How to maintain a generator (Step by Step)

How to maintain a generator step by step

How to maintain a generator (Step by Step) will show you the maintenance of the generator in two different ways.

Generators are used as a power backup in homes, office places, or industries.

What differentiates the generator found in one environment from the other, is the amount of energy it can supply.

Generators can either use petrol or diesel to generate power on the other end.

However, their function is merely to supply electricity on the other end.

For generator durability, sturdiness, and reliability, regular maintenance is mandatory.

Maintenance will ensure the generator serves you well and for a very long time.

How To Maintain A Generator

(Step by Step)

Maintenance is vital to keep your generator functioning properly.

Surely, you would not want to find out about any issue at the exact time of a power outage. Check out best generator maintenance kit on Amazon

But that is not all. By appropriate maintenance, you can preserve your unit’s efficiency, limit fuel failure, and, in turn, save you a ton of money.

So, with that in mind, we bring you a step-by-step guide of how to maintain your generator.


  • The product manual
  • A clean damp cloth
  • A used oil container
  • Soapy water
  • Clean water
  • A dry piece of clean cloth
How to maintain a generator Tips

How to maintain a generator (Method 1)

1. Cleaning the generator

Step 1: Use the damp cloth to wipe the exterior surfaces clean.

Step 2: Inspect cooling air slots and openings to make sure they are kept clean and unobstructed.

WARNING: Do not use garden hoses or power washers as they can damage electrical components.

2. Changing the oil

Step 1: Run the generator for a few minutes to heat the oil up, which makes it easier to clean.

Step 2: Stop the generator.

Step 3: Wait until the generator is cool enough to touch.

Step 4: Unscrew the oil drain plug.

Step 5: Drain the oil.

Step 6: Properly get rid of the oil you just drained.

Step 7: Once the oil has been exhausted, replace the oil drain plug.

Step 8: Refill the crankcase with oil to the full line.


  • Most generators require oil change within the first 30 hours, though smaller ones require it earlier.
  • Refer to your product manual for exact oil change intervals.
  • When refilling the crankcase with oil, be sure not to overfill.

3. Cleaning the air filter

Step 1: Unscrew and remove the cover.

Step 2: Remove the air filter

Step 3: Clean the air filter with soapy water.

Step 4: Rinse the air filter with clean water.

Step 5: Squeeze the air filter with a clean cloth.

Step 6: Leave the air filter flat to dry.

4. Running the generator monthly

You should run your generator once a month. For each monthly run, keep the generator running for approximately 30 minutes.

Also, hook it up to a load with an appliance that uses a motor while running. For example, you can use a box fan.

This procedure ensures that both the alternator and engine get to exercise.

In case the monthly run is not possible, try to run the generator at least every three months.

You do not need to increase the running time; the same 30-minute period is acceptable.

If your generator is unused for 30 days or more, apply fresh oil and commercial oil stabilizer each time you operate or store it.

5. Charging the battery

Similar to the engine and alternator, you should charge the battery once a month. For each charging period, charge it for a day.

WARNING: Overcharging is more harmful than undercharging.

6. Storing the unit

When storing the generator, be sure to check for:

  • Spark plug cap
  • Fuel filter replacement
  • Spark arrestor service
  • Valve adjustment

It is best to contact a certified servicing dealer as improper adjustment can damage your generator.

generator maintenance

Below we discuss how to maintain your generator (Method 2)

1. Routine General inspection.

outine General inspection

The generator is a system that burns diesel or petrol to produce electricity.

The system involves fuel systems, electric systems, and exhaust systems.

You should always inspect all these areas for any leaks that may be harmful to the running of the generator.

Make sure that every time you turn on the generator, it is working while at its best.

2. Cooling system.

cooling system

Always check the coolant level while shutting down your generator.

Allow the generator engine to cool by removing the radiator cap and add your preferred coolant to the radiator.

Also, remember to check the radiator for any foreign materials that may cause damage to the fins.

If any dirt is in the radiator, remove it with a soft brush.

3. Battery checkup.


The batteries in the generator are used as a reservoir to store and submit power.

This makes the battery a very crucial part of the generator.

You should always test the condition of each battery in the generator.

Clean any dirty battery terminals with a wet piece of cloth. Also, clean the outer casing of the battery.

Remember to replace any bad connections and as a safety measure, apply a petroleum jelly coating on the terminals.

Always check the specific gravity of the electrolyte in the battery cells using a hydrometer. After approximately 200 hours of operation, you should check the electrolyte level.

When the level is low, add distilled water to the recommended level.

4. Fill up the generator.


Never leave your gas tank to fill with air. It might cause rusting or so many other issues in your generator.

Always make sure the petrol or diesel tank is filled up.

The above are the maintenance tips that will keep your generator running for years.

Remember, even when the generator is not in use often, you should carry out general check-ups once a month and allow the generator to run for at least 30 minutes. Check out the best generator maintenance kit on Amazon

This is very crucial to the general functionality of the generator. Be sure to check out your generator manual for the required maintenance by the company.

How to maintain a generator (Method 3)

Do you know that the more attention you give your generator, the more efficient it will function and the longer it will serve you? Well, just like any other appliance in your home, properly maintaining your generator helps it function better and help avoid any untimely repairs. Here, we will look at six easy-to-follow tips on how to maintain a generator.

How to Do This Job

1. Change the Oil

The first step into properly maintaining your generator is to change its oil regularly. Moreover, how frequent you will be required to change your generator’s oil will mainly depend on:

· How often you use the generator

· The brand of your generator

· The environment your generator operates in

According to industry experts, you should change the oil every 50-200 hours of operation based on the variables mentioned above.

2. Clean It

Once you change the oil, the next step is to clean your generator. This is important because it’s common for stators and rotors to collect contaminants such as debris or dust. If these contaminants continue to accumulate, your generator will not perform efficiently as you expect. Therefore, you must thoroughly clean the air filter in the generator.

3. Start It

Generally, generators as used as a backup precaution. This means that you could go several months or years without needing it. But, you should fire it up every month to:

Check if the carburetor is functioning

Change worn out batteries

Ensure it’s getting lubricated

4. Test the Generator

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has developed a set of standards for you to follow when you want to test your generator.

5. Use New Gas

The last step is to empty the fuel from your generator’s tank after every use. This ensures that your generator is running clean and has efficient fuel.

Additional Maintenance Tips

You are allowed to maintain your generator by yourself as long as you:

· Change the generator’s gas after each use if not use for a long period of time.

· Check the air filters weekly if necessary.

· Start your generator up at least once a month.


To ensure that your generator operates smoothly in the long run, you should carry out yearly maintenance. For this yearly checkup, you can opt to do it yourself or contact a professional technician.

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