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Old 08-08-2020, 10:24 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Freightliner Power Distribution Module - Recall

This should probably be in the Freightliner Forum, but it affects several items on the Freightliner coaches that people may NOT be aware of, from taillights to air conditioning. I'm posting here, so it gets more views by people who aren't even aware they have a Freightliner issue.

Freightliner has had an ongoing recall for a Power Distribution Module (PDM) for 2016 -2019 model years. The PDM is located against the back wall of the chassis battery bay, passenger side, rear. The module is the size of a cigar box and powers pretty much everything at the rear of the coach. This includes, taillights, brake lights, running lights, A/C clutch and possibly tag axle operation.

Here are two articles on the recall.....

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/fr...ke-light-issue

https://www.trucks.com/2018/10/02/da...er-rv-chassis/

Freightliner has listed the chassis' that are involved and allegedly sent recall notices to those owners. Unfortunately, the recall is wider than Freightliner either knows or has admitted to.

The PDM gets hot and then starts turning off power to certain items. Most commonly, many have noticed that they've lost their left turn signal. Some have lost brake lights while others lose running lights. The problem....the loss of lights is not apparent to the driver, no dash indication that they have quit, making for a dangerous situation. The problem is intermittent and generally occurs after the PDM heats up.

On my coach, I was leaving a campground and noticed the running lights on my boat were not on. I got out to check the plug, but found the running lights were on the coach were also out, just the taillights, not the side markers. It was daytime, so I didn't worry about the issue at the time. About a half hour later, they came back on.

The bigger issue for me....my dash A/C would work perfectly in the morning (36 degrees at the dash, in the am, with outside temps at 80 degrees). A couple hours later, at 85 degrees outside, the dash vents started blowing 75 degrees, occasionally dropping down to 50 degrees.

There is a serial number range that I can't provide documentation on, but has been verified by a service writer and another poster I trust. The PDM module, pictured below, has a S/N on the lower right side of the unit. You can get a photo of it using a camera phone. S/N's below 18103500 are within the recall. My S/N was 18103377, yet I never received a recall notice. Freightliner has a machine that apparently places a load on the unit to test it. When tested, mine failed. So far my A/C is now running like it should.

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The reason I posted.....I've read many posts already where people are trying to figure out why their A/C or lights aren't working, unaware of the recall and spending a lot of money to have the issue diagnosed. It looks like the PDM failure is expanding past what Freightliner thought were bad modules and may have missed some notifications. If you're having any of the above issues, check your PDM serial numbers and possibly have your coach PDM tested.
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Old 08-13-2020, 05:20 PM   #2
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Don thanks for following up on this. Is the serial number on the side of the casing once you remove the cover or inside on the module itself? I pulled the cover and checked all sides on that and didnít see it on the side.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Don for the information, I'll be checking my ser# tomorrow. I've really been through the wringer on A/C problems with Fleetwood, Aurora and Freightliner all contributing. My clutch has burned up, possibly PDM the low voltage problem. Next trip out the compressor seized up, burned the belt up and everything the belt ran, stopped, and so did the engine. A trip to the shop on the hook, all the writeup on repairs Freightliner did didn't mention checking the PDM.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granite17 View Post
Don thanks for following up on this. Is the serial number on the side of the casing once you remove the cover or inside on the module itself? I pulled the cover and checked all sides on that and didnít see it on the side.
On mine, the label is on the body of the unit. It's on the side of the body in the lower right corner. I didn't see it when I first looked. It wasn't until I saw a unit for sale, that I could see the label. I had to use my phone and place it on the right side of the unit and snap a photo.

Here is a photo of a unit, you can see the label on the side.

