Honda 2.0i Generator - gets the Hiccups

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:16
ThreadID: 101593 Views:5017 Replies:13 FollowUps:9
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I have a problem with the Honda 2.0i. When charging the batteries in the caravan it runs well - slightly higher RPM the than the minimum on the Eco setting as it is pushing voltage into the 60 amp Xanthrex Charger.

Periodically, about every 20 mins or so, it pauses, revs drop to full idle very briefly, then revs up again and resumes normal operation. Most times this is normal and a mate’s does the same thing.

Sometimes. Maybe 4/10 times, it seems to get stuck in this loop with the revs rising and falling – after several cycles it may sort itself out but I usually intervene and kick the charger off for a while.

The charger does not seem to like these “hiccups’ and you can hear it "clicking" and I do not want to bugger the charger - or the genny. It runs fine on the non- eco setting and bangs the batteries up pretty quickly.

Unit has not had much use while we were caretaking a rural property for two years – then I managed to fill it with diesel (Note to self mark the bloody jerry cans on the draw bar!) but have since had it serviced by a country agent. So tank has been flushed and running on new fuel - not E10

I have done all the usual checks – oil level not too full or two low – clean air filter et. No loops in the power cable and not running hot or overloaded.

I have been trying to contact Honda Support - about as easy as trying to talk to the Tax Dept

Any suggestions?

Regards John and Jean
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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:41

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:41
To John not Jean
Always sniff the jerry can for ID smell purposes. Unless the olfactory is out of order it should serve you well and you won't pour diesel into a petrol tank.

If the Honda has sat for a while it will have formed a small scum on the idle screw/jet section of the carby. These are not adjustable but I surgically altered mine so I can adjust it. However, some degree of skill and understanding of the carby system is required to do this.

Common scum formed by evporating fuel in the carby, ( it should ALWAYS be drained via the bowl drainscrew if going to be unused for a while) may possibly be removed or reduced by adding a small amount of METHO to the fuel tank, 1 cup in a full tank, so the metho can dissolve the water born scum and it may slowly wash it out of the carby system. The metho will also remove any water which is in the bowl and may cause main jet fuel feed stumbling wjile runing.
Methos is miscible in water and petrol and so combines the two while is washes the surfaces and ALL is drawn through and burnt as normal.

Adding some metho occaisionally will prevent the scum as does the draining regime.

If this fails then it is carby off and clean and modify, possibly something which Honda won't do for you.
Ross M
AnswerID: 508564

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:42

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:42
Sorry for the typo's
FollowupID: 786098

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:52

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:52

Good old "Carby & throttle cleaner} usually does a great job on the gunk left behind by old fuel.
FollowupID: 786527

Reply By: Member - DereelGirl - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:43

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 12:43
Hi John & Jean,
Has the geni always done this or has it only just started? I have a stand alone solar system on my house and run a geni in the winter occasionally to charge up the batteries. I also have a Xanthrex inverter/charger and I find the geni will be charging and at higher revs then stop charging and drop in revs, I watch the volt meter inside and it drops to show me a battery voltage that is like the charger is checking to see what the level of the battery is then starts charging again.
Now I'm not saying this is what it should do or not, it's just something I have noticed with my system and given that they are the same brand maybe that is how they work. I'm no expert just thought I would mention it.
Cheers Robyn

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AnswerID: 508565

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:55

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:55
I agree , it could be load changing ,if the battery is near fully charged or some other means of harging is taking place AT THE SAME TIME[solar??]

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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:38

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:38
I will almost guarantee that the problem is the battery charger is confusing the computer on the genny........

In lay man the battery charger goes through its stages of charge it will be sending conflicting and confusing signals to the genny

Have a look on the battery charger and if it a half decent one it will have a little switch on it with "Power Supply".....and the other "Charge"...these may not be the exact words but what it means is that on Charging the genny will have issues because of above description...on

put it on "Power Supply" it will maintain constant voltage to the battery and so the draw/signal back to the genny will remain constant and the genny will settle down quite will still charge the batteries on this setting but not cycle through the cycles of the charger.

trust me that is exactly what happened with mine and I did a lot of things with the damn fuel etc on the Honda until dicsovered this

If you dont have that option on the battery charger..then you may need to repace it..

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AnswerID: 508568

Reply By: Member - J&R - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:42

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:42
If the geeny runs well in normal mode, that is, only goes crazy in eco mode, then that would suggest the issue is in the eco mode settings, perhaps not fuel/scum etc related.

Have you read the manual. Does it allude to this behaviour?
Have you googled?
AnswerID: 508569

Reply By: rooster350 - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:55

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 13:55
Store diesel in a YELLOW container and petrol in a RED container and then you should not get any fuel mix ups....cheers
AnswerID: 508571

Reply By: Rockape - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 14:09

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 14:09
bang a 240v load on it with no battery charger for example a a/c, a jug under 1800w or an combination of them. Stay under the 1800 watts and turn the jug or loaded drill/ grinder on and off and see what the genny does. If it just grabs the load and raises reves with no problem it will be the charger causing the problem.

I remember doing a job with a sparkie that involved installing soft starters on bores. The bore soft starters worked well as they were fed from a powerline from gensets at a transfer station. The powerline was stepped up to 11kv and down again at the bores.

