screen that gives you messages of whatever's programmed for it. But, when the EXHAUST BRAKE is engaged, that LCD screen should display, "Exhaust Brake". Does it?
Now, on some coaches, having the cruise control in the ON position, makes a difference whether or not the E/Brake will activate or not. On ones like ours, an '04 Itasca Horizon with the C-7 330HP CAT, having the cruise control on makes no difference. Now, if my cruise is SET, and then I start a downhill run and let off the throttle, the E/brake WILL NOT ENGAGE.
The coach will continue to pick up speed until I tap the brake pedal. At that point, the E/brake will activate. So, there's some things you need to work out as to whether yours is programmed for AUTO activation when the switch is ON and no pressure on the fuel pedal or, if it's been re-programmed to only activate when no pressure on the fuel pedal, switch is ON, and then, when the brake pedal is touched, it will THEN ACTIVATE.
And, as has been stated, your trans is tied into your Exhaust brake system too. If you're heading down hill and, in say, 6th, and you're doing say, 60 mph, and you let off the throttle pedal and your E/brake switch is ON, and yours is programmed to IMMEDIATELY come on the second you let off the throttle pedal, your trans will IMMEDIATELY down shift to 5th and you'll feel the added resistance of the E/Brake AND 5th gear.
If the grade is slight enough that the coach is actually slowing down without the use of the brake pedal, at a given speed setting, you'll feel and see that the trans will auto downshift to 4th. Most of the target settings are 2nd gear.