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When your generator will not start

There may be many reasons why your generator will not start. Typically served as a secondary power source, and very often only used as a backup or as an emergency power supply, there can be several problems that go undetected.

One common problem, which can often be overlooked, is the back-up generator’s set to auto button. Of course, without this switched on the generator will not know to kick-start in the event of an emergency. Ensuring this button is set may save you lots of time and hassle.

As with any decent kit, both diesel and petrol generators require regular maintenance and servicing to keep them in good operational order. To prevent disruption to your business, keeping your generator maintained and properly serviced will go a long way to ensure your appliance works at its best. Here’s a troubleshooting list of common issues as to why your generator may not start:

5 Reasons your generator will not start:

1. Fuel

One of the first areas to inspect if your generator will not start is the fuel. From not enough, to bad fuel mixes, ensuring your generator has a sound fuel mix will ensure faults are kept to a minimum. A sign that there are fuel issues with your generator, may include the engine filters being blocked which can make it susceptible to breakdown. Routine servicing to test the fuel, or to pick up any potential impurities, will keep your generator functioning at its best. If your generator slows down or you notice a drop in its performance, it may be worth checking the quality of the fuel. Other issues, such as fuel leaks, may indicate that the base tank has been overfilled, which may also be a symptom of the fuel’s pump system malfunctioning. With sound and periodic inspections of your unit, you will be able to pinpoint such areas before they have chance to do further damage to your equipment.

2. Battery Failure

The most common cause of many generator issues is battery related. Whether weak or flat, there can be a variety of adverse factors that can affect a battery’s lifespan and performance. Over time, batteries wear down and as time goes on, they can produce less power.

From loose wires to rusted connections, the maintenance of your generator’s battery is essential to ensure longevity and of course, optimum performance. Loose wiring connections from the battery to the engine can be a common factor. Ensuring the correct installation from the experts, will prevent many of these common issues taking shape. With so many reasons that can make a battery vulnerable, routine inspections and regular servicing throughout the year will go a long way to preserve the lifespan of your battery.

As with many things, batteries have a sell-by-date too. Replacing any out-of-date batteries will avoid any potential corrosion on the battery terminals. Equally, a malfunctioning battery charger may not be charging your unit effectively and may also be worth checking.

3. Low Oil Levels

Keeping your generator running smoothly and in tip-top condition, requires regular oil filter checks. Oil is a central component to your generator’s engine. Whilst many newer generator models have oil level sensors installed, alerting you when oil levels run low, maintenance and regular servicing will keep costly breakdowns and repairs to a minimum.

Equally, the positioning of the generator is also worth considering. Placing kit onto an uneven surface, may produce a misleading oil level reading. As you would with a car, the oil levels can be checked with a dipstick to ensure levels are satisfactory. From burning smells, increased engine noises to reduced efficiency, as soon as you notice any irregularities arising from your machine, you must take steps to investigate these issues properly by a qualified engineer. Regular checks and servicing could save you time and money in the long run, with many problems being detected and remedied early on.

4. Overheating

Checking the coolant levels on your generator is imperative to ensure the system does not overheat. Radiator coolant ensures the engine maintains a consistent temperature, which can avoid any potential mechanical failure or breakdown. A good coolant works hard to combat the high temperatures that your generator’s engine produces. Over time, you may find the coolant evaporates as it works against the high temperatures, so ensuring you schedule in fluid level checks and routine servicing will keep this in check. Equally, if your generator starts up but shuts down after a while, this could also indicate a problem with the cooling system.

5. Clogged Air Filter

Debris and a build-up of dust can have a real impact on your generator’s air filter. It is essential to keep this free from dirt to allow the necessary amount of air to circulate. The build-up of dust on the air filter can often be overlooked, so scheduling routine maintenance and replacing filters when needed, will keep your generator running smoothly. Power loss is also another indicator of poor air circulation. Equally, damage to the pistons and cylinders, along with other internal components can be caused from debris and poor air filtering, so any signs of wear and tear, may be an indicator of poor circulation.

WB Power

Of course, these are just a few common reasons why your generator will not start. There can be so many other factors that can affect the performance of your generator. The single and most effective way to stop problems occurring with your kit, is to ensure it is regularly serviced and maintained by a qualified and specialist service team.

At WB Power, we have a specialist team of regionally based Service Sales Engineers that are available to complete maintenance and servicing to the specific needs of your business. Our comprehensive maintenance packages, include resistive and reactive load bank testing, access to spare parts, fuel supply, parts supply, out of hours support, site repairs and overhauls, workshop facility back-up, as well as UK wide 24/7, 365 days a year emergency cover. By placing your trust in us, we will ensure your kit serves you well for the long haul.