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Old 02-08-2015, 06:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 60
Electric step retracts slowly

This is on a 2005 24SS.

The electric step retracts slowly when the engine is off. I measured the voltage at the step - it was only 9.8 volts. The step drew 8 amps towards the end of it's retraction. Low voltage - Duh - no wonder it's slow!

I started the engine, and the voltage went to 11.6 volts. The step retracted promptly, drawing only 3.6 amps towards the end. Note that the engine started easily in 40 deg weather, indicating the chassis battery was charged and in good condition.

I'm baffled about where the ~ 2.5 volts voltage loss is occurring, and I don't have a wiring diagram showing the wiring from the step to the battery. Does anyone have a clue about where my 2.5 volts is getting lost?

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Old 02-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #2
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Considering the steps run off of the chassis battery sounds like a weak battery or a corroded connection.

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:09 PM   #3
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Try cleaning the battery post and cable ends. Then clean the ground wire where it makes the connection to the frame. Your problem sounds like a bad ground.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2013
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The engine turned over normally and started immediately, and the battery gauge showed the normal voltage, so I don't think it's the battery. In retrospect, I believe the steps have been like this for quite a few months (we bought the 24SS used 15 months ago). When we travel, the engine battery is charged almost every day; but in the winter, it's a month or more between uses, and then for only a 10-15 minute drive to warm it up and circulate the oil. So, the battery is cold, not fully charged, and the step gets less voltage.

It's still possible there is a problem in the wires from the step to the battery or ground, even if the battery is fin, as it seems to be. Still, I'd expect to see the full battery voltage when the step isn't moving, and not drawing any current, but I didn't.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2013
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There was some corrosion around the posts, and the voltage on the cable connections did drop to 11.8 volts when the step retracted, so I cleaned posts and cables. It didn't change anything.

A load test at 85 amps for 15 seconds still had the voltage above 11.1 volts, and a month ago the battery easily started the engine after sitting overnight in 15 degree weather, so I think that's all good. I can't find a date code on the battery, so I don't know how old it is.

So, still no idea why the voltage at the steps is 2 volts lower than at the battery. I'll trace it the next time it gets warm.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:32 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: las vegas
Posts: 61
check the magnets on the screen door they actually make the connection when the door is closed, they may be weak or not making proper contact which will cause power drop when voltage is low, just a thought it happened to me

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