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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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Engine failure – Iveco Error Code 148

We have often wondered about safety when travelling in remote locations in Australia particularly if you have the misfortune of having mechanical problems.  Modern vehicles tend to be very reliable but as time passes, so does the age of the vehicle and the reliability.

Most motor home owners would ensure that regular services are performed on their vehicle and that is exactly what we did before taking off on an 8000 kilometre trek that was planned to take us though North Eastern Australia and home via the Northern Territory and the route down the centre of Australia.


Our Recent Experience

Midway through a recent trip (see our blog) and whilst travelling in a remote area between Middleton and Boulia in North Western Queensland (not far from the Birdsville Track) , we experienced an engine issue with an audible alarm followed by the message. “Engine failure – error code 148”: appearing on the Iveco console.  This message was also accompanied by a red warning light.  Unfortunately Iveco does not document the error messages in documentation provided with the vehicle and you normally have to have the vehicle interfaced with a diagnostic computer to determine the actual cause of the error.  In most case, error conditions are documented as “stop the vehicle and call for service”.

We have seen errors in the past that we know are incorrect and these errors have been removed with a simple stop and restart of the engine to reset the computer.

Hoping we would clear the error, we stopped and restarted the engine and then continued the final 70 or so kilometres into Boulia where the same error appears as we slowed to enter the town.

The message appeared again on the following day several kilometres past Boulia and continue to appear as we headed north. This time we noted that the engine power reduced by 50% each time the problem happened.  We did managed to get the vehicle to Dajarra (about 160k’s short of Mount Isa) before we felt compelled to contact Iveco through their roadside assistance program.

When advice given (a computer reset through the disconnection of the battery) failed to resolve the problem, we made a further call to Iveco when we arrived in Mount Isa which resulted in a recommendation by Iveco to bring the vehicle to an Iveco dealer.

The Iveco dealer we were dealing with was Macquarrie Trucks at Townsville.  Their Service Manager, Matthew, was the one on the other end of the phone and we owe Mathew a vote of thanks for the way he handled our problem both before we arrived at Townsville and during our stay there whilst they fixed the vehicle.

Mount Isa is a major mining city in Western Queensland and the size of our country becomes apparent when you have two options for an Iveco dealer when one is 1230k’s south west and the other 920k’s to the east.  That is exactly what we were presented with.  We found it very surprising that Mount Isa did not have an Iveco agent but our issue required the truck to be connected to an Iveco diagnostic computer.

It was not difficult to pick the shortest distance as the prospect of being stranded somewhere between Mount Isa and Alice Springs was not appealing in any way at all especially when we would be travelling by ourselves.  Besides, if we chose Alice, we would not arrive until late Friday and we were certain that the vehicle would not be looked at before the following Monday.

In hindsight, our decision was sound but we do know that the trip to Alice would have been less stressful as we were able to manage the problem through constant speed when travelling on flat ground.

The other surprising fact is that we were only a relatively short distance by road from Alice when we were in Boulia but that route was on a four wheel drive development road.

It was a little disappointing that Iveco did not have an authorised agent in Mount Isa. However, when you consider the following points, you can understand the reasons why;

  • We did get the vehicle to a dealer where it was repaired even though the dealer was a significant distance from our location.
  • The Iveco Daily is normally a very reliable vehicle and we can testify to that fact having owned two of the vehicles and knowing a lot of people who use similar vehicles to ours.
  • We are aware that there is a significant cost relating to the computer application that is used as the diagnostic tool.
  • The Iveco Assist program is excellent.  After making our initial call to an operator, we were speaking with an Iveco mechanic within minutes and he took full ownership of our issue until it was resolved.  He also provided assurances to us with respect to continuing to drive the vehicle until it was repaired.  He was more than happy to continue to take direct during the time we were travelling to Townsville.
  • Had the vehicle not been mobile it would have been collected and transported by low loader to the nearest dealer.
  • We understand that Iveco has to be realistic with the location of dealers versus the number of vehicles on the roads in Australia.

What do other manufacturers have to offer regards service?

With the exception of Ford (Ford Transit) and Isuzu, all other manufacturers who provide engines and chassis for our size motor home (Mercedes Sprinter, VW Crafter and Fiat Ducato) do not have dealerships in Mount Isa.

Ford does have a dealer in Mount Isa who is able to interface to a computer and reference to the Isuzu website indicates that their dealer does truck service.

(Note – the above information was obtained through Google and may exclude local agents for each of the above manufacturers.)

For us this was an experience which resulted in us leaving the safari we were part of a week before it finished and we were able to experience some of the North Queensland Coast that certainly was not part of our agenda.

What have we learned from the experience?

Australia is a very big place and there can be massive distances between major towns.

