I have a question regarding my Northstar 8000 Watt generator (with 13
HP Honda GX390). Recently we had to use this generator extensively and
during that time, the generator quit on us as if we hit the kill switch
on it. Now, I cannot get it to run more than about 5 minutes with any
load on it (even something as small as a fridge and freezer). Without
a load, it seems to run fine without any problems. I've already taken
it to the nearest Honda dealer which replaced the Low Oil Sensor
switch. However it is still doing the same thing after I got it back.
The last test I did was hook up an air compressor to it. The air
compressor motor tried to kick on, however the motor only turned over a
couple times and quit, and the generator shut off at that exact moment
as if I hit the kill switch. I did this test 3 times and got the same
Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions on what could be the issue
with this thing? I will be calling Northern Tool to see what the next
step is, but I wanted to see if this group may have more ideas. This
is pretty frustrating.
I appreciate any and all feedback.
How many various safety features are there on the unit that can kill the
engine? Is there a way to bypass each one at a time? What is the
relationship between any sort of safety shutdown feature and the generator
itself? Is there something that would shut down the engine if a short or
groundfault is (erroneously) detected?
Those are the questions I was asking myself, too. I have seem some
previous posters that owned Northstar generators so I was hoping
somebody out there knew a little more about them, as info on them is
very limited. The only obvious things that can kill the engine are the
Off switch and the Low Oil Sensor switch, the manual mentions them
both. I have no idea but I'm assuming this must have some other sort
of kill mechanism, I have looked it over and I can't visibly identify
one. There aren't any wires running from the generator head (or
electric output box) to the engine that I can see.
Thanks much in advance for any further ideas that anybody can provide!
Steve Kraus wrote:
I will try bypassing the Low Oil Sensor and will post the results.
I don't think it's the ignition failing, as it will start right back up
just after it stops, every time. Although I was told by the Honda
service center that when the engine quit, it was because of no spark
(which is why they replaced the Low Oil Sensor).
You say it runs without a load but 5 minutes with one, could it be dying
from lack of fuel under load such as a partialy stuck float not getting
it fuel. Or could the electronic ignition module be failing when it gets
hot, Ive had several motors run fine till they got hot and the ignition
module was to blame, See if you get spark after it dies, if yes see if
Either or gas squirted in the carb gets it going.
It seems that I have found the solution to this problem after a lot of
testing; the Low Oil Sensor seems to be the cause. I got it to shut
itself off several times in a row, then immediately unplugged the
sensor (the single yellow wire coming from the engine block) and it ran
for another hour under different loads without a single problem. I am
really surprised as the Honda service center just replaced the sensor.
I don't know of any other reasons that the sensor would detect low oil,
I'm using 10W-30 as suggested by the manual and it is topped off at the
correct mark. One thing I noticed after the engine ran for a while is
the oil had some small air bubbles at the top near the fill hole... but
I'm assuming this is normal.
Thanks again for all feedback on this issue. Hopefully the suggestions
in this thread will help others in the future with similar problems.
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