Cold temperatures can pose a challenge for diesel generators without proper maintenance. Diesel fuel can become unstable in cold temperatures, and the engine block and head can absorb the heat of the compression required to ignite diesel fuel, making the engine difficult to start. When generators are used for continuous power at temperatures 32°F/0°C or below for extended periods, Generac Mobile recommends operators take steps to ensure the generator will start and run without incident.
To begin, operators should clear accumulated snowfall from the sides and top of the unit. Doing so can keep your generator from overheating during operation and will prevent ice build-up on the generator’s enclosure and internal parts. The operator should walk around the generator and inspect it to make sure there are no loose items on the engine. While these checks are especially important in the winter, Generac Mobile recommends they be done regardless of the season.
Users may find one of the hardest things about operating generators in the winter is starting the engine. To make sure the unit always starts when needed, the operator should ensure it is always filled with fresh oil. When working in freezing temperatures, it is important to use oil that is meant for harsh weather. The engine is vulnerable at startup, and cold weather can cause motor oil to either flow too slowly or not at all, taking a toll on the engine. Generac Mobile suggests switching from conventional oil to a synthetic oil during the winter months. Synthetic oil flows better and colder temperatures, helping the engine start when the thermometer drops below freezing.
Finally, winter weather can be wet, whether it’s snow or sleet or freezing rain. Working on a generator in these conditions can be extremely dangerous. When performing maintenance, Generac Mobile urges users to move the generator into a dry area to avoid electrocution or shock. It’s also important to make sure the area has proper ventilation.
Following the recommended maintenance steps, your generator will keep your work site up and running no matter the weather.