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Old 04-24-2009, 08:01 AM   #1
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Onan starts by itself

I recall reading a post on this a couple of years ago and thought "Yeah sure". Well, now it's me asking the question.

This morning about 4 am I heard a genset start up near by. We're at VIR for the Rolex race and quiet hours are 11 to 6. I wondered who would be starting generator at this hour and then realized that I felt a slight vibration. It was my generator that was running. It started by itself and no I don't have any form of auto start. It's a 7500 Onan Quiet Diesel mounted in a 2002 Journey.

Any thoughts other than "yeah, sure" . There are times when it's a bit stubborn starting even when I'm holding the switch. This really baffels me.


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Old 04-24-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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Hi Magician,
Are there any pets in the coach?

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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No pets, it just started by itself. Please, does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
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We had an 01 Journey with the same problem.
there is a plug on the side of the Onan that comes from the start button inside the coach, I took it apart, it just unclips and pulls apart, cleaned it with some spay contact cleaner and used dialectic grease and plugged it back together. No more mystery starting as long as we owned it after that.

Here's where we are
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:01 AM   #5
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As Brian posted, others have had the problem of moisture in that connector causing an auto start condition.

His solution is a good one.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 04-25-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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Our previous coach had the same problem. In various RV forums I have read every thing from 'a cat stepped on the top of the generator and pressed down the switch' to moisture is the culprit. I have a problem with a cat being responsible, but it might be. Moisture? Ours started on a bright, hot, sun shiny day. No idea what caused it, but there is a multitude of answers out there.
We have the 8.0 onan in this coach and it is supposed to have auto start. I cannot figure how to set it up however. :(
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:38 PM   #7
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Lots of reports of this happening with the 7.5kw Onan. In fact, it happened with mine. As Brian says, look for plug on passenger side of genset. I cleaned mine, lubed with dielectric grease and haven't had the problem since. I do, however, switch off my 12V house power batteries when I leave the coach for extended periods of time so the generator will not start. I don't store my coach for more than 2 or 3 weeks at a time but I don't want the generator to start during that time and use up my fuel. I intend to put a battery disconnect switch on the +12V lead to the generator starter but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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Hey Brian -

Can you give more description about what this plug looks like and where on the gen its located? I have a 2004 Meridian with the 7.5K diesel gen set and haven't had this happen to me yet but most of the other stuff posted on the Forum has happened or needed preventive maintenance.
That would really be a shocker to come back to your coach after a couple days and find the gen set running.
Thanks for any help for me to find this thing.

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:27 PM   #9
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While this isn't exactly like the connector, it will give you an idea what it looks like.


Here's where we are
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