Generators without any doubt play a vital role in our lives. It is an important component of modern machinery. In that case not having it at your disposal is quite disturbing. Unfortunately, being a machine generator too have recurring issues which can be vary for different types. Problems arise in generators due to many reasons. Today we are here with a list of reasons for why your generator will not start and how to solve its troubleshooting problems. Stick till the end!

Generator Won’t Start | Troubleshooting

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1. Fuel shortage

Fuel shortage is one of the reasons. There are level gauges in the generator which show the fuel level. Now sometimes there are defective level gauges that may show that the fuel is more than enough but in reality, your fuel is out and you are misinformed.


First fix that level gauge. After that, replenish your fuel to get it started.

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2. Leakage

In older generators line leak problems are more common than in newer generators. However, this possibility cannot be fully ruled out. There are three kinds of leaks: fuel, coolant or oil leakages. Moreover, sometimes carbon particles or unburned fuel tends to accumulate in the system and apparently look like a leak. If the base tank is overfilled it may also lead to leakage.


Check where the leakage is and secure that place. Check all the places for potential leaks and secure them. Also avoid overfilling the base tank. Clean the exhaust regularly to avoid accumulation of fuel and particles.

3. Low coolant level

Low coolant level is one of the prime reasons of a generator inactivity. There is an alarm system in the it which goes off when there are low coolant levels but it only goes off when the coolant temperature rises. This can be misleading as one may think of turning it off so that the heat level falls. However, this is not the solution.


As discussed earlier, the alarm only goes off in most generators when the temperature rises. So, instead of turning the generator off when the alarm goes off, refill the coolant as required.

4. Dysfunctional block heater

Block heaters help to keep the coolant flow and stops it from thickening and accumulating in the valves. When the block heater is out of order the generators ceases to work.


Fix the block heater to prevent it from becoming non-functional. Also use block heaters in summers as they are not only useful in winters, contrary to popular belief.

5. Control issues

Sometimes the control panels are new and more complex. The operating manager, unable to know the control system, sometimes end up having problems starting the generator. This issue is very minor and rare and is easy to rectify.


Know the control panel and use the information booklet in case the system is new.

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6. Clogged valves

The oil and fuel start to accumulate in the system sometimes which clogs the fuel valves and carburetor.


There is a vacuum relief valve on top of the gas tank you must open it to release the accumulation. Another thing which can be done is that you can unplug the outlet hose and see if the fuel is flowing properly. This ought to solve this problem.

7. Position of choke lever

The choke lever’s setting should be as such as it remains “closed” when the generator is on and it should be “open” when the generator is off. If the setting does not correspond to the system then it would not start. In some generators choke lever is built in aside of power knob.


This is also very easily rectified just by changing the setting of the choke lever. Also make sure you know where the choke lever is present.

8. Air locked carburetors

If the generator is not used for longer periods of time its carburetor becomes air locked. If this happens it is likely that the generator would not start. At other times, carburetors are also clogged.


If the generator is being used after a long time you must first clean its carburetor to solve this issue. In case of clogged carburetors, the stale oil must be cleaned.

9. Spark plug issues

Over the time spark plug issues arise like there are deposits accumulated on the spark plug. This leads to zero power generation due to lack of ignition and the it ceases to work.


Using a wrench, remove the spark plug and see if there is any accumulation. If there is, then clean the spark plug. Make sure that the electrode is appropriately gapped so that the current flows. After that check the spark plug by turning the generator on first.

10. Dead battery

Again, whenever the generator is not used for longer periods it effects its battery which loses charge and is not functional anymore.


Changing the battery in this matter is one option. Another convenient way is by pulling the generator on so that the battery gets enough juice. Also, some kind of battery charger may also be used in this respect.

11. The Air Filter

The air filter needs to be replaced because too becomes clogged making it difficult for the carburetor to get enough energy to start.


Cleaning the filter is crucial for the carburetor to work. You need to dismantle the housing which contains the spongy air filter. If cleaning is not effective you can replace it.

12. Unplugging the electronics

All the electronics must be unplugged before the generators starts because troubles usually arise when devices are plugged in during startups. Do not even take chance of plugging in vacant extension cords as that may also cause troubleshooting problems.

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Wrapping up

Having mentioned these major issues and their solutions now you can easily diagnose and rectify the problems of your generators without outside help. Also, this should be kept in mind that these solutions vary from generator to generator because of differences in style, shape and model. So each generator should be treated differently.

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