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Old 09-07-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
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Do you brake lights come on with the engine brake?

Just realized mine do. I'm not sure I like that. Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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So do mine but I think it's a safety issue so I don't mind if they come on, especially to warn folks who follow too closely that you are slowing down.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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Not a Winnebago owner but my Fleetwood does. Suspect most do. Since it should only be on while slowing - braking it gives notice to others that they should be too. Now they should know that if a retarder is needed, as you will likely be on grade. But, some folks drive more cautiously than others. I would want those less cautious folks to know I'm slowing and not run up on me. It is true that using it and the tranny allows you to use service brakes sparingly but you are slowing and in effect braking.

I think I've read where some folks disconnect the feature but wouldn't advise it. Curious as to why do you you don't like it?
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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Yes, the brake lights come on when any type brake is applied. Watch the brake lights of big trucks glowing all the way down long grades ...they are no on the foot brake but are coasting with the engine brake on. I do however believe that when my cruise is on and exhaust brake is working to keep me at the set speed that my brake lights then do not come on.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan H View Post
Just realized mine do. I'm not sure I like that. Thoughts?
Yes Sir, they will come on. And, as has been stated, it's a notification that you are slowing down. And since there's many numb skulls out on the road now days that tail gate our rigs, even when towing, the feature of those brake lights appearing when I even start to slow down at least puts out a notice.

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Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
Not a Winnebago owner but my Fleetwood does. Suspect most do. Since it should only be on while slowing - braking it gives notice to others that they should be too. Now they should know that if a retarder is needed, as you will likely be on grade. But, some folks drive more cautiously than others. I would want those less cautious folks to know I'm slowing and not run up on me. It is true that using it and the tranny allows you to use service brakes sparingly but you are slowing and in effect braking.

I think I've read where some folks disconnect the feature but wouldn't advise it. Curious as to why do you you don't like it?
Yes Sir, I think I've read the same thing that there's some that will disconnect the brake light application when the E/B is activated. WHY IN THE WORLD, would one do that???? I mean, I cannot think of one, even REMOTE reason why it would or should be done. There's enough faulty, non-working brake lights out there in the normal world without manually disconnecting some from your rig.

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Yes, the brake lights come on when any type brake is applied. Watch the brake lights of big trucks glowing all the way down long grades ...they are no on the foot brake but are coasting with the engine brake on. I do however believe that when my cruise is on and exhaust brake is working to keep me at the set speed that my brake lights then do not come on.

AFChap,
The engine ECM is in control of your E/B and, when coupled with the brake lights, it over rides the Cruise control and still applies the brake lights. I've read much of the technical data on my engine ECM, trans ECM, J-1939 Data Link, ABS Module, and all the supporting components of those items and I did read that the E/B will activate the Brake lights any time it's applied. Some say that the E/B will not operate at all if the Cruise control "ON" switch is in the ON position. On our 2004 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT, it doesn't matter if I've got the Cruise switch on or off, the E/B will still activate if conditions are met. And as you well know, those conditions are, foot completely off the accelerator, speed increase sensing activated and, the E/B switch is in the ON position.

To any and all, as I stated, I can't imagine why anyone would want to disconnect that feature. But, it's their coach so they can do as they please. I sure as heck would want notification that I'm slowing on long grades or off ramps or anywhere and traffic is tight. If a person was to run into the rear of me (or my toad) because I was on the E/B and had no brake lights were displayed, all they'd have to do is tell the investigating officer "there were no brake lights". That doesn't mean they'd get away with running into me, but, it would just make things a whole lot worse.

Just easier and safer to have them work when any form of braking is being applied.
Scott
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bryan H View Post
Just realized mine do. I'm not sure I like that. Thoughts?
Our Newmar KSDP will turn on brake lights when the eng brake switch is on and the engine brake is actually engaged. Transmisssion indicator also annuciates 2 in the led panel. When the engine brake shuts off the indicator goes back to 6 and the brake lights turn off.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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On our 2002 DSDP the center brake light comes on when the ebrake is in use. All the brake lights come on when the service brakes are used.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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Spartan, Freightliner, every chassis manufacturer seems to do; the brake light thing; a little differently.
But as others have stated, I consider it a safety feature.
Didn't know about , them coming on in my coach, until I went to use my 4 way flashers when using the exhaust brake, on my first trip.
Makes for a bit of a problem , selecting a brake controller or wiring a controller in , to avoid overheating toad brakes.
But there is a fix for every problem.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #9
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To any and all, as I stated, I can't imagine why anyone would want to disconnect that feature. But, it's their coach so they can do as they please. I sure as heck would want notification that I'm slowing on long grades or off ramps or anywhere and traffic is tight. If a person was to run into the rear of me (or my toad) because I was on the E/B and had no brake lights were displayed, all they'd have to do is tell the investigating officer "there were no brake lights". That doesn't mean they'd get away with running into me, but, it would just make things a whole lot worse.

Scott[/QUOTE]

I drive steep grades and often need to apply the brakes when using the exhaust brake. For example I'm going down I-5 in southern Oregon or in northern California the exhaust brake is not strong enough to hold the speed at 55 or 60 mph but allows the speed to increase so foot brake must occasionally be applied to slow the vehicle. At that point the vehicles behind me do not know I'm applying brakes and slowing down.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
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Brake lights indicate "brakes applied" to anyone behind you, not specifically that you are slowing down.
The lights are doing their job.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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1cidersog - I don't drive grades often so help me out. If your speed of decent is 55 or 60 down hill - between manually downshifting your transmission and or cruise control cant you maintain proper speed and rpm without engaging whatever form or retarder you have? I have done that - but am again - not a "grade driver". I just figured I would not engage retarder unless slow was the way to go and don't consider 55 to 60 to be slow or reason to engage. Help me learn here. Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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I have a Monaco Windsor and my brake lights come on when the PacBrake Exhaust Brake has been engaged.

I like it that way so it's going to stay. I haul a 30 foot trailer so when driving grades I want people behind me to know when I am driving a lot slower than they are. Some grades I have done below 40 mph and when that occurs my hazards are on too.

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Old 09-07-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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On our 2002 DSDP the center brake light comes on when the ebrake is in use. All the brake lights come on when the service brakes are used.
My 03 works exactly the same.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
1cidersog - I don't drive grades often so help me out. If your speed of decent is 55 or 60 down hill - between manually downshifting your transmission and or cruise control cant you maintain proper speed and rpm without engaging whatever form or retarder you have? I have done that - but am again - not a "grade driver". I just figured I would not engage retarder unless slow was the way to go and don't consider 55 to 60 to be slow or reason to engage. Help me learn here. Thanks.
Steve
If the exhaust brake were not applied I'd be going down hill well above my self imposed 62 mph speed limit. With the exhaust brake engaged the transmission has shifted down and will continue to shift down as speed decreases. I can not override the transmission shift down gear selected by the Allison transmission when the exhaust brake is applied. My cruise control has no effect on the exhaust brake. On some of these downgrades you approach corners with warning signs advising you to slow to 45 mph (or slower). I going down a grade at 55 or 60 with the exhaust brake engaged and coming up on a 45 mph curve I have to apply the foot brake in order to slow down - the car behind me does not see or receive a brake light warning that I am applying brakes to slow down because the brake lights have been on for most of the down grade. It would be better if the brake lights operated as does Mr. D's
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