How do I know if my starter is bad on my generator?

How do I know if my starter is bad on my generator?

I had a similar issue with my generator starter a few months ago, and I learned a lot about how to tell if it’s bad. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Grinding sound: If you hear a grinding noise when you try to start your generator, it could be a sign that the starter drive gear is worn out or not working properly.
  • Freewheeling: If the starter spins freely without engaging the engine, it could be a sign that the starter is bad.
  • Intermittent starting problems: If your generator starts sometimes but not others, it could be a sign that the starter is failing.
  • Starter stays on after engine started: If the starter continues to run after the engine has started, it could be a sign that the starter solenoid is sticking.
  • Smoke: If you see smoke coming from the starter, it’s definitely a sign that something is wrong.
  • Batteries: If your generator’s batteries are old or not holding a charge, it could be putting extra strain on the starter and causing it to fail.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s best to have a professional mechanic take a look at your generator to diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs. Don’t wait too long to address starter issues, as they can lead to more serious problems down the line.

How Do I Know If My Starter Is Bad On My Generator?

Hey there, fellow generator owners! As a seasoned technician in theindustry, I’ve come across one common question: ‘How do I know if mystarter is bad on my generator?’

It’s a valid concern because without a functioning starter, yourgenerator won’t start up to provide you with much-needed backuppower.

First things first, let’s define what we mean by the starter. Thestarter motor is responsible for turning over the engine when you pressthe ignition switch or turn the key. If it fails to perform thisfunction, it could be an indication that something is wrong with yourgenerator’s starting system.

In this article, we’ll discuss some telltale signs of a faultystarter and how to troubleshoot them so that you can get back toenjoying uninterrupted power supply during outages or emergencies.

Diagnosing Generator Issues

As a seasoned generator technician, I understand how frustrating itcan be when your generator is not functioning as expected. There areseveral things that could go wrong with a generator and one of the mostcommon issues is a faulty starter.

To diagnose whether or not your starter is bad, there are a few stepsyou can take. Firstly, check the voltage output from the battery toensure it’s producing enough power to crank over the engine.

Secondly, inspect all belts for wear or damage and replace them ifnecessary.

Thirdly, clean all contacts on the starter motor to remove any dirtor corrosion buildup which may impede its function.

Finally, check fuses for signs of overheating or melting.

Once these initial checks have been completed and no obvious faultsfound, testing the starter should be your next step in determining ifit’s indeed defective.

Testing The Starter

First off, let’s check the battery voltage – that’ll give us a goodindication of whether the starter is working properly. Next, we’ll takea look at the solenoid – if it’s not engaged, that could be why thestarter isn’t working. Finally, we’ll have to test the ignition circuitto make sure it’s functioning correctly.

Checking The Battery Voltage

As a generator technician, it is important to know how to properlytest the starter on your generator. One way to do so is by checking thebattery voltage.

This can be done using various testing tools such as a multimeter orvoltmeter. Before testing, make sure that the battery has been fullycharged using proper charging techniques.

Once you have confirmed that the battery is fully charged, turn offall electrical loads and connect the testing tool’s leads to thepositive and negative terminals of the battery. Check for a readingbetween 12-13 volts.

If the reading falls below this range, troubleshoot for any issueswith the charging system or loose connections before proceeding withfurther starter tests. Remember these troubleshooting tips beforeconcluding whether or not your starter is bad!

Examining The Solenoid

Alright, now that we have thoroughly checked the battery voltage andensured it is in good condition, let’s move on to examining the solenoidfor a proper starter test. As a generator technician, it is crucial toinspect all components of the starting system to accurately diagnose anyissues.

The solenoid plays a significant role in this system by connectingthe battery power to the starter motor when activated. First, check forloose connections or damaged wires leading to the solenoid.

Next, use a multimeter or voltmeter to test if there is continuitybetween the two large terminals while activating the start switch. Ifthere isn’t continuity present, troubleshoot for potential problems withelectronics such as checking voltage regulator or inspecting spark plugsbefore concluding whether or not your starter needs replacement.

Testing The Ignition Circuit

Alright, now that we have checked the solenoid for any loose ordamaged connections and tested for continuity between its terminals,let’s move on to testing the ignition circuit.

As a generator technician, it is crucial to examine all components ofthe starting system thoroughly to ensure they are functioningcorrectly.

The ignition circuit is responsible for delivering electrical powerfrom the battery to the spark plugs.

To test this circuit, start by checking all connections leading toand from it for any signs of damage or looseness.

Next, use a voltmeter to check voltage levels at various points inthe circuit while activating the ignition switch.

Finally, measure resistance across different parts of the circuitusing an ohmmeter to confirm proper function.

