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Slapshot

Warning Alarm

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This may or may not be an issue; however, recently my 2004 215 SSi with 5.0 Merc and Alpha 1 Gen 2, has been intermittently sounding it's warning alarm.  I have no visible issues with the motor (fluid levels, leaks, etc..), and I have no heat issues or pressure issues via my gauges. 

There is no consistency to when the warning alarm will sound, and it may just beep once or several beeps then stop.  This only occurs while we are under way, and never occurs during idle.  I should also mention that the risers are not hot (i can touch them), so I assume there is no cooling issue.

Maintenance that has been performed this year:

  1. Oil change (before winter storage)
  2. Lower unit drive lube change
  3. Complete bellows replacement
  4. Shift cable replacement
  5. Spark plug and rotor replacement

The only thing that I have noticed recently was that my battery does not appear to be as strong as what it was last year.  I am not sure of the age of this battery so I have considered replacement because during my last launch the motor struggled a bit to start.  However, once it started, drove the boat for a bit, it would fire right up afterwards.

Does anyone have some suggestions, or is there a way for me to hook up the motor to a diagnostic unit like a car?

Thank you.

Jake

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I'm not sure about the diagnostic unit like a car, (OBD II) would be great on my boat... LOL...

You can definitely check your battery though. 

Use a DC voltmeter to test the battery. First, you will need to disconnect the battery cables, or confirm that the ignition is off and or turn your boat's battery switch to off. Second, measure the voltage your voltmeter. Last, compare the value with the values below: (Accurate testing depends on the battery not being charged or discharged for 6 hours, preferably 24 hours.)

  • 100% 12.73 volts
  • 80% 12.50 volts
  • 60% 12.24 volts
  • 40% 11.96 volts
  • 20% 11.66 volts

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On 3 July 2017 at 0:07 PM, Slapshot said:

Does anyone have some suggestions, or is there a way for me to hook up the motor to a diagnostic unit like a car?

Chances are that there is a diagnostic port on your engine. Talk to your friendly service marina or mechanic, they should have a tool that can read the engine codes. The tools/interfaces are brand and often vintage specific, and some are proprietary but Rinda has a tool for your engine if it has a diagnostic port. Check them out: http://www.rinda.com/marine/marinemenu.htm

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Thank you Richard I appreciate your help.  I assumed the boat would have some type of diagnostic port, but I figured I'd better confirm with the community first.  I will take your suggestion and contact my local marina to determine if they have the tool.

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On 7/4/2017 at 2:25 AM, Ingalp01 said:

I'm not sure about the diagnostic unit like a car, (OBD II) would be great on my boat... LOL...

You can definitely check your battery though. 

Use a DC voltmeter to test the battery. First, you will need to disconnect the battery cables, or confirm that the ignition is off and or turn your boat's battery switch to off. Second, measure the voltage your voltmeter. Last, compare the value with the values below: (Accurate testing depends on the battery not being charged or discharged for 6 hours, preferably 24 hours.)

  • 100% 12.73 volts
  • 80% 12.50 volts
  • 60% 12.24 volts
  • 40% 11.96 volts
  • 20% 11.66 volts

Thank you I'm pretty sure I have a voltmeter at home so I will try to test it out before I take the boat out this weekend. 

Does anyone know if low voltage OR irregular voltage from the battery would sound my warning alarm?

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Good at idle . Only at heavier heat load on engine. Sounds like beginning of some exhaust restrictions?  Or a sensor starting to drift. 10 years old engine can start having problems.

If you rev up the engine in NEUTRAL and hold 2500 rpms.. Does it beep ?  What is the water temp at beeps ? Oil pressure ?

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4 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

Good at idle . Only at heavier heat load on engine. Sounds like beginning of some exhaust restrictions?  Or a sensor starting to drift. 10 years old engine can start having problems.

If you rev up the engine in NEUTRAL and hold 2500 rpms.. Does it beep ?  What is the water temp at beeps ? Oil pressure ?

Good questions.

If you rev up the engine in NEUTRAL and hold 2500 rpms.. Does it beep ?  I will try to get you an answer this weekend.

What is the water temp at beeps ?  It's been around 72

Oil pressure ? Under load it's around 60 per my gauge, and at idle it never falls below 40 per my gauge.

