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Old 01-09-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
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Engine shuts off after a couple minutes at idle.

Hi all,

Bus is a 2005 BB A3RE, 8.3 Cummins, 3060 trans. It has been driven over 500 incident-free miles since I bought it, over the course of four legs. I have had it in my work space, removing seats, ceiling, side panels, and A/C. During this time, I have started the bus up on two occasions just to run it a bit. Each time I have done so, the bus runs for what feels like about 3 to 5 minutes and then shuts off. It does this whether or not I am in the drivers seat. I have eliminated energency exits as the cause, and it did this before I removed the A/C so I am not thinking I caused it by removing something I should not have. Each time it does this, it restarts immediately and runs beautifully. Does anyone know if these buses have some kind of automatic inactivity shutdown timer installed? I have Googled the topic and read that some buses do, but have not found anything specific on them yet.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:27 PM   #2
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I'd say yep, it has a shutoff timer. Should be a simple computer reprogram if you have the right tool to do it.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
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I'd say yep, it has a shutoff timer. Should be a simple computer reprogram if you have the right tool to do it.


Thanks! It sure behaves as if that's the case. I'll look into it. Cheers, J
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:21 AM   #4
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I would check to see if it is throwing any codes. Mine will shutdown for a variety of reasons. One that I have experience with is low coolant. That was easy to figure out because the code told me what the issue was.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:32 AM   #5
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im not sure on cummins, but ive seen in my computer settings for my navistar that it has the ability to turn on auto shutdown timers, hopefully something simple like that..



on navistar, timers are reset each time you press the brake pedal.. when you idle down sometime, after 2 minutes or so, press and release the brake pedal, and see if it runs longer..

-Christopher
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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Christopher as always bringing the super helpful trivia!
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:18 AM   #7
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Had a 3208 Cat powered truck at work that had a shut down timer. If warmed and you turned off the key it would run for 5 min before shutting down.

I retired in '94 from that career after 30 years.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:35 AM   #8
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I don't know what year it became use but commercial diesel started using idle timers for a couple of reasons fuel economy and emissions either the Feds or the Fleet owners did not want trucks sitting in truck stops or delivery idling for long periods of time.Since drivers wouldn't turn them off the computer does. Gene
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:39 AM   #9
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Had a 3208 Cat powered truck at work that had a shut down timer. If warmed and you turned off the key it would run for 5 min before shutting down.

I retired in '94 from that career after 30 years.



That was done to let the turbo cool down under oil pressure that practice did not last long though. Gene
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:08 PM   #10
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That was done to let the turbo cool down under oil pressure that practice did not last long though. Gene
Interesting...... Any idea why "it didn't last too long "?

I have it on one of my trucks and think it's a great idea. Is there some down side that I am missing?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:47 PM   #11
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Interesting...... Any idea why "it didn't last too long "?

I have it on one of my trucks and think it's a great idea. Is there some down side that I am missing?
I am not sure if it really helps I am not sure if it doesn't help.I think the reason the practice was discontinued because the same reasons idle shutdown was programmed into ECM's. Gene
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:52 PM   #12
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I am not sure if it really helps I am not sure if it doesn't help.I think the reason the practice was discontinued because the same reasons idle shutdown was programmed into ECM's. Gene
From my perspective, I know that it helps. I forces you to allow the turbo to cool down before shutdown. An important practice if you want longevity from your turbo.

The question is why would they discontinue the practice? What are the downsides?
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:23 PM   #13
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From my perspective, I know that it helps. I forces you to allow the turbo to cool down before shutdown. An important practice if you want longevity from your turbo.

The question is why would they discontinue the practice? What are the downsides?



The down sides are: idle time increases fuel consumption, increases air pollution and retards the sale of new/reman turbos. Gene
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:16 PM   #14
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my DEV bus has a label on the dash "Let bus idle for 3-5 minutes before shutdown"..
my red bus i watch the pyro and when it gets down to 300-350 i shut it down.
My superior doesnt have a turbo I just pop it in N and turn it off

-Christopher
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:34 PM   #15
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The down sides are: idle time increases fuel consumption, increases air pollution and retards the sale of new/reman turbos. Gene
Making a turbo last longer reduces the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.

I think that unless, there is a better argument against, I will keep my shutdown timer.

I can pull up at the shop and shut the ignition off and the engine will continue to run until EGT's are below a set point. It is not like I leave it idling for hours. 2-6 minutes depending on conditions. If I did not have the timer I would sit in the truck and let it idle for a few minutes anyway. This simply automates the process.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:53 PM   #16
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reality is the EPA doesnt look at cradle to grave.. only one aspect.. after all why would districts be drilling holes in engines and cutting frames of perfectly good busses so that they can be cruashed into little pieces all because of tailpipe emissions?? what about the emissions it takes to smash, sort, recycle, and re-use any good parts on that bus in a new plant.. oh and all the glass windows that are sadly just crushed and broken into pieces... much of that glass has many years life left in it.. but its just smashed.. and thats suppose to be enviromentally friendly? what about the tail pipe emissions of the glass factory and the steel factory and aluminum factory and plastics factory.. and on and on..



its obvious the $$$ book of someone is the real care and not the environment..

-Christopher


P.S. cash for clunkers anyone??? it sure did raise the price of used cars for dealers.. and forced poor people to use government provided public transit as they couldnt aford to buy used cars any longer...
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:08 PM   #17
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Yesterday I started the bus and just touched the gas pedal a couple of times intermittently and it never sgut down which leads me to believe that it's a timer. Also, an article I read stated First Student had their buses equipped with these timers. Guess who owned this bus before me?
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