Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-06-2014, 15:25   #1
Registered User
 
TheNomadTrip's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On the boat...
Boat: Lagoon 380
Posts: 183
Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Alright, be easy on me. I'm new at this, and in Panama where the mechanics are few and far between - and don't speak my language.

When replacing a water pump on my starboard engine, the engine stopped starting. We figured it was a short as it had been raining intermittently when the mechanic was installing said water pump.

Long story short, it started cranking, but without anybody pushing the start button. Then it started cranking randomly - whenever it was connected to the dedicated start battery. We ended up disconnecting the fuses and then the batteries to make it stop. We changed the fuses out but still had the problem.

The mechanic played with control panel in the cockpit and the fuse boxes/wiring in the engine compartment - but couldn't get anywhere. He's now suggesting a complete re-wiring of the engine compartment, the control panel, and everything in-between. This will cost me roughly $2.5K ... The wiring is original, making it 14 years old at this point. And if it really does need to be replaced - in theory I should do both engines, bringing my grand total to over $5K.

Anybody had a similar issue? Anybody want to venture a guess as to what it might be? I'm open to any suggestions, ideas, or guidance here.
__________________

__________________
Planning a spearfishing/freediving/sailing circumnavigation. Find out more here: http://thenomadtrip.com/
TheNomadTrip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 15:52   #2
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

You should be happy it cranks instead of not. Sounds like you have saltwater in the solenoid.
__________________

__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 15:53   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

First of all, get far away from that mechanic. Check the back of your starter switch. There is probably corrosion that is shorting it out.

Edit: When you press the start switch (or turn the key to start, whichever you have) you energize the solenoid. The start switch is often subjected to the weather and if the caulking fails can corrode and short across to energize the solenoid. As it has been raining that is the most likely cause. There are a number of threads on the forum discussing the matter.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 15:56   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 393
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

I would disconnect the wire from the start switch to the starter solenoid.
If the problem stops, it's shorting in the start switch.
If the problem continues, it's shorting in the solenoid.
The base engine is a Perkins, so it should be possible to source a new solenoid if the one you have can't be disassembled and cleaned.

Ahh... You do realise this mechanic is taking you for a ride, don't you?
__________________
olaf hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 15:58   #5
Registered User
 
TheNomadTrip's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On the boat...
Boat: Lagoon 380
Posts: 183
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
You should be happy it cranks instead of not. Sounds like you have saltwater in the solenoid.
Correct me if I'm wrong - that means I need to pull the starter? And then what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
First of all, get far away from that mechanic. Check the back of your starter switch. There is probably corrosion that is shorting it out.
I'm thinking you're talking about the back of the starter switch on the control panel (in the cockpit)? I've looked - unlikely from there. I'll pull the wires and wire-brush them and then try again.

My inclination is that it's in the engine compartment. I'm a little hesitant to mess with too much in there. There's a ton of wires going a ton of places... Lots to screw up.
__________________
Planning a spearfishing/freediving/sailing circumnavigation. Find out more here: http://thenomadtrip.com/
TheNomadTrip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:00   #6
Registered User
 
TheNomadTrip's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On the boat...
Boat: Lagoon 380
Posts: 183
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Quote:
Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
I would disconnect the wire from the start switch to the starter solenoid.
If the problem stops, it's shorting in the start switch.
If the problem continues, it's shorting in the solenoid.
The base engine is a Perkins, so it should be possible to source a new solenoid if the one you have can't be disassembled and cleaned.
Thanks - I'm on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by olaf hart View Post
Ahh... You do realise this mechanic is taking you for a ride, don't you?
I had the inclination, which is why I'm here. Thanks for the reply!
__________________
Planning a spearfishing/freediving/sailing circumnavigation. Find out more here: http://thenomadtrip.com/
TheNomadTrip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:13   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Its a pretty simple circuit. You need to apply +12 volts to one side of the solenoid to energize it. The voltage is supplied through the starter switch. The starter switch is supplied the voltage from the key switch. The key switch gets its power from the battery.

You can also check the solenoid wiring to ensure that nothing is shorting against the hot lead to the starter. Could possibly be a partial short that makes contact when the boat moves. I suppose it could be a short in the wiring harness to the start switch. Just follow one wire at a time from the solenoid (which is located on top of the starter) to where it disappears into the wire loom checking for the possibility of a short to the hot battery connection.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:24   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,363
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

OP:In simple terms...: The small wires activate the solenoid which is nothing more than a big high amperage switch. When the small wires from your key switch are activated, the solenoid moves inside.... connecting the large battery cable type wires , which activate the starter.
Or , in some type starters the solenoid activates the starter gear into the flywheel.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:33   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

The general rule I taught in an advanced electronics class was: the problem is usually in whatever you touched last. Especially if the person doing the touching is clueless.

