Onan Generator Code 36: Causes and Solutions

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Sometimes, while running your Onan generator, it might stop on its own without any command from the control panel. At the end, it shows an error code of 36.

Error code 36 is a common issue that can occur on Onan generators for a variety of reasons, including low fuel, clogged filters, or problems with the carburetor or throttle body.

When this code appears, it means that the generator has shut down due to an issue that needs to be resolved before it can be restarted.

Hence, here at Generator Hacks, we’ll explain to you in detail what causes error code 35 on your Onan generator and how you can troubleshoot and fix it.

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What is Onan Generator Code 36 all about?

Knowing about the Onan generator code 36 is very important for every Onan generator owner because, out of the blue, the generator can bring out the code.

This code usually indicates that the generator’s engine has shut down without a shutdown command from the control board, as explained earlier in our introduction.

As you can see, there are several reasons why this can happen, and we can tell which of them is the actual cause of this error code.

That’s why we emphasize the importance of understanding and knowing about the code, so it can help you diagnose the problem correctly and prevent further issues.

Having said that, here are some possible reasons why you may be seeing fault code 36 on your Onan generator:

  • Fuel pump and filters: If the fuel pump is not working correctly, the generator may not get enough fuel to keep running. This can cause the engine to shut down and display fault code 36. Make sure to check the fuel pump and filters to ensure they are clean and functioning properly.
  • Low fuel level: Many Onan generator models are designed to shut down when the fuel drops to a quarter of a tank. This is to prevent damage to the engine and other components. If you’re seeing fault code 36, check the fuel level to see if this is the issue.
  • Overheating: If the generator is overheating, it may shut down to prevent damage to the engine. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a clogged air filter or low coolant levels. Make sure to check the temperature gauge and other components to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Other issues: Many other issues can cause fault code 36 to appear on your Onan generator. These can include problems with the control board, wiring issues, spark plugs, and more. If you’re not sure what’s causing the issue, it’s best to consult a qualified technician for assistance.

ALSO READ:- Onan Generator Won’t Start? Causes and How to Fix It

Symptoms of Onan Generator Code 36

If you are experiencing Onan generator code 36, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

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Troubleshooting Onan Generator Code 36

So, after knowing what might cause your Onan generator to show up with the error code 36, what are the steps you need to take to troubleshoot the issue?

1. Check the fuel system.

Firstly, start with a fuel system check, which is one of the most common causes of Code 36.

Check the fuel pump and filter for any clogs or damage. If you find any issues, replace the damaged parts.

You should also check the fuel tank for any debris or contamination. If you find any, clean the tank thoroughly before refilling it with fresh fuel.

2. Inspect the spark plug.

The next step is to inspect the spark plugs of your Onan generator.

Dirty or worn spark plugs can cause the error code 36, and as a result, they might not produce adequate spark to combust the engine effectively.

In that case, remove the spark plugs and check them for any signs of wear or damage.

If you find any issues, replace the spark plugs with new ones. You should also check the spark plug wires for any damage or wear. If you find any issues, replace the damaged wires.

3. Service The Carburetor

If the fuel system and spark plugs are in good condition, the next step is to clean or service the carburetor.

A dirty or clogged carburetor can also cause the error code 36 as a result of a blockage preventing fuel from passing through as needed.

So, you should remove the carburetor and clean it thoroughly with a carburetor cleaner.

Check the carburetor for any damage or wear. If you find any issues, replace the carburetor with a new one.

Here’s a detailed video guide on how to clean Onan generator carburetors.

4. Check the electrical circuit.

Lastly, if none of the above steps solve the issue, the problem may be with the electrical circuit.

Check the wiring and connections for any damage or wear. Make sure all connections are tight and secure.

You should also check the voltage regulator and alternator for any issues. If you find any issues, replace the damaged parts.

However, if you’ve tried all you can but still can’t troubleshoot the error code 36 on your generator, we would advise you to seek assistance from a professional to avoid causing more damage to your Onan generator.

ALSO READ:- Onan Parts Near Me: Where Can I Find Onan Parts Dealers?

How to Prevent Onan Generator Code 36

To prevent Onan Generator Code 36, you need to take good care of your generator.

Proper maintenance, fuel storage, and electrical system care can go a long way toward keeping your generator running smoothly.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your generator in top shape. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and perform regular inspections.

Here are some maintenance tasks that you should perform regularly:

  • Change the oil and filter.
  • Check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the spark plugs and replace them if necessary.
  • Check fuel lines and connections for leaks.
  • Check the battery terminals and clean them if necessary.
  • Inspect the cooling system and clean it if necessary.

By performing these maintenance tasks, you can prevent many generator problems, including Code 36.

Proper fuel storage

Proper fuel storage is also essential to preventing Code 36. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Use fresh fuel and store it in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank to prevent the fuel from breaking down over time.
  • Drain the fuel tank and carburetor if the generator will be stored for an extended period.

Electrical System Care

The electrical system is also critical to the proper functioning of your generator. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep the generator’s electrical connections clean and tight.
  • Check the battery regularly and replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the wiring and replace any damaged wires.

ALSO READ:- How to Jumpstart an Onan RV Generator: Expert Guide

Final Thought 

To sum it all up, Onan generator code 36 is a common error that can occur due to various reasons, such as low fuel, clogged filters, overheating, or other issues.

To troubleshoot and fix this error, you need to check the fuel system, inspect the spark plugs, test the carburetor and throttle body, and reset the control board.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your Onan generator runs smoothly and efficiently. If you need more help or guidance, you can always contact a qualified technician or visit the Onan generator website for more information.


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