There are many things that can cause a portable generator to break down. Testing it once a month, whether it is being used or not, allows time for troubleshooting problems and repairs. Become familiar with parts that require routine maintenance, replacement or repair. Keep a printed copy of the owner's manual. A digital copy may not help during a power outage.Continue Reading
Old fuel is the most common portable generator problem. Follow the owner's manual to drain and replace the fuel. Avoid this problem by adding a fuel stabilizer to a fresh fuel supply. Cold fuel and high elevations may make it difficult to start the generator.
Dirty spark plugs may keep the generator from starting or staying on. Newer spark plugs can be cleaned and reused. Have replacements on hand in case this does not help.
A dirty air filter may cause the generator to stall. Keep a replacement on hand, and replace it when needed.
Check and replace worn, dirty oil filters. Just like air filters, keep at least one extra on hand.
Drain and replace dirty oil.
Check the battery level and charge it, if necessary.
Check and adjust the intake and exhaust valves, if needed. The owner's manual should provide specifics.
Air in the pressurized fuel injector lines causes problems. Follow the manual to bleed the air out.