How To Tell If Generator Motor is Seized

A generator aims to convert a source’s rotational energy like a diesel or gas engine into a steady voltage to power any machine.

These motors are designed to perform that task efficiently, with very little energy loss. However, when they are not maintained properly, they can develop problems.

Generally, these generator motor engines have a reputation for being maintenance-intensive. They have many moving parts, and they can be challenging to repair.

Knowing when your generator motor is seized in good time helps you avoid these expensive and tasking repairs. Here is how you can tell if your generator motor is seized.

6 Tell-Tale Signs that Your Generator Motor is Seized

1. Knocking Noises

While your generator motor is running, you will notice that there will be a certain amount of “pumping” sound. This pumping sound is caused by the regular hitting of the moving parts in the motor.

2. Exhaust Smell

A certain amount of obnoxious smell can be present in the exhaust gas of your generator if the fuel filter has not been changed for an extended period.

The smell can also result from dirt accumulating inside if you have not maintained the carburetor correctly or swapped out dirty filters when they need to be replaced.

3. Poor Engine Performance

The torque of your generator motor will diminish significantly when it is worn out or is seized. Your generator may even lose fuel and not run at all.

4. Excessive Oil Consumption

This might seem obvious, but if you start to see a lot of oil being used on your engine or if the oil seals are leaking, this could be a sign that the bearing has worn down and is damaged to the point that they need replacing along with other parts of the engine, such as oil seals and gaskets, etc.

5. High or Low Exhaust Gas Temperature

Have you noticed an inconsistent high or low gas temperature when your generator runs? Well, this may be an indication that the fuel is not being correctly dispensed. This could also be because of a leak in the carburetor.

6. Burnt Wires

Wires can be damaged by the exhaust getting burnt or damaged by corrosion. This is easily testable with a voltmeter or multimeter.

The Causes of Generator Motor Seizing

Now that you know the signs of engine seizing, what causes it? Here are some common causes of motor seizures.

  • Lack of engine oil
  • Presence of water in your engine
  • Rusty components in your engine
  • Overheating engine
  • Broken components
  • Camshaft failures
  • Locked starters

4 Tips for Fixing a Seized Engine

Fixing a seized generator motor does not have to be a complicated process. Most of the time, it is just replacing parts and getting a generator motor running correctly again.

Here are some tips to make the process easier;

1. Remove Excess Fuel

You mustn’t overfill your fuel tank when attempting to fix your generator. Overfilling will cause gasoline or diesel fuel to evaporate and not be properly dispensed by the engine as it should be.

It will also cause the carburetor to detune, allowing fuel flow problems and varying amounts of fuel to be dispensed instead of consistent throughout the engine’s rotation.

Also, make sure that the gas cap is not on too tightly because this can also prevent gas from entering the engine, which can lead to this issue occurring in your generator.

2. Allow Motors to Cool Down

Seized motors need extra time to cool down before any repairs can be made. You should let them sit for at least 30 minutes after turning off your generator completely before attempting any repairs.

Wait until you hear them start again on their own before further testing or repairing them to avoid overheating and seizures.

You can purchase a small fan to blow air into gas engines as they cool down, which can help reduce the risk of this happening in your generator.

3. Check for Cracks, Pitting, and Wear

If you have a cracked cylinder or leaky valve cover, you will likely notice increased smoke from your gasoline engine once the engine has warmed up and is running again.

Due to this, you must take note of this and make repairs as soon as possible because of the increase in wasted fuel.

To ensure that your generator is not overheating, check your coolant fluid levels periodically on a routine basis.

4. Work with a Reputable Repair Service

If you plan on taking your generator to a professional auto repair shop, make sure that they are using genuine and accurate parts for your specific make and model of car.

If they do not know what they are doing, this will likely lead to issues down the road and will cause more damage than necessary. Ensure that you find a reputable car repair service provider.


There are so many tell-tale signs of a seizing generator motor. This article has touched on some of the most common ones, the causes of the seizure, and a few tips on how to handle the issue.

If you cannot handle the problem, you must take your motor to a professional motor repair expert. They are well versed with such issues and will help you.