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Old 12-18-2020, 06:34 AM   #1
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Are Freightliner Chassis having DEF Sensor Problems?

Hope to get some feedback from 2016 and newer Freightliner chassis owners.
The last two Spartan K 3's I have owned, one a 19 with 1,900 miles the DEF sensor failed. The new 21 Cornerstone on a Spartan K3 the sensor failed in 1,557 miles. Several other Spartan owners have had the same problem with a few going into de-rate.

Curious if Freightliners are having the same problem,or is it more Spartan related. Thanks.

I did open a complaint with NHTSA for those that have had a DEF sensor failures. I hope others that have had a failure will file in hopes we can get govt pressure to put a stop to this. https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/def...sa-518276.html
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:03 AM   #2
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Chuck, I’ve been following your posts. We experienced an issue at 42,000 miles. The DEF indicator went from 3 green bars to red and the notice appeared on the dashboard we needed to add DEF. I called Freightliner 24 hour service number and they recommended we get it to a dealer asap before we go into limp mode.

I stopped and topped off the DEF and it went back to 4 green bars. Drove another 100 miles and it started again with the same message. We stopped for the night and next morning drove towards home with no issues until we got about 80 miles from home and it displayed the same message again, along with yellow engine malfunction light, but the engine never derated.

I called Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, SC when I got home and drove it down there for the annual maintenance appointment. They said it sounded like a bad DEF Head and replaced it. No more issues on our way down here to Florida.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback Tom. I know the Spartan Chassis have been plagued with the DEF sensor problem. They are now on the 6th generation of sensors with no let up in sight. Just curious if it's as bad or close with Freightliners. If not, I will try to find out who the sensor manufacture is for Freightliner.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
Thanks for the feedback Tom. I know the Spartan Chassis have been plagued with the DEF sensor problem. They are now on the 6th generation of sensors with no let up in sight. Just curious if it's as bad or close with Freightliners. If not, I will try to find out who the sensor manufacture is for Freightliner.
Chuck, just for my own education, can you confirm if I have the following correct?

Engine manufacturers must meet EPA standards so they build and engine and after-exhaust system that complies, such as Cummins. Cummins only requires that the system be built and assembled with the type of components used to pass the standards.

Each chassis manufacturer builds the system to Cummins' specs but is free to choose suppliers for the different components. So Freightliner, Spartan, Roadmaster, will have the same components but may/will have those components made by different manufactures.

Oversimplified, yes, but is this generally correct?
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Old 12-18-2020, 11:32 AM   #5
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Larry, again you are 100% correct. That why I was looking if Freightliner has the same problem as Spartan. If not, who manufactures their DEF sensors? I do know for a fact the Sensors manufactured for Spartan are by Shaw which have a very high failure rate.
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:24 PM   #6
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Chuck, the DEF failures are not limited to any one chassis or manufacturer. Tiffin has had some failures of primarily the DEF tank heads, but a few sensors as well. They only install the Shaw DEF systems in their Power Glide chassis, which is used only in the Allegro Bus, two models of the Phaeton and the Breeze. Their other DPs use a Freightliner chassis which comes with DEF systems already installed and doesn't seem to have as many failures. The Power Glide failures don't seem to be as prevalent as the Spartan chassis and no one seems to be able to explain the reason for that. Do you know if Spartan uses the DEF pump and AdBlue inline filter from Shaw? Tiffin uses a different filter and DEF pump so that could be a common denominator.

Just for info, here is a link to some information from Shaw and a couple of documents with the DEF system diagram and their filter.
Shaw DEF System
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SCR and DEF Systems Diagram.pdf (1.36 MB, 49 views)
File Type: pdf Inline Filter Brochure.pdf (742.3 KB, 35 views)
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:18 PM   #7
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Lt Dan, thank you for that information, I will review it. Spartan uses a Cummins DEF filter, part number, Cummins filter# 5303604, which is located at the bottom of the DEF tank, The DEF head and sensor is an all in one unit from Shaw used on the Spartan Chassis. The one pictured is the new Generation 6.
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Old 12-18-2020, 05:39 PM   #8
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I am currently in Tolleson, AZ. at Velocity Truck Center (Freightliner) picking up my 2016 DSDP (on a Freightliner chassis). I have had my coach for 4.5 years and, to this point, have had no DEF related issues.

