5 Reasons Why Your Generator Won’t Start & How to Fix It


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When a generator fails to start, it can cause a lot of stress and frustration, especially when you need it the most. No one wants to be stuck in the dark during a power outage or suffer through extreme temperatures without functioning AC or heat. However, before jumping to conclusions and calling a repairman, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue yourself.

In this blog, we will explore the common reasons a generator doesn’t start and provide easy solutions to get it up and running again. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the world of troubleshooting generators!

Check the fuel level and quality

If your generator won’t start, one of the first things you should check is the fuel level and quality. It may be an obvious starting point, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. If the fuel level is low or empty, the generator won’t have enough to power up.

Additionally, old or stale fuel can clog the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting. To avoid this problem, make sure to use fresh fuel and store it properly in a cool, dry place. It’s also a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer if you know the generator won’t be used for an extended period of time.

This will help keep the fuel from becoming stale and clogging the system. Remember, always check the fuel level and quality before assuming there’s a more serious issue with your generator.

Verify there is enough fuel in the tank and check for any signs of contamination

When preparing for a trip, one important step is to check the fuel level and quality of your vehicle. It’s easy to forget this step, but it can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Start by checking the fuel gauge to make sure there is enough fuel for your journey.

You don’t want to get stranded on the side of the road with an empty tank. Next, check for any signs of contamination in the fuel. Contaminated fuel can cause serious problems for your vehicle, including engine damage and poor performance.

Look for things like water or dirt in the fuel, which can be visible through a fuel sediment bowl. It’s also a good idea to check the fuel filter for any signs of dirt or debris. If you’re unsure about the quality of the fuel, it’s better to play it safe and fill up with fresh fuel before setting off on your trip.

Remember, checking the fuel level and quality may seem like a small step, but it can make a big difference in the overall success of your journey.

generator won't start

Inspect the spark plug

If your generator won’t start, one possible reason could be a faulty spark plug. A spark plug is responsible for creating a spark that ignites the fuel in the engine, which in turn causes the generator to start. Over time, spark plugs can become dirty, worn out, or corroded, which can prevent them from functioning properly.

To inspect the spark plug, you’ll first need to locate it and remove it from the engine. Check the spark plug for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, black carbon buildup, or broken electrodes. If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to replace the spark plug with a new one.

A damaged spark plug can lead to reduced performance and fuel efficiency, and may even cause your generator to stop working altogether. By inspecting and maintaining your spark plug regularly, you can ensure that your generator starts reliably every time.

Remove the spark plug and check for damage or wear, and ensure it is properly connected

When it comes to maintaining your lawn mower, inspecting the spark plug is a crucial step in ensuring your machine is running at its best. To get started, all you need to do is remove the spark plug and take a good look at it. You’re looking for signs of wear or damage, such as black deposits, corrosion, or a damaged electrode.

If you notice any issues, it’s important to replace the plug right away. You also want to make sure the spark plug is properly connected, so take a moment to check the wires and connections. A faulty spark plug or poor connection can lead to a weak spark and cause your mower to run poorly or not start at all.

By inspecting and replacing your spark plug as needed, you’ll help extend the life of your lawn mower and keep your lawn looking great. So, go ahead, give your spark plug a quick look while you’re doing your regular maintenance, it’s easy and it can save you a lot of headaches down the line.

Examine the air filter

If you’re having trouble starting your generator, one possible cause could be a dirty air filter. Over time, debris and dust can accumulate in the air filter, restricting air flow and causing the engine to struggle. A simple solution is to examine the air filter and clean or replace it as needed.

To do this, locate the air filter housing and remove the filter. Check to see if it’s dirty or clogged, and if so, clean it with compressed air or replace it with a new one. This simple step can go a long way in ensuring your generator starts properly and runs smoothly.

So, next time you’re having difficulty getting your generator to start, don’t forget to examine the air filter as a possible culprit.

Clean or replace the air filter if it is dirty or clogged

When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, one of the most important tasks is examining the air filter. Your air filter is responsible for trapping dirt, dust, and other particles that could harm your system or compromise your indoor air quality. If the filter becomes dirty or clogged, it can’t do its job properly, leading to reduced airflow and increased strain on your system.

That’s why it’s crucial to clean or replace your air filter regularly. If you’re not sure how to check your air filter, consult your owner’s manual or contact an HVAC professional for guidance. By keeping your air filter clean, you can help extend the life of your HVAC system and breathe easier.

So, next time you’re wondering if it’s time to change your air filter, just remember the importance of a clean filter and how it can impact your system’s performance.

Inspect the carburetor

If your generator won’t start, one possible issue could be with the carburetor. The carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel in the engine, and if it isn’t functioning properly, the engine won’t be able to start. To inspect the carburetor, start by disconnecting the spark plug wire to prevent accidental sparking.

