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View Full Version : 2002 X-Star... Alarm Won't Stop Coming On...


quallsdw
08-24-2011, 09:58 AM
PLEASE HELP! My mechanic is at a loss, as am I.

The alarm keeps coming on after about 5 minutes from initial start-up. It will stay on for about another 5 minutes, then go off. Then it comes back on after about another 5 minutes. Keeps doing this.

What are all the possible reasons that the alarm will come on? The check engine light is never on. My fuel gauge wasn't working, and we deduced it was the fuel sending unit that was shorted out. I replaced that, it worked one time, and now the gauge is back to being pegged on Full. I don't think the alarm is for low fuel (the tank is 3/4 full).

I noticed that the voltmeter on the dash was never getting above 11 ish, so I replaced the alternator. Put the new alternator on last night and now the voltmeter is registering at 13 ish when throttled, but it goes back down to 11 to 11.5 when idling. Is that low enough to still be sending a low-voltage alarm? Does the alarm even come on for low voltage?

My oil pressure gauge sits about in the middle during idling, but when throttling up, it pegs itself over on High. I think there is some calibration needed on it, but would the alarm be coming on for high oil pressure?

If all else fails, and I can't find the problem, is there a way to disconnect the alarm altogether? It is driving us insane. ANY HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Thanks.

willyt
08-24-2011, 10:03 AM
doesnt sound like its your oil pressure, i would highly suspect its your voltage. I believe the alarm will come on at 11.5 volts. even at idle you should be reading 13 unless you've got all the ballast pumps/lights/heater/csty lights/stereo on (only time i'll ever drop below 13 when the engine is on). above ~1100 RPM volt meter will peg just above 14. I'd suspect its something with a battery switch/alternator/isolator (if you have one). Take it back and have them look at that alternator first

btw the other thing that will make it go off is your engine temperature

G-Star
08-24-2011, 10:21 AM
+1 on the alarm being for low voltage. I had a similar problem last year (alarm without engine light), and a fresh charge on a new battery fixed it.

How old is your battery? When was the last time you gave it a full charge with a plug-in charger?

Which engine do you have in your boat? I've heard the alternator on the LTR is quite small.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 10:41 AM
Yeah, I think it is still something related to the voltage. I did do a load test on the battery before going out, and it was at about 10.5 volts cold. I used the 1+2 switch to start the engine, and I did immediately notice the alternator helping to get the voltage up to 13 when I got the RPMs up. But then as soon as I got back to an idle, it got back down to below 12. I have my Optima battery charging up again now to get back to 12 volts cold. Would that help you think? If I can get the battery charged back to 12, would the alternator keep it at or above 13 for good?

By battery switch, are you talking about the switch where I can be on either battery 1, battery 2, or both? I have been having to use 1+2 to start it almost every time. Could there be some issues with that switch that are causing some loss in voltage?

Thanks!

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 10:52 AM
I've got the 330 HP engine. Alternator I put in is a 70 Amp one, it basically matched the old one which was the factory one I believe. Also put a new alternator belt on.

My Optima 1000 CCA battery is pretty new, I bought it back in June I believe. But yes, it was definitely showing about 10.5 Volts when I tested out the new alternator yesterday. The alarm came on not immediately, but while idling after running it for a bit. When it came on, the voltmeter was at about 11. But then I throttled up and watched it go to about 13... held that for about 2 minutes and then alarm went off.

I left the boat in storage with a battery tender plugged into it. I'll have a better feel once I get back on out with the fully charged battery. Then I can see if the alternator will get me up to 14 with a 13 at idle. Hopefully.

Thanks.

willyt
08-24-2011, 11:05 AM
if the alarm is coming on while the boat is running, and you're not showing 13 volts at idle there's a problem with the alternator for sure. I had the same problem earlier this year, thought it was the battery and ended up having to replace the alternator. If its a new alt... i would say check your connections or have them test the alternator again to see if they put a bad one in.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 11:20 AM
Could it also be my battery that is having trouble keeping a charge?

And back to the worst-case scenario, does anyone know how to manually disable the alarm altogether? We can't even listen to the stereo when it comes on since the alarm overrides that. So annoying. There's got to be some way to remove the alarm connection somewhere right?

