Generac Generator Won’t Start: How To Fix It In 4 Steps

man checking generator

Generators are very necessary if you are someone who wants to stay ahead of emergencies and calamities. Aside from having the capability to make outdoor trips much more comfortable, these products also have a very practical side that you can use to help your family stay safe and secure.

Our Favorite Generators

During power outages, generators can help you run water pumps, air conditioners and heaters. These devices are not just necessary for comfort, they are actually very necessary for survival. This is why generators need to be in good condition all the time. However, problems can happen unexpectedly.

The same is true even for well known brands such as Generac. If you fail to maintain them properly, their generators can easily suffer from start up issues. If you want to know how you can fix them, you can follow the steps below so you can see exactly what to do when a Generac generator won’t start.

Things You Need To Prepare

1. A Clean, Well Ventilated Work Space

A Work Station

This will allow you to clean or disassemble your generator without having to worry about the toxic and volatile fumes and liquids in your unit. You can opt to use a workbench or a sturdy table, just make sure that there is a lot of air in the area where you want to work.

You should also avoid working indoors. You can open your garage and do the fixes there. Avoid working down the basement and you should also avoid working near the kitchen or near fire. Make sure that there are no children or pets in the area.

2. Tools


You will need to use basic tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches to open up the housing of the generator. You can also use the spark plug wrench if one was provided to you with the generator. You can also use electrical tools so you can easily disassemble parts of the unit if necessary.

3. Work Gloves

work gloves

You will need this to protect your hands from the fuel and the oil. This is also used so you can avoid cutting your hands especially when you are trying to remove parts of the generator. You can use dry rubber gloves or leather gloves if you do not have one.

You will also need the following:

A-iPower SUA12000EC 12000-Watt Gas Powered Generator W/Electric Start...
  • 12, 000 starting watts/9, 000 running watts
  • Epa, CARB for 50 States
  • High performance alternator provides greater peak wattage which allows motor driven...
  • New fuel
  • New oil
  • A new spark plug
  • A carburetor cleaner or a new carburetor
  • A new ignition coil
  • A recoil starter or a safety switch

Fixing A Generac Generator Won’t Start In 4 Steps

Step 1: Check The Fuel And The Oil

filling a generator

Some of the most common causes for having a Generac generator that won’t start are low oil as well as old fuel. You need to keep in mind that most generators will have a feature that will prevent you from starting the unit if it has low oil. This is why you need to check the indicator as well as the actual oil level.

With work gloves on, put the unit in a well ventilated room. If the generator has a low oil level, you need to add oil using a product that has the quality that is recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that the level is just right before staring. You can also opt to remove all the oil and add in a new batch.

You should also check the fuel. If the fuel has been left to sit too long, it will no longer work properly. You will have to drain the fuel tank and add in a new batch of fuel. You need to make sure that the fuel has the correct octane score. After doing so, you can try to start your generator once again.

Step 2: Checking The Carburetor

A Carburetor Repair Kit

Old fuel can actually turn into varnish and clog up the inside parts of the carburetor. This will stop the gas from going into the engine and this in turn will prevent the engine from starting properly. It is also possible for it to cause the incorrect mix of air and fuel or for the engine to not run without the choke.

It is also possible for the varnish to prevent the float needle to properly seal the seat. This will allow the gas to overflow and go into the carburetor. If this happens, you will be able to smell the gas in the oil down the crankcase. At this point, you will only have to options to fix this very serious problem.

You can either clean the carburetor using a carb cleaner or completely replace this part of the generator with a new one. You should know however, the cleaning or replacing the carburetor is a complicated task and doing it can also void the warranty on the generator.

Step 3: Checking The Ignition Coil

ignition coil

If the ignition coil is defective, the engine cannot start because it cannot send electricity towards the spark plug. If the spark plug is working properly, you can check the ignition coil through an ignition coil tester. If it is not working properly, you will have to replace this part with a new one.

Step 4: Checking The Recoil Starter And Safety Switch

checking generator

The recoil starter is what engages the crankshaft to turn on the engine. If this part is no longer working properly, the engine will not start. You should also consider checking the safety switch with a tester to see if it is still functioning. If any of these two parts are not working properly, you need to replace them.

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  • 10, 000 Peak Watts/ 8, 000 Rated Watts (GASOLINE) & 9, 000 Peak Watts/ 7, 000 Rated Watts...
  • Dual Fuel Capability allows you to choose between Gasoline & LPG fuel sources
  • The Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, Air Cooled, OHV Engine with Electric Start is protected by...


When it comes to Generac generators, you will have to make sure that they are properly maintained so that they will always be in good running condition. You can check the oil as well as the fuel and you can also replace damaged parts. Always look for professional help in case the generator still won’t start.

Do you have a Generac generator that had starting problems? Tell us more about how you fixed it in the comments section.

Last update on 2021-01-16 at 13:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

Leave a Comment:

Tony Braga says Sep. 2017

My generator backfires what could be wrong with it

mark constas says Dec. 2017

I have a gp3300 that starts fine when cold. If turns off because of tipping from level, it won’t start. I assume a warm engine should be started with full choke. I have, however, tried it both ways (and in between) and have no luck when starting. I have to let it sit for good while (15+ mins) then it will start

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