If you’re driving a Freightliner, code EEC 61 is never a good thing to see
Long distance trucking is hard work, with tight deadlines and even tighter profit margins. When something goes wrong on a run, like a Freightliner code EEC 61, you need answers and you need them fast. That’s why many truckers turn to the mechanical Experts on JustAnswer when they find themselves in a tough spot, and tens of thousands of people read the pages that are generated from those question sessions.
You can learn a lot about people by looking at their collective behavior. On JustAnswer, the visitors to the questions that are generated from the Expert sessions are an indication of the levels of interest in a given topic. Questions in the tax category, for example, see an unsurprisingly huge jump in visitors during tax season. Categories like this are very reactive to external changes.
Visitors to the JustAnswer tax category for one year
Visitors to the JustAnswer heavy equipment category for one year
That pattern is a working pattern. Visits spike on Monday, start to drift a bit as the work week draws to a close, and dip on Saturday and Sunday. The pattern of a person who works hard all week, and rests on the weekends. All week, every week, all year.
Trucking is the lifeblood of the US economy, and JustAnswer is tracking the pulse.
Resolving code EEC 61
So, what keeps people coming to JustAnswer with their heavy equipment questions? Let’s take a look at one of the sessions to figure it out.
The most visited question in the heavy equipment category starts with an error code on a Freightliner, code EEC 61. This is a long-distance trucker’s nightmare; hundreds of miles from the nearest service, over a thousand miles from home base, and a truck that may or may not make the drive.
The Expert in this session is bluextc89, a journeyman in industrial hydraulics repair with over 13 years of experience. He responds with the following information:
“EEC 61 is basically saying there is a problem in the After-treatment control module. This is the module the engine uses for the after-treatment system. Your Check Engine Light, and/or your Maintenance light will be on at the same time.
The maintenance light is the light that looks like a solid yellow engine.
Make sure your DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) tank is 1/2 to FULL, you have a indicator on your fuel gauge with 4 green squares, this is your DEF level.
If your DEF got low, it will throw an EEC61, but you need to fill the DEF tank 1/2 full or more. After you drive awhile, after 3 key cycles that light should go off. IF THIS IS THE PROBLEM.
If you do not fill it up, the Engine will Derate to 25%, then if you continue to drive, it will derate you to 5 miles per hour.
This is just a little bit of info, hopefully, it is just low of DEF.
If the truck was low on air pressure when you turned the truck off, the DEF system performs a purge routine to clear the lines, if it does not detect air pressure, it will set this also.
It's driveable unless you run into the DEF issue I listed above. If you continue to have a problem, I suggest taking it to the nearest dealer.”
The customer is quickly able to figure out which of the options is the most likely culprit:
“Def 3/4...but...I got the maint. Light after trying for several minutes to move my tandems...so the Low air psi note rang likely in my ears...If it is due to low air psi, will the light go away after the third key cycle? Either way, very good answer...Thank you”
And that’s why people keep come to JustAnswer; fast, reliable information that gets you back on the road quickly.
Regular maintenance of your engine can help prevent problems later.
Freightliner truck maintenance
Of course, no on-the-spot solution can compare with not needing a repair in the first place. Keeping to a realistic maintenance schedule will help you to minimize breakdowns by catching problems before they happen. You should refer to your owner’s manual to determine the best maintenance and troubleshooting practices for your make and model.
Before each long haul, be sure to check the following:
- Check your oil level.
- Check your radiator and overflow bottle. Watch for leaks!
- Test the air pressure in your tires.
- Check the fuel vent if the truck has been sitting for a few days.
- Watch out for vibration or squealing noises from the brakes, and have them checked frequently.
As a vehicle ages, you’ll want to increase the frequency of maintenance checks. If you start to catch fines from the FMCSA for Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) violations, it’s a good sign that you should increase the frequency of your maintenance checks.
If you do find yourself out on a long run, and you encounter a problem like a Freightliner code EEC 61, the Experts on JustAnswer are available at any time to help you with your heavy equipment questions. When you aren’t sure what your best option is, the knowledgeable advice they provide can help you determine if you can push ahead, or if it’s time to take immediate action.
What’s your worst on-the-road heavy equipment experience? Please share it with us in the comments below.