***UPDATE***....It looks like Freightliner just updated the recall to replacement versus testing of affected units.

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Old 08-13-2020, 09:51 PM   #5
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Hey Don, thanks for the follow-up. I did receive the recall notice from Freightliner, but they had no fix at that time. It was nearly a year before I received the second notice, and at about that time, as we were leaving on a trip, I noticed I had no left side tail lights, and also no cooling from the AC. I took the unit to my local Freightlinger shop, and they tested the PDM. It failed. They replaced it and the lights worked but still no AC. They decided my compressor was bad (covered under warranty), but on back order. Eventually, the new compressor was shipped and installed, still no cool. They then found an issue with a pressure limit switch, which they had in stock, and viola- cool. So we did get a new PDM, and an upgraded compressor- no charge. That was a over a year ago now and everything is working great.
Mike
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:01 PM   #6
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Apparently, the limit switch has also been an issue on several coaches. We're heading out on a month long trip in a couple of weeks, I hope my A/C issues are behind me. My A/C was also intermittent, so I'm hoping it was the module.
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:57 PM   #7
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Thanks again for posting Don, I was able to check mine and had a much higher number: 18105858.
My chassis was built Dec.18th, 2018 for a Newmar build March 2019.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:52 AM   #8
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I wish I had seen this thread before we left the dealer. I would have taken a photo of the box and serial numbers. We have the issues. We bought in Jan. of 19, and did not receive any recall notice. The marker lights, left rear turn signal, and dash AC would not operate intermittently.

So we brought the RV in and sure enough the test failed so we are waiting on a new PDM from freightliner. They mentioned this was a computer but looking at this is seems like it is merely a distribution panel..

I am not sure when our chassis was built. Since I was checking fuses on the rig I opened the PDM and from memory it looks exactly like what Don posted.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:48 PM   #9
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PDM

Well the PDM finally got us on this trip. No left turn signal and no AC at the front. Worked for a few minutes when we first cranked up then that was that. I just don't know what to say about Freightliner at this point. They claim they are making new units and that is why the recall was rescinded. So you can't make an appointment at most dealerships and FCCC is backed up for months. The only alternative is to sit with the coach until they get around to looking at it. Then they test it and order the part. EVERYTHING comes through Memphis seems like so that's 2+ more days waiting on the part. Then you have to get back in queue awaiting your turn on the standby list.

That's some customer service they have going. Reminds me of why I never owned a Chrysler...until now.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:08 PM   #10
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JETCU, Thanks for posting and bringing this thread up again. Summer of 2019 I had my PDM tested and it passed but during my last trip my right brake light would only work intermittently. I can't find any lose connections but now its off to Freightliner to get the PDM retested.
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:33 AM   #11
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I am convinced there is a serious issue associated with this. We drove the RV with the defective module a few times. It seemed that the problem with the signals was present at the outset of the daily trip but was not present at the end of the day (thinking temperature related kind of failure on top of what ever it is really caused by).

It would not surprise me if freightliner or their vendor takes the defective unit and repairs the circuit board by soldering in wire etc..

On one occasion the air pressure alarm sounded. I looked down and sure enough both tanks were low. I suspect the switching for the compressor runs through this box as well.

Out list of symptoms;
1) Dash AC is warm and electric fan under the chassis does not operate
2) Left side marker lights stay off
3) Left side blinker fails
4) Air compressor does not run
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:12 AM   #12
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Yes, thank you for bringing this up - not sure if my new chassis is affected ... but now need to check!
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:37 AM   #13
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I need to take a look at mine,thanks.
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroDan View Post
I am convinced there is a serious issue associated with this. We drove the RV with the defective module a few times. It seemed that the problem with the signals was present at the outset of the daily trip but was not present at the end of the day (thinking temperature related kind of failure on top of what ever it is really caused by).



It would not surprise me if freightliner or their vendor takes the defective unit and repairs the circuit board by soldering in wire etc..



On one occasion the air pressure alarm sounded. I looked down and sure enough both tanks were low. I suspect the switching for the compressor runs through this box as well.



Out list of symptoms;

1) Dash AC is warm and electric fan under the chassis does not operate

2) Left side marker lights stay off

3) Left side blinker fails

4) Air compressor does not run


I highly doubt the air compressor operation would be affected by this board, the compressor on/off is controlled by the air governor, a mechanical item.
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