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The Complete Diesel Generator Maintenance Checklist

Save money on expensive repairs and ensure your generator supplies seamless power for years.

Investing in a diesel generator ensures your operations continue – even when working off the grid or dealing with a power cut. With automatic transfer switches and numerous safety features, generators can last for years, supplying interrupted power—as long as they receive regular maintenance.

Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune on maintenance, as following a few essential tips can prevent the need for repairs and ensure your generator runs seamlessly.

Following our generator maintenance checklist will give you years of uninterrupted power and flag issues before they worsen.

The benefits of regular diesel generator maintenance:

  • Smooth Transitions: If you have a backup generator, you’ll want to know it will supply power as and when needed. Regular maintenance provides peace of mind that the automatic transfer switch will activate in an outage, ensuring no disruptions to operations.
  • Performance: Generators require diesel fuel to run, and poor maintenance—such as neglected components—can lead to higher fuel wastage.
  • Longer Lifespan: Diesel generators can last years, but maintenance is vital to their longevity. If you don’t regularly check the generator’s components and allow debris to build up, it won’t last long.
  • Warranty Protection: Warranties can be lifelines when generators suffer faults, but most manufacturers have strict guidelines on care and maintenance. If you don’t follow a proper schedule, you could have to pay for a replacement.
  • Decreased Fuel Usage: Maintaining your generator can help you save on fuel usage. Not only is this a positive step for the environment, but it also saves money.
  • Saving Money: Generators should be a long-term investment. However, failing to check yours regularly and make sure it’s in full working order might mean spending extra money on repairs or replacing the entire generator set.
  • Increased Safety: Maintaining your generator and checking for issues prevents severe safety hazards such as overheating and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The daily, weekly, monthly and yearly diesel generator maintenance checklist

Generator maintenance doesn’t need to take over your life, as regular checks are usually enough to identify and prevent any issues.

Businesses that use generators often or rely on their chosen model for standby support should perform checks regularly. Households can skip some daily checks as they’re less reliant on standby power.

Daily generator maintenance

The daily generator maintenance checklist is easy to follow and takes just a few minutes to complete. Nobody knows what the day will bring, and businesses that rely on continuous power should make sure their generator is functional every morning.

  1. Check for any leaks around the engine
  2. Check fuel, oil and coolant levels are all OK
  3. Check for any signs of wear or heat on the components
  4. Check the system for any warning lights or alerts before starting
  5. Run your generator for a few minutes and check no alarms or shutdowns

Businesses that rely on their generators regularly should perform these checks daily, but they’re not vital if the generator doesn’t run constantly.

Weekly maintenance schedule

Weekly checks are more important because they let you assess whether the generator’s working correctly and allow you to flag any issues before they worsen.

  1. Check the generator’s fuel levels and refill if necessary. It can only run with optimal fuel levels, but most models are compatible with red diesel, a cost-effective solution.
  2. Assess whether the generator has any fluid leaks. You should do this by walking around the components and looking for signs of moisture or discolouration.
  3. Perform a visual inspection of various components and assess whether there are issues. In most cases, you’ll notice minor errors and can fix them before they worsen.

Monthly generator maintenance checklist

Monthly checks are vital to generator maintenance—whether you use the machine regularly or as a standby option. Following these steps provides peace of mind that the components are working correctly and allows you to take action if there are faults:

  1. Check the engine coolant and oil levels to see whether they need replenishment. If the levels seem low, there could be oil leaks.
  2. Evaluate whether the battery and charger are performing correctly. It’s also important to check the battery terminals for debris accumulation or clogs, as this can impact its ability to supply the generator with power.
  3. Radiators help diesel generators maintain a consistent temperature, but damage, clogs and low coolant levels can lead to overheating. Check the radiator, including coolant concentration, to assess any issues.
  4. Run the generator for half an hour each month.

Bi-annual maintenance

You can perform bi-annual checks alone, but some people prefer to seek specialist help when assessing the components. Inspecting the generator twice yearly will help isolate problems, giving you time to seek professional repairs if necessary.

  1. Perform a full inspection of the battery terminals and check the levels.
  2. Assess the generator’s electrical system, wiring, lubrication and fan belt. Any issues with the electric components could cause safety hazards.
  3. The exhaust system prevents carbon monoxide leaks and improves engine performance. Perform a visual inspection to check for issues, and contact a professional generator maintenance service if you notice any.
  4. Clean the generator and the surrounding areas to allow the air filter to work properly.

Annual generator maintenance checklist

Annual maintenance checklists are vital, but they’re best left to the professionals who have knowledge of the complex components and how to test them safely. During your inspection, a generator maintenance service will look at:

  • Whether your engine oil needs changing.
  • Replace the air filter and fuel filter components if necessary.
  • Check the fuel system and address contamination or other issues.
  • The alternator to check it works properly and clean it if required.

A specialist can also perform load bank testing to test whether the generator can perform and make repairs.

Preventative generator maintenance

Prevention is always better than cure; taking some time to perform basic maintenance procedures can preserve industrial generators for years. Use your generator regularly to keep it lubricated and ensure it can power industrial operations as needed.

Taking a few minutes for regular visual inspections is also beneficial, as they help identify and repair issues before they worsen.

The bottom line

Following our complete generator maintenance checklist will give you years of uninterrupted power and ensure your operations can continue at all times. Solent Power is always available if you need help with your maintenance schedule.

We distribute diesel generators from reputable suppliers and offer installation, inspection, and repair services. Please contact us today for more information.

Diesel generators are a long-term investment for businesses and residential properties. With proper maintenance, they’ll last for years, providing seamless prime and backup power. However, many people forget the importance of oil checks and changes.  Engine oil is integral to preserving your generator’s components and ensuring adequate lubrication. Failing to check the generator’s oil and […]

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