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Thread: Freightliner SmartShift Transmission problems

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    JewelsnTools's Avatar
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    Default Freightliner SmartShift Transmission problems

    DEAR GOD. SNOW.

    Anyway, can anyone help me troubleshoot why my automatic would just stop going into gear??? It's happened a couple of times in the past, but now, it just won't work!! Help!
    Jewels
    They're not "hot flashes"...they're POWER SURGES!

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    JewelsnTools's Avatar
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    It's in the shop, now. The tech said they'll have to pull the transmission and TAKE PICTURES OF IT!! Is it just me, or does that sound almost morbid??
    Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone??
    They're not "hot flashes"...they're POWER SURGES!

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    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Elaborate a bit please.

    Won't go into gear... while you're stopped?

    Like I said in another thread, if an autoshift has the clutch not adjusted correctly, the clutch brake won't be reached, and the transmission won't go into gear until the input shaft is stopped.

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    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    Is that the Eaton or the Meritor? Any issues I've had have been electrical. What do you mean it's not going into gear...from a start-up or when shifting on the fly?

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    First, thanks for not leaving me hanging out here by myself! ops:

    I was backing into a spot, in reverse gear, when all of a sudden a really loud, squealing alarm went off. I looked in the dash display screen, and there was a "ch" in the place where it usually displayed the gear I was in. I was about to continue backing, but it wouldn't budge. AT ALL! It was still purring, all the lights were still on, everything...it just wouldn't go into gear.
    Not sure if it matters, but my load was really heavy, that day. Could this be a factor? I noticed an odd whine, a couple of times, whenever I tried to accelerate further than about 55.

    It's a Meritor, but it's got 534,000 miles and (I'd imagine) a number of different drivers with different driving styles.

    I guess I'm just worried that I'll have to let my beloved "Medici" go, as a trade in. I'm going to call tomorrow, myself, to find out if they're going to take a shot at fixing it.

    Where's that thread?? I'd like to read through it! :wink:
    They're not "hot flashes"...they're POWER SURGES!

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    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    I can't speak to the Meritor as my only experience is with Eaton. My first inclination based on what you said is the you've got an electrical issue, either in the ECU on the transmission itself or somewhere in the wiring, i.e., bad ground or harness.

    As far at the whine when trying to accelerate, I assume you were already in top gear? I don't know why the tranny would be trying to do anything there, maybe bad signals from the sensors which could take you right back to an electrical issue.

    Often these things will reset after a fault, but if it doesn't all you can do is call for a tow. Good thing you're getting it in to get looked at.

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    Wow, just came up on this post today (Thurs) and my truck too had this exact problem. So after a couple of times sitting on the side of the road and letting the computer reset itself (I guess), it finally went out here at home on Tuesday. So I had it towed to Christopher Trucks (Freightliner-Western Star) in Greenville, SC and they finally got it into the shop last night. I will post what happens and the cost. Please cross your fingers for me, as everything has come crashing down on me right here at the holidays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by no_worries
    I can't speak to the Meritor as my only experience is with Eaton. My first inclination based on what you said is the you've got an electrical issue, either in the ECU on the transmission itself or somewhere in the wiring, i.e., bad ground or harness.

    As far at the whine when trying to accelerate, I assume you were already in top gear? I don't know why the tranny would be trying to do anything there, maybe bad signals from the sensors which could take you right back to an electrical issue.

    Often these things will reset after a fault, but if it doesn't all you can do is call for a tow. Good thing you're getting it in to get looked at.
    Hello friend. Would you happend to know what a computer for this costs? Or what kind of money I'm looking at for electrical/ wiring harness problems? I think the shop I'm at is $90.00/ hour.

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    Good morning. Just talked to the shop and they say it is an electrical problem. They just don't know where it is yet. I wonder how long it will take them to find out.

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    no_worries is offline Senior Board Member
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    The shop I was in said the same thing, "We know it's electrical but not sure where yet." I figured it had to be in the wiring harness and/or the tranny ECU. They called me that evening (previous conversation was first thing in the morning) and said they found the problem and needed to replace the wiring harness and ECU :roll: and the x/y shifter paddle. I don't know what it cost since it was all under warranty, except for the air-freight since they didn't have the x/y in stock :x Eaton's warranty on mine is 5/750,000. I don't know your details but you may want to double check your warranty. Good luck.

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    I think the shop I'm at is $90.00/ hour.
    This brings up an issue that puzzles me, and this is not a personal slam, but rather a question for the industry in general.

    Why is everyone so eager to run cheap, when all the expenses you all are paying to operate your business keep going up?

    Am I missing something here?

    It doesn't make good business sense to pay a shop a higher hourly rate to fix a truck than what you get for running it.

    No, I'm not saying the shop should work cheaper, I'm saying that you guys should get your sh*t together and stop cutting each other's throat just so you can "keep the wheels turning".

    If you can't make money on every load, then you're working for the truck, the truck is not working for you. :!:
    If you can't shift it smoothly, you shouldn't be driving it.

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    headborg is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JewelsnTools
    It's in the shop, now. The tech said they'll have to pull the transmission and TAKE PICTURES OF IT!! Is it just me, or does that sound almost morbid??
    Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone??
    From what you explained happened and the noise it made and the Ch(stands for clutch---I'd say you dropped the clutch/ burnt it out.

    TAKE PICTURES OF IT--is code for "we're not going to cover this under warrenty" also---possible evidence of "driver abuse" which they will show your company----or it could be as simple as "we've never seen anything like this before" lets document and see if the manufacture has seen this happen before.

    good luck

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    I got him (my truck) back, today!!!
    Headborg, I think you're right...I asked what had happened, and the tech told me that it was a "clutch fork" that had broken. It's been replaced, now, but nothing else has been said.
    I think the warranty must have covered it, because there was no price listed as needing to be paid.
    I'm just glad to have him back. The loaner I was assigned was a dorkdot!
    Thanks, all, for lookin' in on me. Medici and I are on the road again!!!
    Jewels
    They're not "hot flashes"...they're POWER SURGES!

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