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Old 09-20-2020, 10:39 AM   #1
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Problem With Onan Generator

We have an Onan 5500 watt gasoline powered generator in our 2013 Adventurer. The last 2 times out we've had trouble with it shutting down when the coach is in motion. The first time was in May of this year. We stopped at a rest area and fired up the generator to power the microwave.

We left it run through lunch (about 20 minutes) and decided to let it continue to run for exercise while we were on the road. After driving another half hour I noticed the generator light flashing. For some reason the generator had shut down. There were no codes, and the fuel level was just under 3/4 of a tank.

I shut off the switch and continued on to the next campground. When we arrived I tried it again and it started with no problems. I let it run an hour and shut it down.

As a side note the generator has been run for over an hour each month since the original problem with no reoccurrences. The only difference is that the coach was stationary when the generator was exercised.

Last week we were on the road again and encountered the same problem. It started fine in a rest area, but shut itself down after the coach was in motion for about half an hour. This time however there was a code 45 (speed sensor) displayed on the panel.

When we got to the campground I tried starting it again with no success. After a couple tries the code 45 reappeared. I didn't try to start it again and left everything as it was until we got home 3 days later. This afternoon I tried starting it and it jumped to life after cranking the starter only about 3 seconds. It continued to run until I shut it off several minutes later.

There are currently no codes stored and everything works as it should. Has anyone run into a similar problem, and if so were you able to find the source and correct the problem?
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Low fuel level in carburetor bowl? It's OK when not moving, on the road the fuel jostles in the bowl preventing fuel pickup??? Check float for proper adjustment, water in bowl. That's my EWAG.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:40 PM   #3
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Check the oil level, if it is low it can cause the generator to shut down. Also you may need to change the fuel filter on the generator. and worse case the fuel pump may be bad or have a power issue with it. Check the wires going to it to ensure they are not loose.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:59 PM   #4
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Yes, many gennys have a low oil level switch that when triggered shuts down the genny. A low level and a bit of motion that sloshes the oil below the threshold level and bingo, it shuts down.

Another item could be the fuel line from the tank to the genny fuel pump. I had a cracked line (due to age) that every so often sucked air.

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Old 09-21-2020, 08:01 AM   #5
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when mine did that and oil level was ok, I replaced fuel pump and filter and that solved it
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
Check the oil level, if it is low it can cause the generator to shut down. Also you may need to change the fuel filter on the generator. and worse case the fuel pump may be bad or have a power issue with it. Check the wires going to it to ensure they are not loose.
Generally low oil level sensors prevent the engine from being restarted when low oil is detected. Agitating oil level is very difficult to detect..
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:34 AM   #7
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Mine did the same thing. It gradually got worse until I had to replace the fuel pump. My generator hours are about 490.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:59 AM   #8
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Gas tank not venting could be a possibility. I had a toy hauler that would do the same thing. I had to delete the carbon recycle filter. Its connected to the intake and would cause more vacuum on tank than the vent would allow...or I had a vent issue. Either way I would Crack my cap and my tank was in a vacuum.

Its another EPA mandate that causes problems.

Just a shot being it only does it on the road
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