I asked the person in charge of servicing RVís if they are seeing a lot of DEF related failures and he responded that they are and that the problems are more on the coaches built in the last 2 years. Not so much with the older ones.

He also said they are seeing it more with coaches that sit a lot.
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftharrisiii View Post
I am currently in Tolleson, AZ. at Velocity Truck Center (Freightliner) picking up my 2016 DSDP (on a Freightliner chassis). I have had my coach for 4.5 years and, to this point, have had no DEF related issues.

I asked the person in charge of servicing RV’s if they are seeing a lot of DEF related failures and he responded that they are and that the problems are more on the coaches built in the last 2 years. Not so much with the older ones.

He also said they are seeing it more with coaches that sit a lot.
Thank you! Also the same information I have been getting in my research. The new sensors were required stating in 2016, but 2018 on up is when the most failures have shown up

I lost a DEF sensor while in storage, the DEF turned to ammonia and killed the sensor. It had sat for a year which was too long and my fault now that I know.
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:37 PM   #10
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Thank you! Also the same information I have been getting in my research. The new sensors were required stating in 2016, but 2018 on up is when the most failures have shown up

I lost a DEF sensor while in storage, the DEF turned to ammonia and killed the sensor. It had sat for a year which was too long and my fault now that I know.
This is interesting^^.

2016+ systems need the concentration sensor. We can assume that regulation applies to 2016 model year engines, not the model year of the coach. We all know earlier engines and chassis are often found in later model year coaches, up to two years older. So, it would make sense that problems with 2016 compliant sensors would begin to show up in 2018+ coaches.

I wonder if it would be practical to completely drain the DEF tank, flush and refill with distilled water, if storage is anticipated? Then, drain and fill with fresh DEF when ready to move out. Practical means ease of accomplishment as well as monetary outlays.
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:49 PM   #11
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A friend of mine has a 2019 Allegro Bus. He hasn't had a failure, but did his research and found that just the sensor on his Shaw unit is what goes bad. He was able to buy a spare sensor from Tiffin. He's carrying it as a spare. On his, he needs to drop the tank to install the sensor. We haven't discussed if he would need computer corrections with a new sensor.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:01 PM   #12
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Ours is in the shop right now having the DEF tank header replaced on our 2017 MA. Ours is being replaced under warranty at a FL shop here. They initially told me that it wasn't a warranty item but when they tried to run it through our extended warranty they set them straight that it was a warranty item.
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Old 12-19-2020, 05:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
A friend of mine has a 2019 Allegro Bus. He hasn't had a failure, but did his research and found that just the sensor on his Shaw unit is what goes bad. He was able to buy a spare sensor from Tiffin. He's carrying it as a spare. On his, he needs to drop the tank to install the sensor. We haven't discussed if he would need computer corrections with a new sensor.
Hey Don, nice to hear from you and thanks for the Shaw input.
I purchased a Nexus 102P to see if it would clear the derate code on my bad sensor. It would not and gave a message the part would need to be replaced. Cummins did say a reader would be needed to clear the code(s) after a new sensor has been installed. But I have seen posted that others were able to clear by turning the key off and on 6 time. However that was on the internet for what it is worth. Best price I found on the reader was eBay.
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:19 AM   #14
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"brobox"....I know you started a campaign to get NHTSA to do a recall and you should continue to try and get people to join in. I know that when you spoke of this before on the Class A forum, a poster mocked you for trying to get something done. Just for information, many of us on here, led by a Newmar owner, submitted complaints to NHTSA about the dash on the Freightliner chassis. To my surprise, they issued a recall in less than six months. It's taking longer for Newmar to come up with a fix then the recall took to get going.

I'll be filing a complaint with NHTSA. Everyone else should jump in and file.
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