By properly examining each component of the starting system, we canaccurately diagnose any issues and get your generator up and runningagain in no time!

Listening For Unusual Noises

Rattling sounds can be a sign of a problem with the starter, so it’simportant to listen out for them. I always suggest humming along withthe generator to see if there’s any difference in the sound it’s making.Whirring noises can also be indicative of a problem with the starter, sobe sure to listen out for those too.

Rattling Sounds

Hey there fellow generator owner!

If you’re concerned about the health of your starter, one thing tolisten for is rattling sounds. As a generator technician, I know thatthis could be an indication of several issues.

For example, heat buildup can cause parts within the starter toexpand and contract rapidly, creating a rattling sound. Additionally,fuel leaks or voltage drops can also affect the performance of thestarter and produce strange noises.

It’s important to address any unusual sounds coming from yourgenerator as soon as possible since they could be signs of more seriousproblems down the line.


Hey there again, generator owner!

Now that we’ve covered rattling sounds, let’s talk about humming.

As a technician, I know that if you hear a consistent hum coming fromyour generator, it could be indicative of several issues.

One possibility is a stalled engine due to fuel or spark plugissues.

In this case, troubleshooting tips may include checking the fuellevels and replacing any faulty spark plugs.

It’s also important to note that a humming sound could simply meanthat your generator is working properly and producing power.

However, if the sound changes in pitch or becomes louder than usual,it’s best to have it checked out by a professional before more seriousproblems arise.


Hey there, generator owner!

Now that we’ve covered humming sounds, let’s talk about another noiseyou may hear – whirring.

As a technician, I know that if your generator is making ahigh-pitched whirring sound, it could indicate an issue with the motoror fan blades.

This type of noise can be caused by installing parts incorrectly ordamage to the fan blades.

It’s important to check all connections and assess any visible damagebefore running your generator again.

If the problem persists, it’s best to have it looked at by aprofessional as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Remember, proactive maintenance and attention to unusual noises cansave you from costly repairs down the road.

Examining The Starter Wires

If you hear unusual noises coming from your generator when startingit, the first thing to check is the starter. However, if there are nonoticeable sounds and your generator won’t start at all, then it’s timeto inspect the starter further.

To determine if your starter is bad, begin by checking voltage at thebattery. If voltage levels appear low or dead altogether, then examineconnectors for corrosion or loose wires. Verify wiring is also correctlyconnected to ensure a tight fit between components. Next, inspect thesolenoid for any visible damage or wear and tear that may cause amalfunction in its operation.

  • Check voltage levels at the battery
  • Inspect connectors for corrosion or loose wires
  • Tighten connections as necessary
  • Verify wiring is correctly connected
  • Inspect solenoid for visible damage

If these checks return no apparent issues with your starter, then itcould be time to replace it entirely. Before making this decisionthough, double-check that the battery has enough charge to power up yourgenerator adequately.

Checking voltage levels and verifying wiring should always be donebefore replacing the starter outright. It’s essential not only to savemoney but also because other underlying problems could exist within yoursystem causing similar symptoms.

Once you’ve ruled out everything else and determined that replacingthe starter is necessary based on inspection results alone – proceedaccordingly!

Replacing The Starter

Replacing the Starter:

First and foremost, if your generator is not starting at all, itdoesn’t necessarily mean that the starter has gone bad. However, if youhear a clicking sound or grinding noise when attempting to start yourgenerator, then there’s a high probability that your starter hasmalfunctioned.

To identify problems related to the starter, begin by checkingconnections between the battery and starter motor. If these are fine,move on to reviewing manuals for instructions on how to check voltagecoming from the battery.

Checking fuel levels in the tank can also help determine whether ornot the issue lies with the starter. Additionally, ensure that anysafety switches or kill switches are disengaged beforetroubleshooting.

Once everything else checks out okay, remove and inspect the starterfor damage or wear-and-tear signs as well as corrosion or other debrisbuild-up around its contacts. By following these steps of identifyingissues one after another while replacing an old faulty starter with anew one could be done easily and without stress!


As a generator technician, it’s important to know how to diagnose andfix any issues that may arise with your equipment. One common problem isa bad starter. But how do you know if your starter is the culprit?

Firstly, you can test the starter by using a multimeter to check forproper voltage output. If there isn’t enough power going to the starter,then it may be time for a replacement.

Secondly, listen for unusual noises when starting up the generator.Grinding or clicking sounds could indicate damaged teeth on the flywheelor worn out gears in the starter itself.

Lastly, examine the starter wires for corrosion or damage. Faultywiring can prevent proper electrical flow and cause problems withstarting up your generator.

Remember: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Regularmaintenance and inspections can help catch potential issues before theybecome major problems. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional ifyou’re unsure about any repairs – safety should always come first.