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All about the AutoPark light on your J71 AutoPark parking brake system

All about the AutoPark light on your J71 AutoPark parking brake system

J71 AutoPark systems are usually found on Chev, GM, or Workhorse chassis from about mid 94 on through sometime in 2007.  Most motorhomes that have this feature will be over 16,000 lbs. GVW – – but that is not an absolute promise.

This particular data sheet is about the AutoPark Light.  EVERY J71 autopark equipped coach is supposed to have one – – but don’t bet your Dead Frog and Bottlecap Collection on it.  Over the years we have found:

Some coaches have one but it just doesn’t work.

Sometimes there is a PLACE for one in the instrument cluster, but no lamp in the socket.

The instrument clusters are usually an interesting sort of printed circuit that is on a pretty heavy plastic film – –  it is flexible and you could probably roll it up if you wanted to.  You can see the printed wires, connections etc.,  If you look at this printed circuit, you’ll see that it has lots of info including labeling of the different lamps, gauges etc.

Once in a while, someone says they don’t have an AutoPark Light on their cluster, and investigation proves there is nothing on the printed circuit where it should be.  Further investigation may show that the circuit was printed for some other chassis – – sometimes a diesel chassis where it will show glow plugs or something like that.  We can’t explain this or tell you why it has happened.  It just happens to be that way sometimes.

Anyhow, what we usually hope to find IS a  genuine AutoPark Light on the cluster.  It is usually going to be located on the left hand side of the cluster, over the tachometer.  It will say AUTOPARK – – not BRAKE, or (!) or something else.  Just AUTOPARK.

This is an idiot light in the best (or worst) sense.  You HAVE to know quite a bit about the system to even interpret what the hell it means if it is OFF, or ON.  Just the same, it is about the ONLY indicator you have that will perhaps tell you something about what the AutoPark system is doing.  So in spite of the fact that it is a marginal device, you need to have one and it needs to be working (unless you have a Genie Lamp module – – more on that later). If you want more details on how the AutoPark Light works, ask us for our data sheet on IDIOT LIGHTS.

Soooo – – If we are working on many of the different AutoPark malfunctions, we will be asking you “What is the AutoPark Light on your instrument cluster doing?)  The answer to this may be a  tiebreaker in our diagnostic process.  The light may be ON, OFF, FLICKERING or whatever.  It is really important to get good answers to this question.

If you are so inclined, the really GOOD way to go is to build and install the Genie Lamp system.  If you want information on this, or any of  the above, please email oldusedbear

The Genie Lamp does everything the AutoPark Light does, plus about ten times more.  You can build one yourself with parts from Radio Shack or elsewhere – – about twenty bucks worth.  Ready to go kits are also available.  Installation time is typically a couple of hours but that depends on you and your coach.

Oldusedbear – – aka Roger, at rvAutoPark.com

Posted in: Category 2 - - AutoPark troubleshooting, and isolating the problem

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