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Old 08-08-2019, 03:48 PM   #1
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THOR #8948
Generator broken!

Hi all,
I took my ACE 29.3 with a Cummins 4000 gas generator to camping world for its first service at 150 hours like they suggested. Now a week later I try to start it and it won’t work. It will prime like usual and crank, but will shut off as soon as I take my finger off the crank button. Then the fault code flashes 3 times and a long pause which the manual just says “needs service.”
Any suggestions? I haven’t gone through the pain of calling the camping world service department yet.

Thanks!
Christina
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:54 PM   #2
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My suggestion, is call Camping World.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:25 PM   #3
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Mistake #1 "took it to CW". Since they performed the service you have little choice but to take it back to them. When you eventually pick it up, start and run it a few times while there and let it run for about 15 min or so before leaving. Then find an RV service center that handles Onan's.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:34 PM   #4
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Take it to a proper Onan Service Center.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christina1pac View Post
Hi all,
I took my ACE 29.3 with a Cummins 4000 gas generator to camping world for its first service at 150 hours like they suggested. Now a week later I try to start it and it won’t work. It will prime like usual and crank, but will shut off as soon as I take my finger off the crank button. Then the fault code flashes 3 times and a long pause which the manual just says “needs service.”
Any suggestions? I haven’t gone through the pain of calling the camping world service department yet.

Thanks!
Christina



Sounds like perhaps you did not actually capture the real service fault. Per the Onan Operations manual:


Following a fault shutdown, the indicator light will repeatedly blink 3 blinks or 4 blinks at a time.  Three blinks indicates a service fault. Press Stop once to cause the two-digit, second-level fault code to blink. (Pressing Stop again will stop the blinking.)
The two-digit code consists of 1, 2, 3 or 4 blinks, a brief pause, and then 1 to 9 blinks. The first set of blinks represents the tens digit and the second set of blinks the units digit of the fault code number. For example, Fault Code No. 36 appears as:
blink-blink-blink—pause—blink-blink-blink-blink-blink-blink...  Four blinks indicates that cranking exceeded 15 to 20 seconds without the engine starting.  Note: Fault Code Nos. 3 and 4 are first level faults. Avoid interpreting them as second-level Fault Code Nos. 33 and 44, which have not been assigned as fault codes.


Maybe the fault code will be something easily checked without returning to the CW Stealership.......if that's what you chose to do. One question is: when was the last time you ran and exercised the generator without issue?
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:39 PM   #6
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Thanks! I will try to get the full fault code. I would like to try to fix myself before getting involved with the “CW Stealership” again. Pretty funny! Their service appointments are always a month out anyway so I have time.

I use the generator regularly so the last time it ran well was the day before I dropped it off for the routine maintenance.

I will be learning now to change the oil myself and looking for another place to service the generator in the future!

Christina


Quote:
Originally Posted by javelin View Post
Sounds like perhaps you did not actually capture the real service fault. Per the Onan Operations manual:


Following a fault shutdown, the indicator light will repeatedly blink 3 blinks or 4 blinks at a time.  Three blinks indicates a service fault. Press Stop once to cause the two-digit, second-level fault code to blink. (Pressing Stop again will stop the blinking.)
The two-digit code consists of 1, 2, 3 or 4 blinks, a brief pause, and then 1 to 9 blinks. The first set of blinks represents the tens digit and the second set of blinks the units digit of the fault code number. For example, Fault Code No. 36 appears as:
blink-blink-blink—pause—blink-blink-blink-blink-blink-blink...  Four blinks indicates that cranking exceeded 15 to 20 seconds without the engine starting.  Note: Fault Code Nos. 3 and 4 are first level faults. Avoid interpreting them as second-level Fault Code Nos. 33 and 44, which have not been assigned as fault codes.


Maybe the fault code will be something easily checked without returning to the CW Stealership.......if that's what you chose to do. One question is: when was the last time you ran and exercised the generator without issue?
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:47 PM   #7
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I am extremely familiar with this exact symptom (motor starts but shuts down as soon as the START button is released).

Depending on the exact production model of your Onan, it can be one of two general issues. If it's an older model, Onan used a oil level sensor to (in theory) shut down the motor if you run low on oil. If CW changed oil, I would check that first. Too low or too high on the oil level will prohibit the motor from running. Note this is only for older models; Onan no longer uses the oil level sensor.

The other possibility is that the generator is not generating proper voltage, which again prohibits the motor from running. That was the problem with my Onan, after 500 or so operating hours one of the generator brushes failed.

