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Webasto in the Alps issue

Discussion in 'MOTORHOME CHAT' started by kelpbeds, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Funster

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    Hi all,

    Did a trip to the Alps couple of weeks ago and had a great time in the snow but bit of an issue with our Webasto diesel heater.
    Had been parked at 2000m for 3 days and it was working fine (warm in the day due to sun but -15 at night) but then it gradually started to blow less and less warm until one night it stopped altogether giving me a fault code 04 (premature flame recognition). Drove down the mountain and fueled up (wasn't that low before) back up to 2000m and it was fine for a while, then got less and less warm again. (not a problem with power - sorted that last year!)
    Not entirely sure why, though I kind of have an idea, thought I would get your ideas first.
    Bet Jon as in Jonandshell (top man!) will have something to say!
    Cheers
    Tim
  2. ScotJimland

    ScotJimland Funster

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    Presumably you were filled up with winter diesel which should be ok down to minus 15c , but it certainly sounds like a waxing problem in the fuel.

    IF that were the problem.. maybe the heater fuel line needs re routing to keep it away from the icy wind.. or perhaps lagging would help ?
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster

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    Check the little filter in the inline fuel pump. Sometimes that gets clogged and wont feed the heater properly.
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Hi Tim

    I'm glad your van is performing well on your ski trips. We had 12 days straight in Val Thorens this year. It certainly tested our van this time round.

    Our Dualtop played up this year due to bad diesel! Heat output fell, just like you describe. Our flash code indicated no fuel.

    Even after refuelling with good stuff, I had to remove the Webasto dosing pump and put it over the hob to get it working again!

    Strangely enough, just like you, we started to get low voltage faults recently. I traced it to a bad common negative connection for EVERYTHING on the left side of the van. I have since rewired the heater to the B2 positive and negative connectors at the CBE panel to reduce the current down that negative cable.

    Shared experiences count for a lot on here!:thumb:
    1 person likes this.
  5. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Funster

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    The first time there was normal diesel in it (which I suspect didn't help) but then when we headed down the mountain I put local winter diesel in. Didn't get the flashing light fault the second time, but the heater def got colder.

    I reckon that the fuel was def waxing up the first time, but shouldn't have been the second time. Also thought about insulating the feed and possibly running it somewhere near the heater exhaust to provide a little warmth - or is that a really stupid idea? Like big fire risk??

    Great to hear from you Jon and glad you got away to Val Thorens again. Thoroughly recommend the Aire in La Plagne, right on the piste.

    The other thought I had was the altitude. I was doing some reading up and apparently the heaters are only good up to 2000m and after that won't run properly for extended periods, you need to get them tweaked - read here for more info - http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=108984

    Jon - you were at 2300m though yes? So figured if anyone would have problems re altitude it would be you! (and sorry to hear you are being plagued with the dreaded low voltage thing!)

    Thanks all
  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I have read somewhere about the altitude issue with diesel heaters. The thin air would affect the fuel/air ratio.
    We did notice that we had to turn the thermostat up a notch higher than is normally comfortable.............

    Our diesel issues didn't just affect the heater, our engine wouldn't start until I had poured a couple of kettles of hot water over the fuel filter! All a bit frustrating when you need to off-pitch to fetch more fuel when the Webasto has given up the ghost!

    We'll only be doing 5 days in VT next Feb, the rest of our time will be in Les Rousses, another resort with skiing from the aire. Free too!:thumb:

    Hopefully catch up and compare the cross sectional areas of our wiring soon mate!:BigGrin:

    -Jon
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  7. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    We used to have loads of problems in trucks and drivers used to put 50 50 red gas oil and paraffin and it worked
    I Oslo think altitude may be some thing to consider less oxygen less combustion
    So heater will not get hot enough to get a clean burn
    The very early ebospachers used to recommend paraffin 1970is
  8. jhorsf

    jhorsf Funster

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  9. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Funster

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    Must admit ours was a bit reluctant to start, had to wind it over a fair bit. Would be great to meet up at some point! :thumb:Not sure where we will ski next year - keen to go again at Easter to be honest!

