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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I said in my intro post, we took our new 1500 136" for a first drive over the weekend. Driving it up the coast for a night away is a whole lot different from those test drives-now that you own it, senses are really on high alert! I'm happy to say that we were extremely pleased with the Promaster's "road manners" and all the little details about the van that we learned.

What surprised me the most was the apparent (or approximate) fuel economy we were seeing. I have not yet dove in to the menu's on the main panel so don't have this quite figured out yet, but as we drove there was a number that was slowly increasing, it said "A" average 5 mph, for example, and I figured it was the new computer gathering data and that it would eventually show me my average speed. It kept ticking up, but then it dropped from 23 to 22 and it was then I knew (?) that it was showing mpg. It dropped after we got to our destination and were in more stop and go traffic. Yesterday when we came back it got all the way to 27 avg mp(g) and of course this made me very happy. I'm not sure why it shows mph there, I am sure someone can enlighten me, and we were of course effectively empty with just me, my spouse, a 12 pound dog and a nice 8" thick memory foam mattress:) and some food. Nonetheless, very encouraging! We found a nice FREE spot to park for the night-see Avatar-and slept great.

We bought our PM off the lot. We really preferred having a color other than white, but didn't want to wait 5-6 mos for a factory order, and they were dealing a bit to keep their quota up. We got a few options we would not have ordered-like aluminum wheels and the plywood floor, which I will remove to properly insulate-but also got stuff we would have ordered, like swivel seats, rear 12v power, hitch setup and fog lights-though the chrome grill I could do without. After searching So-Cal dealers for a while, we found our PM locally for a decent price, especially considering they had several 2017's on the lot with better incentives.

A few observations:
I really like the position of the steering wheel, and was not bothered by the lack of tilt. It reminded me of Alfa Romeo's I'd driven in the past-very Italian, they are right and that's all there is to it :laugh:.
I also liked the function of the transmission, and did not mind the downshifting that it does on downhills, though we did not do any mountain driving.

I think I like the idea of adding a rear sway bar, and maybe I'm just not used to a large vehicle yet. Anybody added a rear sway to their 136 or 159? I'd love to hear opinions as it is a bit loose back there, I also wonder if this is due or related to the somewhat softer suspension in the 1500?

An Issue-Input Appreciated:
On the way home yesterday, going down a fairly long (5-7 miles or so) but not super steep downhill, the "Service ESC Hill Holder" alarm came up,. We pulled off a few minutes later, restarted, and it reset to normal. A few miles down the road it did it again, and then a 3rd time after yet another restart. Each time the ESC lite came on on the main panel, and cruise control drops away-it is also my understanding that in this condition ABS is not functioning-what could go wrong? The 3rd time it happened I was mid lane-change, checking my mirror and suddenly beep beep beep and I'm slowing down since Cruise is gone, un-fun for sure.
I have read up a bit on this, and I have a service appointment with the Service Manager at the dealer tomorrow, I have also pulled my salesman into it, and he's been great. Any info or thought that anyone can offer on this would be great, I am intent on nipping it in the bud and want to be able to hopefully detect answers from the dealer that may be a wild goose chase.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for a great resource!
Dave
 

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Was the engine braking able to hold you at the set speed on the downhill or were you gaining speed? If you were gaining speed, the system could be confused because it couldn't hold the set speed.

Otherwise, you are probably dealing with a bad wheel speed sensor, it's just weird that the downhill would trigger it. You should get yourself an OBD2 reader (bluetooth or hard wired) so you can pull the code next time it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Was the engine braking able to hold you at the set speed on the downhill or were you gaining speed? If you were gaining speed, the system could be confused because it couldn't hold the set speed.

Otherwise, you are probably dealing with a bad wheel speed sensor, it's just weird that the downhill would trigger it. You should get yourself an OBD2 reader (bluetooth or hard wired) so you can pull the code next time it happens.
Thanks twicken2, I'm not sure if by "set speed" you mean cruise control? As soon as warning sounded, cruise dropped out. Other than that, van operated normally. From the reading I've done I do see speed sensor as likely culprit.
Edit: I realize now you were perhaps referring to auto downshifting while going down hill? Yes, that was fine and had generally held my speed.
I changed my appointment at dealer to tomorrow, will report back on what they say.
And thanks for tip on reader, I see this one-the Ancel AD310-on Amazon for a mere $35, is that sufficient?

