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Old 09-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #1
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Odd starting issue

Hello Everyone,

In preparing for full timing in our 99 Fleetwood Bounder, I have recently noticed and unusual problem when starting the vehicle. I have two shutoff switches near the door that I turn off when not in use and on when using. When going to start the RV it appears the battery is dead. The lights on the instrument panel are dim and I get the buzzing sound normally heard on a dead battery. Checking the battery finds it fully charged with clean terminals and good connections. I will then actuate the auxillary start and it will then turn over slowly, at first, and then crank normally and start right up. Furthermore, after having started with the auxillary start the unit will fire up completely normally for a while, not using the auxillary at all.

I have opened the battery center in the engine compartment and have found that I have good voltage on both sides of the disconnect terminal so I don't believe that is the problem.

It is just baffling how it will not work until started with the auxillary and then, no problem. Seems like some type of relay but I am not sure where to go from here. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.

Zebulon
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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Never try to troubleshoot a battery problem without the battery under a load. The next time you have the problem, turn on the headlights and read your voltages at the battery, at the connectors, at the disconnect.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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Also remember you have two independent battery banks.. All the batteries in one (HOUSE for example, also called AUX) can be good as new, and the other (Chassis or starting or main) not so good, or not so clean.

Also, bad conneciton need not be at the battery.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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My best guess is a ground connection.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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Battery issue resolved.

Thanks to all for the input. I forgot about the K.I.S.S. method when approaching a problem. Overthinking is my obvious problem. The chassis battery terminals looked fine, but after removing the multiple clamps and wingnuts, there was a lot of hidden corrosion. After cleaning everything with Permatex cleaner and a good brushing, it seems to be operating well. Just remember Keep It Simple Stupid and it will get you out of more jams than anything else.

Zeb
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irvdog63 View Post
Thanks to all for the input. I forgot about the K.I.S.S. method when approaching a problem. Overthinking is my obvious problem. The chassis battery terminals looked fine, but after removing the multiple clamps and wingnuts, there was a lot of hidden corrosion. After cleaning everything with Permatex cleaner and a good brushing, it seems to be operating well. Just remember Keep It Simple Stupid and it will get you out of more jams than anything else.

Zeb
that explains why you saw a good voltage reading under no load.
Also remember when reading volts under no load does NOT equal AMPS
Amps are flow and that what a starter needs.
Computers and other electronics are more picky about voltage and don't require anywhere nearly as many amps as a starter.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:39 AM   #7
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When I read you first post I was thinking battery cable. It reminded me of an incident I had many many years ago. I was working in a gas station when a guy walked in and said while driving his car the night befoe, his lights went out and then lost all power. he asked if I would look at it. I said I would. He had it towed in and I thought "where do I start". I decided the battery should be first. It was Ok so checked the cable at the starter. Nothing so replaced the cable. Then got in the car and started it. I thought that was easy. I turned on the lights and could hear the breaker snapping. I finally found a short in a tail light. When I checked the cable, the connections were clean but I could see some corrosion in the end of the cable.
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