Diesel Generator Disaster Guide: Top Tips To Maintain Diesel Generators and Avoid Issues


Diesel generators are heavy-duty units designed for longevity. While the durability of diesel generators makes them ideal for long-term usage, they require significant upkeep to keep working as intended.

If you have recently purchased a diesel generator or are considering purchasing one, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best value out of your investment.

Everybody knows machines need timely maintenance and servicing to last longer, but diesel generators require several other measures to keep running optimally. Let’s take a look at why diesel generator disasters happen and how to avoid those issues.

Laundry List of Reasons Why Diesel Generators Break Down

Call up any reputable generator manufacturer or repair services and ask the most common causes for diesel generators to break down, and they’ll give you a laundry list. You can click here to know about these causes in detail, but here’s a long and short of various reasons for your diesel generator to give up.

Pushing the Generator to Its Limits

It is basic knowledge that be it humans or machines, if they are pumping full steam every day, they are bound to break down. While humans can take a vacation and recharge, machinery needs proper maintenance. Think of maintenance like a spa day for your diesel generator. If you’re running your diesel generator 24 hours a day all the time, it requires servicing every fortnight or 20 days. Failure to do so can severely damage the components of your generator or even cause it to break down.

Using Cheap and Low-Quality Fuel

Always ensure that the diesel you’re using in your generator is of good quality. Buy your fuel from a reliable and trusted source to avoid buying adulterated stuff. Additionally, ensure that the fuel in the generator is clean and free of any contamination. Contaminated diesel can cause system failure, so it’s of paramount importance that you check your fuel regularly.

Clogged Fuel Filter

An extension of the above point, a clogged filter can ruin your diesel generator and cause it to shut down. The job of a fuel filter is to keep the fuel clean for use by the generator. However, a clogged fuel filter does the opposite and contaminates the fuel damaging the generator.

Battery Failure

One of the most common reasons for generator failure is a weak or failed battery. Usually, if a generator is not starting, the reason almost always is a failed battery, and you may have to call your generator repair service for the same.

Top Tips To Prevent Any Diesel Generator Disaster

Now that we know the causes of generator failure, here are some tips to avoid any diesel generator disaster.

Don’t Miss the Routine General Inspection

Any generator expert will tell you how important a general inspection is before starting your generator. Various components like the exhaust system, diesel engine, and fuel system, among others, must be checked before starting the generator. Look for leaks or spillage as those can be dangerous to your generator.

Always Keep the Diesel Generator Clean

As mentioned before, oil drips and spillage can be disastrous for your diesel generator. Keep the generator clean from any dripping, pest infestation, and other nuisances to keep it prim and proper. The gist of it is to keep up with the maintenance and servicing of your diesel generator if you want it to serve you well.

Maintain a Good Engine Oil Level

It’s a good practice to check the engine oil post-usage every time. Use the same brand and quality of oil every time and top up the level once it falls below the full markings on the dipstick. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for an oil change and stick to it for regular oil and filter change.

Keep a Check on the Coolant Level

Heavy-duty generators like diesel generators require adequate coolant to perform optimally. Usually, a mixture of water, antifreeze, and coolant additives is needed. Keep a check on the coolant level at specified intervals during shutdown periods. Once the engine has cooled down, remove the radiator hub to check the level, and if it’s low, top-up till three quarters.

Perform Exhaust System Inspection

This is one of the most critical steps to ensure that the diesel generator performs at its best and doesn’t die upon you suddenly. Look for any leaks on the exhaust line and get them repaired by a qualified generator technician. The exhaust line leaks are usually around the welds, connection points, and gaskets.

These were some of the most common practices to keep your diesel generator pristine. Other steps include performing a monthly engine exercise where it’s run for at least 30 minutes, using clean fuel, and keeping the battery fully charged/well-maintained.