Winter is here. Now is the right time to prepare your generator for the winter months as generators can develop several problems during this cold season. When the temperature drops, the particles of generator fuel can coalesce, making it difficult for you to operate the generator. If your generator has an electric starter, the batteries may lose cranking power.

Low oil shutdown sensors may experience problems in winter. Malfunctioning oil shutdown sensors will prevent the generator from starting.

Here are some tips to prepare your generator for winter.

Inspect Your Batteries

Before winter hits in full force, inspect your batteries to check whether the lead plates remain coated with sulfate. Make sure the breaker is closed. If it trips, reset it.

Check battery connections; clean and securely tighten them whenever required. To prevent corrosion, apply a battery saver to batteries regularly. If your batteries are on their last legs or have developed a significant problem, replace them.

Check Your Generator’s Fuel Levels

Make sure your portable generator has enough oil to keep it running. Check the oil level whenever you add fuel to your generator and top off if required. Add fuel stabilizer at least once a year. Always keep a few quarts of oil on hand and continue to check oil levels every 24-48 hours if the generator is running. Consider switching to winter-grade oil designed to reduce friction between different parts.

For permanently installed generators that are connected to natural gas, levels should be fine. For permanently installed generators running on propane, be sure to check your propane tank levels to ensure there is enough.

Inspect Replaceable Parts

Check your generator’s carburetor, fuel filter, spark plug, and air filter for dirt and damage. Perform inspections at regular intervals during winter. For specific maintenance instructions, refer to your owner manual.

Use an Engine Block Heater

To keep your engine warm and make sure it performs the way it should in winter, install an engine block heater. There are three types of block heaters: freeze plugs, tank-style heaters, and radiator hoses.

These heaters reduce wear and tear during the ignition cycles, reduce emissions, and save fuel. They prevent dangerous cold starts by keeping the engine warm.

Clean Your Generator

Make sure the air vents are free of debris. Keep the surrounding area clean, remove loose wires, tighten loose parts, and inspect the generator for corroded parts. Do not use a power washer to clean the engine and other parts as high-pressure water could damage them.

Are you planning to install a generator in Sonoma County? Summit Technology Group helps you choose the right model for your home. Our team will help you evaluate your options. To make an appointment, call 707-542-4773.