In your case, I'd look at the wiring around the starter and the solenoid, because that's where your mechanic was messing around. As soon as you start fiddling with other stuff that wasn't originally touched, chances are you stand a good chance of introducing new problems on top of existing problems unless you're very careful to reassemble everything correctly and verify input and output voltages afterwards.

While unrelated issues do occasionally crop up, it's much more common to see issues that were introduced rather than coincidental.
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:35   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,379
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

So far excellent information and advise from DeepFrz, Olaf and Cheechako. Read and follow carefully and might be enough to solve your problem.

One caution, you said the switch in the cockpit looked good but you would remove the wires and brush it again. You should understand that the actual switching action takes place inside the switch and not on the back where the wires connect. If it rained a lot and water could have leaked into the hole where the key fits or around the edge of the switch where it mounts to the instrument panel then water could have gotten inside the switch where you can't see it. There can be a risk of a short hidden inside that switch.

That's why one test is to remove the wire going from the switch to the solenoid on the starter. If that solves the problem then it is probably inside the key switch.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 16:39   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Since you do have another engine, and hopefully your "mechanic" hasn't screwed that one up yet, take a look at the wiring on that one and write down which color of wire goes where. Also take voltage readings with your starter switch in off, on, and start positions.

With any luck, the 2 engines were wired with the same color codes and you'll be able to undo the great work that the "mechanic" did.

Hope this helps!
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 20:16   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Slidell, La.
Boat: Morgan Classic 33
Posts: 1,102
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

I had/have a similar problem with my fishing boat. It has a Volvo TAMD41B in it, but I think the wiring in the instrument panel is very similar.

Do you have the 16 wire harness? A key start switch? High temp, low oil pressure alarm? If so the wiring is probably almost the same.

My problem was that the engine would start itself, but only on nights with dense fog. I burned up two starters and two seawater impellers, luckily the noise woke me up (light sleeper) both times so the engine wasn't fried.

After much head scratching, manual reading and perusing of wiring diagrams, I figured out that I couldn't figure it out; there was no way for the engine to start itself unless there was a fault allowing current to get to the start relay which would then activate the starter motor. So I cut my losses and just installed a battery switch that isolates all power to the starter when in the off position. Just have to remember to turn it off!

But I didn't leave it at that. Hate not being able to figure things out. I still was of the opinion that the problem was in the ignition switch, because of the high humidity tendency to autostart. So I pulled the panel and was removing the ignition switch when I noticed that there was some kind of fault or short in the 16 pin harness connector; I could hold it one way and everything was fine, another and the panel died. So, (since I'd already been kicking around the idea of making my own harness thereby eliminating Volvos' exorbitantly priced and (in my opinion) overengineered electrical system), I figured I'd find the problem by process of elimination. Cut the red main positive supply, bypassing the connector, still shorts,
Cut the purple gauge positive supply bypassed the connector, still shorts. Wait a minute, no difference with 2 hots what about the ground? Cut it, bypassed the connector, everything works fine. (actually better, there used to be a anomaly; when the gauge panel lights were on the temp read high and the oil pressure read low, now they stay the same with the gauge panel lights on or off.)

Well that problem solved, back to the ignition switch. Took it out, turns out that the Volvo switch is (typically) complicated. The electrical part of the switch is separate from the key cylinder, and a dirt dauber had made a nest in the space between the actuating lock cylinder and the actual switch. So I cleaned out the nest and ohm checked the different positions. Checked out ok, so I squirted WD40 into the lock cylinder and as well as I could into the electrical part of the switch. Ohmed it again and still checked ok so I put it all back together.

Had the boat out yesterday for about 6 hours and everything worked fine, no autostarting, but since I'm not sure that the actual cause was the dirt dauber nest (or maybe salt built up inside the switch), I still turn the main switch off when I'm not on the boat.

At some point I will probably make my own harness, eliminating Volvo from the electrical side of the engine completely. I already have a Delco alternator, aftermarket gear reduction starter, and Teleflex gauges, I retained the Volvo ignition switch because it operated the start, run, kill and glow plugs all in one, but at a 250.00 replacement cost a fully sealed 4 position ignition switch for 25.00 and a momentary pushbutton for the glow plugs makes a lot more sense practically and economically.

