Servicing a Generator

Servicing a Generator
TOPIC: Servicing a Generator

INSTRUCTOR: Ken (from Onan)

[Pertains mostly to Onan gas generators]

At temperatures above zero should use 30 weight oil. Run two hours per month at half the rated power. A good time to do it is when you’re running the roof air conditioners. Oil change is 150 hours or annually.

Air cleaner. Cummins-Onan filter is dry filter, and easy to change. Replace at 250 hours.

Spark arrester — aka muffler. Can clean every 50 hours. Pop the two plugs, start engine, and debris will be blown out. Run for 5 minutes, let it cool, replace the two plugs.

Battery. Some are maintenance free. But don’t let that fool you. If you can remove the caps, check cells with hydrometer. Check connections for corrosion, tightness.

Spark plugs. Make sure gap is correct. A dime will work in emergency. Black sooty plugs indicates rich mixture. Perfect is chocolate brown. If porcelean stays white, too lean. If wet, either it’s using oil or flooded. Onan filter is $12; generic exact same thing (fleetguard) is $4.

Put fuel stabilizer tablets in over the winter. Fuels are getting unstable to reduce emissions. Fuel will quickly break down. Average shelf life of a can of gas is 3 to 6 months. Stabilizers will keep additives from breaking down.

At 500 hours, need to adjust valves. Will hear a “tappet noise”. Must be done at Onan dealer.

Many RVers don’t use generators often. So a key need is to exercise the generator on a regular basis.