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Old 07-30-2021, 08:59 PM   #1
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Onan 7500 Code 38 Won't Run with Circuit Breaker on any advice

Started a Florida to Iowa trip this afternoon. Got 35 miles from home and wanted to use roof air so turned on generator. It ran for a bit then shut off. Pulled off interstate and restarted gen. Ran fine while we sat there for about ten minutes. Started back to interstate the generator shut back off. The generator would crank but would immediately shut back off. Error code was 38.

Fuel was not low, fuel filter was changed in June, air filter is fine, coolant and oil levels are fine. Error code indicates an overload but there was no load on the generator when it was shutting off.

Checked and cleaned terminals on gen going to transfer switch and terminals at transfer switch. Went as far as disconnecting terminals from gen to transfer switch- same issue. Gen would still crank and immediately shut off. Turned the gen circuit breaker to the off position generator ran fine. Turn breaker on generator immediately shuts off.

Turned off all breakers inside coach turned on generator. It immediately shut off. Generator will run fine as long as gen circuit breaker is in off position.

Any advice?
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mlh2013 View Post
Started a Florida to Iowa trip this afternoon. Got 35 miles from home and wanted to use roof air so turned on generator. It ran for a bit then shut off. Pulled off interstate and restarted gen. Ran fine while we sat there for about ten minutes. Started back to interstate the generator shut back off. The generator would crank but would immediately shut back off. Error code was 38.

Fuel was not low, fuel filter was changed in June, air filter is fine, coolant and oil levels are fine. Error code indicates an overload but there was no load on the generator when it was shutting off.

Checked and cleaned terminals on gen going to transfer switch and terminals at transfer switch. Went as far as disconnecting terminals from gen to transfer switch- same issue. Gen would still crank and immediately shut off. Turned the gen circuit breaker to the off position generator ran fine. Turn breaker on generator immediately shuts off.

Turned off all breakers inside coach turned on generator. It immediately shut off. Generator will run fine as long as gen circuit breaker is in off position.

Any advice?
You said "I cleaned terminals on gen going to transfer switch". Do you mean in the front left of the generator where all your wires come out, you opened that up and checked all those connections for tightness and correctness? Do you have a junction box between generator and transfer switch? Have you ridden in the rain since you have been on this trip? Did you have your dash AC on when this happened or happens?
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:29 PM   #3
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You said "I cleaned terminals on gen going to transfer switch". Do you mean in the front left of the generator where all your wires come out, you opened that up and checked all those connections for tightness and correctness? Have you ridden in the rain since you have been on this trip? Did you have your dash AC on when this happened or happens?
Yes removed front left panel on top of gen and cleaned all those terminals. No coach has been inside barn out of weather. Yes my dash air was on when problem first started.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:36 PM   #4
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Yes removed front left panel on top of gen and cleaned all those terminals. No coach has been inside barn out of weather. Yes my dash air was on when problem first started.
The 7500's front mounted had water intrusion problems to that front left area where the wiring is. Many reported their dash AC was dripping in such a way that it ended up on the connectors in the front left area and was shorting to ground causing a 38 code. Is it possible that is happening on yours? Are there wire nuts for the house wiring in there on yours? Did you try tightening them or first loosening them to look at the wires, then re tightening? Many have said that fixed their 38 code.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:42 PM   #5
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The 7500's front mounted had water intrusion problems to that front left area where the wiring is. Many reported their dash AC was dripping in such a way that it ended up on the connectors in the front left area and was shorting to ground causing a 38 code. Is it possible that is happening on yours? Are there wire nuts for the house wiring in there on yours? Did you try tightening them or first loosening them to look at the wires, then re tightening? Many have said that fixed their 38 code.
I didn't see any wire nuts in there. What I did was took each wire out and cleaned the terminal and then cut back the wire so fresh wire would be going back into the terminal.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:04 PM   #6
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I didn't see any wire nuts in there. What I did was took each wire out and cleaned the terminal and then cut back the wire so fresh wire would be going back into the terminal.
Strange, if it were me, I would be thinking of replacing the Onan circuit breaker first before giving up and taking it to a shop. Easy to replace and the part is under $100 online. Keep us posted what you find.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:24 AM   #7
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Okay I pulled circuit breaker and inspected found no eye catching issues reinstalled it. I then pulled all 3 fuses while in there, 1 seem to have some type of discoloration on it's legs, replaced it and reinstalled fuses fired it up turned on gen circuit breaker and it runs.