G-Star
08-24-2011, 11:44 AM
Yeah, I think it is still something related to the voltage. I did do a load test on the battery before going out, and it was at about 10.5 volts cold. I used the 1+2 switch to start the engine, and I did immediately notice the alternator helping to get the voltage up to 13 when I got the RPMs up. But then as soon as I got back to an idle, it got back down to below 12. I have my Optima battery charging up again now to get back to 12 volts cold. Would that help you think? If I can get the battery charged back to 12, would the alternator keep it at or above 13 for good?

By battery switch, are you talking about the switch where I can be on either battery 1, battery 2, or both? I have been having to use 1+2 to start it almost every time. Could there be some issues with that switch that are causing some loss in voltage?

Thanks!

What do you mean by "load test"? Did you put a voltmeter across the battery terminals, or did you actually connect the battery to a resistive load tester?

If you put a voltmeter across the terminals, you should get around 12.6V. With engine running, you should see around 13.8V.

If you get a full charge onto your battery, the alternator should be able to maintain the charge, as long as the alternator/charging system is working properly, and assuming you don't have ten bajillion watts of stereo amp hooked up to it :D

G-Star
08-24-2011, 11:49 AM
Could it also be my battery that is having trouble keeping a charge?

And back to the worst-case scenario, does anyone know how to manually disable the alarm altogether? We can't even listen to the stereo when it comes on since the alarm overrides that. So annoying. There's got to be some way to remove the alarm connection somewhere right?

Yes, it could be the battery. If it's an old battery or hasn't been properly maintained, the battery may not want to hold a charge.

As for disabling the alarm, I don't think it's a particularly good idea, as the alarm is meant to bring your attention to engine problems - oil pressure, temperature, etc. that could be potentially damaging. With that said, the alarm speaker is under the driver's console, towards the starboard side. If you lay on your back under the steering wheel and look up, you should see it. I'm not sure if there's a quick disconnect or not, but a pair of wire cutters will make it quiet. But, again, I don't think that's a good idea.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the replies all, I really appreciate it. I agree, I don't want to kill the alarm unless I just have to. There's nothing worse than not being able to enjoy a day at the lake with the family because of its constant chirping. But yes, I do also want everything running smoothly.

I have been using a resistive load tester on the battery, and it was showing in the 10 to 10.5 range before I cranked it up and got it on the lake yesterday. I was also using the 1+2 setting on the battery switch which might have been even worse since my deep cycle battery is probably charged even less. I think I have a good idea on where to go from here... I have a battery tender attached to the Optima for now to see if I can get it up to 12.6 cold.

76S&S
08-24-2011, 01:41 PM
Does the stereo go off when the alarm sounds? Mine does this when I get the low voltage alarm.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 01:53 PM
Yes, the stereo does indeed go off when the alarm comes on. I didn't know if that was the case though for any time the alarm goes on for anything.

What are all the ways the alarm can go on?

-Low Voltage
-Low Fuel (my tank is 3/4 full)
-Low Oil Pressure?
-High Oil Pressure?
-High Temperature?

Any others? I have been told that it would not come on for high oil pressure, only low. And my engine temp is fine.

Also, if I were to disable the alarm by disconnecting the wires from the speaker, would this also somehow prevent the stereo system from working? Just curious if anyone knows the intricacies of the wiring with the alarm and stereo...

Thanks.

76S&S
08-24-2011, 03:58 PM
The only alarm I've experienced ( and hope that I don't experience any others) is the low voltage alarm. My stereo and gauges would die when it went off. What is the voltage on the battery with everything off, including the engine? If the alarm is going off immediately, you may have a bad batt.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 04:24 PM
I think that's been the issue... I think the battery hasn't been fully charged in quite some time, due to the alternator being bad for quite some time. It registered 10.5 ish with everything off yesterday before I went out with the new alternator for the first time. The alarm sounded once with the new alternator, but after riding around for awhile, it went off since (I guess) the alternator was finally charging the battery while riding. It got up to about 13 on the gauge. After about 20 minutes, I loaded back up and now have a battery tender charging it back up fully. I really think I need to charge up my deep cycle #2 battery as well, since I have always used the 1+2 setting on the battery switch and I don't think that my #2 battery has ever been charged. And that has probably been keeping both batteries low since they tend to even their charges out when in parallel, correct?

