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Old 02-12-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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Generator won't start

Hi,

I have an Onan 5500 in a 2011 Tiffin 2011 34 TGA.
When pushing the start switch in the cab or on the generator, the light on the switch goes on but the generator doesn't turn over.

Anybody run into this before?

Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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How's your fuel tank level. You need more than approx. 1/3 tank for the generator fuel pick up.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Fuel level would be a good guess. Also, is there coolant in the generator. We had a friend drive 2000 miles and was fit to be tied because his generator wouldn't start when they needed it. Another guy said have you checked the cooland level and when they did it was empty. Started right up then.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Do you have a switch, usually on the console, that says "Aux start"? Push and hold as you start the generator. Sounds to me like the battery for the generator is too low. On my Tiffin, the generator is started by the house battery. You can also start your MH engine and try the generator, as the engine charges both. However, as others have said, First make sure you have fuel above the required level to run the generator.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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I believe the issue is not a no start but a no crank situation. If I am correct the switch at the gen set should be checked as it may not be in the correct position or the breaker is tripped.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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I believe the issue is not a no start but a no crank situation. If I am correct the switch at the gen set should be checked as it may not be in the correct position or the breaker is tripped.
Ah yes. The breakers. There are two. A 30 and a 20. Mine are in the left side. Check those for sure.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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Coolant on an air cooled generator?
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Hi,

Thanks for the suggestions.
Fuel is 3/4.
Breakers on the generator are on. Do these relate to the generator running or to the circuits for the electrical output?
House batteries are reading 13.5.

Is there a fuse on the starting circuit that is readily accessible?

Just had it in the shop for unrelated issue, the left bolt on the rear stabilizer was missing...
Perhaps they affected the ground? Will check the voltage at the input since I am going out to install a satellite receiver today.

Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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Just a thought. Generators will not start with low oil levels?
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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Just a thought. Generators will not start with low oil levels?
The OP problem is Gen Starter does not activate. This has nothing to do with fuel, coolant, oil etc. But I suspect the gen might be air cooled anyway.

He is on the right track by measuring the power source to the starting motor. There could be a starter relay or selonoid in the circuit but not having a schematic diagram it is not possible to determine, but I would be surprised to see the remote start button and wiring with the capacity to handle the starting current.

So I would trace the DC power line from the gen starter cct to the battery.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Check for a fuse in the starter area. My older generator did that when I blew a 5 amp fuse. My newer MH has a primer setting that when I go to start it I need to prime it by pushing the stop button for 10 secs or so. It will turn over right away. If it was starting before and now it doesn't I would check fuses and then the button.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Is there a start switch on the generator itself??? If it starts there, a common issue is the wiring harness connectors getting corroded. Gas or Diesel??
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Is there a start switch on the generator itself??? If it starts there, a common issue is the wiring harness connectors getting corroded. Gas or Diesel??
He said there is a switch there and it lights but doesn't work. I'm sure it's gas ( almost sure. )
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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We, too, have an Onan 5500 on a Ford chassis (Damon Challenger 2011) and at times, for whatever reason, the generator start switch on the dash will not start on the first activation by pushing the button after the light indicates "start ready". What I discovered is that if I "stab" the button with a little more effort on a second or third try, the generator will start. You might try starting using the switch on the generator and see if the gen. will start - mine starts every time using the switch on the gen. I am not certain why the dash switch doesn't always work on the first try, but since it always seems to work with additional effort, I simply give it another "stab". I guess that it could be that the switch terminals are not making good contact and by using a little more pressure on the switch, contact is made. Good luck and let us know what you find out.


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