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Common Generator-Related Problems And How To Troubleshoot Them

After purchasing a generator, it’s your responsibility to ensure it operates optimally by carefully reading the user and maintenance manual, creating or building a conducive well, ventilated generator house and identifying basic gen-related problems.

For the purpose of this article, I have put together a list of common symptoms, the likely problems and how to troubleshoot.


High fuel1.     Injector nozzle is dirty
2.     Engine overload
3.     Defective turbocharger
Improper valve clearance
1.     Contact your maintenance vendor
2.     Reduce load
3.     Contact your maintenance vendor
4.     Contact your maintenance vendor
Overheating1.     Engine overload
2.     Low water/coolant level
3.     Loose fan belt
4.     Low engine oil level
5.     Defective thermostat
6.     Radiator is clogged or dirty
1.     Reduce load
2.     Check radiator and hoses for leaks or
loose connections then fill radiator to proper level
3.     Replace if required or adjust tension
4.     Check oil level and add as required
5.     Remove and check thermostat
Flush radiator
Engine will not crank1.     Weak battery
2.     Loose or corroded battery connection
3.     Kickstarter or solenoid is defective
4.     Defective main switch
1.     Replace or charge battery
2.     Clean battery terminal and connection
3.     Replace or service starter and solenoid
Repair switch if required
Engine cranks but will not start1.     No fuel
2.     Fuel filter clogged or full of water
3.     Faulty injection pump or nozzles
Injection pump not getting fuel or air in the fuel system
1.     Check fuel in the tank and top up fuel
2.     Replace fuel filter
3.     Consult your generator maintenance company
Check fuel flow at supply pump or bleed the fuel system
Engine hard starting1.     Air in fuel line
2.     Water, dirt or air in the fuel system
3.     Clogged fuel filter
4.     Poor fuel quality
Dirty or faulty injection nozzle
1.     Bleed the fuel line
2.     Drain, flush, fill and bleed the system
3.     Replace filter element
4.     Revert to/ change fuel supplier
Have your maintenance vendor check injector system
High oil consumption1.     Oil leaks
2.     Defective turbocharger
Oil too light
1.     Check for leaks in lines, gasket and drain plug
2.     Contact your maintenance vendor
Use oil with proper viscosity as instructed in the manufacturer’s manual
Black or gray exhaust smoke1.     Clogged or dirty air filter
2.     Injector nozzle is dirty
3.     Turbocharger not functioning
4.     Defective muffler/ exhaust piping
Engine overload
1.     Service or change air filter
2.     Call your maintenance vendor
3.     Call your maintenance vendor
Replace muffler or defective piping

I hope this article has been able to educate you on common problems and how they can be mitigated.

Till meet again next time….cheers!

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