RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-03-2020, 12:31 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 25
Dash mileage vs reality - a warning

Hi all

So I bought my bus at auction, too far from home to visit. It was advertised as having 135k miles.

Chatted to the schoolís bus barn and they suggested I get that bus instead of the other one they had listed, as it had lower miles. I asked for maintenance records but they never ever materialized.

Maybe, stupidly, I went ahead and got the bus. My chats with the bus barn made me feel somewhat confident in my purchase. And she was the size I was after (shorty 8 window handi bus with a dt466e, a 2000, but with an at545 - canít have everything I guess).

Anyway, she sounds good, and no problems yet (besides a slow shift issue I continue to case).

You can imagine my disappointment when I plug in a blue fire reader and the true mileage of the bus comes up. 270K.

Got to say it has rattled my confidence in driving her knowing she has twice as many miles on her as I thought. And I worry about what big expenses I may now have sooner than I planned.

I guess this is a reminder to people looking to buy a bus that dash swaps occur, due to broken solder joints mainly. Just cos you dash says your bus is low miles, odds are, she ainít.
Douggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 02:09 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,099
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Something the more seasoned of us could have warned you about, and has been discussed in many threads here. It really does pay to do your research, folks. I would suggest, however, if your AT545 fails, to do an MT643 swap. Much better than the AT545.

As an aside, engine hours are also a concern, especially with low miles.
__________________

"CHEESE WAGON" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>
Suggested reading: (4 threads)
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 03:52 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Shamoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: S.E Missouri
Posts: 68
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 5.9L 24 valve
Rated Cap: 78
Low miles with high hours means lots of idle time which can be a bad thing. High mileage with average hours means lots of highway driving which is a good thing, typically found on an activity bus. Don't let the mileage scare you too much, that dt466 is a solid engine and can last a million miles with proper care.
Shamoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 08:44 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,415
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
another thing to look at is if you are looking at the computer verify the VIN and engine serial number as someone couldve swapped the computer out with a unit from another identical bus and thus the VIN and ESN would be diferent so you'd know not to trust any of it..



the other thing to note is that the cracked version of navistar ServiceMaxx can change ANY parameter.. and I mean ANY parameter includinng the hours / miles, zero out the tattle-tales, Horsepower, EFRC etc (even deletes on Maxxforces).. now granted most people have no idea how to obtain said Servicemaxx and use it if they do but im just saying it does exist..



what that means to me is check the health of the engine and go by that more than miles / hours.. if the maint records are available fro mthe school go by those..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 08:58 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,782
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
135K to 270K is a pretty harsh reality check. I got my Blue Fire last week and I was terrified of how much worse the true mileage was going to be than the 152K on my odometer. Luckily the true is only 156K, which means I really do have a DT466e with less than 40K on it after a rebuild.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 09:31 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,196
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
In my case, my dash was about ... I forget the exact numbers, but not too far off the computer mileage. Something like 215K on the dash and 219K on the computer. Hours was similar, within a couple hundred hours of the respective readings, both showing 10K-ish hours.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 09:47 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,782
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
In my case, my dash was about ... I forget the exact numbers, but not too far off the computer mileage. Something like 215K on the dash and 219K on the computer. Hours was similar, within a couple hundred hours of the respective readings, both showing 10K-ish hours.
My true hours were about 400 less than what's showing on my dash. Not sure how that could come about. Maybe time spent backing up is subtracted instead of added?
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 10:58 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Shamoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: S.E Missouri
Posts: 68
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 5.9L 24 valve
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
My true hours were about 400 less than what's showing on my dash. Not sure how that could come about. Maybe time spent backing up is subtracted instead of added?
Hours are the total time the key is in the on position I believe and are never subtracted. It could be that the dash reads hours of key "on" time and the computer reads engine "running" time, that would explain the difference.
Shamoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
thesantoros's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 27
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: MBE904
Rated Cap: 24
Is it worth getting a reader? Any suggestions on which one to get? Weíre going the going to do a final inspection and pick up our bus on Monday, (new to this so) never would have thought to check the mileage this way!
thesantoros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 11:52 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,782
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesantoros View Post
Is it worth getting a reader? Any suggestions on which one to get? We’re going the going to do a final inspection and pick up our bus on Monday, (new to this so) never would have thought to check the mileage this way!
This is the BlueFire: https://bluefire-llc.com/website/500...08-ios-adapter

I don't know if your Mercedes will have the same kind of connector. You may need an adapter. You'll also need a tablet or phone of whatever flavor, and then you just install the BlueFire for Trucks app (for that platform) and connect to the BlueFire device after you've plugged it in and turned the key on.

I jokingly hooked mine up to a little iPod Touch that I have, thinking that it would be completely unusable, but it actually works fine with the text gauges and I can read all the values no problem. I only use mine as a backup for when my physical dashboard freezes (which is very often).

I would absolutely bring a BlueFire and a tablet with me to go pick up (or even just to look at) a bus. If you see a serious mileage discrepancy you can bail (bale?) out or use it to negotiate a price drop.