The 2 soft starters on pumps at the transfer station ran straight of the generators and would trip all the time. It turned out they had to have special cards in them to run straight off the generators.
AnswerID: 508572

Reply By: mike39 - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 15:28

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 15:28
Hi John & Jean.
I think DerreelGirl summed it up pretty well.
My vehicle mounted setup does exactly the same, but I have the charger output to the batteries going through an ammeter and voltmeter.

When the batteries have reached a certain charge level the voltage will be indicating nearly 15v. at 30a. when the charger will cycle into absorbtion mode, the voltage will drop to ~14v and the amps drop to ~10/12a.

The gene. will also drop revs, but if the fridge kicks in then the charger will recognise this, the volts/amps increase and the gene. goes back above the eco idle speed.

I think you have nothing to be concerned about, its all operating normally. My advise would be to install an accurate ammeter/voltmeter into the circuit to allow easy monitoring.
AnswerID: 508574

Reply By: Racey - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 17:35

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 17:35
A couple of thoughts. What is the battery capacity? If you only have 1-200 ah, then a 60 amp charger would be generally too large, more suited to 400 ah plus. . Now I know the battery will take only what it can, but I can't help thinking the whole setup is out of balance. I think the charger pushing into the battery quicker than it can be fully absorbed, senses full charge and throttles back. The charge balances out through the plates and the charger senses not charged; so the cycle continues. Running appliances at the same time doesn't help. I looked at the manual, and it would appear there is no " power supply" mode. The manual states appliance can be operated provided they can withstand 16 volts. The charging cycle will get confused running the risk of overcharging the batteries.
AnswerID: 508583

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 17:41

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 17:41
Hi Racey
Depends on the battery - some will take a lot .
I have a 150ah battery that I charge at over 100 amps
FollowupID: 786132

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:36

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:36
G`day John,

Xantrex is one of the best Chargers you can buy, I have a 20amp and a 40 amp.
What you describe is the normal operation of the Charger causing the Genny to power up or down as the Charger increases or reduces the demand for power.

Read your Charger info and it will explain how the Charger switches the charge to the battery on and off etc. at certain times, the Genny reacts to the amount of power required, thus fluctuates its output/revs.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with either the Genny or the Charger.
As someone else has suggested try running a drill or something and see if the Genny does the same as when on the charger.

AnswerID: 508587

Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:45

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:45
Sorry, I should have read what DereelGirl said.
Her reply is what I attempted to explain only she did a much better job.

Spot on.


FollowupID: 786139

Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:43

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2013 at 18:43
It might be a design floor of the charger, some battery chargers find it hard to run of single cylinder motors.

AnswerID: 508590

Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:10

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:10
Thank you people - some good comment here and stuff to try. A point of clarification.... the pause in the rev cycle seem to be normal and about 5/10 times it just reumes normal operation. However the other times it seems to get stuck and really revs, drops and really revs again and so on until I intervene and kick the charger off or turn the Eco mode off.

Off to try some stuff..... thanks
John and Jean
AnswerID: 508641

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 13:04

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 13:04
Those times when it goes into that cycle, would that be when the batteries have been pulled down a fair bit?

If so, it could be that the charger is trying to supply its max output and asks the genny for what it needs. The genny, on eco mode, has to respond and rev up and that takes a little time. In that time the charger thinks it's not getting the input it needs and shuts down. By this time the genny is up to speed, but the charger has shut down, so the genny, seeing no load, slows down again. Now the charger has waited its default time and tries to reconnect ...

And so it goes.

When this happens and you turn Eco off and let the system connect and settle, have you tried immediately switching Eco back on again? My guess is that the genny would initially hold its high revs due to the high load from the charger. Then as the battery came up and the load on the charger came down, the genny would gradually slow down.

If that's the case, there is nothing wrong with your gear, it's just a result of the combination of your charger starting up under max load and your generator running in Eco. Nothing to worry about, you just have to manage it when it occurs, as you have been doing.


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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:06

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:06
Hi John
Like others I do not believe you have a problem with either the genny or the charger
It is simply the genny responding to heavy load changes
IF such loads occur ,frequently , it is best to run in "normal mode " not eco.
Eco mode is ok for reasonably constant & steady loads.
FollowupID: 786529

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:11

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:11
I should add that a constant heavy load test will not proove anything
It could be fuel problems but that is unlikely if it does it frequently over a long period

The throttle responding to changing loads is far more likely.

FollowupID: 786531

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 14:05

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013 at 14:05
If it is just the charger effect then Honda no problem, but if the Honda can't cope easily it may be the water in fuel issue or scum not allowing the smooth transition from idle.

Maybe run a 100 watt globe at the same time so the revs don't drop to the point where the engine is producing very little energy and it has difficulty in overcoming the sudden load which will cause the electronic governor to hunt and flutter.

Ross M
AnswerID: 508661

Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:55

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 11:55
OK, Problem is now fixed. It seems that the problem was caused by too high a load on line in the van. ie batteries low, TV on, fridge on, lights on etc etc and the charger running and pushing volts into a 60 Xanthrex charger. Probably pushing or exceeding the input capacity into the van

I found that by reducing the load or taking the genny OFF the Eco setting solved the problem and the genny runs fine.

Thank you all for your assistance and input - greatly appreciated.

AnswerID: 508728

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:14

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 13:14

Did not read far enough to see you had found the problems
just what I suspected!

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