    Fuel additive looks worth looking at, thanks for that, also think I might well get the mod done in the link I posted earlier, looks very straightforward and can be left like that permanently which means it burns a little less fuel but with only very marginal heat loss and lower altitudes (3%)

    Annoying thing is, you can't test it unless you drive to the Alps!! :Doh:
  10. Minx

    Minx Funster

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    I'd put money on it being the altitude that was the problem, one of the reason why I'm glad our PVC has gas heating.:Smile:
  11. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    Webasto htrs

    Just a couple of things that might help.

    You dont say which model htr you have, but the workshop manual for my RHA100 says operation guaranteed up to 2200m, so altitude shouldn't have been a problem, with any diesel model.

    You may have got too low on fuel. The system needs 8ltrs minimum to operate.
  12. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We had a quarter tankfull left when the stuff waxed up.

    Other than the diesel waxing, our Dualtop had no other problems with the environment.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  13. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    The altitude is the least of your problems braving the winter conditions in the Alps in a PVC!:reel:

    I think it was a tough winter this year. The temperatures at VT were PERSISTENTLY very low. We had several bad weather days and the sun was a bit reluctant to show itself.

    We had below -20 on many nights out of the 12 we spent there, plus daytime temperatures rarely made it above -5 to -10.

    The frost in our garage area was a lot worse than last time round and our rear 2 batteries froze. After a week, we were down to running off the one battery under the passenger seat, recharging daily to make up for the lost capacity. Despite that, the A2B charger had us fully charged in about 30-40 minutes.

    Raising the batteries off the floor and modification to the heater ducting is planned for next year.

    Oh and the skiing was fun too!:BigGrin:
  14. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Funster

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    It's an Air Top 3900 Evo or 5500 Evo (not clear in manual) And it also says in manual, good for up to 2000m, so yours goes higher than mine!

    Low fuel wasn't the problem, it had quarter of a tank the first time and run it on much lower than that before and the second time it had a full tank and still did it.

    Was pretty cold as Jon says, though in the day the sun was out and we got the greenhouse effect in the van meaning it was well over 20 degrees inside, though outside it was still under 0.

    We also got frozen water pipes the one night when the heating stopped working. Got down to 5 degrees in the van!
  15. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Many thanks for all those that have replied to this thread. Just came back from Flaiine and had fuel waxing problems despite filling tank full at Cluses. also leisure battery kept low warning signal , but okay now, so stuck this down to comment of frosen conditions which has cleared and all okay now.
    Once again reading this thread stopped all my fears. many thanks.
  16. haganap

    haganap Funster

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    Be fair John. Compared to last year it was a heat wave :Smile:


    I would go for a combination of bad fuel and altitude, me and Jon and chell are going o la plagne next year, he just doesn't know it yet...I'm wheening him off VT
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  17. kelpbeds

    kelpbeds Funster

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    La Plagne is a great Aire, no doubt. Snowboarded back to van (literally) every day. Ticket office opposite. Flot Bleu there and you are right on the piste in the heart of it. Reckon Jon would love to go (even if he doesn't know it yet!)

    Gave my closest Webasto service place a ring today and going to get the van booked in to do the following. Only an hours labour or so.

    According to Webasto tech support here is the procedure:
    At the bottom of the heater there is a pigtail of 2 wires, one brown and one green, that they use for programming the system.
    1: Connect the brown wire to ground.
    2: Turn the heater control knob to 12:00
    3: After a few moments, the LED on the heater control knob will begin to flash.
    4: Turn the heater control knob to 9:00 (or even 8:00 if you are at very high altitude)
    5: Keep the heater running with the control knob set to 9:00 for 3 minutes.
    6: While the heater is running, remove the brown wire from ground.

    Now the fuel pump should be set to deliver less fuel, thereby creating a better combustion mixture for high altitude and less oxygen.

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