Then, remove the air filter and check the butterfly valve to ensure it moves freely. If it’s stuck, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. Next, check the fuel filter and make sure it isn’t clogged.

If it is, replace it. Finally, check the fuel line for any cracks or leaks. If you find any issues with the carburetor, it’s best to take your generator to a professional for repair or replacement.

By checking the carburetor, you’re taking an important step in troubleshooting your generator and getting it back up and running.

Check for any blockages or debris that may be preventing fuel flow

When your engine is giving you trouble starting up or running smoothly, there may be a blockage or debris in the carburetor preventing fuel from flowing properly. So, what’s a carburetor? A carburetor is a device that mixes air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. It’s a vital component of many engines, and if it’s clogged or dirty, your vehicle may not run properly.

If you are experiencing problems, it’s important to inspect the carburetor thoroughly. Start by removing the air filter and looking for any signs of dirt or debris around the carburetor. Next, remove the carburetor and use a can of carburetor cleaner to clean and flush out any blockages or debris.

Ensure that the carburetor is thoroughly dry before re-installing it. If the carburetor is beyond repair, it may be time to replace it. Remember, regular maintenance and cleaning of your carburetor will help ensure optimal performance and avoid costly repairs in the long run.

Check the oil level

If you’re having trouble starting your generator, one of the first things you should check is the oil level. Low or dirty oil can prevent your generator from starting, and even cause damage if left unchecked. To check the oil level, locate the dipstick on the side of the engine and remove it.

Wipe it clean, then reinsert it and remove it again to check the level. If the oil is low, add more until it reaches the proper level. If the oil is dirty or contaminated with debris, it’s best to change it entirely.

Keeping your generator’s oil level and cleanliness in check is an essential part of ensuring it runs smoothly and reliably. So next time your generator won’t start, remember to check the oil first.

Verify the oil level is adequate and of the correct type

When it comes to maintaining your car’s engine, one of the most critical tasks you can perform is checking the oil level. That’s because insufficient or inappropriate oil can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. So, the first thing you want to do is make sure your engine is off and cool before checking the oil level.

Open the hood and locate the dipstick. Pull it out and wipe it clean using a rag or paper towel. Then, reinsert the dipstick and pull it back out to see where the oil level lies.

If it’s below the recommended level, you’ll need to add more oil to keep your engine properly lubricated. On the other hand, if the oil level is too high, you should remove some oil to prevent overfilling, which can also cause engine problems. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that you’re using the correct type of oil for your car’s make and model.

You can check the owner’s manual or look for the information on the oil cap or dipstick to confirm the type and viscosity of oil required. By taking the time to check your oil regularly, you’ll help ensure your car’s engine runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Consider professional maintenance

Dealing with a generator that won’t start can be frustrating, especially when you need it the most. One way to avoid this problem is by considering professional maintenance. Even if your generator seems to be working fine, you never know what could be happening under the hood.

Regular maintenance by a professional can keep your generator in top condition, and prevent unexpected breakdowns when you need it the most. Whether it’s changing the oil, checking the fuel system, or inspecting the electrical components, a professional can identify any issues and fix them before they become major problems. In the long run, investing in regular maintenance can save you money and prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line.

So, if you want to ensure that your generator starts up when you need it, consider scheduling a professional maintenance service today.

If the above steps do not solve the issue, it may require a technician to diagnose and repair

If you have gone through all the steps to troubleshoot your device and the problem still persists, it might be time to consider professional maintenance. While it can be tempting to try and fix the issue yourself, some problems require expert knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair properly. Attempting to fix the problem yourself can sometimes make it worse and result in costly repairs in the long run.

A qualified technician has the necessary tools and expertise to determine the root cause of the issue and fix it efficiently. Remember, your device is an investment, and it is crucial to take care of it properly to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. So, if you have tried everything and are still facing issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.


In conclusion, the issue with a generator that won’t start is akin to trying to run a marathon without any training – it simply won’t happen. Just like our bodies need fuel and preparation to perform a physical feat, a generator requires proper maintenance and care to function smoothly. So don’t be caught in the dark and make sure to give your generator the TLC it deserves, unless you want to be left in the dark without any power.


What are the reasons why a generator won’t start?
There are several reasons why a generator won’t start, including a dead battery, clogged fuel filter, low oil level, or a faulty spark plug.

How can I troubleshoot my generator if it won’t start?
You can troubleshoot your generator by checking the fuel level and quality, inspecting the spark plug and air filter, and making sure all connections are secure.

What should I do if my generator still won’t start after troubleshooting?
If your generator still won’t start after troubleshooting, you may need to take it to a professional for repair or replace certain parts, such as the starter motor or ignition coil.

Can using old or stale fuel cause a generator not to start?
Yes, using old or stale fuel can cause a generator not to start because it can clog the fuel system and prevent proper combustion. It is important to use fresh fuel and store it properly to ensure your generator starts when you need it.