Faulty thule electric step

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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:03 pm

I am having a problem with the step not retracting.
It comes out with  the switch, but won't retract with either the switch or when the engine is started.
I have taken it off the van and took the arms off, tried the power switch and the motor seem to be working OK.
With the engine running there is nothing working at all, I can't even hear the buzzer.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by roli on Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:22 pm

If you have a look back there has been lots said about these steps

Ours was a wrong setting on the Sargent Control Panel.  Go into set up and scroll through till you get to the step setting. I changed ours to 31 it was set at 28

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Motorwaycafe on Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:19 pm

I had a similar problem on my Warwick Duo. After repair by supplier, I was advised it was a limit switch problem.
Apparently it is very sensitive and the smallest amount of dirt can prevent it working properly.
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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:55 pm

roli wrote:If you have a look back there has been lots said about these steps

Ours was a wrong setting on the Sargent Control Panel.  Go into set up and scroll through till you get to the step setting. I changed ours to 31 it was set at 28
Thank you for your reply.
I'm not sure what or where the Sargent Control Panel is. 
It is the first time I have had a problem with the step so I'm not really sure I know what I am doing at the moment.
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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:00 pm

Motorwaycafe wrote:I had a similar problem on my Warwick Duo. After repair by supplier, I was advised it was a limit switch problem.
Apparently it is very sensitive and the smallest amount of dirt can prevent it working properly.
Thank you for your reply.
Is the limit switch the white switch by the motor inside the step?, this switch looks clean on the outside so could the dirt be inside the switch, if so is it possible to get inside the switch.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Motorwaycafe on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:22 pm

Yes I believe it was the one near the motor. Not sure how you clean it or if it is a replacement job. I left it to the dealer to sort as the van was only 9 month old.
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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:02 am

roli wrote:If you have a look back there has been lots said about these steps

Ours was a wrong setting on the Sargent Control Panel.  Go into set up and scroll through till you get to the step setting. I changed ours to 31 it was set at 28
I now know what the Sargent Control Panel is, EC155 and the control panel is EC51. I can't see anything to alter the step setting.
If you could put me on the right track I would be grateful.
David
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:48 am

Don't think the run time for the step is adjustable with the EC155/EC51 set up. Do you have a EM50 unit? There are 3 versions which have different run times. This unit has a step power fuse and should retract the step when engine runs, perhaps it is blown. (Fuse is F5, top right end one)

https://sargentltd.co.uk/shop/product/em50_type_a/149


Last edited by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Mel Battersby on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:52 pm

Hi Peter
Good to know its likely that the run time on the Thule electric step cannot be adjusted on the EC155/EC51 system. I have this set up but no serious problems with the step as yet. At least the information you have provided has saved me time when or if I do have a problem with the step in the future. Just to add that the EM50 unit on the Kemerton is behind the drivers' seat.
Mel
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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:17 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Don't think the run time for the step is adjustable with the EC155/EC51 set up. Do you have a EM50 unit? There are 3 versions which have different run times. This unit has astep power fuse and should retract the step when engine runs, perhaps it is blown.

https://sargentltd.co.uk/shop/product/em50_type_a/149
Yes I have an EM50 unit which is EM50 Intelligent type C. Would this be one of the versions?
No 5 on the list is electric step, I assume this is the fuse, I have tried taking the fuse out but, it is not moving at all, I am worried about causing damage if I put pressure on it.
 On the bottom of the label, Configuration (Jumper) Settings, I'm not sure if any of this is relevant.
Many thanks.
David.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:24 pm

Jumper settings means that jumpers (small links) can be plugged into the unit (3 positions just to left of the fuses). Depending on which jumpers are inserted you can get-

Step extend when remote unlock
Step retract when remote lock
Awning light on when unlock

Does not affect the operation of the push button in/out or the engine in functions.

This sort of thing. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-x-PCB-Pin-Header-Jumper-Links-2-54mm-Motherboard-Cap-Green-UK-Free-Postage-/142014601783?hash=item2110bada37:g:E7EAAOSwv0tVKBmc

I have a PDF of the EM50 wiring/set up taken from Sargent website download before they reconfigured and it disappeared.

PM your email address and I'll send them to you.

