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Engine not starting, long investigation... and simple solution.


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Just would like to add my inputs on Rotax no start from this side of the Atlantic.

My CTSW/100 ps Rotax/2007/800 hours has refuses to start for 2 weeks, not even a small evidence that, at least, sparks plug got something. Listening mechanical and other friends, I tried:

- looking at a Spark on spark plug: nothing, even on a dark room.

- recharge the battery: not better.

- check the fuel if any contamination in the filter, or in the bowl carb: nothing (bowl full, no water, no contamination)

- checking ignition key if on 1+2 position is not grounded: Ok

- checking impedance from all generator coil: Ok( I compare it with an other Rotax dismounted)

- replace the Regulator by a new one: no improvement.

- check grounding connection: nothing was looking bad.

Finnaly, one person in a shop give me this adivce: with all your test, your engine should work! Stop to touch everything, set your engine in best condition for a good start, and try again.

So, back to the airfield and it finnaly starts with the following:

- listen Roger witch is strongly pushing on grounding: I have clean and tight all grounding bolt. Changed the one with spot of corrosion.

-fully charge the battery again (with an advanced digital charger) 3 A/H was missing.

- replace all spark plus by new ones (not done on the last 200 hours)

- let run some fuel out.

-ignition for 10 s.: nothing (bowl carb. Were empty)

- try #2: almost started! (large smile)

- try #3: started : flew arround the pattern (on safe altitude): everything worked fine to allow nice local flight in Burgundy)

Conclusion: -read and execute Roger's advices! Thanks again for your inputs: no one got your level here!

Engine did not start due to a component failure, but due to the addition of several "weakeness" as battery partially discharge, old spark plugs, high air temperature, some grounding not 100% perfect and probably poor fuel quality.

Hope this helps....


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Hi Marco01....France, land of my not so distant ancestors. We are fortunate to have Roger in our midst. He is most knowledgeable! Many others are as well. You'll find them as you frequent the site. Glad your bird is up and flying.

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I'm having similar starting problems - after not being run for 12 days I get no spark at the plugs. Am I understanding correctly that the eventual fix was to do the following 3 things: 1) replace the plugs 2) check starter switch connections and 3) tighten all ground connections ???

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Opticsguy and Roger, I'm thinking of replacing the module if this happen again. Price is arround 1000$ for one module: painfull...

I have also heard that new modules could be fitted with a soft start facilities embedded. I will consider this as well. Ice on the module is a good trick I will try next time since those issues happen when external temperature is higher than 32 degrees Celcius. I will keep you posted...

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Anyone that has a warranty issue or a major failure of a component should go to www.rotaxflyingclub.com and fill out the SIR (Service Information Report) right on the site. These people are the only ones that can help you. You can send it through the distributors, but sometimes it gets lost in the mail.If you have not heard back from someone in 30 days follow up.

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