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Author Topic: Generator Won't start  (Read 1274 times)

ClickHill

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Generator Won't start
« on: December 07, 2017, 06:17:11 PM »
2015 Itasca Meridian with an RV QD 8000 Onan generator
Last week while in Louisiana the generator started right up and ran with no problem.  On the way home I tried to start the generator and all I got was a rapid flashing red light on all three starting point and a clicking sound at the generator just like you would hear on a car with a dead/low battery.
This week I replaced both original coach batteries because they tested at 12.2 volts (which I thought was a little low).
I also replaced all six original house batteries - 5 tested at 12.2ish and 1 tested at 10.7, they now all test at 14.7
I checked the generator oil and antifreeze levels - both are good.
I checked all three in-line fuses that are under the cover that is on the drivers side near the top of the generator - all three fuses are good.
Still no joy - I push the generator start button and I get a rapid flashing light with the clicking sound like its not getting enough power, it doesn't even try to turn over.  I push the start button down to preheat and get the same fast flashing light with the clicking sound.

What suggestions can you give for me to check/do?
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 07:42:32 PM »
 Go underneath to the rear corner,, find the battery plus and ground leads attachment point,, remove one at a time, clean the stud and wire end. Do this to both leads and tighten well,, then try to start again.>>>Dan ( I had the same problem)
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 07:53:15 PM »
My husband said that is his starting plan tomorrow.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 08:40:02 PM »
GOOD LUCK.>>>D
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

Bobtop46

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    • Work Camper
Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 09:52:25 AM »
I have had a RV generator starter engage and then not retract when trying to start with low voltage.  I would ensure that no one is near a start button and that there are no auto gen starts enabled and if you can grab the fly wheel and try to rotate it.  If the gen will not rotate the the starter is jammed engaged and wont start until it is return to its natural starting position, if you are lucky and you can pull or push on flywheel to unstick it, it will start again.  The only other way is to remove the starter which is a pain and $$.
2007 Coachman Aurora 36FWS
2006 Mini Cooper S

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 11:34:15 AM »
The QD Onan won't do that, the starting sequence is electronic and won't start until all parameters are checked & approved before engaging the starter,,,I think you are referring to the gas models.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 01:03:37 PM »
I climbed under there today and removed and cleaned with a wire brush both the pos and neg wire ends still just clicking.  I think I will have to make an appointment with an Onan service center.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 02:22:02 PM »
 While at that point,, have your wife hold down the start button as you test the voltage at the attachment point to determine if your getting full voltage from the batteries.>>>D
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

spencerpj

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 02:30:32 PM »
2015  Ya, probably an issue.  Most corrosion, bad wire, etc takes longer to establish than 2 years.

cgmartin

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 10:46:16 AM »
Since you said your house batteries had to be replaced...I will tell you I had the same experience with the generator not starting because of low batteries. In my case, the Bendix on the starter motor shaft locked up against the fan (I can't think of the name of the part that rotates) and was stuck. I had to remove the generator, then remove the starter motor. I merely returned the starter motor again, and all was fine. I have read of others on this Forum having the same problem with the Bendix. Another symptom you will experience is that if you continue to try to start it, you will get a smell like something burning. Do no keep forcing the generator to start because it will just aggravate the situation.

cgmartin

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 10:48:51 AM »
I just remembered the name: it is the flywheel. On my generator, an Onan KWK 4000, I could reach in and try to turn the flywheel by hand, and when it would not turn, I knew it was stuck.  Try that, if you generator will allow you, before removing the generator.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 02:05:29 PM »
Thank you - I went under the bus today to check the volts at the back of the generator where the wires go in and I have 12.8 there so it is getting full power to that point.  Tomorrow I am going to take the side panel off to see if I have a loose wire inside somewhere, check the starter and check voltage all the way to the starter to see where it is not full.  If I have full voltage to the starter and no loose wires I will pull the starter and hook it to a battery to see if it acutes.  I am going to keep at this as long as I can before giving in to a mechanic so keep any advice or experience you have coming.

I will continue to give updates so if someone else runs into this they can read this thread.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Heli_av8tor

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 05:55:47 PM »
Remember that 12.8 volts with no load means very little. It doesn't take a lot of corrosion (resistance) at some point in the circuit to cause that voltage to drop to an unacceptable level when you try to crank the engine.

Tom
Tom & Theresa
2004 Pace Arrow 37C, Workhorse W22, 8.1 Vortec
2014 Honda CR-V Toad, Roadmaster -5 Base and tow bar
SMI Stay and Play Duo Brake system

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 06:38:48 PM »
Thats why I suggested to check voltage as your wife is trying to start it, you want to see the drop.>>>D
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 01:58:09 PM »
I did check the voltage when I was pushing the start button and it didn't change.  I went into the basement today and removed every battery wire in the series and cleaned every end with a wire wheel on my cordless.  Then I took off the left side and top covers of the generator, removed the starter and cleaned every end of every wire and grounding points with the wire wheel.  I checked voltage at the starter and it is the same as at the batteries.  I checked every wire and connection on the generator that I could see and everything looked fine.  I took the starter to Advanced Auto to have it tested and it operated just fine but the tester said it had a terminal R failure.  I'm not sure but I think terminal R is the one that goes to the switch?