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Peter Brown on Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:32 pm

davidcs wrote:I am having a problem with the step not retracting.
It comes out with  the switch, but won't retract with either the switch or when the engine is started.
I have taken it off the van and took the arms off, tried the power switch and the motor seem to be working OK.
With the engine running there is nothing working at all, I can't even hear the buzzer.
Any advice would be appreciated.

If its been working for two years its not likely to be any set up issue.  If you locate the relay shown in the circuit below, check if it is operating properly and that all the connections between it, the buzzer and the switch are sound.


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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:57 am

If anyone knows where the relay is located, I'm sure that would help.

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Toffee on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:10 am

Reading this I wondered how you deal with this when using the van? Can you push the step back manually?

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Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:21 pm

Toffee wrote:Reading this I wondered how you deal with this when using the van? Can you push the step back manually?
The answer is no. I have taken the step off twice now by removing the covers taking the arms off the motor and then pushing the step in.  I  then  put the arms back on the motor, put the covers back on and re-assembled the step to the van (not a quick job). I put tape over the button so that I don't accidentally press the button when I'm away.
In the short term if I can't get it working, I am going remove the arms from the motor and try to figure out how to secure the step back whilst travelling, then operate it manually when needed.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by inspiredron on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:52 pm

I had exactly your problem just before I went off to Willersey for a Habitation service while under warranty.
I cannot remember exactly where it is but there is a microswitch near the back of the step somewhere - I will try to take a picture in the next day or two. It was mucky and Mark's guys cleaned it and put some silicone grease around it - no trouble since.
I WAS able to put the step in manually (mine is a single step, not double) so as not to drive with it sticking out.  The trick is to lift the outer edge of the step slightly and then push it in.  I think that there may be a catch of some kind that stops it being kicked straight in.

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:49 pm

I would hazard a guess that it is not related to a relay, as a relay is not involved when the engine is not running. Operating the manual 'changeover' switch to return the step reverses the current to the motor.
I think the only way the return can be inhibited on both "motor running" and "motor not running" is that the aforementioned limit switch is either stuck in the open position or is in some other way faulty. It's function is to  open the return circuit when the step reaches it. If it is stuck open there will be no "return" current whatever the source. Keith

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:47 am

KMRTOPAZ wrote:I would hazard a guess that it is not related to a relay, as a relay is not involved when the engine is not running. Operating the manual 'changeover' switch to return the step reverses the current to the motor.
I think the only way the return can be inhibited on both "motor running" and "motor not running" is that the aforementioned limit switch is either stuck in the open position or is in some other way faulty. It's function is to  open the return circuit when the step reaches it. If it is stuck open there will be no "return" current whatever the source. Keith
I will take another look at the switch today, it looked clean when I looked at it previously, also I will to see if it is sticking.
When I start the engine the step motor does't work and there is no warning buzzer. Does the limit switch have any bearing on this?
Thank you.
David.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by inspiredron on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:29 am

davidcs wrote:
KMRTOPAZ wrote:I would hazard a guess that it is not related to a relay, as a relay is not involved when the engine is not running. Operating the manual 'changeover' switch to return the step reverses the current to the motor.
I think the only way the return can be inhibited on both "motor running" and "motor not running" is that the aforementioned limit switch is either stuck in the open position or is in some other way faulty. It's function is to  open the return circuit when the step reaches it. If it is stuck open there will be no "return" current whatever the source. Keith
I will take another look at the switch today, it looked clean when I looked at it previously, also I will to see if it is sticking.
When I start the engine the step motor does't work and there is no warning buzzer. Does the limit switch have any bearing on this?
Thank you.
David.
It's a couple of years ago, plus, but I think that I did get the warning buzzer when the step was not retracting.

