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Old 07-30-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
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Onan Generator Shuts down

All of a sudden Onan 5500 Genset runs about 5 mins, then shuts down. Have replaced fuel filter, fuel pump, air filter, spark plugs. oil filter and oil to recommended levels. cleaned carbueator (SeaFoam) all parts were Onan except fuel pump (Airtex) recommended OEM replacement part.
good fuel flow to carb. Now Genset runs under load for about 10 mins then shuts down,
I would appreciate any other suggestion, something I may be missing. trying to avoid expensive rip-off shops. but will consider if nothing else solves this problem
Thanks in advance
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:50 PM   #2
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Are you getting any flashing error codes to give you a clue? If you are sure the gas supply is correct, when it shuts down, have you immediately tried cranking it and testing for spark? I've seen engines stop when a bad coil gets warm and causes an interruption of spark.

This link has manuals for Onan generators.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:52 PM   #3
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Couple of possibilities come to mind:
I assume you have a liquid cooled unit? Check to make sure it is full of Antifreeze, and if you have a volt ohm meter (VOM), clip a lead to the coolant temp sensor (side that is not ground), and monitor it to see if It changes state just prior to shutting down.
Another area of test would be to put a VOM on your AC voltage output and monitor the voltage to see if it is running low or high (voltage regulator), and last set your meter for frequency and monitor that to see if you are high or low in terms of Hz (hertz), which should be 60Hz.
Once you do these checks you will know much more about your generator.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:51 PM   #4
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how much fuel in your tank?
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:37 PM   #5
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Which model of onan 5500?
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
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how much fuel in your tank?

Most gens will shut down at 1/4 tank of fuel
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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Most gens will shut down at 1/4 tank of fuel
I agree, but the generator runs for 10 min. then shuts down. Sounds more like an overheating problem or something else that fails after 10 min. of running.
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:18 PM   #8
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Check the oil pressure switch. If the switch has gone bad it will kill the ignition. There kinda famous for going bad. Locate the switch in the manual. IF you know how bypass the switch and see if it continues to run. Or replace it.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:34 PM   #9
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forgot to mention, yes RV has 1/2 tank of fuel, I was aware of that. May have to take RV to shop, trying to avoid pricy shop visit. error code 36. Onan product service says it may be a problem with EPU, as if I knew what that was. It sounds expensive to me, but I have to have my Genset functioning properly.
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreed2 View Post
forgot to mention, yes RV has 1/2 tank of fuel, I was aware of that. May have to take RV to shop, trying to avoid pricy shop visit. error code 36. Onan product service says it may be a problem with EPU, as if I knew what that was. It sounds expensive to me, but I have to have my Genset functioning properly.
Yes sometimes it is best to take it to a Pro... Likely means ECU or Electronic Control Unit.
Good Luck, Let us know what the result was and an evaluation of the shop you use!
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:01 PM   #11
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I cant find the post that supplied this info on generator shutting down. So I cant give credit for this solution to the proper person.
The oil level may be too high. The real ‘full’ mark should be half way up the dipstick when it is screwed in. I drained about 1/2 qt of oil out of my gen so it showed between ‘full’ and ‘add’.
Started it up, turned on the A/C and it ran for 4 hours. Before draining the oil it would constantly shut off after 15min. I have always had problems keeping the gen running while parked or driving. I think this has solved my problem.
A big thank you to whom ever posted this solution!
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Belgian View Post
I cant find the post that supplied this info on generator shutting down. So I cant give credit for this solution to the proper person.
The oil level may be too high. The real ‘full’ mark should be half way up the dipstick when it is screwed in. I drained about 1/2 qt of oil out of my gen so it showed between ‘full’ and ‘add’.
Started it up, turned on the A/C and it ran for 4 hours. Before draining the oil it would constantly shut off after 15min. I have always had problems keeping the gen running while parked or driving. I think this has solved my problem.
A big thank you to whom ever posted this solution!
I would drain out that Oil, and change the filter. Refill with the manufacturers specified amount of oil. Then check the dip stick to verify where the oil is on the dip stick. you could take a file and mark it on that stick.

If the oil is higher than you are currently seeing I would be suspicious that diesel got into your crank case via a leaking fuel pump or something... Thin oil will cause the low oil level sensor to go off as well.

I guess if the engine is overfilled the engine may work harder causing a high temperature shutdown...

Generac Generators only take 1.1 to 1.7 Qts (depending on engine) of oil, so 1/2 quart over could cause issues. Often seeing oil blow out the breather.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:43 PM   #13
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I would drain out that Oil, and change the filter. Refill with the manufacturers specified amount of oil. Then check the dip stick to verify where the oil is on the dip stick. you could take a file and mark it on that stick.

If the oil is higher than you are currently seeing I would be suspicious that diesel got into your crank case via a leaking fuel pump or something... Thin oil will cause the low oil level sensor to go off as well.

I guess if the engine is overfilled the engine may work harder causing a high temperature shutdown...

Generac Generators only take 1.1 to 1.7 Qts (depending on engine) of oil, so 1/2 quart over could cause issues. Often seeing oil blow out the breather.


In post #1 the OP said he had a gas generator, not diesel. He also said it was an Onan brand, not Generac. He also stated, "oil filter and oil to recommended levels" so all of these ideas are fascinating, but off topic.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post


In post #1 the OP said he had a gas generator, not diesel. He also said it was an Onan brand, not Generac. He also stated, "oil filter and oil to recommended levels" so all of these ideas are fascinating, but off topic.
Sorry about that must be the over 60 syndrome... I know he is talking Onan... do you think the generator technology is that far apart? My attempt was not to go off topic and had no evil angle. I was trying to assist as I was a certified tech for Generac in my pre retirement life...
Again I apologize and hope you forgive me.
I will try to delete my earlier comments.
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