Causes of Generator Failure & Their Solutions

The reason for generator failure occurs in many ways. As with any piece of machinery a generator cannot be completely reliable. The system completely shuts down if the generator battery stops functioning. You can prevent the problem with regular maintenance. Still, some troubleshoot always happens which is unavoidable.

Comprehend the reasons for generator battery failure:

1 Battery becomes dead

One of the most common reasons a generator doesn’t start is due to a battery failure. It generally occurs due to a loose connection or a sulfation build-up. When sulfate molecules in the electrolyte (battery acid) get discharged, it causes a build-up covering the plate leading to the battery not being able to provide enough current.

Solution: Monitor the generator battery on a regular basis and get it cleaned.

  1. Level of Coolant gets low

An engine would soon overheat if there is no coolant radiator, which leads to mechanical breakdown and engine failure.

Solution: Check Coolant levels regularly by visually checking if there are any puddles of coolant.


Many times your generator will not start is linked in some way to fuel. A bad fuel mix can occur in ways as follows:

  • When there is no fuel in engine receives air but no fuel
  • The air intake gets clogged, which means there is fuel but no air
  • The fuel system supply might be a complete imbalance. Thus, combustion does not occur properly within the engine.
  • Lastly, impurities present in the fuel will not burn it up. This often happens when fuel has been standing in a tank for long periods of time.

Solution: For this get the engine checked periodically.

  1. CONTROL panel shows NOT IN AUTO

 “Not in auto” message blinks in the control panel. This is due to human error when you leave the main control switch in the off/reset position. In such a situation, the generator battery may not start due to power discharge.

Solution: Check the generator system twice after every service.

  1. Air in the fuel system

Air in the fuel system leads to startup an issue. It happens in the generator which is not run on a regular basis. Due to too much air, combustion is stopped and thus, the engine fails to start.

Solution: For this air is cleared from the system wherein every week you need to run the generator for a few minutes.

  1. Oil Leakage

In the mid-cycle, the generator stops due to oil or diesel leakage. Although with regular inspections you can check where the leakage is. However, backup generators at times show the leak even though in the actual leak is not present. It is mainly because generators are not run on a frequent basis. Hence, carbon, oil, unburned fuel, condensed water, and such chokes the whole system.

Solution: You can combine automatic load bank and generator to prevent the leakage.