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Engine Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's engine.

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2013
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Ironbutt62 Ironbutt62 is offline
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Default Intermittent Low Coolant Warning

Hey Folks,

Out on my first road trip with the new Bird and have been getting a coolant low warning intermittently from almost the beginning of the journey. after about 1200 miles in the light is on pretty much all the time, but occasionally flickers or goes out for a minute or two.

Very difficult to tell if there is coolant in the sight glass so I fashioned a sounding line from a piece of string and a nut and dropped it through the fill point above the expansion tank. It seems to indicate coolant level right at the sight glass and certainly above the coolant level sensor.

Temp holds solid at 195. No visible signs of leakage any where (radiator, increasing oil level etc...)

I spent a while yesterday looking through some of the coolant threads, but have no idea what's in there and don't want to risk adding something wrong... pudding antifreeze sounds kind of scary.

Questions:

Any way to test the sensor without removing? I have a voltmeter and am not afraid to use it.

If I were to add water to the expansion tank, would it dilute the coolant to a dangerous level. I don't believe I have low coolant level yet, but if I add a gallon of distilled water and the light goes out then I at least know what the problem is. I have about 700 miles to get home tomorrow night and Saturday AM.

Maintenance history is at home and I should be able to determine the type of antifreeze then.

That being said, have enjoyed travelling with the bird this week. Son and I went to a lacrosse tournament in Maryland then Whitewater rafting in upstate New york. To Maine for dinner with my Dad and now in Rhode Island celebrating the forth with my Mom.

Loving every minute of being a 'Bird owner... except at the pump.

Deet
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2013
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Put the water in it. Better than having to listen to a buzzer for the rest of the trip. You can find out what type antifreeze you have before the first snow.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Put the water in it. Better than having to listen to a buzzer for the rest of the trip. You can find out what type antifreeze you have before the first snow.
Ditto. I would buy some distilled water and add that.
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Old 07-05-2013
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Coolant sensors can be very sensitive. In my VW diesel, if I go around a corner fast it will uncover the probe for a split second and trip the icon on the dash. It may just be dirty. Not sure what to look for with the voltmeter. Robert Glover, aka Silver Lining, one of the resident electrical genius' may chime in here.

Rick in Ohio
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Old 07-05-2013
George Roberts George Roberts is offline
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My coolant is full 7.5 inches down the tube. My sight glass doesn't work. Another thing I need to tend to one day.
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Old 07-05-2013
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NAPA makes coolant that will mix with any brand just dilute with distilled water.
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Old 07-06-2013
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My Detroit panel does not immediately respond to low water level. I suspect there is a time delay designed to prevent nuisance lights. However my SilverLeaf does. And it is not unusual to see the probe out of water for a few seconds every now and then. Remember the probe in on one end. But as everyone has suggested, add coolant till the light stays off or find what is causing the light. It is your first level of defense against an over heat condition.
I buy Fleet Charge at Tractor supply. Designed for your engine with all the right stuff in it, and mix 50/50 with distilled water.
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Old 07-06-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallie Lennon View Post
My Detroit panel does not immediately respond to low water level. I suspect there is a time delay designed to prevent nuisance lights. However my SilverLeaf does. And it is not unusual to see the probe out of water for a few seconds every now and then. Remember the probe in on one end.
This problem as Mallie decribes seems to affect most of us. My check engine light occasionally comes on as I'm driving downhill and then as the bus flattens out it goes off. That light gets your attention pretty quick. Maybe we need a probe reposition somehow
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2013
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Thanks for the responses y'all. Added a gallon of distilled water and the level on the string rose appropriately. 700 mile trip this weekend and level didn't change, temps were rock solid. Light will go off for a couple of hours then come on for no reason.... no audible alarm... don't know if there should be one.

Don't like spurious alarms like this and will look at sensor/wiring at some point soon, but right now I am comfortable that things are okay.

To hijack my own thread: It is normal for trans oil temp to drop substantially in the rain. I am running 175 on a normal mid to high 80's day, but when it rains, it drops to 135 ish.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2013
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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yep,thats normal.
I love rain!
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