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Old 10-26-2020, 04:12 PM   #1
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Turn ignition key - and nothing happens

Following repair of a leaking tire and purchase of a new spare tire, the DW goes to start the motor home engine - and nothing happens. No noise, nothing. Checked the RV's panel in the coach and the chassis battery shows nothing with house battery showing full charge. DW uses the switch near the driver's seat to connect the chassis battery with the house battery and then the engine is able to be started.

What makes this different than the unit we rented in June is that the engine almost turned over without need of the house battery in that rented unit. This was different - nothing at all happened when you initially turned the key. And all was fine 30 minutes earlier when it was started after a fuel stop. Strange!

Later, after we arrived home, the same thing happened to me, except I remember when I pushed the button to connect the batteries, everything appeared to return to normal. I doubt this is a battery or alternator issue, and my ScanGauge shows 13.5 volts when engine is running and 12.2 volts and stable when engine is not running.

Seems like some sort of switch problem, and strange for it to happen right out of the blue. Anyone have an idea for a potential cause of this?
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:10 PM   #2
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12.2 volts after a long drive is a bad battery. Take it and get it tested.

A charged battery should sit at 12.6 volts.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:52 PM   #3
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X2, sounds like a shot chassis battery to me.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:07 AM   #4
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Yup, from memory, 12.2vdc is about 55-60% charge... checking chart might find me off a bit, but 12.0-12.1=50%
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:09 AM   #5
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Turn ignition key - and nothing happens

Needs load testing done on battery. If you have been driving for awhile when you turn engine off batteries should be close to 13 or more amps.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:36 AM   #6
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Loose connection

This could be a poor connection at battery or the ground cable. I would turn on the headlights and see if they come on or are dim, then I would take a volt meter directly on the battery and check. If voltage is 12.8 ish on battery and either no headlights or dim you have a poor connection somewhere. I would check the ground wire to frame. Might have gotten loose when RV was lifted to change tire. Just a thought! Jim
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

I took a very inexpensive voltmeter and 24 hours later checked the battery against my fairly new battery in my car. If anything the chassis battery was a tiny bit GREATER than my car battery. That seems to reduce the chance that the battery is the problem.

Plus, if the battery was the problem at that voltage, the engine would have at least tried to turn over instead of absolutely no attempt at trying to start the engine when the key was turned (without the use of the "emergency start switch" that connects the house battery).

It will be going in the shop in a few weeks to get this issue checked out, then into winter storage.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:36 PM   #8
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Turn ignition key - and nothing happens

I had the same problem came out to be my crank relay, I changed that out and never looked back yet, on a Chevy 6.0 itís located in the fuse box and Is 5 prong, cost 17.00 dollars. I have now replaced 3 relays, fuel pump , ignition and crank, all 5 prong. GM told me they have changed maunufactors of that relay, they are all the same.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:46 AM   #9
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Now an additional issue that is somewhat related.

The house indication panel for tank and battery levels no longer works - unless the engine is running (which requires using the emergency start switch to connect the chassis and house batteries), yet when that is done, the panel shows full charge on both batteries.

But it was working when I started this thread! I did accidentally drain the house battery down to 1/4 and when I plugged shore power in it drew about 10 amps initially instead of the normal 1 to 2 amps, but I don't think that should have affected the previously identified issue. And that indication panel was working then (at all times) but not now.

Another indication - the automatic stairs is not working from the ignition key position as it was before.
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Old 11-08-2020, 06:01 AM   #10
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Still sounds like a shot chassis batteries. Are they original 2002 batteries? Try using a jump box or or cables on the chassis batteries if it start itís bad batteries.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:17 AM   #11
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you also need to check ground on the the stair motor, brother had that issue on a 96 tradewin
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Old 11-09-2020, 09:18 AM   #12
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I had the exact same problem and found it was the cut off switch solenoid for the engine and dash. Something had fried the wiring and glazed the contact switch on the inside of the solenoid preventing any electrical contact. Jumping it from the coach solenoid helped bypass the problem until I could replace it.
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Old 11-09-2020, 10:52 AM   #13
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These are the symptoms I recorded and gave to the repair shop when it went to the shop this morning.

I do agree it likely is a relay(s) issue. I'll be very surprised if it is a battery issue.

============================================
1. Nothing initially could be powered from the chassis battery (no headlights, no parking lights, no cigarette lighter which is an “always on” cigarette lighter).

2 Turned key to ON and then START. Nothing happened, no sound, no indicating lights, no sound of a relay clicking and no attempt to start the engine.

3. Pressed emergency start button for two seconds AND LET GO OF BUTTON with key in ON and all indication lights came on AND STAYED ON and cigarette lighter now worked. Scangauge indicated 11.6 volts for battery. Indications near speedometer panel looked normal.

4. Turned key to OFF and immediately back to ON. All dark again. Had to momentarily press emergency start button to have indications back.

5. Started engine (while holding emergency start button on). Scangauge indicated 13.9 volts. Headlights now worked.

6. At the RV house indication panel, indications were not working until the engine was STARTED. Then all looked normal at that panel.

7. Motorized stair retracted as it should with RV door closed when key in ON AFTER the emergency start button was used to get normal indications near driver. Also then retracted and extended properly from RV door position. Did not extend with RV door open when key taken back to OFF as it should have.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:13 PM   #14
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It turned out that replacing the battery and the alternator solved the problem. 2 hours labor, battery, and alternator just over $700. (Ouch!)

Battery had a bad cell, possible partial ground was involved, and might have led to the alternator issue.

All working now, including the house indication panel and the automatic motorized stair.

I'm still surprised a relay was not the problem, considering with the key on and the emergency start switch pressed and released, everything stayed working.

Surprised even more that less than one hour earlier when starting up after filling the gas tank, the engine started with no problem or straining at all. Then less than an hour later, turned the key to on and start and nothing at all happened. Although, now that I think about it, it was raining and the wife was driving with the headlights on for most of that last 45 minutes.....
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