Thanks again, we were just chatting last night about a run up CA 395....
Dave06
 

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Dig into the menu's on your dash. You may be confusing the average miles per gallon with average miles per hour. The computer logs both.
 

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Dave,

By "set speed", I mean the speed you have programmed into the cruise control. On downhills, the van will try to downshift in order to hold whatever speed you have set if cruise control is active, and if the hill is too steep, it will not be able to hold that speed. If the van was able to hold your speed, it probably isn't related to your problem.

A lot of us on the forum using Bluetooth model OBD2 scan tools paired with the OBD Fusion app on android or iphone. This combo is nice because you can also set up dashboard displays to directly monitor vehicle parameters (coolant temp, load, alternate source of fuel economy, etc) while driving in addition to reading any trouble codes. I have a Carista model - [ame]https://www.amazon.com/Carista-Bluetooth-Adapter-Scanner-Android/dp/B00YVHGTBM/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1507740823&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=OBD2+bluetooth+iphone&psc=1[/ame]. Others have had really good luck with ELM327 models that can be found for really cheap, but you will have to pay attention to what types of phones they support. The Ancel model you mention should work fine, but I don't have personal experience with it so I can't say for sure!

You just missed a little promaster meetup here in Bishop. We spent a couple hours last night meeting MsNomer, Daves Not Home, and another Dave PM owner and checking out their vans!

-Tyler
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Dave,

By "set speed", I mean the speed you have programmed into the cruise control. On downhills, the van will try to downshift in order to hold whatever speed you have set if cruise control is active, and if the hill is too steep, it will not be able to hold that speed. If the van was able to hold your speed, it probably isn't related to your problem.

A lot of us on the forum using Bluetooth model OBD2 scan tools paired with the OBD Fusion app on android or iphone. This combo is nice because you can also set up dashboard displays to directly monitor vehicle parameters (coolant temp, load, alternate source of fuel economy, etc) while driving in addition to reading any trouble codes. I have a Carista model - https://www.amazon.com/Carista-Blue...-2-spons&keywords=OBD2+bluetooth+iphone&psc=1. Others have had really good luck with ELM327 models that can be found for really cheap, but you will have to pay attention to what types of phones they support. The Ancel model you mention should work fine, but I don't have personal experience with it so I can't say for sure!

You just missed a little promaster meetup here in Bishop. We spent a couple hours last night meeting MsNomer, Daves Not Home, and another Dave PM owner and checking out their vans!

-Tyler
Thanks Tyler, the van was able to maintain speed as I recall, it may have crept up a couple mph? I was surprised this morning when I dropped it off at the dealer, the service writer I spoke with told me straight up that I should not be in cruise control when going either up or down a hill. :eek:. After that I pointed out that cruise quit as well and would not go back in. This was not a steep hill, though it was a long hill, and after restart it did the same thing on flat ground.
He said he wanted to see if there were any codes, and he plugged in to the van and spent a few minutes, a while later I asked if any codes showed up and he told me that his setup wouldn't see codes, that only the readers the mechanics have would. :|. This interaction has not stoked my confidence....I await a phone call from the dealer.
Thanks for the heads up on readers, it sounds-it really sounds-like that is something to have!
Hopefully we'll get out the 395 sooner rather than later.
Dave06
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dig into the menu's on your dash. You may be confusing the average miles per gallon with average miles per hour. The computer logs both.
Thanks MtBiker, I definitely will!
Dave06
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update-I talked with the Service Manager at the dealer this morning. He called a few hours later to say he had driven the van himself, went 10-15 miles, including up and down a nearby grade, a significant hill, for sure, about 2 miles in length. He said it was fine going up and down, both directions in cruise control-it held speed up and down. Back on the flats and a few miles later, ESC-Hill Holder alert went off. He immediately checked for codes and found one indicating the steering angle sensor. He will recalibrate, check connections and drive again, and keep til Monday to drive and check one more time.

I do get that there are lots of electronic components, that all these things are connected, and that each do one aspect of the job. Hopefully this is it and it will be taken care of.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update today-this is not it and it is not taken care of. Same alert, same code indicating steering angle sensor when mechanic test drove it this morning. Service Mgr said he will open a "STAR case", in order that he can get tech help from RAM. I will not have my van back today.
Not great.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The dealer replaced the steering angle sensor today and test drove a 70 mile round trip-no alert. I just picked up the van and it's quite a relief, I envision smooth sailing from here!
 
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Hope they nailed it for you!
 
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