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Discussion Starter #1
Issue seems like a very uncommon issue, and I cannot find any answers. It started when Texas had it's first cold snap. Truck ran perfect, absolutely no problems at all. The morning was warm, above 60 degrees, started out as a nice day. Went to work after school, and it got below 40 degrees. I got in the truck at about 10:00pm to go home, and while I was driving, the water in fuel light and glow plug light came on at the same time. I had all electrical power, but when the lights came on, I lost engine power and it went down to about 625 RPMs where a normal idle where be. Keep in mind, I had my foot in the same position the WHOLE time it did this. It was about at 30% pedal position. Lights came on for about 5 seconds and then turned off. Back to normal driving. A couple miles down the road, it did it again. I thought nothing of it because it was late and I just wanted to get home. I should've pulled over. About another mile down, the truck died completely. No engine, no electricity to the gauges or radio, BUT I still had headlights. I was rolling down the highway at 65 mph with no power steering or power brakes on new 37's... That was fun pulling over. I got it parked, and got the truck restarted. Cranked good, no slow or hard start. At the time, I had a used Edge CTS2 Insight monitor. I checked battery, it read 12.6-12.9. FICM read 48 volts. I thought, well maybe it's a bad monitor. So I cleared it all, and disconnected it. Ran all the way home no problems, so I thought hey, that fixed it. The next couple of days it was fine, BUT it was above 50-60 degrees. I cannot remember the amount of days between the next "cold" day, but the next "cold" day was in about the 50's. I had gotten in the truck, started it up, and let it run for a little bit to warm up. I drove the truck about a couple miles and the water in fuel light and the glow plug light came on again. This time, it was day time so I just ran it and I wanted to see what would happen again. Well, it did the same thing. Killed the whole truck while driving. Got it started back up, and it ran fine once again. Didn't do it again that day. Now, I've had this issue for about 2 months now, and I'm slowly learning what it does. When it is below 50-60 degrees outside, the truck will do this. It does it in the same spot everytime. I drive the same route to school everyday and it does this about 3.4 miles in. It's identical EVERYDAY ITS "COLD". I've learned that once it does this, I can pull over before it dies, and just restart the truck myself and it'll have no issues for the rest of the day whether it's 30 degrees or 70 degrees. I do this everyday, until today. Today it was about 50 degrees, and I was expecting the truck to do it's routine. Up to this point, I've had the batteries, alternator, and starter checked. All good. I've replaced the glow plugs, glow plug wiring harness, and the glow plug control module. I have a new crank sensor coming as well. Now today, was different. It went about another 2 miles until the water in fuel light and the glow plug light came on. I thought, "hm odd, it went a litter father today". I pulled over, turned the truck off, and tried to restart it. No crank. No gauges. No fuel pump. No starter. Nothing. The only thing that came on was the radio. I kept cycling the key trying to get something to happen. I got out, turned off the lights locked it, unlocked it, and tried, I tried with the lights on and off, tried it in neutral, nothing. Eventually, the gauges finally came back on, the fuel pump ran, and I thought wow okay that took a little longer than usual. Fired right up, no hard start, or slow start. Ran for about 10 seconds and then died. Cycled the key, and nothing once again. So I sat there for another 5 minutes cycling the key, getting out, waiting blah blah blah. Cycled it and it fired right up once again. This time, it idled for about 5 minutes and I decided to drive it to school. Drove fine, until I got to the parking lot and it died once again. This time, I had no issues with the power, just cycled the key once, and everything worked. I parked it and went to school for the day. Came back out about 5 hours later, and drove home. No issues. I'm completely lost with this thing. Now that's just one issue with it shutting off. This one isn't huge, but it's still something. I found when it's COLD outside, and the truck has been sitting for more than 8-10 hours, that it'll die AT IDLE when I first start it up when I turn on my FOG LIGHTS and my FOG LIGHTS ONLY. It'll kill the engine, but fire right back up AND turn on my FOG lights no problem. I have found that turning on the fog lights before I start the truck, prevents this problem of dying. I'm getting scared to drive it now because it is really a safety hazard and with how large it is, it's a realllllly big hazard. (Crew cab long bed on an 8.5 inch lift with 37's and not the greatest steering or brakes in the world). I've decided to park it for now until I find time to take it to a diesel shop. I've been searching around and I've really come up with nothing. I've seen ignition relay and PCM come up the most, but I'm completely lost. It's like the truck KNOWS when it's "colder" outside, but it's not even cold!! Is it just that coincidental that it does it on colder days? I don't know!? Up to this point, I've replaced the new parts as I said above, checked the battery and alternator terminals, and they were all tight. I've checked the wiring harness, it was a little worn, but it's expected. No exposed wires or anything like that. MAIN POINTS: problems only occur when it is below 50-60 degrees and the truck has not ran in a MINIMUM of 8 hours. Once it shuts off AFTER the water in fuel light and glow plug light come on, those lights WILL NOT come on again until the next day. Any insight would be great. Im sorry for how long this is, but I wanted to provide as much info as possible. Please ask questions, I'm happy to answer, and I'll respond as quickly as I can. Thank you!!
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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Sounds like you're going to be chasing wires my man, what fun. Is there condensation on the truck when it's "cold"? Could be dripping on or running along a wiring harness and creating a short. Did you drain the water separator? Sounds silly but who knows. Also, I've seen some posts about water dripping through the windshields seal and onto the rear of the dash which was causing no starts and erratic behavior due to it shorting out the guage cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Water separator has been emptied, and I've heard about that wind shield problem and no dice. See, wire chaffing sounds like what it could be, but I don't understand why it only dies when it's below 60 degrees. Either it's so coincidental that it does it when it's "colder" outside, or there's something else.
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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Monitor the Vreference voltage. Start your wire inspection with the the WIF sensor and harness. While you are under there, take a look at the fuel heater plug and wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update, took it to a good diesel shop, and they figured out that it was the PCM. It was running at 140 degrees.... 60 degrees too hot!
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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Hmm.

