Generator Won’t Start? Simple Way to Fix it – Tips

Learn how to fix your Generator if it Won’t Start in 2020

For several households, generators get used on particular occasions. And when the need to have it running comes, seeing the backup power system work is generally significant.

There is nothing more frustrating than when you find the electric source hard to start or see it run into problems. The no start experience is undoubtedly common during emergencies as blackouts in extreme weather.

Well, do not panic as you can fix and prevent such issues from happening again. But what would you need to do if your generator won’t start?

There are simple ways to fix it. The article will give users a list of what to do to ensure you get a solution. Read on and find out!

What Should You Do If The Generator Won’t Start?

generator won't start

With every year passing, there is a rise in people relying on a limitless electric source. Businesses continue to operate and finally keep to the core line. If the generator fails to start immediately, here is how to prevent the terrible consequences.

1. Check The Necessities

Investing in standby systems is expensive, so, you must know the basics of maintaining the equipment well. Lack of operation data indeed leads to generator letdowns when needed the most.

Today, the systems are complex, familiarize with the simple settings and necessary techniques for regular maintenance.

The understanding of such will help you handle the possible conditions like starting failures. Equipping yourself with such information enables you to avoid wasting valued resources over generator disappointment.

Some of the common reasons for no start in generators include lack of enough gasoline. The fuel valves could not be on at times, among others.

Before you attempt troubleshooting, check if you have all the basics. Remember, you can quickly forget the details, therefore, ensure all are present before doing something.

2. Change the Fuel

If the generator won’t start, then you need to check the gasoline in the tank. Having fuel that was used for an extended time, means quality degradation. Many times the oil appears cloudy or divided and turns out to be a culprit to the engine failure.

So, start by carefully siphoning the stale fuel into another container. When all gets done, fill up the tank with some fresh gas. The problem can get prevented in the future by the routine of making the generator run dry once used.

When the fuel bowl has a mixture of old and fresh gas, you will still have bad experiences. After the thorough draining, the addition of a suitable fuel stabilizer will do you some good work. The additive is a must-have ingredient for every generator owner. Find out the best oil for your generators.

3. Low fuel levels

generator won't start

The most common reason for generators not to start or run well is running out of fuel. Some generators have the low-level shutdown equipped to protect air from getting drawn into the fuel. Things get worse when you run out off fuel and have air in the tank. The bleeding procedure is complicated and may take you longer.

Engines fitted out with the shutoff need to ever have manual bypasses. Of course, the capacity of your system tank works differently as the vehicles.

When not used for some time, the fuel remains stagnant. The mechanical gauges also tend to stick in one place thus losing accuracy. It is until vibrations come to interrupt the quiet, that the low-level gets addressed.

If your fuel filters become plugged, your engine can run out of fuel. But you can prevent this by checking the tanks and occasionally check for the presence of possible contaminants. Water damages machines since its properties cause pre-ignition and faster detonations.

Fuel polishing is the other way of removing water from your fuel. You can confirm with your retailer if the fuel has chemicals to be safer. Fresh ultra-low sulfur fuels have extreme detergent levels to clean the lines, thus avoiding filter plugging.

4. Check The Condition of The Spark Plug

The spark plugs as well become contaminated and spoiled. After prolonged use, sludge or carbon layers accumulate around it. So, remove it and use this time for checking to ensure that the engine sends current to the plug. While pulling out, if you see dirt, apply some carb cleaner inside the cylinder to clean it.

In the end, you should be able to see a spark showing that the part has no problem. In case the spark plug looks good, but no spark comes out while performing the test, your generator won’t start due to an electrical issue. The problem could be a defective switch which needs replacement and has your system ran well. Sometimes the devices look fine and yet gone bad or worn out.

It is possible that after trying such steps, the generator still fails to start. You can then opt for changing the spark plug with a new or an appropriate type for your engine. Fortunately, plugs are pretty cheap, though having a spare for emergencies is ideal.

5. Check If The Air Filter is Clean

Air filters are useful parts that prevent destructive dirt and contaminants from getting into the engines combustion space. The component must be available and cleaned since when it is filthy, you will not have adequate air come in through it.

The lack leads to incorrect air to fuel ratio making the mixture rich. The carburetor ends up with excess gas and a lesser amount of air.

Some people run the engines without air filters when it appears very dirty. Such a step can permanently destroy the machine, so, avoid it. You can as well have lean air/fuel mixture. Generators run well with sufficient airflow which blocked filters prevent.

You can check the manufacturers manual if the air filter is the type to clean. When you notice dirt, pull it and clean appropriately as per the instructions. For filters having paper elements and are never working, opt for a replacement.

6. Check your fuel lines and filters

In the event, the generator still fails to start; you need to check the fuel line. Yes, here clogs, pinches, cracks, and leaks occur many times. Some of such damages can get repaired, but in many situations, you need to consider replacing the line.

Though not a common issue and not in need of a standby fuel line. It never hurts to stay prepared for the bad instances. Detach your fuel line from the carburetor, and see if gasoline flows through as usual. In case you notice no drains, then some clogging call for change.

7. Disassemble and Clean Your carburetor

The carburetor experiences problems when old and spoiled fuel flows into it. You can clean the device by spraying the jets and orifices with carb cleaner.

Considering this means, you do not eradicate it. Some situations demand removal. Remember the elements are sensitive and vital when removing and cleaning it.

Be cautious not to scratch it and carefully track the screws when you are checking. The parts are small, and you should not misplace some of them. You can consult from the internet on the best ways to clean it in case you have not done the process before.

8. Practice correct Care and Maintenance

All people are familiar with the saying prevention is better than cure. You can avoid the many generator problems listed above through right upkeep practices. Schedule your servicing to get done by certified technicians as per your vendors manual.

In the end, the ideal thing to do to ensure your standby power source starts when needed is by carrying out regular maintenance. After prolonged use of the generator, change oil, check the fuel and air filters and spark plugs as mentioned. Maintaining the regular activities keeps your machine in an ideal functioning condition.

For the generators mostly used during emergencies, it means it an extended time of remaining unused. During such instance, you need to drain the tank and leave it without fuel. Should you not opt for this, then adding fuel stabilizers would be essential. You as well need to check the machine and start it often to confirm if it is functioning.

Sometimes the failures on the systems come due to electrical starting failures. Check with the multi-meter to confirm that the battery and fuses are in excellent condition.

Should both be dead, go for a replacement where necessary. The terminals as well could be corroded making your connections tight. Even when things appear good, unplug and clean the terminals using a brush the reattach.


The bottom line is, during emergency power failures, you could be having several ongoing activities. On the other side, you would be struggling to have the power back.

That said, it will be fine if you try figuring out the reason your generator won’t start. There are many things to do and get it running through the necessary troubleshooting procedures.

Never leave your machine to stay around without getting used. Yes, you need to give regular care through periodic checks to trust it will continue working when necessary. And If you try all the tips and the system is still stubborn, you must contact a qualified repair technician.

For you to understand the steps further, you can go through the manufacturers manual. You need to know your systems specific model for the right diagnosis of the problems. If your generator won’t start immediately, you do not need to fear. There is a simple way to fix it.

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