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Old 07-15-2021, 11:20 PM   #1
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Air Brake Alarm and Light On Despite Brakes Being Released

Today when leaving an RV park in Page, AZ (in our 2016 Cornerstone) after releasing the air brakes and engaging the transmission into drive an alarm sounded and the Spartan Information Center warned that I was essentially not in neutral and trying to drive with the brakes on. The coach moved easily and was appropriately slowed with the service brakes. When the air brakes were reapplied they held the coach firmly. Not wanting to proceed with the alarm blaring and not understanding the problem I pulled back into our site. I did notice that the air driven cylinders on the entry and pocket door did not activate and the entry steps did not automatically retract as they usually do.

I called Spartan CS and they recommended checking the electrical connections around the air brake “switch” for loose wires and then opening the dash to look for a wiring harness labeled “CUST B” for “customer backfeed”. I was to disconnect this and see if the alarm stopped.

For good measure, I then called Entegra CS, explained the issue and told them what Spartan had recommended. I didn’t want to go exploring in that mess of wires if I didn’t have to. After telling me to reset the coach and chassis by turning off the salesman switch and chassis switch ( which did nothing) the CSR did talk to a supervisor who agreed with Spartan’s recommendation to first find the wire(s) in question and cut the grey one. I asked if just disconnecting the plug would be okay.

After opening up the dash I did find the wires in question. After disconnecting the plug, the alarm, Spartan Information Center message and red brake indicator went back to “normal” that is off. The air cylinders for the doors and the step retraction did not activate as they should.

The fix, supposedly is to add a 6 amp diode to the grey wire in this harness (the pink wire already has one). Entegra sent me pictures of the proper wires, where to install the diode, and which way to install it (in order to get the proper polarity). Given this existing documentation, it seems I must not be the only one to experience this problem. Unfortunately, now at Bryce Canyon there is no close source of 6 amp diodes.

Has anyone experienced this issue? Although, the recommended fix is straightforward, I really don’t understand the the cause of the problem, and why adding a diode is necessary after nearly 6 years of things working properly. Does anyone have any insight into this issue? I can share the pictures Entegra sent to me if anyone needs them.

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:37 AM   #2
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I have had this happen a few times on my Aspire. I usually put the trans in neutral, set the parking brakes, turn off the ignition, let the coach sit about 30 seconds, then repeat the start sequence - it usually clears the parking brake alarm an notification on my coach - might see it it works for you.
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:51 AM   #3
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I have been on the forum ever since the Classics. I have seen the loose wire posted a few times, as well as the brake switch. But I have never seen anything posted about adding diodes. It could be, but it might not be common.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:35 AM   #4
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What was/is your air pressure in your front and rear tanks when this was happening?

You could have the air compressor governor go bad. They do all the time. They are not very expensive and easy to replace.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:58 AM   #5
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ACPC

Well welcome to the forum and congrats on the coach. Sorry you are having the problem.

I will agree with Chuck, I have been haunting this forum since about early 2014 and examine the posts multiple times a day on normal days, and I dont think I remember anyone posting a thread that involved adding a diode t o a wire in the dash. This is also a new one for me and I hope that you will continue to post on this issue until it is fully resolved and also equally important, understood. If you have had the problem,. probably all of us could have the problem. Here is where we all will learn something.

A diode is usually a passive device that permits electrons (voltage) to move in one direction but not in the opposite direction. The fix suggests to me that Middlebury or Spartan think that something is generating a transient that is new to the circuit and is being transmitted through the circuit either in the wrong direction or should not be conducted in one direction and the diode is blocking that transient from getting where it shouldn't. You and I think the same way..... if there is a diagram fix for the problem, it must be a problem that they have encountered before with some regularity, but it is a problem that I have never read about here on iRV2.

Please keep us informed of the resolution, and if you gain real explanation/understanding of what is going on, all of us would be interested in learning what is going on for future reference.

Gary
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Old 07-16-2021, 07:08 AM   #6
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I have had this happen on two separate trips we have taken. Both times it occurred after stopping at a rest area. We shut down the coach, except 12v disconnect, and went for a walk to stretch our legs. Upon returning, I went to start the coach and leave and we experienced the same thing the OP did. As soon as I put it in drive the Parking brake alarm activated. I double checked everything and tried again, same thing. I shut down and crawled under the dash to see if I could locate a loose connector, pinched wiring, anything unusual or obvious around the parking brake release and found nothing. After starting and restarting eventually the alarm went away. I also was able to drive a short distance. I only did this to test if the parking brakes were truly engaged like the alarm indicated, they were not.

