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Sterling Eng lite on

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by Willis Bushogin, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Willis Bushogin

    Willis Bushogin Senior Member

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    I bought a Sterling, quad axle, dump, a few months ago. It has a Cummins 8.3L, auto tranny, 336,000 miles. The truck runs good, but the yellow caution lite comes on (I forgot what it says, I think engine) then after a while the red stop engine lite starts flashing, then it will go out. There is no noticeable bad guage readings (temp, oil, etc good) I took it to the local Cummins dealer and he replace the cam sensor and ???? sensor, lite still on. He did some more troubleshooting with a ProLink computer, still didnt find it, total cost of $890.00
    I took it to another shop, they said they had the correct computer to check it, $450 later, lite still on. The closest shop to fix this is 4 hrs away and I guess thats the reason I wasted all this money.
    I should have known, that these electronic engines, need that special computer to check out everything.
    Anyone have any ideas? Im in New Bern, NC 28560
    Does anyone know what model truck this is? I was told it was a 9500
    Vin #2FZNBLBB8YAF54358
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  2. Muffler Bearing

    Muffler Bearing Senior Member

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    This will sound dumb, and I'm not being a smartazz but, several times I have had Cummins, flash the yellow light, then the red comes on, then it begins to derate then they are doing 45mph...and it was all because of the low coolant sensor on the overflow tank. I dump a little more coolant in there and problem is solved. Of course that is just one simple reason the light would come on. Does your sterling have a diagnostic switch directly above your clutch pedal? Maybe you can get it to blink a code at you. Other wise just go "old school" and when the light is on pop the hood and start wiggling wires have someone watch and yell if anything changes. There are only a handful of sensors that will trigger that light. And more times than not it is the wire harness leading to the sensor. Do yourself a favor and do a slow methodical visual inspection of all that you see under the hood, then check the wires in the battery box, you'll find it.
     
  3. Willis Bushogin

    Willis Bushogin Senior Member

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    I agree, its probably a simple thing, you would think a $70 an hr mechanic, would find it. I have about15-18hrs of mechanic work, invested in this. Thanks, I will try to check it out. The engine doesnt derate, just those durn lites
    Thanks
     
  4. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    If its any help, I used to have a weekend gig where I would help power wash trucks. We had a group of older sterlings with cummins engines. They always had some sort of light on, no matter what time of year, or truck. Must have been fairly prevalent, since the drivers took to doing their own repairs. A piece of black tape works wonders.
     
  5. Willis Bushogin

    Willis Bushogin Senior Member

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    Thanks guys
     
  6. Red Bank

    Red Bank Senior Member

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    Willis, we have an 8.3l Cummins in a 99 Freightliner tandem dump, like mufflerbearing pointed out our experience has been with the coolant level being low, if you add coolant and it still does not go out, take the coolant level sensor out of the tank and clean the end of it off. It also could be the oil pressure sensor. If I had spent that kind of money someone would looking at it again, on their dime, just my opinion. The Cummins software is pretty good with their troubleshooting guides to engine codes, provided the mechanic actually follows the guide and doesn't try shortcuts. Also check the connections at the batteries, the ecm should have two power wires with inline fuses inside the battery box, check both fuses and make sure the connections are good and clean.
     
  7. Komatsu 150

    Komatsu 150 Senior Member

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    Our Sterling does the same thing with low coolant although it is a Cat engine. The first time it happened the driver got all excited and I sent the truck to cat to be checked. Driver's face was pretty red when the computer printed out "low coolant". Took less than a quart to turn the light off.
     
  8. amunderdog

    amunderdog Senior Member

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  9. hollywood

    hollywood Active Member

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    Albuquerque
    Freightliner and Sterling used the same instrument clusters in alot of thier trucks, the ICU3. If you have a small 3 line LCD in the center of the cluster and a mode/reset button on the right side. You can read the fault code if it is active. If you have this cluster, when the light comes on use the mode button to go to the DIAG screen. Press and hold the button, this will display the number of active codes. Tap the button to view the code. If your CEL is coming on for low coolant your code will read. ECU 128,PID 111,Fail 1

    ECU 128 being the engine, PID 111 being the coolant level sensor, Fail 1 being value low
     
  10. Willis Bushogin

    Willis Bushogin Senior Member

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    Thanks for the advise
     
  11. Willis Bushogin

    Willis Bushogin Senior Member

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    Still havent had the time, to check the codes
    I did forget to write something, as I said the yellow eng warning lite, stays on all the time, (takes a short time to come on) but once it does, it stays on. Every so often, the stop eng lite (red) comes on. When it does, the engine starts missing, for about a minute, then it clears up and runs OK.
    Other notes, it has a manual temp guage (wonder if the computer cant find the elect gauge) is the reason for the lite
    It would be nice if the engine had more power, mine says 275hp, it there a simple (non computer) way to turn the power up.
     
  12. perth

    perth New Member

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    Dumb question, but where is the diagnostic plug located?
     
  13. Komatsu 150

    Komatsu 150 Senior Member

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    On ours (2000 model) it is under the dash close to the left side of the cab. By the drivers left knee in the U. S. With a right side cluster in New Zealand might be somewhere else? It is a round plug with a dust cap. I was told that if you have cruise control you flash some of the codes like in a car. We were never able as we don't have cruise. The dash light came on when the truck was almost new and I sent the truck to the caterpillar dealer to have the codes read, as we have a Cat engine although I'm sure their machine would read the codes regardless of engine. The driver came back very red faced. The coolant was about an inch low in the coolant reservoir.
     
  14. perth

    perth New Member

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    Thanks Kamatsu, I found mine to the rear of the left (passengers) door. being an export model things tend to put in strange places.