G-Star
08-24-2011, 04:52 PM
Sounds reasonable to me.

Put a good charge on both batteries, and your issues should go away (unless one of your batteries is toast).

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 04:58 PM
Thanks, I will be back out there Friday and will give it a go. I'm going to test the charge in both batteries while cold to see what my basis is before going out. I think if I can get them both to 12 V cold I will be okay.

Cooter
08-24-2011, 07:07 PM
Just out of curiosity, did the owners manuals say anything about the beeping and what all of it means? I can only assume that if you had a vehicle, the owners manual would tell you what all the buzzers and stuff mean. FYI, I do not own an MC yet, but 2001-03 X-star is in my future. I worry that the owners manual that comes with each MC boat only tells you how to turn it on, and turn the tunes up.

quallsdw
08-24-2011, 08:29 PM
Unfortunately not... The manual leaves a whole lot left to the imagination.

76S&S
08-25-2011, 08:23 AM
Could be that battery 2 is bad and draining battery 1.

quallsdw
08-25-2011, 10:16 AM
My thoughts exactly... I will be checking that first thing tomorrow when I get back out there. If I can get both batteries charged back to 12 V, I think my worries will finally be over. The new alternator was working, but battery 1 was starting so low that it was still tripping the alarm I think. Will keep yall posted in case you are interested... thanks for all the replies!

quallsdw
08-28-2011, 04:14 PM
Everything working great! Charged up both batteries, and now just running on battery 1 only. Voltage staying at 13 at idle, and 14 when running. Thanks for all the help everyone.

G-Star
08-28-2011, 06:11 PM
Everything working great! Charged up both batteries, and now just running on battery 1 only. Voltage staying at 13 at idle, and 14 when running. Thanks for all the help everyone.

Awesome! Great to hear you got it fixed.

Willski
09-06-2011, 12:11 PM
Hmmm. I wonder if I have something similar. I had alarm going off and gauges not working at all. Then, yesterday, I ran the boat and the voltage dropped under 10. Got a voltage warning. Then voltage came back up, then back down. Switches wouldn't even work. Funny thing is that the boat starts and runs fine, just alarms all of the time.

quallsdw
09-06-2011, 12:16 PM
willski, that does sound pretty similar to mine. My switches never stopped working though... it sounds like maybe your electrical sending unit may be bad? Maybe the alternator? My only issue turned out to be the voltage... and the new alternator has cured that. Good luck!

Willski
09-06-2011, 01:50 PM
I may have to pull the alternator and have it checked. I didn't have a meter with me on the boat, so I couldn't really tell what the voltage was.

Willski
10-10-2011, 09:54 AM
UPDATE!!!

I took the boat out Saturday with a meter to do more troubleshooting. Started fine. Have over 14 volts out of the alternator. Just started down the lake and it alarmed again. Pulled up the seat to check the battery, and found a loose battery cable. The one that goes over to the shutoff switch. Tightened it down, and no more issues!!

Best kind of fix. No money, just a little grief! Just thought I would post to remind others to check the simple things first!!

Frazby010
04-11-2012, 03:29 PM
@Willski

I have been having the same issues with my boat. Do you have a picture of your battery and all the wires connected to it? I'm not sure I have mine hooked up correctly.... :/

NatesGr8
04-12-2012, 09:21 AM
Everything working great! Charged up both batteries, and now just running on battery 1 only. Voltage staying at 13 at idle, and 14 when running. Thanks for all the help everyone.
Fire your mechanic, he should have found the problem.

NatesGr8
04-12-2012, 09:24 AM
@Willski

I have been having the same issues with my boat. Do you have a picture of your battery and all the wires connected to it? I'm not sure I have mine hooked up correctly.... :/
Loose and/or dirty (corroded) connections are one of the main causes to electrical issues. Whats your batter setup? I'm assuming 2 batteries with a switch?