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Old 01-23-2016, 07:39 PM   #1
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Onan 8000 Randomly Starts?

We went to visit our coach in winter storage this weekend. I found the generator running! When we arrived there was diesel exhaust odor in the covered parking area. Seems like it had been running for awhile. But, it may be that it was not on very long because the genset housing was cool to the touch and my fuel level did not go down very much from what I recall when we parked it. So I cannot be sure if it was on for days or just randomly started today.

I have never used the auto-start feature. I double checked and it was still in manual mode and the shore power detection circuit was working. (I leave the coach plugged in to draw a few amps to trickle charge the batteries.)

In theory, the genset should have never turned on. So why was it on?

Any ideas appreciated - even a way to disconnect the control module that might be initiating the auto start.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:53 PM   #2
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It, the generator may automatically default and start due to low voltage? Just a guess.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:04 PM   #3
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Check your control panel. Your AGS, auto generator start, is enabled. It can be configured to auto start when batteries get to a selected voltage or temperature on some models. Ours is configured to auto start when the voltage drops to 11.8 and set to run for 2 hours, which is enough time to get back to float charging.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias7000 View Post
We went to visit our coach in winter storage this weekend. I found the generator running! When we arrived there was diesel exhaust odor in the covered parking area. Seems like it had been running for awhile. But, it may be that it was not on very long because the genset housing was cool to the touch and my fuel level did not go down very much from what I recall when we parked it. So I cannot be sure if it was on for days or just randomly started today.



I have never used the auto-start feature. I double checked and it was still in manual mode and the shore power detection circuit was working. (I leave the coach plugged in to draw a few amps to trickle charge the batteries.)



In theory, the genset should have never turned on. So why was it on?



Any ideas appreciated - even a way to disconnect the control module that might be initiating the auto start.

For years there have been reports of phantom starts with the Onan 7500 and by extension the 8000. This is even on units with out an auto gen start installed. It seems to be caused by moisture intrusion into a connector in the control wiring going into the generator. The fix is to open the connector and dry it out & use a dielectric grease on the connector.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
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For years there have been reports of phantom starts with the Onan 7500 and by extension the 8000. This is even on units with out an auto gen start installed. It seems to be caused by moisture intrusion into a connector in the control wiring going into the generator. The fix is to open the connector and dry it out & use a dielectric grease on the connector.
This makes a lot of sense. It has been raining heavily recently. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:14 PM   #6
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This makes a lot of sense. It has been raining heavily recently. Thanks for sharing!
Update for all: the molex-like connector to the genset is triple sealed and was completely dry. I sprayed with a moisture replacing electrical contact cleaner anyway. Next, I think I'll replace the head end unit (display and buttons mounted in the control center) as the backlight light flickers frequently and makes me wonder how the rest of the electronics are doing.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias7000 View Post
Update for all: the molex-like connector to the genset is triple sealed and was completely dry. I sprayed with a moisture replacing electrical contact cleaner anyway. Next, I think I'll replace the head end unit (display and buttons mounted in the control center) as the backlight light flickers frequently and makes me wonder how the rest of the electronics are doing.
Please keep us posted and if possible some pics to help with your diagnoses. I have the 8000 KW no issues yet, knock on wood, but your trouble shooting will help those with like Onan products should the need arise.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:23 PM   #8
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There is also a setting in the AGS which tells it to cycle the generator every x number of days for x number of hours if the genset hasn't been operated during that time interval. I have mine set to run for two hours every 21 days if it hasn't been run during that period. I think it will activate this feature even if the AGS is set to the manual mode.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:41 PM   #9
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To OP.
I had an Onan 7500 on a previous coach that auto started and there wasn't an auto start feature on that coach.

I pulled the control wire connector (near the upper passenger side of the generator) to the generator apart, cleaned it, used a small amount of dielectric grease on the contacts and re-assembled the connector.

Didn't have the problem again but never really trusted the generator and if I was going to be away from the coach for several days I would disconnect the house batteries to prevent any accidental start of the generator.
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