Edit: I'm actually a mobile app programmer, and it just dawned on me a simple way in which a BlueFire could be used by an unscrupulous buyer to trick a seller into thinking a bus had more miles than it really did. If I were selling a bus, I would also have my own BlueFire handy to expose any discrepant numbers.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 11:52 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 729
Year: 1999
You would expect a seller to provide you the actual mileage.
For normal cars and trucks it is a felony to 'tamper' with the mileage, so when they swap gauges, that would be a felony. Now selling them 'as-is' may release them from liability,
and all auction afaik are 'as-is'. A reseller on the other hand, has no such protection.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 12:03 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
thesantoros's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 27
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: MBE904
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
This is the BlueFire: https://bluefire-llc.com/website/500...08-ios-adapter

I don't know if your Mercedes will have the same kind of connector. You may need an adapter. You'll also need a tablet or phone of whatever flavor, and then you just install the BlueFire for Trucks app (for that platform) and connect to the BlueFire device after you've plugged it in and turned the key on.

I jokingly hooked mine up to a little iPod Touch that I have, thinking that it would be completely unusable, but it actually works fine with the text gauges and I can read all the values no problem. I only use mine as a backup for when my physical dashboard freezes (which is very often).

I would absolutely bring a BlueFire and a tablet with me to go pick up (or even just to look at) a bus. If you see a serious mileage discrepancy you can bail (bale?) out or use it to negotiate a price drop.

Edit: I'm actually a mobile app programmer, and it just dawned on me a simple way in which a BlueFire could be used by an unscrupulous buyer to trick a seller into thinking a bus had more miles than it really did. If I were selling a bus, I would also have my own BlueFire handy to expose any discrepant numbers.
Thanks for the link! Amazon one day shipping, even for Sunday delivery 👍👍
thesantoros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 12:07 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,196
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
If you go to the actual BlueFire website and use the promo/coupon code AMAZON, you'll get like $20 off.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 01:16 PM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,415
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
you can also save money if you dont plan to use any apple devices with your bluefire and buy the non apple version.. it costs less. so if you are going to use windows or android and never apple then you dont need to spend the money for the apple-capable bluefire
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 01:17 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,782
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
If you go to the actual BlueFire website and use the promo/coupon code AMAZON, you'll get like $20 off.
Oh yeah, thanks for mentioning that. I couldn't figure out why the price on the site was higher than what I had paid.

Getting it overnight might end up being more expensive, though, since BlueFire charges for a wide variety of different shipping options. Mine was I think $8 for priority mail and it arrived three days later.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 09:28 AM   #16
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1
I had a similar situation with bus we bought in October. It is a 2002 Amtram dt466e with a md3060 handicap bus with a lift. 30 feet. Rust free!!! Runs like a top. Dream come true.
Anyways...it was only in service for 10 years until it's route got cancelled and so it was a sub bus rarely got used. Odometer stated 160000. Blue fire came a couple days later and stated 245000 on the computer. It came from a responsive and up front school district with all the records. They never swapped the dash or the ecm. The records are consistent with the 160000 miles. I even called the garage manager to see if they had any insight. He was at a loss for the discrepancy and apologized. He couldn't explain it. Now I don't know which numbers to believe... Hours were close. 9000 on the dash 9100 on the computer.
So you say there is a way to see engine VIN on the ecm? Can this be seen with blue fire? Or do you need service maxx software?
Derski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 11:01 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,031
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derski View Post
I had a similar situation with bus we bought in October. It is a 2002 Amtram dt466e with a md3060 handicap bus with a lift. 30 feet. Rust free!!! Runs like a top. Dream come true.
Anyways...it was only in service for 10 years until it's route got cancelled and so it was a sub bus rarely got used. Odometer stated 160000. Blue fire came a couple days later and stated 245000 on the computer. It came from a responsive and up front school district with all the records. They never swapped the dash or the ecm. The records are consistent with the 160000 miles. I even called the garage manager to see if they had any insight. He was at a loss for the discrepancy and apologized. He couldn't explain it. Now I don't know which numbers to believe... Hours were close. 9000 on the dash 9100 on the computer.
So you say there is a way to see engine VIN on the ecm? Can this be seen with blue fire? Or do you need service maxx software?
tire size could have been changed?
__________________
.
Wear A Mask- Stop the Spread!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 12:31 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Shamoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: S.E Missouri
Posts: 68
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 5.9L 24 valve
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
tire size could have been changed?
The dash odometer reads from the same sensor that the computer reads from so tire size would affect both the same.
Shamoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 12:55 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,897
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
The bus barn where I got mine burned me by erasing the DTCs. Fortunately it was just the turbo that was bad. It’s advisable for anyone buying a bus to read the codes and if the computer comes up blank to be suspicious.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 01:32 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 499
The last two buses we bought were sequential VIN numbers, from the same governmental entity. The digital odometer indicated about half the miles that the seller and the service records reported...and the BlueFire provided another figure...and of course the hubometer gave yet another figure. Condition, condition, condition...
rossvtaylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×