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Thread: Onan generator help

  1. #1
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    Default Onan generator help

    Used my onan rv 4000 generator all week. Started up this morning, then later went to restart and doesn't sound like the starter is turning, but the solenoid appears to be working. The code I get from the gen set is 32,which states not enough voltage. Battery is good at 12.8v. Seems odd that it would work all week and then not fire a half hour after the last time?
    any suggestions on what to do next, preferably without taking the gen set out of the rv?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    You only have one battery? I would think you have a battery for the engine and one for the Onan. Also measure the 12v at the Onan when you starting the generator.

  3. #3
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    I do have one for the engine, and one coach battery.

  4. #4
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    How would you measure it at the generator? By placing the voltmeter lead at the positive side of the starter? I haven't taken a real close look at what access I have around the gen. But seems real tight. This is on a class c rv.

  5. #5
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    I’m guessing but doesn’t the generator sit on a skid, where you can pull it out? You have a large +12v wire going to starter and a large ground wire. Measure from the +12v on the starter to the ground side “on” the generator. Before you do that make sure the battery is good first under load.

  6. #6
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    Have you started your RV, let it run for a minute and then start the Generator, I have to do that once in a while if I let my Golf Cart Batteries go to low. Also, I had a problem last month and couldn't get my Onan to stay started. The Fuses at the power inverter were blown which were located under my couch. Replaced the fuses and voila, no more issue. Good Luck

  7. #7
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    Default Onan The Generator

    Like Rutting Moose states, check the battery voltage while cranking the gen. I'll add to this discussion that battery voltage should not drop below 9.9 volts while doing so. No, it doesn't surprise me when a battery dies a fast death. The temperature last night in Eagle River dropped to 49 F. Batteries loose capacity with a decrease in temp. A marginal battery can appear to work fine one moment and then take a dump a short while later. Before you dig too deep into the project, have a shop do a load test or capacitance test on the battery. While the battery is out,clean all the connections you can reach and make em' shiny.

    With that said, in a motor home application, I often see cable and terminal corrosion as the main reason for no-cranks.

  8. #8
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    I did try with the engine running as well and no luck. I'll double check the fuses as that would be easy, but I don't suspect that's the case as I'm not getting it to turn over, rather than stay started.

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