View Full Version : Check Engine Alarm always on

06-27-2008, 12:58 AM
I had a local marine company (not Mastercraft, unfortunately) de-winterize my '02 Prostar 190 (oil change, transmission fluid, install new impeller). The gas gauge now shows empty (wasn't that way when I left it with them) and the battery was dead. I got a full charge on the battery, turned the key to "on" (before engine turned), guages all responded (that's when I realized the fuel guage shows empty), and alarm is blaring! I started the engine, ran it for a minute, raised the rpms a bit, still alarm sounding. Will an empty gas tank cause an alarm or do I have something else going on?

06-27-2008, 01:23 AM
Did you leave your tank empty? (Absolutely not recommended) I am not too sure that there ever wasa low fuel warning on these boats. Be patient there will be oodles of help in the AM.

06-27-2008, 10:43 AM
I put some new gas in the tank. Alarm still blaring away. Voltage meter reads about 12 Volts (about 1/3 on the gauge). More charge maybe?? Shouldn't that be enough?

06-28-2008, 07:18 AM
Oil pressure? Did they replace the oil?

06-28-2008, 09:08 AM
Disconnect the battery, wait about five minutes and reconnect it. Are they an authorized service shop for any brands and if so, what are they? Changing fluids and summerizing is pretty easy but some discussion should have taken place to detail exactly what was needed if it was specific to your boat. Did they itemize the work that was done? Do they have a service warranty?

There's no low fuel warning and I would look at the fuel pump to see if hte sender wire(s) came off. If that did happen and they didn't catch it, it needs to go back to hem and they need to be more diligent.

Why didn't you go to a MC dealer- none close to you?

06-28-2008, 11:58 AM
Thanks for your ideas. Replaced the battery, added gas -- still blaring. They didn't change the fuel filter so they didn't get into the fuel pump area - don't know why the sender wire(s) would have come off (I don't actually know what a sender wire is). But I could check. Closest MC dealer is 3.5 hours away. They replaced the oil, transmission fluid and impeller - that's it -- supposedly...

06-28-2008, 11:59 AM
check the oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

06-28-2008, 12:06 PM
More info -- After I changed the battery (and added gas), I put the trailer (and boat) in the water and ran the boat for a few minutes (with the alarm blaring). Moved the throttle forward and back (in neutral), got the RPMs up -- Didn't notice any trouble with engine heat or oil pressure. Found the little alarm under the dash - I'm about ready to tear it out of the boat - now that thing works GREAT! What's going on?

06-28-2008, 12:07 PM
If it was the oil, would the alarm sound before cranking the engine?

06-28-2008, 02:21 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean sender wire, I meant the power wires for the pump.

The alarm for the oil is a pressure switch (if it has one) and while it may sound when the engine is off, it's easy enough to keep it from sounding until it's running. The ECM has extra output terminals that are available for things like this.There are two oil pressure senders, though and if the one that reports to the ECM is bad or the wire came off, it could cause the alarm to sound. Did you check the oil level?

"I'm about ready to tear it out of the boat"

My first post here was in response to someone who recommended disconnecting the alarm buzzer. That would be a really bad idea. That's like putting tape over your Check Engine light because it's distracting when you drive at night. Neither addresses the problem.

The first thing you need to realize is that without having the boat in front of the person answering the question, it's not that easy to diagnose. Apparently, you chose to go to a local dealer who may, or may not, be familiar with your type of boat. Whether they are or not, you haven't said, so I'll assume that they aren't since they returned it with little/no gas and didn't hear the buzzer because they may not have run it. If they didn't run it, I would get in their face about that. Summerizing a boat includes running it, in order to make sure everything is OK. Being a responsible dealer or service shop includes knowing when to tell a customer they don't know about something and that they aren't prepared to do certain things.

What are you capable of doing, as far as working on a boat mechanically and electrically? If you have tools (and know how to use them), mechanical and some electrical knowledge, we can get you through this but you'll have to let us know about this.

Again, what brands is the service shop authorized for and what do they usually work on? If they don't have someone who knows this system, don't have them work on it, other than what they actually know.

06-29-2008, 02:01 AM
I'm pretty handy, I have tools, and I have spent 5-6 hours working on this over the past 2 days. This is what I know.

The mechanic was asked to change the oil, transmission fluid and replace the impeller/gasket (I gave him the part.) The boat was returned to me, detailed, with the boat cover on. Six weeks after I picked up the boat, I pulled off the cover ready to launch the boat and found the battery dead and an empty gas tank.

The alarm sounds constantly - it sounds when I turn the key "on" before cranking the engine and is sounds constantly when the engine is running.

I have checked the oil - looks good. Pressure is in the middle of the guage. Engine does not overheat. Throttle cable extended several times, RPMs up to 3000 a couple of times all while on the trailer backed into the lake.

I checked the gas tank - pressure system seems to work normally. Still can't explain loss of gas (can you say $4.35/gallon will make an otherwise good mechanic a crook? I don't know...doesn't make sense.)

I've been under the dash -no loose wires that I could find. I know that the alarm works great though...

I've replaced the battery and checked the wiring best I can.

I don't know if my boat has an oil pressure switch - but the oil level appears normal.

I've run out of ideas - Thanks for yours!!

06-29-2008, 03:43 AM
I am blown away by the empty gas tank, did you record the engine hours before winterization??????????? I think you have been screwed, gas doesnt just evaporate out of a tank.

06-29-2008, 08:26 AM
Contact EngineNut- he works for Indmar and can tell you what would cause the buzzer to sound and what to look for.

06-29-2008, 08:04 PM
Thanks for your recommendation to contact EngineNut. I wrote him and await his reply.

I did have one other idea. Do you know if there is a sensor in or around the drain plug? I see two black wires right up against the drain hole (they could just be ground wires). If the wires are there to sound the alarm in the event the drain plug is not in, maybe that's my problem. The bad-mechanic company gave me a replacement plug when I told them that my plug was missing. (I assumed that they would put the plug back in after draining the oil. I never found the plug.) The replacement plug screws in tightly - but only about 1/2 way to the hull bottom.