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Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 14832
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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I have a Volvo Penta 5.0GXi-BF. The starter failed. I

Customer Question

I have a Volvo Penta 5.0GXi-BF. The starter failed. I purchased a new one and replaced it. When I turned the ignition key, I heard a click (the solenoid, I assume), then saw smoke in the engine compartment. Do you have any idea why this might have happened? I checked carefully and can't see anything wrong with the way I rewired it. Do you have any idea why this might have happened?
I'm wondering if this might be something to do with shims that might have been installed with the original starter that I didn't replace.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

Hi Charlie, my name is Jason.

Can you tell specifically where the smoke was coming from? Is there any chance you got the positive and negative cables backwards on the battery?

Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

Are you still with me?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sorry Jason, I went to bed.No, I'm not sure where the smoke came from. I assumed it was from the starter.As for the cables, I only connected the large red cable from the battery to the large post on the solenoid and the control cable from the ignition to the smaller post. It's not possible that I could have reversed the cables on the battery.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

If you go to start it now will the engine start? Will there be any smoke if you try again?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No, the starter did not turn over the engine.I have removed the starter to check to see if it was burnt. It doesn't appear to be.I'm wondering if something happened to the control cable connection. Perhaps it somehow went to ground, although as I said, I did check the connections carefully. I will be checking that cable for signs of burning later today. I'm not able to do it right now.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If you don't have any other suggestions right now, can we reconnect later?
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

The only things that would normally smoke would be the starter if it was bad. The battery cables if they had a poor connection at either end, and this goes for both power and the ground cable. And finally if the cables were rotten internally that can cause the cables themselves to burn up as all that current tries to push through the cable rot. Those would be the only things that would "normally" cause a lot of smoke.
Did you have any further questions for me on the issue?

Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

If you had a further question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you
Jason

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Can we reconnect later? After I check the cables for damage?
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

Yes of course, there are never any time limits here and you are always welcome to reply back at any time, even after doing the ratings

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'm not sure how to rate you as I haven't really had any help yet. So far, I pretty well answered my own questions.If I check the cables and don't see any sign of damage, I will reinstall the starter and try again.If the cables are damaged, I will have to replace them, then try again.At some point during this process I might need advice depending on what happens.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

Well, you only asked vague generic questions. If you have specific questions that you do not know the answers to I will be happy to answer them.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

You bet.

Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

Hello. Just checking in. Any progress?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
As I suspected, I found that the control cable from the relay to the solenoid showed signs of overheating. It must have shorted to ground. I repaired it and reinstalled the starter, being very careful with the wires. It worked perfectly, so I was able to start the engine and complete the winterization.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome. The ratings box is located at the top of your screen, if you do not see it you might have to scroll up. If you still can not see it, or have a hard time when trying to select a rating for my help, please let me know and I will alert the moderators.

Thanks again and good luck!

Jason

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I don't know how to rate... On the one hand, I don't want to give you a bad rating. On the other, as I solved the problem myself, I don't feel I should have to pay $50.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

If you don't want to pay me for the time I spent with you then just say so.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I just did. None of the things you suggested were any help. BTW, I didn't just ask vague, generic questions. I specifically asked about the shims. You did not respond to that.You did not suggest or even agree that the problem could be the control cable. I appreciate that you tried, but in the end, your suggestions did not help.
Expert:  Jason replied 5 months ago.

That's because a shim wouldn't cause a smoke issue. You paid the website 50 dollars to speak with me, if you have a question about your deposit you can talk to customer service about it.

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