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Old 03-06-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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Grinding noise when trying to start my generator

My 2016 Sunseeker MBS has the diesel generator option. The generator currently has 27 hours on it. When I tried to start I heard a loud grinding noise coming from the generator. It has been very cold here for the past month and the generator has been idle. The oil was freshly changed at the end of summer. I am hoping this has something to do with the cold but I am not optimistic. Has anyone had any problems starting their generators following a long cold spell? Is it normal to hear a grinding noise that sounds like a bad starter motor due to the cold?
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:31 PM   #2
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My 2016 Sunseeker MBS has the diesel generator option. The generator currently has 27 hours on it. When I tried to start I heard a loud grinding noise coming from the generator. It has been very cold here for the past month and the generator has been idle. The oil was freshly changed at the end of summer. I am hoping this has something to do with the cold but I am not optimistic. Has anyone had any problems starting their generators following a long cold spell? Is it normal to hear a grinding noise that sounds like a bad starter motor due to the cold?

Can you tell if the generator is turning while the noise is ongoing? How cold is it where the unit is located? Cold oil would cause sluggish operation, not grinding. Last question what is the battery voltage? If low could cause solenoid rattle.


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Old 03-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #3
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My 2016 Sunseeker MBS has the diesel generator option. The generator currently has 27 hours on it. When I tried to start I heard a loud grinding noise coming from the generator. It has been very cold here for the past month and the generator has been idle. The oil was freshly changed at the end of summer. I am hoping this has something to do with the cold but I am not optimistic. Has anyone had any problems starting their generators following a long cold spell? Is it normal to hear a grinding noise that sounds like a bad starter motor due to the cold?
I see you live in Mi.do you have the "Cold Weather Package" installed on your Gen? Diesel and Gas/Propane Generators should have "Crankcase/Oil Heaters" installed for Cold start,as they Rev to High RPM very Quickly from start! You may be surprised to find that they consider 40 Deg F as COLD! Youroo!!
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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I see you live in Mi.do you have the "Cold Weather Package" installed on your Gen? Diesel and Gas/Propane Generators should have "Crankcase/Oil Heaters" installed for Cold start,as they Rev to High RPM very Quickly from start! You may be surprised to find that they consider 40 Deg F as COLD! Youroo!!
I don't see anything relating to a cold weather package for the generator. I spoke to Cummins service today, and luckily they have a service center not far from me. If the problem continues now that the weather is warming I'll take it there for service. They said they could have it resolved in less than a week if I can drop it off, and since the warranty is 2 years it shouldn't cost me anything. I'll ask them about an oil heater. Perhaps it is there and I don't know it.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:32 PM   #5
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Can you tell if the generator is turning while the noise is ongoing? How cold is it where the unit is located? Cold oil would cause sluggish operation, not grinding. Last question what is the battery voltage? If low could cause solenoid rattle.


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It has been below freezing for a while. Anywhere from 20 - 20 degrees. The battery voltage on the Onan display says 11 volts. I assume the chassis battery starts the generator and it is fully charged. The house batteries are also fully charged.

It sounds kind of like what you hear when someone's car is already started and they turn the key again. Perhaps the solenoid on the starter motor is stuck.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:13 AM   #6
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It has been below freezing for a while. Anywhere from 20 - 20 degrees. The battery voltage on the Onan display says 11 volts. I assume the chassis battery starts the generator and it is fully charged. The house batteries are also fully charged.



It sounds kind of like what you hear when someone's car is already started and they turn the key again. Perhaps the solenoid on the starter motor is stuck.

With the sound you hear, it's more likely with slight low voltage and stiff, cold engine, chances are the starter pinion cannot engage the flywheel and "runs and grinds on the edge."
Increase voltage and machine temp. it might still be ok.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #7
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With the sound you hear, it's more likely with slight low voltage and stiff, cold engine, chances are the starter pinion cannot engage the flywheel and "runs and grinds on the edge."
Increase voltage and machine temp. it might still be ok.
That's good advice, thanks. Warmer weather is here this week. I might just get the damn thing out and drive it for an hour to get the house and chassis batteries charged up fully. I assume the generator uses the chassis battery to start. Is this correct?
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:05 AM   #8
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I don't see anything relating to a cold weather package for the generator. I spoke to Cummins service today, and luckily they have a service center not far from me. If the problem continues now that the weather is warming I'll take it there for service. They said they could have it resolved in less than a week if I can drop it off, and since the warranty is 2 years it shouldn't cost me anything. I'll ask them about an oil heater. Perhaps it is there and I don't know it.
I will be interested to hear what their Reply is about Starting a Very COLD engine and It" Immediately" go to FULL Operating RPM! Youroo!!
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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It has been below freezing for a while. Anywhere from 20 - 20 degrees. The battery voltage on the Onan display says 11 volts. I assume the chassis battery starts the generator and it is fully charged. The house batteries are also fully charged.

It sounds kind of like what you hear when someone's car is already started and they turn the key again. Perhaps the solenoid on the starter motor is stuck.
This chart from the Internet says 11 volts is discharged.

State of Specific
Charge Gravity Voltage

100% 1.265 12.7
75% 1.225 12.4
50% 1.190 12.2
25% 1.155 12.0
Discharged 1.120 11.9



- See more at: https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/arti....hfOls2Az.dpuf
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:41 PM   #10
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Sounds like the starter drive is not engaging. Probably needs lubrication to free it up.
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