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Old 01-09-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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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.


Last edited by SeanR; 01-09-2008 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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Generator on the fritz


Did you check the oil?

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Old 01-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Generator on the fritz


A tad dark in color, but it's got oil.
And it's got gas, topped off, matter of fact.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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Generator on the fritz


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.

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Old 01-09-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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Generator on the fritz


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.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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Generator on the fritz


I would replace the spark plug and use a carb cleaner. Probably some gumming if the fuel sat in the generator during storage.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:22 PM   #7
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Generator on the fritz


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.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:36 AM   #8
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Generator on the fritz


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanR View Post
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.

Last edited by jerryh3; 01-12-2008 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:35 PM   #9
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Generator on the fritz


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.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:31 PM   #10
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Generator on the fritz


Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
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?
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:15 PM   #11
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Generator on the fritz


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.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #12
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Generator on the fritz


Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
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?
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:35 PM   #13
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Generator on the fritz


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
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.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:53 PM   #14
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Generator on the fritz


i'd change the oil first,,,,,cheap test,,,oh did it die with no load ?
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:46 PM   #15
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Generator on the fritz


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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