So when it is cold outside the PCM will run too hot? Interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I had a short circuit somewhere because a little bit ago, I found that my positive battery cable had been pretty loose, so I'm thinking it was sending bad signals to the PCM causing to do some funky stuff.
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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That sounds more like it. Voltage is critical to both the PCM and the FICM.

The PCMs on these trucks are pretty solid. They do occasionally fail, but not very often.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah that's what I thought too. I'll hopefully have the new PCM in by the end of the week and we'll see what it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update: Got a new PCM in a couple of days ago. Ran good, no issues for about 2 days. Drove it yesterday and nearly got myself killed because it completely shut off on me going into a turn on a two lane road with traffic... I'm completely lost. I've personality looked at all the wires, nothing too bad. No bare or chaffed. I've had TWO diesel mechanics look over the truck for more than a week, and they came up with nothing. I'm thinking that something that feeds into the PCM is causing it to fail, but once again, more than 4 sets of eyes have looked over this truck and have come up with nothing. This truck is staying parked until I can get a definite fix for it because at this point, it's a big safety hazard...
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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I don't think your PCM is failing. They are missing something. Personally I would still want to see what the vreference voltage was doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Found the problem. My fuse box is the issue. This morning, i figured out that when the truck shuts off, i can smack on the steering wheel and I'll have all my gauges back. Also works if i wanna shut the truck off. I tore apart my dash and steering column looking for chaffed wires but didn't come up with anything. Thinking i was at a dead end once again, i accidentally touched one of the fuses on my fuse box and it shut off. Smacked the wheel and gauges were back. I touched and moved all the fuses and it kept shutting off, resetting the gauges, etc. So something has messed up the box, causing it to do crazy things, and thats why i think that the PCM went bad because it was sending crazy stuff to it... Weirdest thing I've ever seen in my entire life if you ask me...
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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I would ONLY go back to the shop that changed out the PCM for a refund, not for any future work ........
 

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Most shops want to attempt some kind of repair on a vehicle to try and isolate the problem. It's very hard to duplicate intermittent issues at times. I personally have always try not to just install a PCM. Older models it usually was very easy to find a bad PCM from the smell. If your engine harness looks to be free of worn from rubbing through areas (like under air cleaner, under secondary fuel filter housing, intake studs). Check FICM connectors for proper fastening, chaffing just below connector where harness may come in contact with the valve cover. Fluid intrusion into harness can also cause shorts without bare wires touching. Liquids can be as good of conductors as metal, diesel fuel and hot oil can easly penetrate plastic wire covering. I would remove FICM and PCM connectors inspecting for corrosion, damaged, or loose pins. Central junction box has a tendency for the fuse connectors to spread over time from the heat of the draw of current through a circuit then acclimating to temperatures and getting cool again. When metal gets hot then cool over time, again, and again, the metal will expand and will no longer make contact. It is possible to remove the covers of the central junction box and manually push pins back together to correct this issue. But there are non servicable micro relays in the central junction box and they are soldered in. I find it best to clean the batteries of from any debris, and check and keep terminals free from any corrosion at every oil change. Never run a weak battery, and especially never allow a terminal to remain loose. Its a recipe for damage to your FICM or PCM. If you can smack your steering wheel and things go back right check your overdrive circuit or tow haul switch wiring, instrument cluster connectors, and central junction box power feed for a tight stud nut. The drivers area is where you have seem to be able to duplicate the issue. Wiring issues are most of the time very hard to find, at least you seem to have some what isolated this issue to a general area. Now you have to find the problem or replace components in that area till the problem goes away.
 
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