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Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 16206
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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Boat has no power new battery and starter engine alarm works

Customer Question

boat has no power new battery and starter engine alarm works turn on any thing else like the blower all goes dead
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Good morning, my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with?

Which engine do you have in the boat?

Do you have a volt meter, and do you know how to take voltage measurements?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** have a 2002 Four winns 3.0 volvo penta stern drive. Yes I know how to ues a volt meter I took readings at the battery and starter 13.5 volts both places. Just replaced the starter worked fine for two weeks then started to have electrical problems.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dave,

A standanding fully charged battery is 12.6 tops, so you can't have any higher than that. Did you have a battery charger hooked up by chance?

Next, if you turn the key to run, do the gauges come alive?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did have a charger hooked up the gauges do work until i try turning on the blower or hit the horn then every thing goes dead. It will not turn over it's like a dead battery but battery has power.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Lets start by checking the battery again, but this time with the charger off. Hold the key to start in order to energize everything, what does the battery voltage read?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I got a reading of 12.0 it's a brand new battery.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Is that with the key held to start? If yes, does voltage rise when you let go of the key?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
it does goes to 12.4 on the meter
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Okay, next pull the keyswitch out and check for power on the red wire at the key switch. Make 2 measurements, key off, and then key held to start. What do you get for both measurments?

Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Are you near the boat now to check this, if you are I will wait.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not can i get back to later. why would everything go dead when i turn on other things like the blower of bilge pump. I checked the key switch with a test light had power
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

What i'm curious to see is if the bilge pump and blower are getting their power from the keyswitch, when really they should not be. They should be on their own dedicated circuit. When you get back to it you will also want to see if the keyswitch is getting it's power from the main harness that runs up from the engine (as it should) or if the keyswitch gets it's power from something else, like a fuse block. Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
before i had these problems the blower and bilge pump did work with out the key being on. Is it possible i crossed wires when i changed the starter?
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Starter shouldn't have anything to do with it. Did it work correctly before you changed the starter?

How are the battery cables attached at the battery, are the main cables on top of any other cables?

Did you remember to hook up the main ground cable from the engine to the battery?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Everything was working fine until i changed the starter never touched the ground red wire goes straight to the starter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have to go I will get back to you later. Thanks for the help so far.Dave
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Then it might just be a coincedense. Check the power at the red wire at the keyswitch and let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I will
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Let me ask you 1 more thing, you should have 2 or 3 more red wires, along with an orange one all connected to the same stud that the main battery cable connects to at the starter. Did you make sure all of the red wires (and orange) went on that same stud?