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Generator Auto Start

Motorcader - August 1999 - by Terry Lawson

What is the purpose of the Auto Start feature on my Power Tech generator?

The primary function of the auto start is to automatically maintain an acceptable state of charge in your coach batteries. When used properly, it will prevent your batteries from discharging more than 50%, which is the recommendation of the battery manufacturer. Then, it will recharge them to 100%. Before the auto start feature was incorporated into the generator, it was possible to fully discharge batteries either from the coach being stored with no shore power available, or by dry camping until the charge was depleted. The auto start will help prevent this complete discharge of the batteries and increase battery life dramatically.

When dry camped and using appliances on the inverter circuit that draw a lot of current such as the microwave, coffee pot, toaster oven, hair dryer, etc. it is advisable to put the generator switch in the manual position to prevent a false start due to the battery voltage drop that occurs when heavy loads are placed on the batteries via the inverter.

Another additional advantage of the auto start feature is that you no longer have to hold the pre-heat switch to energize the glow plugs for a specified time prior to starting the generator. The glow plugs are automatically energized for the required amount of time when the start switch is depressed one time, or when an auto start is initiated from a depleted battery voltage condition. Also, the cranking cycle of the generator is automatic after the start switch has been depressed one time. If it fails to start on the first attempt, it will go completely through the auto start process again, automatically! (It will make a maximum of three attempts to start).

If there is a fault and the generator fails to start or has a problem while running it will illuminate an L.E.D. on the start module at the generator control box to indicate what the possible problem might be. The fault can be cleared by cycling the master on-off switch on the generator control box to off, then back on.

Also, the auto start will operate with the coach battery at the entry step in the off position. This is for storage purposes. As you can see, there are many advantages to having the auto start feature on your generator…The convenience of one touch starting, multiple crank attempts, and, most of all, worry-free battery charge level maintenance.

© Barry Brideau 2003-2017