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 > Chevy C-5500 Kodiak Duramax potential safety issue!

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bob-kir

Kalamazoo MI

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Posted: 04/04/20 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was recently returning home after spending the winter in Mexico in our 08 Seneca Duramax with 65,000 miles on it when I had an unexpected engine shut down!
I was driving about 63mph in the right lane in heavy traffic coming into St. Louis towing a car when a very loud continuous warning buzzer sounded and a couple of dash warning lights came on. I couldn’t tell what the icons on the warning lights represented but all of the gauges read normal. I was reducing my speed when the engine shut down, maybe 10 seconds after the alarm started sounding. Now I had no power steering or brakes. Luckily, I was right at the exit for a weigh station. I wrestled it over and got it stopped in the station truck parking area. Had to sit for a couple of minutes to calm down. It took considerable effort to just make the slight steering correction to enter the exit lane. Had I been on a curvy 2 lane road I don't know if you would be able to keep it on the road.
After stopping and checking the manual the warning lights indicated “low coolant” even though the dash temperature gauge was reading normal. I opened the hood and saw that the coolant reservoir was below the minimum level. Then I noticed coolant dripping from under the reservoir and saw that the hose that exists the bottom of the reservoir was about ready to fall off. It had slid down about 2 inches and was within a 1/4 inch of falling off completely. The clamp that holds it on is a steel compression ring with no way to tighten it. I slid the hose back to its original position and put on an additional hose clamp to secure it and added a gallon of water and we were go to go.
Before we leave Mexico I always do pretty thorough engine check , belts, hoses, fluid levels but never looked under the coolant reservoir to check the position of that hose. My guess is that the very rough Mexican roads were a factor in the hose coming loose.
I will always check that hose from now on!

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 04/04/20 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should have power brakes for at least one or two actuations even with the engine stopped. If you didn't, then there's a problem with the brake system--the pressure accumulator (or associated valves etc.) if it's hydroboost braking, or the vacuum reservoir, etc. if vacuum powered, or the air tank if they're air brakes. I'd guess you probably have hyrdoboost brakes, but don't know for sure.

Hydraulic power steering, it is true, is unboosted pretty much immediately.





bob-kir

Kalamazoo MI

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Posted: 04/04/20 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It was a long straight run to the truck parking area so I didn’t apply the brakes vert hard. When I did use them the brake pedal felt mushy and it took more effort but they worked.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 04/04/20 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bob-kir wrote:

It was a long straight run to the truck parking area so I didn’t apply the brakes vert hard. When I did use them the brake pedal felt mushy and it took more effort but they worked.


That's normal under those conditions. There's a small amount of "assist" stored in the accumulator for just that situation. It doesn't feel exactly the same but it gets the job done.


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opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 04/04/20 11:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But it is scary that the engine shut off when the gauges read normal. It seems to be putting the safety of the engine above the safety of the people.


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ronfisherman

SE Michigan

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Posted: 04/05/20 05:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the same condition with my 2004 MH. Only difference was engine shut off after after I came to a stop. It happened on a busy exit ramp. I took a wire and shorted out connector to antifreeze tank level sensor to get engine running again.
As far as I know the brakes worked OK. Hydroboost should have kept brakes working as normal.Test it by pressing on brake pedal without engine running.


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bob-kir

Kalamazoo MI

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Posted: 04/05/20 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, the Hydroboost on my Seneca is working fine. It seemed as if it took more effort to stop but with the sound of the alarm going off, dash warning lights, the Hyroboost noise, the shut down engine and wrestling with the lack of power steering in heavy traffic, I could be wrong remembering the feel of the brakes. It was a relief to get it stopped quickly in a safe place!

carringb

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Posted: 04/05/20 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unfortunately I don't think the engine shut-down was because of the low coolant level. It could however, have a new electrical issue because of the coolant leak.

My 2008 Topkick work truck did the same thing. About 10 seconds of warning noises, the it just shuts off. Completely. If only became became more and more regular, and eventually I got pretty good a rolling re-start. We took it to both Allison in Junction City and to DSU-GMC in Portland. It was an intermittent electrical issue, and we replaced the engine main harness, the PCM, the transmission harness and solenoid pack to no avail. We eventually ended up removing the body and scrapping the chassis. The downtime and potential liability was just too much.

I would definitely trace the path the coolant might have taken, and clean everything well with water and electrical cleaner. If I remember right, one of the chassis main harness runs below the bottle. Plus any harnesses downstream and aft inside the frame rail on that side, since coolant can blow a long ways. I'd even suggest pulling apart any downstream connectors. CRC makes a good spray cleaner for this kind of stuff.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 04/05/20 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ That. While I'm not familiar with the Kodiak chassis, vehicles are not programmed to die mid stream for virtually any fault or default.
But like anything, especially older vehicles, stuff happens and it is a potential safety issue, separate from an old coolant hose connection coming loose.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

bob-kir

Kalamazoo MI

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Posted: 04/05/20 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hopefully, it was just low coolant. It’s run fine since and we drove through some heavy rain which should have rinsed off any coolant that was spilled.

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