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How to Make Your Generator Run Smoother

How to Make Your Generator Run Smoother

A generator is like any other machine you use – the better you take care of it, the longer it will survive. Not only that, better care means it will continue to provide you with high-quality output. Experts estimate that proper maintenance can improve your generator’s life so that its longevity is doubled. But how exactly can you make sure that happens?

In order to keep your generator working top-notch, you need to change the oil and gas regularly and consistently keep the generator clean and tidy. You should also never leave your generator lying dormant for months on end. Lastly, make sure to keep the generator in a safe place and always check it against home guidelines. 

These tips may sound like a lot of work, but really, all of this can quickly be done by you regularly. You need to read the following article and create a routine based on these safety and maintenance checks. In no time, your generator will be running smoother and better. 

How To Keep Your Generator Running Smoothly

If you want to keep your generator running smoothly for an extended period, you must follow this advice. It will help keep your generator safe and sound in the long run.

Change the Oil

Changing the generator’s oil is an essential part of taking care of it in the long run. According to experts, the best way to do this is to make sure the oil is changed after 60-200 hours. One of the factors to consider is when was the generator produced? An older model may need more frequent oil changes, whereas newer models can operate with less. 

So how often do you need to change the oil? The answer depends on various factors, such as:

  1. The type of generator.
  2. How frequently you use the generator.
  3. The environment around the generator. 
  4. How old the generator is.
  5. Whether the model uses modern technology.

When you run your generator for the first time, you will need to change the oil faster. It is common to have a requirement to change the oil after just eight hours of use. This move helps keep the generator clean, as a new model may need to cycle through more oil at the beginning. 

Keep It Clean

Whenever you switch on your generator, you’ll come across issues related to the collection of dirt and dust in the engine. This collection is completely normal, although it will have an impact on the function of your generator. The accumulation of dirt typically happens between the rotor and the stator. These parts need to move to generate energy.

However, with dust collected between the rotor and the stator, it will be unable to move efficiently, and thus dirt will reduce the energy produced. The moving parts may also get damaged quicker than usual. 

Photo: Cummins

You can maintain the dirt accumulation by simple cleaning. It would be best if you cleaned out the air filters on a weekly basis, and the parts should also be routinely cleaned by a professional. This will help to avoid debris accumulation and restore normal function. 

Don’t Leave It Idle

For most homeowners, a generator is a backup electrical resource. This means you will only use the generator when the primary power source is not functional, such as during a blackout. On the other hand, you may have a portable generator that you only use when out for a camping weekend. 

However, your generator should not be idle for months on end. You will need to switch on the generator for routine checks at least once a month. You should be able to see if it is lubricated, if the batteries need changing, or if the machine is still functioning. This way, you will know your generator will work when you need it the most. 

Change Gas

A generator also utilizes gas in its tank, which many owners may forget about in routine maintenance. However, each time you use the generator, you should also change the gas. This helps to protect the generator from damage and gives it a clean fuel to use each time you use the machine. The process to change the gas is:

  1. Take your generator outside where this is good ventilation.
  2. Open up the cap for the gas tank.
  3. Access the fuel lines.
  4. Switch off the fuel valve.
  5. Remove the fuel line that is unconnected to the tank.
  6. Remove the tube from the fuel valve.
  7. Place a bowl next to the generator, and place the tube within the bowl.
  8. Tilt the generator to remove all of the gas on the other side.
  9. Switch on the fuel valve to drain the excess gas. 
  10. Reconnect the fuel line, and close up the generator. 
  11. Unscrew the bolt and let the gas escape into the bowl in the carburetor. 
  12. Reinstall the carburetor bolt to complete draining gas. 

You can now refill the gas when you are about to use the generator next to maintain higher quality. 

Related: Can I Use Synthetic Oil in My Predator Generator?

Keep Generator Inside

If you have a portable generator, it also matters how you keep it stored when you aren’t using it. The generator should be kept safe in a cool room with little to no moisture. This storage will help keep the generator functioning well, and it will avoid environmental damage such as rusting. You can also purchase a tent or a generator cover to keep the machine safe from damage through rain and wind. 


Most of the maintenance you will need for a generator can be done at home. However, maintenance needs can only be carried out by a professional. For example, a professional has the equipment to check the gauges, test switches, and inspect the inner machinery. It is, therefore, a good idea to call on a professional every year to keep an eye on the overall health of your generator.