Not every large town has someone who is able to fix mechanical problems.

You cannot make an assumption that you will never experience problems in remote locations.

 

Some tips that we consider important when travelling in our great country

Make sure you have access to a roadside assistance program.  We had Iveco Help under the vehicle warranty but we also have Winnebago Assist that would have also given us access to the same help and towing etc if required.

If you are travelling away from the “black stuff”, make sure you have an alternative means of communication other than a mobile telephone.  A satellite telephone or possibly a HF radio would assist.  If you have a satellite telephone, make sure you have emergency numbers for any area you intent to travel in programmed into the phone as a speed dial number.

Don’t rely on a mobile telephone even if you have antennas etc.  Telstra NextG is good in the bush but it only works near towns. Optus and the others, forget it, they won’t work!

Ignore the people who tell you that UHF radios are useless, they are not.  We used our UHF to alert other vehicles when we were slowing to restart the engine and it is useful to leave them on channel 40 where you hear warnings about wide vehicles approaching.  We travelled on a Development Radio where road trains radio their location (on UHF) as they reached numbered points on the road.  You knew exactly where they were and if they were coming towards you or approaching from behind. An example of one of these calls is “road train arriving at eleven heading north”.

It goes without saying, if you are travelling in the outback even on good roads, make sure you carry plenty of water.

Carry basic spare parts that you are able to replace yourself (hoses, fuses, filters etc).

If you breakdown DON”T leave your vehicle.

Have the vehicle serviced before going on a lengthy trip.

Check tyres daily for the correct pressure and wear.

Make sure you know how to change a tyre and also ensure that you are able to remove the spare wheel.

16 comments to Engine failure – Iveco Error Code 148

  • wayne

    I have the dual cab
    traveled Bris to Perth same problem had to go to Adelaide to fix (45+deg) 50% power at Broken Hill
    still have problem worried that 50% power will kick in again but have always shut down engine and re started and thats seems to fix till next time
    our message now reads 136 and the edu light comes on ( They can’t seem to fix this )
    Have had the lights go out for no reason as well
    L/H window has a mind of its own
    Shudder in reverse take off
    66000 klms Brakes squeal whats next
    Thinking to trade now
    Good concept not reliable long distance i think

  • Geoff Budge

    HI
    fascinating ready – very jeleous.
    We also have a 50C18 Iveco Daily. We also have many problems with engine management, all have been false readings. In your trip, where you had to do your 1,000kms to get to a dealer, what was the cause of the problem?
    Or was this a false reading? Enjoy or trips, Geoff Budge

  • Hello Geoff

    Like you, we have also had false messages via the Iveco computer including “Brake Failure”and most recently, “Low Oil Pressure”. These were all false and were corrected with a restart of the engine. You can also disconnect the battery, let it sit for 15 minutes and then reconnect. That can fix problems. If you do, make sure that you reconnect the battery terminal correctly as it has to be a tight fit. We found out the hard way when restarting during the time of our problem when we lost all power even though the terminal looked solid. It wasn’t.

    Unfortunately the problem we had was very real. Iveco at Townsville (Macquarrie Trucks – absolutely fantastic) confirmed that the problem was a fractured vacuum hose between the turbo VGT valve and the electro valve. The EGR electro valve was also faulty.

    They state that the problem was normally caused by normal wear and tear or heat. With less than 30,000k’s on the clock and the problem occurring in the middle of winter on a cool wet day, it does make you wonder.

    If I had to speculate on the cause, I put it down to having driven through some mud where the engine did have to work. In saying that, the temperature did remain within limits and the rev counter was in the normal range. Maybe the turbo had to work a little harder and found a small fracture in a hose. We will never know!

    Cheers
    John

  • Greg Galloway

    I have a 2009 50C18 Daily that stopt without worning. when i tried ti re start it there were no ignition lights or crank. All other elect circuits worked Iveco put us in touch with Macquarrie Trucks Townsville. After explaning the problem and checking a couple of things without any luck Macquarrie Trucks sent out two auto eletricians From townsville to Fletcher Creek.After about an hour and a half of checking and cursing the found a blown stoplight fuse. They put in a new fuse, problem solved.They couldn’t understand why a stop light fuse could shut down the whole egnition and crank circut.

  • Very strange indeed. It is amazing what a computer in a motor vehicle can do.
    Macquarrie Trucks at Townsville are good people. I’m glad they sorted out your problem.

    Cheers
    John

  • Ibi

    Hi everyone. I am thinking of buying a Iveco and convert into a commercial kitchen but I hear that they are a unreliable truck. I was thinking of a 2012 brand new truck in Melbourne Aus. Looking at $46,000. Should I buy one or look other than iveco. If other then what would you all recommend? Thanks all and god bless.

