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Old 03-26-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Hesitation when starting

I have a 2001 Caribbean DP, there have been several times during this last year that I have to turn the ignition key on and off several times to get the starter to engage and start the RV. It eventually always catches and starts.
I cleaned and checked each of the batteries/connections for both house and chassis. The chassis batteries are only two years old. The problem still persists.
I have been told that it could be the starter solenoid.
Any thoughts and how hard is this to replace and with what model year?
looks like a lot of cables/wires in a tight spot.

Please, any help would be appreciated. I just don't to take this to the repair shop and $600 dollars later they tell me that they could find anything, and just wait for it to not start.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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Check for loose ground wire(s)
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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^^^^ as he said but, solenoids are a funny bunch! They rely on solid connections, if all else fails, give it a sharp hit with a small hammer.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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I had the exact same symtoms......on my coach there is a separate "starter relay" and also a "starter solenoid", the latter is mounted on and integral with the starter. I had a defective "starter relay", which is cheap ($15), small and easy to get to. Replaced it, problem solved. Good luck. Rook
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:52 AM   #5
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rook,

where is your starter solenoid mounted. I have a power center that is right under the driver seat, is it in there? I,m looking thru my "poop" sheets and can"t find anything listed. I also don't see anything in this panel marked starter solenoid.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:59 AM   #6
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i'm sorry! I meant where is your starter relay? I know where the solenoid is and it looks like a bear to replace. I am also going to check the chassis grounds.

Thanks everyone, you folks are the best!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:17 AM   #7
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Check & clean your battery terminals
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=xxyzx;1513251]i'm sorry! I meant where is your starter relay? I know where the solenoid is and it looks like a bear to replace. I am also going to check the chassis grounds.

On my coach, the "starter Relay" is on a metal plate on the front wall in front of the diesel engine. Raise the bed, look straight down and you can see it. There are also several other electrical components mounted on this metal plate. If you have a Freightliner chassis, call them and they will verify if you have a "starter relay" and where it is located.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:12 AM   #9
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If you have a "starter relay", it will be located within 6 feet of the engine starter......the closer the better. Rook
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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Before I would start throwing parts at the issue, I would get under the coach and carefully check the connections at the starter motor. With all the vibrations and road grime going on back there, it would not be unusual for something to loosen and then be "insulated" by some form of crud. Suggest you eliminate the easy stuff first. Just MO....

Please let us know the outcome....thanks!!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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Also check where the ground wires connect to the frame and engine.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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Check connection and grounds, then replace the relay; as others have stated. I've been through 3 and now carry a spare.
If you still have issues, you may have to open the solinoid up and check the contacts. Most Cat & Cummins engines use a Denso starter that has replacable contacts in the solinoid, this can be done with the starter in place. With the batteries disconnected, remove the tin cover plate; 3 small bolts, be ready to catch the spring loaded plunger, the contact ring on the plunger and the contacts in the solinoid, arc every time the starter is used, they get dirty and wear down. If they are only dirty they can be cleaned up with emery cloth, if they are worn ( usually only the 2 in the solinoid wear) they need to be replaced. I think I have a pair in my tool box, and I'll post a picture later.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Denso, starter contacts

Picture of Denso , starter contacts, right side is new, top shows damage from miss alignment, left side shows arcing damage; poor contact. There are about 5 different contacts ( shapes ) pictures show 3 of the possibles, contact ring on the solinoid plunger would be about 2 1/2 times the size of the penny shown.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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More on the starter contacts, power from the battery enters one side of the solinoid to a contact, when the relay supplies power to the solinoid, an electromagnet pulls the spring loaded plunger down, and the contact ring on the plunger passes power to the second contact, from there the power goes out of the solinoid housing through a wire to the starter main housing ( brushes) to spin the armature, drive and engine.
The only thing to watch for when replacing the contacts is to install all the isolaters properly ; or you end up with a dead short to ground.
If only cleaning is required , the contacts can be cleaned in place, just be sure to remove all debris from the cleaning before installing the plunger and cover plate.
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