The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

Generator maintenance is all about prevention and ensuring your unit is operating at peak performance for as long as possible. For this reason, having a maintenance checklist can be very useful.

Here at Edge Technology, we are experts in every aspect of generator servicing and maintenance. If you ever run into any problems with your generator or are just unsure about the best ways to maintain it, give our team a call to find out how we could help.

In the meantime, here, we look at all the essential maintenance tasks, tips and tricks that need a place on your generator maintenance checklist!

• What Should Your Checklist Include?
• Generator Servicing and Maintenance Essentials
• Seasonal Generator Checks

a checklist

What Should Your Checklist Include?

What sorts of things must you consider when it comes to the basics of generator maintenance?

When constructing a checklist you’ll want to ensure you cover all your bases, the following areas are some basic things you will need to think about:

• Visual checks to ensure nothing is obviously faulty or out of place.
• Check for any possible leaks, including around the engine, fuel, exhaust and cooling system.
• Ensure fluid levels are appropriate.
• Test the battery to ensure it is in working order.
• Record where repairs and closer monitoring are needed.

Some issues you may come across can be easily fixed or replaced by you, but you might prefer to leave the more complex repairs up to the professionals. If this is the case, you can get in touch with us here at Edge Technology so we can help get your generator back to peak performance.

The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

How often you perform the necessary checks will depend on what generator component you are assessing. Some elements may require more regular maintenance, while some can be relatively self-sustaining and will only need to be checked yearly.

Below we elaborate on various areas and how often they will need to be checked.

Daily Generator Maintenance Checklist

These kind of checks are very basic and are just in place to ensure your generator is ticking over as it should.

• Run your generator to ensure it is functioning as normal.
• Confirm no alarms or warning lights have been triggered.

These kinds of daily checks will obviously not be necessary if your generator does not run constantly. However, it can be a step that puts your mind at ease for larger units that need to be on all the time.

Weekly Generator Maintenance Checklist

Depending on how often you run your generator, these checks may also be minimal but can still be helpful in ensuring that everything is working perfectly.

• Check your fuel levels and refill if necessary.
• Check for fluid leaks.
• A quick visual check to ensure everything is in order.

Monthly Generator Maintenance Checklist

Hopefully, with your daily and weekly checks, everything is still functioning as it should by the end of the month. If not, the previous checks will have highlighted possible areas that need attention.

• Ensure engine coolant and engine oil levels are appropriate.
• Check the battery and charger.
• Check the radiator.
• Exercise your generator engine for around 30 minutes every month if use is irregular.

Bi-annual Generator Maintenance Checklist

For some of these more extensive checks, it is often best to consult a professional.

• Clean the battery terminals and examine the battery electrolyte levels.
• Inspect the fan belt.
• Check the lubrication system.
• Inspect electrical system and wiring.
• Check the exhaust system.
• Clean the area around your generator to ensure there is no debris and the exhaust can vent properly.

Annual Generator Maintenance Checklist

Enlisting the help of a professional to complete your generator’s annual maintenance is essential. Experts, like our team here at Edge Technology, will be able to do more thorough checks and repair any issues where needed. Leaving these tasks to a professional is safer and will be beneficial in the long term, ensuring you don’t make any problems worse with a DIY fix.

• Change the oil.
• Replace the filters.
• Renew the spark plugs.
• Check the coolant concentration.
• Clean the alternator.
• Perform load bank testing.

The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

Having these items on your annual checklist, along with all the previously mentioned tests will help ensure that your generator performs at its best year after year.

The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

Generator Servicing and Maintenance Essentials

Here, we elaborate a little more on the tasks you will need to perform as you go through your checklist.

Generator Exercise

Much like humans, engines require regular (or at least semi-regular) exercise to ensure they don’t seize up and stop working in the future. Regular exercise gives the benefit of minimising the risk of oxidation and uses older fuel at the bottom of the tank.

Exercising the engine every now and again will mean starting it up will be a much smoother process. If your generator is not in constant use, exercising the engine for around 30 minutes a month will help keep it in good condition.

Fuel System

As previously mentioned, if your generator has not been called into action recently, you should consider implementing a regular exercise schedule to allow the engine to run and use up any old fuel.

If you have a diesel-powered generator, this fuel will only have a viable lifespan of a year before it begins to slowly corrode and become contaminated. Therefore, switching the generator on will not only allow you to see if the engine is running smoothly and the fuel system is functional, but it will allow you to use the old fuel reserves before adding fresh fuel.


Much like in a car engine, oil within a generator plays a vital role and should be regularly checked and topped up where necessary. Before checking, allow the oil to drain back into the crankcase, ensuring you follow the manufacturer’s guidance on oil viscosity and classification. We’d always suggest using the same brand and quality of oil when topping up the generator.

Changing the oil and filter will keep your generator running smoothly. Again, adhere to manufacturer guidelines concerning the draining of fuel and filter replacement to ensure that everything continues to function as it should.

Battery Quality

Although you may not think it, your generator battery is one of the most important components within the unit. Faulty or improperly maintained batteries can often be the cause for start-up failure.

To keep your battery up to specification, regular and thorough testing is required to help you avoid any start-up hitches.

For larger, more industrial-sized generators, you’ll want to conduct a thorough test of your battery, rather than simply checking the output voltage, as this may not provide adequate results.

The best way to test a battery is by using a load. Depending on the model of generator, this may be done automatically each time the generator starts, or this may have to be carried out manually using an artificial load to check the battery’s condition and quality.

You will also need to keep your battery clean by wiping away any dirt or grime with a damp cloth. You should then inspect the terminals, to see if there is any rust corrosion present.

If you come across any rust, you can remove the battery safely and clean the terminals using a solution of baking soda and water (six heaped tablespoons to roughly 950ml of water). You should then rinse with clean water and apply a light layer of petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent further corrosion.

The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

Seasonal Generator Checks

You will need to perform the aforementioned checks throughout the year, but there may be some additional things to be extra aware of when the winter kicks in and the weather gets colder.

Preparing Your Generator For Winter

Doing an additional full inspection just before winter descends fully can often be helpful. This way  you will be prepared for any eventuality if you will be relying on a generator in the colder months.

Check the air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, carburettor and any other crucial parts and replace or repair them if necessary. Even if you notice a small flaw that may be tempting to overlook, err on the safe side and conduct the repairs; you don’t want to be caught with a broken down generator when you need it most.

• Air Filter: Doing a quick check of the air filter can help increase the lifespan of your generator. Replacing it is usually a relatively simple procedure.
• Fuel Filter: This can often be a problematic component, so make sure it is clear and working properly.
• Spark Plugs: This crucial component makes the spark that ignites the engine; thus, it is important that you take care of it. You can lubricate the pistons with a small amount of engine oil to make sure that they function smoothly.
• Carburettor: As another problematic part that is known for accumulating debris and inefficient fuel, you will want to clean it and thoroughly look it over to ensure everything is in order.

Having a maintenance kit on hand during winter can also be very helpful. This might contain emergency oil, spare parts or additional filters.

The Complete Generator Maintenance Checklist

If you need generator maintenance guidance or would like to organise some repairs, please get in touch with our expert team at Edge Technology. We provide a range of maintenance and repair services to ensure that your generator provides reliable power when you need it.