I will take the starter in to General RV tomorrow to have them test it and see if the solenoid is bad since that is what terminal R is on.  If the solenoid and starter check out okay at General RV I think I have to put everything back together and take it in.  I'm not ready to quit yet but I'm more or less a one trick pony and I think that trick is about played. :-\
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 07:08:26 PM »
That's a shame Click,most QDs are so reliable that you seldom have to open the cover.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 03:34:40 PM »
I took the starter in today and both the starter and the solenoid are good, I will put the starter back on tomorrow.  I also found out there is another solenoid up by the starter switch that feeds the R tab on the starter.  I have to remove the entire front of the gen to access that solenoid.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2017, 02:41:59 PM »
I reinstalled the starter today and buttoned all the panels back up.  Now I'm not even sure if I have a generator problem or a power problem.  After I reinstalled the starter, the case panels and the power and neg wires I rechcked the power in at the back of the gen and it was down to 12.38, this is from 6 brand new house batteries.  I started the rig up and let it run for a while and the batteries were back up to 13.8 at the batteries and at the back of the gen but the gen still won't start.  I'm thinking I may have a power problem which I simply first noticed because the gen won't start and maybe the gen is actually fine.

This is a 2015 Itasca Merdian 36M which is inside my garage.  It has a solar panel on the roof but since its inside it gets no sun on the roof.  It has a Magnum 2800 inverter which seems to be working correctly but the batteries are still losing power overnight and nothing, I mean nothing is turned on and the bus is plugged in.

Any thoughts?
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Kevin Means

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2017, 03:36:08 PM »
Will the generator turn over and start if you hold the Battery Boost switch down while you're trying to start it?

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 03:45:48 PM »
 I always do that because the QD series is touchy about low voltage.>>>Dan  Click,,one more "try" access the front of the gen.,,depress the STOP side of the rocker switch, then attempt to restart it,,that is the "work around for some of the listed faults.  While holding down the stop switch,, note the number of flashes,,your manual should tell you if faults are current.>>>Dan
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 03:51:34 PM by Utclmjmpr »
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.

Kevin Means

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 05:18:20 PM »
Yes lots of folks - especially Winnie owners - have reported voltage-related starting problems with their QD generators. A lot of them said the fix was to replace the main power cable to the generator with a heavier gauge cable. Several have stated that, in their opinion, Winnie used too thin of a cable.

I have occasionally experienced generator starting problems due to low voltage while boondocking, but holding down the Battery Boost switch always got the generator running.

RE: your discharging batteries... if the battery disconnect-switches are on, the House and Chassis batteries should be charging when plugged into shore-power.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2017, 06:55:16 PM »
I tried to push the stop button and then start it still just the clicking when the toggle is pushed in both directions.  I'm now really thinking my problem is voltage related.  I now noticed my inverter is "not responding".  Tomorrow I am going to remove the metal covers over the inverter to check all of the wires and cables.  I'm pretty sure I wasted a bunch of money on batteries and a bunch of time tearing apart the gen. :)
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

spencerpj

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2017, 07:14:21 AM »
Is it possible to take your everyday driver car, get close to Generator, take some jumper cables, completely bypass your rig / and cables / and see if it starts that way?  Sometimes it's just that one crappy connection.

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2017, 03:37:14 PM »
That is possible and I might have to do that.  Right now we have identified a FIRMS software problem between the Magnum 2800 inverter and the inverter control panel.  I have been working with a Magnum/Precision Control technician to resolve this issue first.  This is a known problem with this control panel and I am currently in a 6 hour battery test with the control panel removed to determine if the problem is with the control panel or the inverter itself.  Once I have the inverter issue resolved that "might" also resolve my gen problem.  I'm hoping the only problem with the gen has been a lack of power all along and there isn't actually anything wrong with it. Fingers crossed.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2017, 10:16:31 AM »
Happy New Year!!  Now that the holiday's have passed and my kids have gone back to their homes I am back at it.  As I stated before I did have an inverter remote panel FIRM ware issue that I had to resolve before I could go any further on the generator.  I replaced the inverter remote MM-RC25 (which should have NEVER been installed in the first place) with an ME-RC50 which corrected my power issue.  Now that I have full power from all of the batteries I was hopeful that would correct my generator not starting - no joy.  I have an appointment to take it in on Wednesday.  Hopefully it will turn out to be something small that I just didn't find.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 06:01:29 PM by ClickHill »
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

ClickHill

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2018, 09:12:55 AM »
Last update - I received a call from my shop this morning regarding the generator not starting.  Long story short there is absolutely nothing wrong with the generator, (whew) it was operator error.  When I was attempting to start the generator I held the start button down until the light went solid red and then I pushed the start button up to start it - click, click, click.  The mechanic explained to me this morning that pushing the button down is a warmer not the glow plugs.  Pushing the button up and the initial click, click, click is the glow plugs and that the generator has a 15 second start delay for the glow plugs.  This is the learning curve of going from a gas to a diesel, however, with that said I read the entire users manual cover to cover.  I read the trouble shooting guides and I called Onan customer service and spoke directly to an Onan mechanic.  Nothing in any Onan literature and nothing from the Onan mechanic said anything about a 15 second start delay when I press the start button.  On a side note if this never occurred I would not have identified the inverter control panel FIRM ware issue which would have created other issues later.  They are going to give the generator a full preventive maintenance today and I will go pick it up later. ;) Best ending I could have hoped for!

I BIG thank you to everybody who gave me advice and suggestions on what to look at!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 09:16:16 AM by ClickHill »
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Generator Won't start
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2018, 11:28:21 AM »
 See post number 5 for the reasons for holding it down.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.