Basic Troubleshooting

Before starting any troubleshooting or repairs, ensure that the following basic checks are performed:

  • All switches and controls are in their correct positions.
  • The fuel level is correct.
  • There is enough lubricating oil in the engine.
  • There is sufficient coolant in the system.
  • The air intake is clear and the air filters are not clogged.
  • The radiator is free from obstruction.
  • The battery charger is operational and the battery connections are clean and secure.
  • The electrical connections are secure and there are no loose wires.
  • Blown fuses have been replaced.
  • Circuit breakers are not tripped and have been reset.

Most generator sets have a number of sensors that continuously monitor the engine for abnormal conditions such as low oil pressure or high coolant temperature.  Depending on the model and the situation, the sensors will trigger a fault condition which is displayed on the control panel display and via lights or audible alarms.  The Fault messages and indicators will typically announce either a Pre-Alarm Warning or an Shutdown Alarm.  These fault messages and indicators will point you in the right direction for further troubleshooting.

Common Failure Points and Alarms

The following areas comprise a large percentage of the problems that typically occur with generator systems that are not properly maintained and tested regularly:

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