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AndyShane

Tired Generator Start Not What It Seemed

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I'd put checking up on my generator low on the maintenance priority list of our new-to-us coach.

After all, the dealer in Tucson had assured me that "all fluids and filters" were freshly changed when we purchased the Beaver Patriot Thunder in January.

Nonetheless, the generator started as if its battery were nearly dead. In fact, a few times, it turned so slowly I had to initiate a second start cycle.

Then, it began shutting itself down 15 - 30 minutes into its operation. The fault code was the eclectic "36", derived from holding down the Stop switch and then reading the next two sequence of flashes: tens at first, and then second digit next.

Following the Onan guidance (their manuals are available on line), I replaced the air filter and changed the oil.

Neither seemed tragically overdue, but were dirty. The Hobbs meter says the unit as accumulated 264 hours in its seven-year lifetime.

Well, I should've filmed a "before" start and an "after"!

It runs like a brand-new unit!

So, don't despair if your generator is sluggish. The problem might not be an inherent mechanical condition; instead, it might be the fault of improper routine maintenance.

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You didn’t say which generator you have but I will assume it is a diesel. One thing I have learned the hard way is to change the coolant regularly and use low silicate antifreeze. There seems to be a problem with the silicate precipitating out of solution causing blockage in the radiator. As always exercising your generator properly will reduce or eliminate a lot of problems.

Bill

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You didn’t say which generator you have but I will assume it is a diesel. One thing I have learned the hard way is to change the coolant regularly and use low silicate antifreeze. There seems to be a problem with the silicate precipitating out of solution causing blockage in the radiator. As always exercising your generator properly will reduce or eliminate a lot of problems.

Bill

Thanks, Wilde Bill! Yeh, the overflow looks like harbor water despite the dealer's assurance that all "fluids and filters" were changed. It's on my list. My generator has a paper tag that flutters whenever the bay is open denoting exercise dates. My policy is every 30 days, twenty minutes.

In the summer, that's no problem: Momma schedules monthly vacations in the rig, and I ain't rollin' down the highway without house AC running, full cold...

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Mine shut down when we were doing the final walk through and going for another road test. The dealer had to pull the unit and take it to Cummins to have it checked out and repaired. I dogged the bullet on that one, it cost the dealer $650.00. Cummins report said over heating because of “crystals” in the radiator.

Just try to run at least 1/2-3/4 load.

Bill

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Super. I'll add a flush to that work order. It's working fine now (we just did an entire day, cruising with the genny supplying house AC), but your experience is worth its weight in gold B)

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