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Old 07-06-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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Generator turns off after a few seconds

Hello guys. I have a Onan Emerald 5000 Gen set (with only 4XX hours). Up until now, it has worked great....although I noticed it sometimes took a little bit to get it started (you'd have to hold the button for a good 15 seconds). Lately, when it starts, it runs for about 4-5 seconds, then turns off.

I went to start it today, and it just clicks a bunch...turns over maybe once, then clicks, so that might be a dead battery (seemed fine when I checked it?? and the ground seemed clean???)....but I doubt low battery the cause it not to run after starting up.

thank you for any advice!

p.s - my fuel level is under 1/2 a tank, but over 1/4
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Two different problems. Oil is low and causing shut down upon start. Clicking is bad batt, or at least a non charged one.

At least this is IMHO.

Ed
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Charge battery first, then all the nomal common sense items. Fuel tank level, bad fuel pump, blocked fuel filter, loose fuel line sucking air, proper oil level. Then go from there.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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yeah, I thought I had two different problems that decided to show at the same time....but my servicing dealer (who is next to useless) said otherwise. They told me that there's a delay of a few seconds when the generator first starts running that it still needs battery power, otherwise it would quit....and that I probably had just a bad ground or connection.

It seemed funny to me, because once it starts and is running, it shouldn't need anything else. Shouldn't need battery power, and even if the ground is bad, it's already running...so that shouldn't shut it off, right?

I will add to this that while it was going through the "running then dying" phase, the oil was at the "add" level. I added oil the next day, but now I can't start it at all to see if that was the problem to begin with. Was it originally shutting down after a few seconds because it had low oil? i hear some have a sensor for this.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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It's true the generator needs a steady 12v supply to run - the fuel pump is 12v powered. The battery has to supply it until the genset is running and powering your normal converter/charger, which in then supply 12v to the entire system.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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The genny still needs a good ground while running or the fuel pump will not run. Your useless tech may have nailed this one.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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oh really?? well it might just be battery power related then.

I might have to give this guy some props. Normally, he is waaay off the mark. The first thing he said was that the board was toast, and when I wouldn't accept that $500+ answer, then he dug a little deeper.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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You definitely want a charged battery before you do any troubleshooting. Then if the generator cranks normally the battery and ground are good. If it doesn't turn over easy, is eratic or won't crank at all, pull the large ground wire from the genny frame and the other end connected to the truck frame and clean everything to bare metal. Reconnect tightly and try again.

If it cranks fine now but doesn't start, we'll go to the next step....fuel system.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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it fired up and is now current running (Coach was plugged in, allowing the batteries to charge). I turned the 2 A/C units on to put a load on, and now it is running a little rough....it'll run smooth, then the rpm will dip down like it's about to stall, then they'll pick up again. It's doing that sporadically.

it's running as I'm typing this. Been on for about 10mins.

It that the sign of a dirty fuel filter?
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mopar
it fired up and is now current running (Coach was plugged in, allowing the batteries to charge). I turned the 2 A/C units on to put a load on, and now it is running a little rough....it'll run smooth, then the rpm will dip down like it's about to stall, then they'll pick up again. It's doing that sporadically.

it's running as I'm typing this. Been on for about 10mins.

It that the sign of a dirty fuel filter?
I assume you have unplugged from shore now. It's indicating a fuel shortage under load (assume it's smooth when not under load). This would indicate a bad fuel filter. It could also indicate a bad fuel pump. Replace the filter and try again. If problem persists, replace pump.

Don't know how long this sits or how often you run it or how often it gets fresh gas, but if you have some extra fuel line laying around, a gal jug and some injector/carb cleaner, I would mix a potent gal and run that through to give it a good internal cleaning. I do that once a year just for good measure and stave off the gremlins
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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I run it once every couple of weeks, just to keep it running.

Update: I checked the coach batteries, and they were dry...so it was partially a battery issue in regards to the hard starting. As far as the sputtering, I got it running, and just let it run for a good hour... then we used it all weekend. She's seems to be running A1 now (knocks on wood), so I guess it just needed a good run. I ordered a new oil and fuel filter though, because I think it's due.

as always, thanks for all the help
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #12
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What do you have in the mopar type of cars? I have a few myself.

Ernie

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ararebird View Post
What do you have in the mopar type of cars? I have a few myself.

Ernie

850-484-8764

You've been PM'd....I have a few. Currently trying to find a nice/cheap Crossfire Coupe
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