I turn on front ac to put load on gen no problem so far.
I turn on rear ac to increase load no problem.
I drive on 15 mile drive with gen on and ac's on no problem.
I come home park in front yard with gen and ac's running for over an hour no problem.
I shut down gen and leave off for a few minutes start back up put under load and all is well.

I don't know if it is just a coincident that now it's running fine or if removing breaker and checking fuses had something to do with it.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:25 AM   #8
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Strange, if it were me, I would be thinking of replacing the Onan circuit breaker first before giving up and taking it to a shop. Easy to replace and the part is under $100 online. Keep us posted what you find.
Yes I will order a new circuit breaker for sure, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:19 PM   #9
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Okay I pulled circuit breaker and inspected found no eye catching issues reinstalled it. I then pulled all 3 fuses while in there, 1 seem to have some type of discoloration on it's legs, replaced it and reinstalled fuses fired it up turned on gen circuit breaker and it runs.

I turn on front ac to put load on gen no problem so far.
I turn on rear ac to increase load no problem.
I drive on 15 mile drive with gen on and ac's on no problem.
I come home park in front yard with gen and ac's running for over an hour no problem.
I shut down gen and leave off for a few minutes start back up put under load and all is well.

I don't know if it is just a coincident that now it's running fine or if removing breaker and checking fuses had something to do with it.
Wow, certainly good news for sure. These things seem to have lots of strange issues or odd fixes.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:22 PM   #10
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Yes removed front left panel on top of gen and cleaned all those terminals. No coach has been inside barn out of weather. Yes my dash air was on when problem first started.
Any chance rodents could have gotten into the wiring while stored inside the barn?
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:42 PM   #11
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Anytime you shut these down under a load it seems to scramble the boards proccessor. Always disconnect the 12v cables into the back of the gen and wait 10 minutes. Reconnect and try again. That resets the chips in the control board. Mine would start and die, then went to crank only, then went to nothing. Resetting the board fixed it. I created the problem by shutting it down with the ACs running.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:45 PM   #12
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Any chance rodents could have gotten into the wiring while stored inside the barn?
I don't think so I didn't see any evidence of rodents while lid was off.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:46 PM   #13
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Anytime you shut these down under a load it seems to scramble the boards proccessor. Always disconnect the 12v cables into the back of the gen and wait 10 minutes. Reconnect and try again. That resets the chips in the control board. Mine would start and die, then went to crank only, then went to nothing. Resetting the board fixed it. I created the problem by shutting it down with the ACs running.
Thank you for that tip
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:43 PM   #14
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Anytime you shut these down under a load it seems to scramble the boards proccessor. Always disconnect the 12v cables into the back of the gen and wait 10 minutes. Reconnect and try again. That resets the chips in the control board. Mine would start and die, then went to crank only, then went to nothing. Resetting the board fixed it. I created the problem by shutting it down with the ACs running.
I had a strange issue on my 7500 QD last year. It's a 2003 with 755+ hours. Less than 25 of those are mine and I have had it 7 years. The only run time it gets is exercising. 1 time it would shut off after 10 mins of running. Did this 3 times. Never had done this before. Threw a 24 coolant sensor issue. I came here to IRV2 and created a post on it asking if anyone knew a trick to clear codes or get the 24 to turn off. Otherwise, I would have had to pull the generator out the front door. Mine won't drop down. Anyway, an air plane mechanic in Denver said to disconnect the 12 volt positive and negative cable that come in to the generator underneath. He said wire brush the cable ends and mounting studs and leave disconnected for an hour. He said this is how they clear codes in jets. He then suggested once I had assembled the cables back on to the generator, hold down start button for 60 seconds before attempting to start it. I'll be darned if this didn't work for me and fix that code 24. Granted I don't heavily use my generator, it works fine. So Shootist, What you are saying jives with me:-)
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