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72 F is way too cold!!!!!!!1 Thermostat is stuck fully open. VERY BAD for the engine.  You are filling the engine with black sooty deposits.  COUGH COUGH

Oil sounds good.

Does the 72 F stay there after the engine runs for 4 or more minutes ?has anyone worked on the coolant system since you bought the boat ?  How many years have you owned it ?

Is this a few times out alarm?  Hope so.

Check several EASY TO REACH sparkplugs. Are they sooty black ? if yes. Stuck or MISSING thermostat.

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Sorry I thought you meant lake water temperature. My brain wasnt awake when i responded to that one and I apologize.

My cooling temperature is around 170 per my gauge under normal load.

Yes this is a few times out alarm, but I'd still like to determine what is causing it because it went from only beeping once per outing under load to beeping 2 to 3 times on our last outing.

Thank you

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You have been testing my Gin & Tonic anti heat fluid too much.   :D

Dealer time & hope a code shows up.

See if a GOOD mechanic can ride with you to hear the alarm. Might help if no codes are available.  Check & refill any oil levels. Some can alarm if just  on the trip point .

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If you find a fluid level low ............Refill it.....BUT REMEMBER which one it is. It means fluid is going out somehow. But water MAY BE COMING also. Catch it now . Save a bigger expense. Any off color oil is VERY SUSPECT & needs now correction.

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I didn't launch the boat today due to the weather; rain again. However, I did test the battery with a voltmeter, and I am getting a 12.18 volt reading. Looks like my battery may need to be replaced if 12.18 volts is close to 55% availability?

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On 7/5/2017 at 10:31 AM, Slapshot said:

Thank you I'm pretty sure I have a voltmeter at home so I will try to test it out before I take the boat out this weekend. 

Does anyone know if low voltage OR irregular voltage from the battery would sound my warning alarm?

YES, it can.  My boat did something like that with the previous owner.  The shop changed the batteries and it hasn't done it since.  

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Normally the battery voltage is lowest while idling. As the engine speeds up. The battery voltage is also forced up.  Have you charged the battery with a smart battery charger ? It  will fully charge a rundown battery. But not do a overcharge to it.

My 2002 Mercruiser 5.0L 220 hp V8 ran fine on 12.0 vdc 1 time. Left gauges & lights on.. No alarms when I took a 1/2 hr ride to recharge some of it back up.

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I purchased a new battery today in hopes that this might correct the alarm issue. The old battery was 3 years old so even if this doesn't resolve my alarm issue it's good preventative maintenance.

Hope to launch tomorrow to test it out.

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We launched the boat yesterday, and so far we encountered no alarms.  As I stated in my previous post I did replace the battery with a new one, and I also made sure to top off all of my fluids (any that were slightly low).

Here the boat at idle:

y4mewglG6QaE7plwcePThYRvYPBOWqUziO6Q8wSz

 

Here is the boat underway:

y4mnLTGRUOkR-1DGFVcwOl0Il4gNJMagGAR4rLVq

 

All of the gauges appear to be registering no issues at the moment.  Maybe the new battery corrected the issue.  However, if it did not I will be visiting my local marina.

Thanks.

Jake

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Did you top off the drive lube as well? Had that he the issue after a change before. Reservoir was "full", but it literally had to be at the full mark or would sound the alarm. Glad your going well now anyway

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1 minute ago, Ksupaul said:

Did you top off the drive lube as well? Had that he the issue after a change before. Reservoir was "full", but it literally had to be at the full mark or would sound the alarm. Glad your going well now anyway

was going to say the same thing.  sometimes or most times that I have witnessed after changing the drive fluid it must burp or something and would always require me filling the fluid .

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2 hours ago, Ksupaul said:

Did you top off the drive lube as well? Had that he the issue after a change before. Reservoir was "full", but it literally had to be at the full mark or would sound the alarm. Glad your going well now anyway

 

2 hours ago, soldier4402 said:

was going to say the same thing.  sometimes or most times that I have witnessed after changing the drive fluid it must burp or something and would always require me filling the fluid .

Yeah I topped off any fluids even if they were only slightly low.  Thanks. Jake

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