I just thought that this was one of those startup procedure related quirks like waiting for the MIL to go out before starting the engine.

I would appreciate if you could share the information Entegra provided.
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:10 AM   #7
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I’ve had this problem numerous times on my 2014 Anthem (traded). Most often it happened if I did the sequence wrong for putting RV in drive. Meaning: Normal is foot on brake, release air brake (yellow knob), then put tranny in Drive. If I by accident put tranny in drive first then release yellow knob second I’d get a “parking brake not released” message every time. Recycling wouldn’t make it go away. SometimesId get the same error when I did it correctly Id get that error message. I’d cycle that air brake several times, no luck. Finally I’d shut the coach down and power everything off and recycle and it would work correctly. I think it’s a bug in the Allison transmission and CANBUS communication.
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Old 07-16-2021, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACPC View Post
Today when leaving an RV park in Page, AZ (in our 2016 Cornerstone) after releasing the air brakes and engaging the transmission into drive an alarm sounded and the Spartan Information Center warned that I was essentially not in neutral and trying to drive with the brakes on. The coach moved easily and was appropriately slowed with the service brakes. When the air brakes were reapplied they held the coach firmly. Not wanting to proceed with the alarm blaring and not understanding the problem I pulled back into our site. I did notice that the air driven cylinders on the entry and pocket door did not activate and the entry steps did not automatically retract as they usually do.

I called Spartan CS and they recommended checking the electrical connections around the air brake “switch” for loose wires and then opening the dash to look for a wiring harness labeled “CUST B” for “customer backfeed”. I was to disconnect this and see if the alarm stopped.

For good measure, I then called Entegra CS, explained the issue and told them what Spartan had recommended. I didn’t want to go exploring in that mess of wires if I didn’t have to. After telling me to reset the coach and chassis by turning off the salesman switch and chassis switch ( which did nothing) the CSR did talk to a supervisor who agreed with Spartan’s recommendation to first find the wire(s) in question and cut the grey one. I asked if just disconnecting the plug would be okay.

After opening up the dash I did find the wires in question. After disconnecting the plug, the alarm, Spartan Information Center message and red brake indicator went back to “normal” that is off. The air cylinders for the doors and the step retraction did not activate as they should.

The fix, supposedly is to add a 6 amp diode to the grey wire in this harness (the pink wire already has one). Entegra sent me pictures of the proper wires, where to install the diode, and which way to install it (in order to get the proper polarity). Given this existing documentation, it seems I must not be the only one to experience this problem. Unfortunately, now at Bryce Canyon there is no close source of 6 amp diodes.

Has anyone experienced this issue? Although, the recommended fix is straightforward, I really don’t understand the the cause of the problem, and why adding a diode is necessary after nearly 6 years of things working properly. Does anyone have any insight into this issue? I can share the pictures Entegra sent to me if anyone needs them.

Thanks.
Sorry to hear of your problems. Spartan and Entegra are both having you bark up the wrong tree.

The key to your problem is the steps won’t retract, and the motorhome thinks that the park brake is still applied which you proved was not. I bet when this problem occurs your power mirrors will not work either. All these things (and several others) should work/activate when the key is turned on.

Your problem is with the silver coloured solenoid in the compartment below the drivers seat which is failing or intermittent. This solenoid powers the Ignition B+ fuse panel to its left. Sometimes you can give it a controlled tap and it will start working again but should be replaced as soon as possible. Replace with a 4 pole heavy duty (150-200 amp) solenoid.

As a side note the alarm can be silenced by pushing on the sideways dash arrow on the Spartan message center.
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Old 07-16-2021, 10:13 AM   #9
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My "Parking brake engaged, transmission not in neutral" warning was caused by a bad connection under the seat. Probably related to the driver's seat footrest interlock. Took a whole thread here and LOTS of trouble shooting to find that one. I'm puzzled about your steps though; they should retract if the door is closed and the key is turned on.
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 757driver View Post
Sorry to hear of your problems. Spartan and Entegra are both having you bark up the wrong tree.

The key to your problem is the steps won’t retract, and the motorhome thinks that the park brake is still applied which you proved was not. I bet when this problem occurs your power mirrors will not work either. All these things (and several others) should work/activate when the key is turned on.