I highly recommend Cummins-Onan service, if your oil level checks good. They are extremely professional and I'm happy with their service here in Orlando.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:52 PM   #8
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Make sure you fuel tank is above 1/4 tank.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wrapped View Post
Make sure you fuel tank is above 1/4 tank.
Fuel low is a "gotcha", but if it cranks OK but shuts down as soon as the switch is released, not likely the cause.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:01 PM   #10
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Yeah, I have been bitten by the less than 1/4 tank thing before so that’s the first thing I checked. Unfortunately not it, would’ve been an easy fix!

Thanks,
Christina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom N3EQF View Post
Fuel low is a "gotcha", but if it cranks OK but shuts down as soon as the switch is released, not likely the cause.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:43 PM   #11
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As Tom suggested: check your oil level.
It's an easy thing for them to mess up...
Good luck! Please let us know what you find!
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:20 AM   #12
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Thanks, everyone! I checked the fault code and it was 14 which worried me based on my internet search.
I called Camping World and was told a technician would call me back to talk me through some possible fixes (...still waiting) then checked the oil level which was to the very top! I took a small syringe and suctioned out around a cup of oil and it cranked right up! I ran it for an hour while I traveled to the beach and it worked perfectly.

I appreciate everyone’s help!

Christina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
As Tom suggested: check your oil level.
It's an easy thing for them to mess up...
Good luck! Please let us know what you find!
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:35 PM   #13
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One CW technician to the other..."how much oil does this generator take?"...the other tech replies..."I have no idea...just fill it up!".
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:41 PM   #14
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So glad to hear you found the problem, and it was the "easy" fix compared to the complete generator teardown that mine needed for the broken brush assembly.

By the way, if you look at the model number of your Cummins-Onan, the letter at the end of the model represents the "spec" or revision level. For example, mine is:

4KYFA26100P

...,so it is spec "P". When you look at the manuals that are available online, you can find the exact specification of your model which can make a big difference. My model spec doesn't use the oil level sensor, for example.

Very cool that your generator is working again. Enjoy the air conditioning!
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christina1pac View Post
Hi all,
I took my ACE 29.3 with a Cummins 4000 gas generator to camping world for its first service at 150 hours like they suggested. Now a week later I try to start it and it won’t work. It will prime like usual and crank, but will shut off as soon as I take my finger off the crank button. Then the fault code flashes 3 times and a long pause which the manual just says “needs service.”
Any suggestions? I haven’t gone through the pain of calling the camping world service department yet.

Thanks!
Christina
Sounds a lot like they might have replaced the fuel filter and either didn't refill the filter, or didn't put enough fuel back in the filter, Pull the fuel filter and see if its full of fuel.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by simidrm View Post
Sounds a lot like they might have replaced the fuel filter and either didn't refill the filter, or didn't put enough fuel back in the filter, Pull the fuel filter and see if its full of fuel.
The problem was found and fixed! Oil level too high after CW changed oil. Info with details available above...

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Old 08-17-2019, 08:20 PM   #17
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Shouldn't have fixed what aint broken. Plus Camping World really!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tom N3EQF View Post
The problem was found and fixed! Oil level too high after CW changed oil. Info with details available above...

Now that this is public they might charge you for extra oil you got. They seem to charge for any small item like filling batteries or window washer.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom N3EQF View Post
I highly recommend Cummins-Onan service, if your oil level checks good. They are extremely professional and I'm happy with their service here in Orlando.
Tom, I'm in that area, too. Who do you use for your generator service ? I'd rather not rely on CW for that.

TIA...
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:42 PM   #20
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Onan Generator

I had the same problem with my generator, as soon as it started it would die and I only had 68 hours on the generator, there is a dealer in El Cajon Ca. I called the guy and he told me the fault code is typical of a carburator that is gummed up and they do not rebuild them an only replace them, the carburetor alone is $500.00, I kept telling the guy its not the carb cuz it alway started and ran the same amount of time and then just died, long story short I took it in and they told me I was still in the Onan 3 year warranty and it would be covered, later that day they called me and told me I had a bad rotor and they would have to order the part from the factory, end of the day they called me again and said its not the rotor but a broken brush, when I picked up my motorhome they showed me the broken brush, I was a little shocked that the brush was about the same as you would find in a 1/4 inch drill motor, a day and a half later I had my motorhome back and the bill was all covered in the warranty.
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