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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 13581
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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Description of the problem - Hard starting and stalling

Customer Question

Description of the problem - Hard starting and stalling after starting. When there is a power failure the generator cranks, automatically starts and runs for less than a minute then shuts down. This will happen on about 4 out of 5 starts. I have had this problem for the last 6 months or more and we haven't been able solve the problem. Any suggestions?
When it does run it runs well with the generator output normal. During hurricane Sandy we were without power for 14 days and the motor ran non stop without any problems.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

What are the brand, model and serial numbers of the genset?

What type of fuel is it running on?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Hank - I have a Onan RS 12000 model 12 GRCA GENSET with a Honda engine Model GX670 running on natural gas purchased on Sept. 8, 2004. Serial number of Honda motor #GDACM(###) ###-#### Thanks - Stan
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

What is the rest of the model number of the genset?

I need the whole thing, exactly as it is written on the data label.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Where do I find the data label
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

ON the generator housing.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Cummins model 12GRCA - 4229A
SERIAL # D048634087
Spec A
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry for the delay - Stan
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

Ok.

The first thing we need to do is to see what fault code the controller has set.

To read the fault code on this genset, go to the start/stop switch on the genset itself.

Grasp the sides of the switch, and toggle it from OFF to AUTO and back to OFF 3 times within 5 seconds.

The light in the switch will start flashing.
If the light flashes 3 times, pauses for 3 seconds, and flashes 3 more times, press and immediately release 'Stop' one more time.
This will put the controller into Fault Read Mode.
The light will flash (X) number of times, pause for 1 second, and flash for (X) number of times again. Count the flashes before and after the pause.
This will be the Fault Code.
Example: 2 rapid flashes, 1 second pause, 5 rapid flashes is a Fault Code 25.
There may be more than one Fault Code stored, so watch the light very carefully. If there is more than one code, it will display them all in order, and then start over again.

Be very careful not to misread a first level fault code (single digit code) as a second level fault code (double digit code).
The way to tell the difference is by the length of the pauses.
There is a 1 second pause between digits of a second level code, and a 3 second pause between codes.
For example, if it is flashing 2 times, 1 second pause, flashing 2 times, 3 second pause and repeating, then this is a second level fault code of 22.
If it is flashing 2 times, 3 second pause, flashing 2 times, 3 second pause and repeating, then this is a first level fault code of 2.

What Fault Code are you getting?
.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for the instructions. Should I check for the fault code at any time or must it be done after a failed start. The last time the gen started it started without a problem. Should I wait until I
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for the instructions. Should I check for the fault code at any time or must it be done after a failed start. The last time the gen started it started without a problem. Should I wait until I have a failed start?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

You can check the fault code anytime.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The toggle switch on my genset has 3 positions. Up is Run, center is Off and down is Auto. I toggled it from OFF to AUTO and back to OFF 3 times within 5 seconds. The light in the switch did not start flashing. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

Try toggling it a bit faster or a bit slower. Timing is critical.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I toggled faster, slower and in between without any success. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

If it is shutting itself down, it is setting a code.

I do not have a video of the home standby, but I have made a short video of retrieving the codes from RV and CMM units. The process is the same, except for the actual toggling of the switch.

View the video and see if it helps.

Click here to see the video.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks- Good video. I will try again.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

Ok

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have not been able to get the fault code to blink. I am giving up. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 9 months ago.

Ok.