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Eberspacher Heater problems


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Having problems with the Eberspacher heater in that after a days run to a green field site we run the heater for hot water and heating usually to bed around 22-00hrs following morning the heater wont start, I have had it checked out by a Eberspacher dealer who said every thing was OK. It is fine on the electric hook up side it is just getting it to run on the diesel side, we have had the battery checked and we were told that, that was OK we also have a solar panel that is work at some where around 13v-14v. We are wondering if it may be the battery which is just over 6 years old.


Any help appreciated

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The Eberspacher takes a huge 20 amp or so surge to fire it up followed by a much lower demand whilst running and it is not unusual at all for leisure batteries not to be up to the task - especially at night.


The voltage that your battery shows with no load and on charge does not tell you how good or bad the battery is only that the charger is working.


To find out how your battery really is you need to disconnect everything and then take a voltage reading. Leave it/them stand for a few days and take another reading.


If the battery is good you are looking for a fully charged reading of around 12.7 volts which should remain virtually unreduced for at least a week with nothing connected and I would estimate that anything less than about 12.6 or 12.5 could mean that your battery is too tired to handle the huge start up power drain.


Are you happy that the engine is charging the leisure battery?


If you have space I would go for a second leisure battery but the two really need to be of very similar age and capacity to prevent the bad one dragging the good one down with it.


Some food for thought there - let us know how you get on and your own thoughts.

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Just a bit of info based on our short experience. The current consumption is considerably reduced if you can find the happy medium position on the thermostat that keeps the fan running very slowly all night just blowing a slightly warm air from the vents. This prevents the heater keep starting from cold and drawing heavy start-up currents at various stages throughout the night. The current as previously stated when the unit is running is quite low and the van keeps a nice but not overly warm interior.
We have two 85amp leisure battery's with an 80 watt solar and have had 5 days away in winter without issue. However ours is only a space heater not water, I would suspect a six year old battery to have reduced capacity especially when it is cold so this could be the primary issue.
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The op does not say if he is running the heating all night but I assume from what he said, he is not.


A good test to check if it is insufficient battery power causing it not to start is to start the engine and then try starting the Eber with the engine running. The Eber will then be getting it's start voltage from the van's alternator output. If the Eber starts ok then it does suggest leisure battery is low.



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suntrecker38 - 2012-04-25 5:35 PM


...We are wondering if it may be the battery which is just over 6 years old...


All the symptoms point to a replacement leisure-battery being needed.


As has been said, these diesel-fuelled heaters need a hefty burst of 12V electricity during the start-up phase (for a 3500W-output Combitronic heater Eberspacher advises 120W at start-up, but only 8W when running) and an elderly battery no longer able to hold full charge just won't be able to satisfy the heater's sudden demands.


It appears to be not that unusual for a leisure battery to apparently test out satisfactorily, but still prove unsatisfactory when asked to perform within a motorhome environment.


If you can produce a situation when the heater won't start up on diesel and then either use a 230V hook-up and your motorhome's onboard battery-charger to put some life into the leisure-battery, or start and run the motorhome's motor, you may be able to confirm if the leusre-battery is the culprit.


If the heater will start when the leisure-battery is being charged via the 230V hook-up or via the motorhome's alternator, but won't start when the leisure-battery is on its own, then the leisure-battery is almost certainly the cause of your present problem.


6+ years is a pretty good life-span for a leisure-battery, so one might reasonably expect it to need replacing about now, even if there were no diesel-fuelled heater giving it a tough time.

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