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-   -   Generator on the fritz (http://www.diychatroom.com/f29/generator-fritz-15394/)

SeanR 01-09-2008 04:05 PM

Generator on the fritz
 
I bought a relatively new gererator, a Makita G3510R at a garage sale. We were hit pretty hard here in Northern California from a recent storm. The generator worked fine for three of the six days we were without electricity. Then it went south. It would start right up fine, but in 20 to 30 seconds it would just die. I did check to see if the fuel line was clogged and it wasn't, at least to the carb.
Anyone have an idea what may be causing it to shut down?
Thanks for any advice.

On edit: I will most likely by a new generator and use the above as a 'stand-by' if it's fixable. I've heard good things about the Honda 3500watt generator.

jerryh3 01-09-2008 04:43 PM

Did you check the oil?

SeanR 01-09-2008 04:58 PM

A tad dark in color, but it's got oil.
And it's got gas, topped off, matter of fact.

Spike99 01-09-2008 05:46 PM

If its the engine that won't keep running, I'd take to a local Small Engine place. There's a small engine place in my woods. Every 3 years, he sees my law mower, chainsaw, weed wacker, snow blower, etc. He does an end/end tune-up on them and "away they go". Each starts within 2 rope pulls and they never sputter afterwards. Asking them for their professional opinion is well worth it. Especially tune-ups every 3 years.

BTW: Your engine running for 20-30 seconds sounds like gas flow (dirt in carb, needs new carb gaskets, float alignment or plugged gas filter) problems to me. Should be very easy (and low cost) for a small engine Specialist to fix. Well worth asking them to look at it.

.

SeanR 01-09-2008 06:13 PM

Well Spike, I called up the service rep at Makita. I'll be bringing it into town tomorrow. So much for DIY. With stuff like this I have a habit of making more of a mess than what it started out with. And yeah, I too think it may be in the gas flow, but like I said, I did check the gas flow into the carb and it seems fine. I did notice that the GFI 120v recepticle doesn't work when I press the 'test' button. But that's prolly another problem.

handy man88 01-09-2008 09:27 PM

I would replace the spark plug and use a carb cleaner. Probably some gumming if the fuel sat in the generator during storage.

SeanR 01-11-2008 08:22 PM

Hey Jerryh3, Your right man! It was the oil, well not the oil but the oil sensor. The oil was about half full, yet the sensor turned off the power. Three ounces later, she's up and running again.
Thanks.

jerryh3 01-12-2008 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanR (Post 87686)
Hey Jerryh3, Your right man! It was the oil, well not the oil but the oil sensor. The oil was about half full, yet the sensor turned off the power. Three ounces later, she's up and running again.
Thanks.

Not a problem. Some of those low oil sensors are very sensitive.

handy man88 01-12-2008 05:35 PM

Does anyone use synthetic oil on their tools?

Although synthetic oil doesn't break down like conventional oils, and has a longer life, I've heard that it eats away at gaskets and seals much quicker. I've had that experience.

jerryh3 01-12-2008 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by handy man88 (Post 87889)
Does anyone use synthetic oil on their tools?

Although synthetic oil doesn't break down like conventional oils, and has a longer life, I've heard that it eats away at gaskets and seals much quicker. I've had that experience.

I haven't heard of that. What did you have it in?

handy man88 01-12-2008 07:15 PM

My car. One car had mobil 1, and the gasket needed to be replaced after 4 years and a few year later, there was oil leaking from the engine. I had another car that I used regular oil in, and it never leaked. I spoke to a coworker last week and he said he had the same problem with a car that he used synthetic in.

jerryh3 01-12-2008 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by handy man88 (Post 87902)
My car. One car had mobil 1, and the gasket needed to be replaced after 4 years and a few year later, there was oil leaking from the engine. I had another car that I used regular oil in, and it never leaked. I spoke to a coworker last week and he said he had the same problem with a car that he used synthetic in.

I found this while searching and I think it explains the problem very well:

All oils pass a seal compatability test, but leaks can occur in older engines that have seals which are varnished over from the inside and have become dried out. High detergent levels in synthetic oil can clear away the "false seals" and allow some leakage that should stop after the once-dry seals are re-wetted and swell.

I use synthetic in both my vehicles with 10K miles change intervals and I have never had a problem. What kind of car did you have and when did you start using synthetic in it?

handy man88 01-12-2008 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jerryh3 (Post 87905)
I found this while searching and I think it explains the problem very well:

All oils pass a seal compatability test, but leaks can occur in older engines that have seals which are varnished over from the inside and have become dried out. High detergent levels in synthetic oil can clear away the "false seals" and allow some leakage that should stop after the once-dry seals are re-wetted and swell.

I use synthetic in both my vehicles with 10K miles change intervals and I have never had a problem. What kind of car did you have and when did you start using synthetic in it?

The car that leaked was a '95 Nissan. It required a gasket replacement in '98 after oil started to leak out of the gasket. After that, the car started leaking oil somewhere else in the engine area that splattered oil througout the inside. That car is history now. I changed the synthetic every 5-6K miles.

Another car that I had was a '98 Honda, using conventional oil. It never leaked.

comp 01-13-2008 08:53 PM

i'd change the oil first,,,,,cheap test,,,oh did it die with no load ?

drsleepdragon 02-02-2008 12:46 PM

Nice call on the low oil sensor. I have also seen this happen with the vented gas caps - it will start, and create a vacuum, and a gap in the gas flow will cause it to sputter out, but that should take a bit longer than 20 seconds... ;)


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