Thursday, June 14, 2018

Albuquerque and “Check Engine” Reality…

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Sumner Lake State Park was a delightful stop as we enjoyed the scenery, the solitude and the hiking in the area. It was a short stay so we we packed up and hit the road to our next stop just west of Albuquerque. We plan to visit friends there and stop in at the Albuquerque Freightliner dealer for our annual preventative maintenance.

Little did we know how timely this stop was going to be…

We were about an hour down the road when I noticed my Check Engine light illuminate again but this time I also noticed some sluggishness in climbing the small hill we were on. There was a rest stop about 30 miles east Clines Corner NM so we pulled into it and called our Good Sam's Roadside Service to ask for advice.

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Our first experience with Good Sam's Roadside Service was excellent and this time… well let’s just say it wasn't excellent. We spoke with an agent who told us she would locate a service tech to come out to read our engine code to see what we needed to do While she was looking for a tech I scoured the internet and determined we weren’t in any danger of doing any further damage by traveling on.

After about an hour the Good Sam agent called and informed me that she couldn’t locate anyone who could help and that we were on our own to secure services. What??!!! She did apologize and told me if we found a service we could be reimbursed but it was simply up to us to solve our mini-crisis. Wow.

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I decided to press on and kept my speed at 58 to reduce any load on the RV. We made it another 60 or so miles before the light came on again so we pulled over and let it rest. As long as the Check Engine light didn’t stay illuminated I felt like things were okay to keep going and so we did.

Another 20 miles down the road and we pulled into Enchanted Trails RV Park. It is right next door to a Camping World and the Freightliner Dealer is close by as well. The next morning we took the RV over to them to perform our preventative maintenance and check the engine code. I felt like it wouldn't be anything major so we went to town to grocery shop.

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Well boy was I wrong… it turned out to be a Turbo Failure so we were going to have to have the turbo replaced or re-built. Once it was removed it was determined we needed a new one and “Oh by the way” your manifolds are warped as well. This meant our RV will be in the shop for 4-5 days and my wallet will be lightened considerably.

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While our RV was being diagnosed in the shop we went to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and played a little disk golf. We ended the day at Boese Brewery. Thank goodness we are in Albuquerque as it certainly could have been much worse stranded in the boonies. An added plus is Sharon’s best friend lives in town so if needed we have a place to stay. No one said life on the road would be all fun in the sun as a little rain must come as well. We have been fortunate over the past seven plus years so I guess it was our turn for this major expense hit.... Oh well, this too shall pass…

NOTE: We left Sumner Lake State Park in New Mexico and are now in Albuquerque NM for a week or more if needed…


  1. Your sentiments sound exactly like ours. We were very lucky for seven years. Then, we had the same work done in Eugene, Oregon. Dave and Sue just went through this last week. Boy does the coach ever run great after the work. Yes, your wallet will be much lighter! $$$$$$$ Glad you made it safely to your destination and had a repair already scheduled.

  2. Glad you made it safely!, and have friends in the area. When our turbo went it sprayed oil in the engine compartment, but no other damage was done.

  3. For what it's worth: a contributing factor to turbo failure is shutting off the engine before the turbo has a chance to spin down which shuts off the oil supply to the turbo. Especially the case after towing or driving highway speeds. Always best to idle the engine a few minutes before shutting it off. A warped manifold may indicate too high of exhaust temps. Maybe from not having the boost from the turbo, raising the exhaust temps. A couple of gauges that would be simple to install since they are already tearing into it would be a turbo boost gauge and an exhaust gas temp (EGT gauge) to give a visual as you are driving. For sure the turbo boost gauge would have shown that it wasn't working when it failed. The EGT also lets you know when the exhaust temps are in the danger range and to back off the accelerator - mostly when climbing steep hills.

  4. Nice to get the problem diagnosed , not so nice that you will be homeless for a while, and lighten your wallet considerably. These things are bound to happen.
    We know just spent 11 days without our coach, at least we had a nice cabin paid for by the insurance company.

  5. Ouch. Glad you weren't in the toolies. Love the fancy bra jewelry.

  6. Oh my what a bummer!! Sorry for the inconvenience but glad you have friends nearby! Hopefully it will be fixed in a timely manner!!

  7. Sounds like you are making the best of a bad situation. We have had to have a couple of repairs along the road in the last 12 years but you just have to keep moving:))