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:36 am

inspiredron wrote:
davidcs wrote:
KMRTOPAZ wrote:I would hazard a guess that it is not related to a relay, as a relay is not involved when the engine is not running. Operating the manual 'changeover' switch to return the step reverses the current to the motor.
I think the only way the return can be inhibited on both "motor running" and "motor not running" is that the aforementioned limit switch is either stuck in the open position or is in some other way faulty. It's function is to  open the return circuit when the step reaches it. If it is stuck open there will be no "return" current whatever the source. Keith
I will take another look at the switch today, it looked clean when I looked at it previously, also I will to see if it is sticking.
When I start the engine the step motor does't work and there is no warning buzzer. Does the limit switch have any bearing on this?
Thank you.
David.
It's a couple of years ago, plus, but I think that I did get the warning buzzer when the step was not retracting.
I have stripped the step down and the motor appears to just keep turning in one direction, to my thinking the motor should reverse to retract the arms, but what it is doing is pulling it the same way and jamming over the motor.
Did you have the same problem.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:35 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
davidcs wrote:I am having a problem with the step not retracting.
It comes out with  the switch, but won't retract with either the switch or when the engine is started.
I have taken it off the van and took the arms off, tried the power switch and the motor seem to be working OK.
With the engine running there is nothing working at all, I can't even hear the buzzer.
Any advice would be appreciated.

If its been working for two years its not likely to be any set up issue.  If you locate the relay shown in the circuit below, check if it is operating properly and that all the connections between it, the buzzer and the switch are sound.


Examining the circuit diagram, below are the three modes of operation.

Start engine, relay operates, battery + connected to motor orange via relay contacts 87-30 till S2 detects step fully in and disconnects motor from battery – (chassis)

Switch down battery + connected to motor via orange relay contacts 30-87a and top contact S1.  Battery – connected to motor purple via bottom contact S1

Switch up battery + connected to motor via purple wire.  Motor orange connected to battery – via relay contacts 30-87a and top contact of S1

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:06 am

Peter's analysis is helpful but I think it also supports my suspicion that the limit switch is at fault.
The link between contacts 30-87a is a "normally closed" link unless the relay is energised (engine running). Otherwise, under manual switch operation, it is a passive part of both "in" and "out" operation. We know this 30-87a link must be closed because it must be supporting the "out" circuit as stated by davidcs in his original post.
A simple test would be to put a short across the limit switch and try reversing the step with the manual changeover switch.
Keith

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by davidcs on Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:29 pm

davidcs wrote:I am having a problem with the step not retracting.
It comes out with  the switch, but won't retract with either the switch or when the engine is started.
I have taken it off the van and took the arms off, tried the power switch and the motor seem to be working OK.
With the engine running there is nothing working at all, I can't even hear the buzzer.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Update.
Stripped the step down again,removed the metal arms off the front of the step instead of off the motor,thinking I could close the step without taking it apart off the van, so I could take the van out without worrying about the step coming out. I pressed the the step button and the arms retracted, I thought this strange, pressed again and the arms came out,pressed again but the arms became stuck again, so I took the step off the van and dismantled it, eventually I got the right sequence for the arms, I left the cover off so I could see what was happening, to my amazement the step was coming in and going out when I pressed the button, also retracting when I started the engine. The only thing I did (because I didn't know what I was doing anyway) was to fiddle with the wires behind the white switch which I presume is the limit switch.
I went back to it the following day to try it, the step came out shuddered a bit when retracting but went in. I have no confidence it is going to carry on working though.
Keith may be right it could be a dodgy switch.
In the meantime I will be taking a set of spanners when I go away.

Thanks to everyone for all your help.
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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Paramedic on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:35 pm

davidcs wrote:
Update.

I went back to it the following day to try it, the step came out shuddered a bit when retracting but went in. I have no confidence it is going to carry on working though.
Not wishing to add further worry, the shudder on our step was recognised by the dealer as a fault with the motor. To be precise, it always and only happened when the step was in the stowed position on engine start. Fortunately it was necessary to replace just before the warranty expired. Hope your situation has resolved after all your hard work.

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Re: Faulty thule electric step

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:34 pm

Further to the previous post from me with the Thule circuit diagram; the van does not use that circuit, the Sargent EM50 controls the step.

Only two poles of the push button operating switch are used and they have circa 5v from the EM50 sat across them. I have no circuit diagram for the EM50 but assume that the 5v is from one of the several integrated circuits on the EM50 board and that each time the button is pressed a circuit in the chip is reversed, probably driving a relay that then reverses the current to the step motor in sequence. The auto-retract must override the sequence.

In summary, ignore the diagram from a practical point of view and consult Sargent (but not on a Friday afternoon!)

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