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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14565
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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My generator has been running while parked and just died.

Customer Question

My generator has been running while parked and just died. Plenty of gas, little low on oil. Will not restart Fill it with oil but will still not start. What can I check?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

What is the full model number of the genset?

Can you describe this "buzzing sound" in a little more detail?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
model# *****
Buzzing sounded like an alarm
I hit the stop button and buzzing stopped
Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

I wonder if what you are hearing is solenoid chatter.

At the front right bottom corner of the control panel on the genset, there is a large red cable.

Test the voltage at this cable. It should read around 12VDC.

Test the voltage while pressing the start button.

If you have low voltage on either check, you need to take the battery in and have it load tested.

Let me know what voltages you see.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It turns over good, but will not start. AMPs is good
The buzzing did not come back when we tried to restart. It turns over good. No battery problem.
Any others suggestions,.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

If it is cranking, the next thing you need to do is to check and see if you are getting spark at the plugs.

To check for spark, remove the spark plug wire from thespark plug.

Remove the spark plug from the cylinder.

Attach the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Using insulated tools so you do not get shocked, hold thebase of the plug to the bare metal of the engine.

Crank the engine and observe the plug for spark. Thereshould be a bright blue spark jumping the gap of the spark plug.

Check both cylinders.

Is there spark present?


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There are no blue sparks on the plugs.
Is there a reset from the oil being low that needs to be reset?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

You couldn't have checked for spark in 4 minutes.

There is no reset for low oil pressure. Once you have filled it with oil, and the pressure is up, the low oil pressure switch would not set it off.

But the start switch bypasses the LOPS while cranking, so if you are not even gettign spark while cranking, oil pressure is not the problem.

If you are not getting any spark, here is what you need to do.

Disconnect the red and black ignition module wires from theterminals of the coil.

Run a 12V jumper to the red wire of the ignition module. Setyour meter to VDC and connect the black meter lead to a good ground.

Connect the red meter lead to the black wire coming from theignition module.

Using a 3/8" Allen wrench in the rotor through boltlocated in the center of the right hand side of the set, slowly turn the enginecounter clockwise as viewed from the right end. The meter should read 12V for1/2 revolution and drop to about 1V for the other half revolution. Turn themotor through at least 3 full revolutions.

What happens?


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We had already check the spark plugs before we came to you.
WE will try your other suggestion tomorrow.
Thanks for your help and have a good evening.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

You had stated in your initial question that checking the oil was all you had done so far.

Remember, I can't see or hear what is going on, and I only know as much - or as little - as you tell me.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 8 months ago.

Have you checked the ignition module yet?