diesel generator

How To Maintain A Diesel Generator

Diesel generators are a hybrid of electric and diesel generators to generate electrical energy. A diesel compression-ignition engine is often engineered to operate using fuel oil.

There are types of generators including diesel and gas generators that are modified to use other fuels or natural gas.

A diesel-powered generator is easy to maintain and is typically durable and sturdy. While it’s also cheaper to use because of lower fuel cost unlike other fuels such as propane and gasoline.

So, how do you perform proper diesel generator maintenance? This guide talks about tips on how to maintenance a diesel generator and when to change diesel oil.


technician inspecting diesel generator


What Kind Of Proper Maintenance Does A Generator Need?

Generators usually operate for long hours on full load. If you’re using your diesel generator most of the time, you need better diesel generator maintenance to ensure maximum service time.

The best kind of diesel generator maintenance you can give your internal combustion engine is to follow the engine manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule.

A good diesel generator maintenance practice can extend service time while ensuring that your electric generator can provide quality power when it’s needed.

Well-maintained diesel fuel power machines help avoid inconveniences during utility power outages and deliver adequate starting power.

Hospitals, healthcare facilities, data centers, government offices, fire stations, and airports require a reliable generator to keep the electricity supply coming in despite ongoing power outages.

Here’s how to perform diesel generator maintenance which guarantees uninterrupted power supply all year round:

  • Routine exhaust system inspection. A good diesel generator maintenance tip is that the engine requires close monitoring of the exhaust system, oil filter, radiator cap, cooling system, antifreeze and coolant additives, fuel system DC electrical system, and other routine general inspection checks for potential leaks. Routine diesel generator maintenance is essential for the proper operation of diesel and other internal combustion engines.
  • Remove oil drips. Keeping your diesel generator free from oil drips through testing and fuel polishing is another helpful diesel generator maintenance practice. It ensures the belts and hoses are clean and well-functioning. Clean the battery cables and wash your generator set regularly using a soft brush or cloth to prevent wasps from accumulating in the electrical system and engine-stored fuel.
  • Regular generator set exercise. Routine engine exercise keeps the fuel system diesel engine lubricated while preventing the oxidation of electrical contacts. This diesel generator maintenance tip also helps in reliable engine starting and ensures fuel is used up before it deteriorates. Do this once every month for at least 30 minutes with 1/3 of the nameplate rating load.
  • Routine lubrication service. Check the engine oil when you shut down your generator using a dipstick. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual on diesel generator maintenance for oil viscosity and API oil classification to know exactly which engine parts lubricated with a balanced coolant mixture and low-pressure compressed air. Make sure to use the same brand and quality of oil for refills and a manual battery load tester to keep the engine generator in good condition.


technician changed the engine oil of the generator


What Is A Common Problem With Diesel Generators?

One of the most common standby power system failures with diesel generator maintenance is fuel leaks. Leaks holes cracks dirt usually occur when you overfill the base fuel tank which affects normal air flow. It can also happen when there is a malfunction in the pump system of the fuel.

In some cases, the leak is caused by human error so make sure to get help from a professional diesel generator maintenance technician to refuel your diesel generator based on the output voltage.

How Often Should I Change Diesel Generator Oil?

Changing diesel oil is a preventive maintenance habit, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the interval. If you have small diesel engines, an oil change should be done every 5o hours.

For a large diesel generator, oil changes may be required every 100 to 500 hours, depending on the manual guide. When you change your oil, it’s also important to change your fuel filters for longer and better performance of open-cell lead acid batteries.