Realize this is long winded, but hoping it illustrates one way of looking at a similar problem. If you have a push to start switch, with an on/off key and a mechanical kill (As I've installed on the MD2020 in my sailboat) then your problem is somewhat simplified. The start switch typically operates a relay which operates the solenoid which operates the starter. First, with an ohmmeter check that the start switch operates correctly. If so, then check the wires in the start circuit, which should all be yellow and red (though of different gauges at different points), a visual and electrical check from the start switch to the relay to the starter solenoid should be made, and any problems corrected, (corrosion, loose connections pinched wires). You can check the relay with an ohmmeter and a battery, but it may be easier to swap the one from your properly operating engine.

My guess would be starter switch, start relay or harness/connector short.
__________________
jimbunyard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 20:29   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Boat: 21 ft sail boat
Posts: 347
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

[QUOTE=TheNomadTrip;1568155]

The mechanic played with control panel in the cockpit and the fuse boxes/wiring in the engine compartment - but couldn't get anywhere. He's now suggesting a complete re-wiring of the engine compartment, the control panel, and everything in-between. This will cost me roughly $2.5K ...


I've seen it before. The mechanic can't fix the problem so his 'solution' is to replace every related part on the boat/car/plane. Something electrical can be isolated with a voltmeter or ohm meter-even by me.
__________________
Adventurebound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 21:32   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,948
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

Had this exact problem on an MD2020, same basic wiring as the 30, this year in Panama...must be a Volvo-Panama thing. The starboard engine cranked a couple of times all by itself, fortunately though when I was on or near the boat. After that I truned off the start battery switch, when I was not aboard, until I could isolate the problem.

Suggesting that you rewire the entire system just means your mechanic has no idea what the problem is, and in all fairness intermitent problems are a bitch to isolate.

Below is what I did to isolate the problem. I'm relisting it all here because it might help isolate yours, which may not be the same as mine, but I suspect it is.

Like your mechanic, I went thru the entire electrical system from control panel to starter and could not find a problem.

Specifically (not necessarily in this order):

- I disconnected, inspected, and cleaned every wiring harness connection: no problems found.

- I physically inspected all sections of the wiring harness I could reasonably get too without ripping it out of the boat (which in my case is about 75% of it), looking for obviously damaged or cooked wires. None found.

- I tested continuity between all wires in the harness to try and find an internal short. None found.

- I removed, inspected, and cleaned the ignition tumbler (as much as possible since it can't be fully disassembled) and connections to it. Tested for correct connections being made as I turned the tumbler. Tested for countinuity where there should be none. No problems found.

- I removed all the relays (only 3) inspected and cleaned contacts and female sockets.

- I inspected wiring to the starter solenoid and found no problems.

- Jumped the start solenoid a few times and it engaged/disengaged fine each time.

(The above is not as big of a PITA as it sounds, took me less than a full day)


Then it happened again. Capital F!


I had eliminated a lot of options already so this narrowed down the possibilities. Clearly a connection was being made where, and most importantly when, it should not be, and barring a short somewhere in the wiring harness itself (which looked and tested good), that should narrow it down to just a few possibilities: The ignition tumbler, the start relay, the starter solenoid. The ignition tumbler and starter solenoid seemed fine in previous testing so I decided to take a closer look at the start relay. On testing, it open/closed ok, but showed big variances in ohm readings across the circuit each time it closed...clearly something was not right.

*** So I replaced the start relay and it has not happened since (that was in March) ***

For good measure, I replaced all the relays on both engines and bought spare relays. Although, I do think I will add "turn off start battery switch" to my boat storage prep list just in case.

If this turns out to be the gremlin in your case then good news, its a standard Bosch automotive relay and its cheap and easy to replace.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-06-2014, 21:51   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Re: Engine starts by itself - Volvo Penta 2030

I didn't think of the possibility of a bad relay in the cct. Doesn't really sound right though but I have seen a lot of strange things in my electronic career. Often tapping on a relay with the handle of a screw driver will show up a problem. It usually will be a drop out problem, not a make problem.

belizesailor, I wonder if there is any voltage on the activation lug of the relay when the start switch is not activated?
__________________

__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
engine, penta, volvo

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Salt water flood - Volvo Penta 2030 Tipsea Again Engines and Propulsion Systems 20 28-07-2014 04:12
Volvo Penta 2030 Temp Sensor Sid at SailAway Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 12-09-2013 19:42
Perkins Parama/ Volvo 2030 Cap10 Paul Engines and Propulsion Systems 8 16-07-2008 19:55
Volvo MD 2030 smoke problem JJ Engines and Propulsion Systems 11 03-10-2006 02:21
Advice on Tachs and Hour meters Volvo 2030 JJ Engines and Propulsion Systems 8 04-07-2006 15:20



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.