Your problem is with the silver coloured solenoid in the compartment below the drivers seat which is failing or intermittent. This solenoid powers the Ignition B+ fuse panel to its left. Sometimes you can give it a controlled tap and it will start working again but should be replaced as soon as possible. Replace with a 4 pole heavy duty (150-200 amp) solenoid.

As a side note the alarm can be silenced by pushing on the sideways dash arrow on the Spartan message center.
I agree!
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:22 AM   #11
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I don't have an opinion about what the failure might be. However, you do not need a "6-amp diode." You need a diode that is rated for *at least* 6 amps. A 10A or 15A diode will work just as well, if it be a diode you really need.
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Old 07-16-2021, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACPC View Post
Today when leaving an RV park in Page, AZ (in our 2016 Cornerstone) after releasing the air brakes and engaging the transmission into drive an alarm sounded and the Spartan Information Center warned that I was essentially not in neutral and trying to drive with the brakes on. The coach moved easily and was appropriately slowed with the service brakes. When the air brakes were reapplied they held the coach firmly. Not wanting to proceed with the alarm blaring and not understanding the problem I pulled back into our site. I did notice that the air driven cylinders on the entry and pocket door did not activate and the entry steps did not automatically retract as they usually do.

I called Spartan CS and they recommended checking the electrical connections around the air brake “switch” for loose wires and then opening the dash to look for a wiring harness labeled “CUST B” for “customer backfeed”. I was to disconnect this and see if the alarm stopped.

For good measure, I then called Entegra CS, explained the issue and told them what Spartan had recommended. I didn’t want to go exploring in that mess of wires if I didn’t have to. After telling me to reset the coach and chassis by turning off the salesman switch and chassis switch ( which did nothing) the CSR did talk to a supervisor who agreed with Spartan’s recommendation to first find the wire(s) in question and cut the grey one. I asked if just disconnecting the plug would be okay.

After opening up the dash I did find the wires in question. After disconnecting the plug, the alarm, Spartan Information Center message and red brake indicator went back to “normal” that is off. The air cylinders for the doors and the step retraction did not activate as they should.

The fix, supposedly is to add a 6 amp diode to the grey wire in this harness (the pink wire already has one). Entegra sent me pictures of the proper wires, where to install the diode, and which way to install it (in order to get the proper polarity). Given this existing documentation, it seems I must not be the only one to experience this problem. Unfortunately, now at Bryce Canyon there is no close source of 6 amp diodes.

Has anyone experienced this issue? Although, the recommended fix is straightforward, I really don’t understand the the cause of the problem, and why adding a diode is necessary after nearly 6 years of things working properly. Does anyone have any insight into this issue? I can share the pictures Entegra sent to me if anyone needs them.

Thanks.
I would be interested in seeing the documents that Entegra sent you.

Thank you,
Jeanne
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 757driver View Post
Sorry to hear of your problems. Spartan and Entegra are both having you bark up the wrong tree.

The key to your problem is the steps won’t retract, and the motorhome thinks that the park brake is still applied which you proved was not. I bet when this problem occurs your power mirrors will not work either. All these things (and several others) should work/activate when the key is turned on.

Your problem is with the silver coloured solenoid in the compartment below the drivers seat which is failing or intermittent. This solenoid powers the Ignition B+ fuse panel to its left. Sometimes you can give it a controlled tap and it will start working again but should be replaced as soon as possible. Replace with a 4 pole heavy duty (150-200 amp) solenoid.

As a side note the alarm can be silenced by pushing on the sideways dash arrow on the Spartan message center.
X2…..Good Luck!!
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Old 07-16-2021, 10:11 PM   #14
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OP here. I certainly appreciate all the comments. Below are the photographs with comments sent to me from Entegra. The development of these symptoms certainly would suggest to me a failing part e.g. the solenoid, rather than some curious situation that requires addition of a part (a diode) six years after the system was built. Not having a schematic makes it hard to know exactly what it is intended to do.

Does anyone know if this solenoid is a standard automotive part or one that I will need to get from Entegra Coach. I an presently in Bryce Canyon Utah, not a spot where such things are readily available. Our next big stop is Salt Lake City and I can probably pick one up there if it is a common part.

I would rather replace it first and see if that is the root cause of the problem. I do have some diodes coming from Amazon before we leave here but I will wait on installing one since we are able to travel.
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