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Old 12-14-2015, 04:51 PM   #1
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10KW generator overheat

The shop that is doing a few things on my coach advises that after they did the 1,000+ hr generator service (valve adjust, new coolant hoses, new T stat, new temp sender, new belt, flush radiator/system and add new coolant, clean spark arrestor), the genset shut down after about 20" and sent an overheat code. They are going to investigate further.

I asked if the Kubota's had any reputation for water pump failures and the service manager said not something he sees often. I am thinking if they did all the other things he said, a bad water pump is about all that is left that could cause overheating. This is my first experience with this particular shop. They are Onan certified and have great reviews on RV Service Reviews so I am trusting that they know what they are doing.


I did see the water pump impellers on the web and it looks very much like the rubber impeller used in outboard motors. From my years of boating, I do know these things can wear out over time.

Anyone have any ideas? Has anyone had a water pump failure on an Onan quiet diesel?
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:58 PM   #2
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Could be water pump...........but should be able to check whether or not coolant flows.

Course coolant not flowing doesn't necessarily mean bad pump...........could be t-stat in backwards
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:04 PM   #3
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it might be a stuck thermostat. I know they normally fail open, it seems weird it just started after servicing was preformed.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Did they have the enclosure fully installed (top and sides) when they did the test? I would assume so, as they are Onan certified and trained.

As I understand the air flows around the generator assist in the cooling.

Here is a link to a thread about a 12.5K overheating without the proper air flows.

A thought?

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Old 12-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Rubber blade waterpumps are positive displacement, for moving sea water thru a cooling system and back out.

Engine circulating pumps are centrifugal pumps. There is no impeller contact.

If you didn't have a problem before the shop worked on it, they did something wrong.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:04 PM   #6
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I did have two instances in the past year of generator shut down but, unfortunately, I did not read the blinking codes before I had restarted the generator. I would assume if it was due to overheat, it would not immediately restart and run.

I certainly hope they did their post service test run with the generator fully enclosed since it is known that the cabinet must be closed for proper air circulation. I also hope they adequately burped the system since I know from experience with my previous 7.5KW quiet diesel that if you leave air in the system, it will pretty quickly overheat and shut down.

I have read of one case where a newly installed temp sending probe was bad and caused false over temp shutdown and codes.

This is a large, well equipped and very busy shop that has a great reputation based on my research. However, I know techs can make mistakes. At this point, I don't want to go there and start asking if they did basic things and run the risk of insulting them. I will expect a full explanation of the problem when I get the coach. I do know they have engaged my Extended Service plan (Cornerstone) and have received authorization to proceed with some additional diagnostic work.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:15 AM   #7
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If you have extended service plan and are already having things done and if deductible met and genny on plan then ask for them to do whatever it takes to make sure it can carry full load for an hour or 3...

In other words...If it is included in your service plan and cost is not much then get out of their way...failing to complete the repair may void something down the road as well.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
If you have extended service plan and are already having things done and if deductible met and genny on plan then ask for them to do whatever it takes to make sure it can carry full load for an hour or 3...

In other words...If it is included in your service plan and cost is not much then get out of their way...failing to complete the repair may void something down the road as well.
My expectation is they are to do whatever it takes to fix the problem. We will be running the generator a lot on our upcoming 3 month trip. I am certainly not getting in their way and was curious if others had experienced water pump failures on the Kubota diesel.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:15 AM   #9
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Good place to have the problem, in the shop that just did all of these changes... Hope it is an easy one.

I'll second it could be bad thermostat. It could be a bad temp sensor, or a bad connection to the temp sensor. Suppose it could also need burping, after adding coolant.

Also sometimes flushing a system, can shake things up that then end up clogging. But they should have seen this during the service.

Keep us informed as the shop figures things out. And as always, best to you!
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:14 PM   #10
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I had a coolant sensor fail on my Onan last spring. After they installed a new one, they ran the generator for several minutes before finishing up and he told me it was because they get faulty sensors occasionally. if that is the problem, it will shut down in 20-30 seconds, but will restart immediately.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:27 PM   #11
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Update: The generator is fixed. According to the service manager, they found a dislodged pin in a multi-pin connector. Apparently it was causing some intermittent issues (causing false overtemp messages). That may explain a couple of mysterious generator shut downs on a long trip last year.
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