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Old 01-15-2022, 02:44 PM   #1
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engine will not start

I have a 2000 National Tradewinds Motorhome with a 300 Cat diesel engine and just replaced the chassis batteries in November. Drove it home and started it every couple weeks to charge the batteries and last week nothing happened. No lights on the dash or anything. Batteries are fully charged. Can anyone tell me what to check now?
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:45 PM   #2
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I would first check the battery voltage with a multimeter. Then check the voltage while attempting to start the engine. I suspect either one or both batteries are bad. They may show charged until a big load is applied. Also I would check the battery cable connections. Clean is the word.
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:14 PM   #3
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Sounds like a bad connection either for ground or positive. Check voltage between positive post and a bare metal spot on the frame, and also between the negative post and the engine somewhere as you try to start it. You should get 12+ volts and 0 volts.
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:31 PM   #4
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@kirstenr you said no lights on the dash, but did you pull codes from the engine? That might give a hint as to where to look.

The procedure (in case you didn't know this already) is as follows:
All ACTIVE codes may be viewed using a Caterpillar electronic service tool or by performing the following procedure.

1. Turn the Cruise Control ON/OFF switch OFF.
2. Move the SET/RESUME switch to either position. Hold that position until the YELLOW lamp begins to flash.

The YELLOW lamp will flash to indicate a two digit flash code and the SET/RESUME switch may be released. The sequence of flashes represents the system diagnostic message. Count the first sequence of flashes in order to determine the first digit of the diagnostic code. After a two second pause, the second sequence of flashes will identify the second digit of the diagnostic code.

Any additional diagnostic codes will follow (after a pause) and will be displayed in the same manner. Flash Code 55 signals No Detected Faults have occurred since the ignition key switch was turned ON.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:27 PM   #5
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One thing to know is starting your engine takes a pretty decent draw on you battery/batteries, if you start it it to keep the batteries charged you really have to let it run quite a long time, not 5 minutes, more like 30 to 45 minutes. If you start it and let it run 5 minutes each time the batteries will eventually go dead.
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kirstenr View Post
I have a 2000 National Tradewinds Motorhome with a 300 Cat diesel engine and just replaced the chassis batteries in November. Drove it home and started it every couple weeks to charge the batteries and last week nothing happened. No lights on the dash or anything. Batteries are fully charged. Can anyone tell me what to check now?

How do you know chassis batteries are full charge? When you put a voltage meter on them what does it say?
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Old 01-16-2022, 05:58 AM   #7
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Check voltage at the cable connections for the chassis battery at rest and then when cranking. Let us know the readings.

Next test would be to turn the ignition key to the first position. Does everything that only runs with the ignition run-- like the dash HVAC fan?

Next would be to detail EXACTLY how far into the start cycle you get (if things progress that far).
Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240
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