  • Hi There

    We have now had two Iveco Daily trucks and found them both to be reliable. Our problem last year was unfortunate but was rectified quickly by Iveco once we got there. Last year was the only engine issue we have had. We are aware that you need to be careful when backing an Iveco Daily on grass as we are aware of some Iveco trucks that pull 5th wheelers having clutch issues. We did over 60,000k’s in our two vehicles and they kept us safe and were not expensive to run when considering the weight they pulled against distance travelled.

    Cheers
    John

  • I have read and appreciated your storey,I would like to ask all RV owners ,have any of you used or heard of tyre sheild?,this is a product that is intoduced to your tyres prior to leaving home, this product does not create balance problems and when installed,you can drill a 6.00mm hole into the tread of your tyre,and when you extract the drill bit the Tyresheild reacts to the heat created by air trying to escape and seals the hole immediatly,Ihave used and experimented with this product for years,if you would like some please contact us through our website.

  • Helena

    Hey Grey Nomad,
    Totally appreciated this blog,…as I’m in throws of a Preloved package deal with one of the prevalent RV dealers, have taken procession of the Iveco 50C18 2009 and within 24hrs have had most of the comments come up on the display. I actually feel like crying (being female)as I placed a lot of trust that I would get a fair deal as I traded my 2012 Ranger so I could be totally legal.
    I like the big beast 46000ks(Hybrid between Truck/Dcab pickup)I have driven light trucks and towing before so the driving isn’t the concern..I’m going to be on my own travelling !! getting jacked up somewhere or even having the motor stop when pulling the 5th on the H/way sends shivers down my spine.
    I know there is no crystal ball and don’t like negative soothsayers…so could you make any suggestions as to a check list as to resolving mechanical/electronic problems maybe,(have taken in your blogged comments) .. being on your second Iveco and having outback experience.. sings some praise ..
    HAVE booked in for a service($880)and vehicle report with an IVECO Service Centre for peace of mind.(hehe)
    Cannot find anywhere what the Tyre pressure(front) should be unloaded.
    Namaste

  • Helena

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All especially all Aussie Travelers

  • I assume that you have booked the service with an Iveco dealer. I know of a couple in Sydney. If that is the case, they will connect the Iveco to a computer as part of the service and will be able to advise on all of the errors. We had errors on the console that really were meaningless and the report error was false. The Iveco is really a very good vehicle and should provide you with a great platform to travel.

    Google is normally a good resource for the error codes but you have to be careful as some of the codes may have multiple uses.

    We had Bridgestone tyres on our last truck and the front tyre pressure was 69lbs. It should be noted on the tyre or on the door jam somewhere.

    Take care and enjoy. Where are you based?

    Cheers
    John

  • Vin

    Fault signals EDC and EODC appeared. This caused the vehicle (Daily 50C18 motor home) to go into limp mode. Thanks to excellent work by Iveco Tamworth these faults were diagnosed as dirty air cleaner element and carbon build up on boost pressure sensor. The boost pressure sensor would appear to cause nine out of ten 148 warnings. Air cleaner element replaced and boost pressure sensor cleaned and reinstalled. Faults rectified many thanks to Iveco Tamworth. We are able to continue our holiday in a relaxed frame of mind. 25th November 2013

  • Hi Vin

    Thank you for the information. One thing that we are aware of is that the Iveco support network is very good. The “Daily” is a very reliable unit and eventhough the computer identifies a problem, “limp mode” allows you to get somewhere safe. Enjoy your travels.

    Cheers
    John

  • Greg

    Hi.
    I had a issue with my 2009 50C18 Daily motohome.
    The problem beaing, that when it shifted gears on the up or down shift
    on occasions it would go into nuteral and paused befor selecting the
    correct gear.Iveco Rockles in Brisbane found the fault after a couple of hours.
    The fault was caused because i hade the radio changed,
    The unit i had fitted didn’t have auto speed volume and the original one did.
    The problem was fixed by disconecting the road apeed sensor.
    No fault codes were displaded.
    Cheers
    Greg

  • Hi Greg
    We had the same Iveco model that you mentioned and also decided to change the radio. We were told that we needed to go to an Iveco dealer who would arrange to obtain a code from Italy to de-program the radio from the Iveco computer. I recall that the cost at the time was well over $100. We were also told that if we removed the radio without obtaining the code, the computer would detect an error and report the error via the screen on the dash and it would become very annoying. It sounds somewhat similar to your problem. We decided NOT to replaced the radio. Don’t you hate computers in vehicles?

    Cheers
    John

  • Greg

    Hi John.
    I havn’t had any mesages or error codes
    or gear change issues after they dosconected
    the road speed sensor.
    Cheers
    Greg

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