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Old 10-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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Onan diesel generator stops after about a minute

I have searched but could not find my exact problem/solution. My generator worked fine a couple of weeks ago. Three days ago I noticed a fuel leak and Cummins tried to repair it. They could not get the part so they temporarily bypassed the water separator so I could move on. The coach runs fine. Today when I started the generator it coughed and stopped about a minute later. Two attempts to restart it ended the same way. I inspected the generator and fluid and oil levels are fine. The code on the switch is 3 blinks followed by 6 blinks. I cannot find this exact code in my Onan manual. I have held the off button down for a minute at least 5 times and tried to restart the generator. Each time it runs for a short while then stutters and spews white smoke which certainly seems to point to a fuel starvation problem. I can find nothing in my documentation that shows a separate filter for this unit. So, this leaves me believing that it is quite possibly an air in the line issue. But, how many times or how long should someone hold the Off button to clear the line?

I would really like to know how to resolve the problem. And I would also like to know what code 36 means, exactly.

Thanks in advance,
Bob Stokesbary

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Old 10-03-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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I think the 36 code means it is starved for fuel. Holding the Stop switch down for a minute should be enough to prime the fuel supply. At this point I would replace the generator's fuel filter which is accessable through the bottom opening of the generator. Then prime the fuel supply and see if it will start and run.

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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I think I learned a lot of good lessons on this exercise. When the generator failed (as if it was out of fuel) I really panicked. When I flipped through the manual I certainly did miss the 36 code being "fuel problem". After I posted my message I found the error code in the manual. By that time our batteries were too low to use our laptop. Today was the first time we really had time to go out (we are at the Balloon Fiesta) and get fueled up. That fixed our problem. I think it will be a good idea to have the filter changed too. But, for right now we are working great.

Sorry for the confusion I caused. Obviously our fuel gauge is wrong or our accessory fuel pickup is not working correctly. Our fuel gauge read 1/2 full which should have been enough. So I still have an issue to follow-up with.
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