Help Centre

Starting Up Diesel Generators for the First Time

Pre-Start Checks

Visual Inspection:

  • Check for leaks: Inspect for any oil, fuel, or coolant leaks.
  • Inspect wiring: Ensure all electrical connections are secure and free of damage.
  • Check for loose parts: Tighten any loose bolts or components.

Fluid Levels:

  • Engine oil: Check the oil level and top up if necessary. Use the recommended oil type and grade.
  • Coolant: Check the coolant level and ensure it is filled to the appropriate mark.
  • Fuel: Ensure the fuel tank is full with the recommended diesel fuel.


  • Charge: Ensure the battery is fully charged.
  • Connections: Check that the battery terminals are clean and properly connected.

Initial Setup

Prime the Fuel System:

  • Manual priming pump: If available, use the manual priming pump to remove air from the fuel lines.
  • Fuel filter: Bleed the fuel filter to ensure there is no air trapped in the system.

Check Air System:

  • Air filter: Ensure the air filter is clean and properly installed.

Start-Up Procedure

Control Panel:

  • Set to Manual/Auto: Depending on your setup, ensure the generator control panel is set to the correct mode.
  • Indicators: Verify that all indicator lights are functioning properly.

Start the Engine:

  1. Preheat (if applicable): Use the preheat function if the generator is equipped with one, especially in cold weather.
  2. Start switch: Turn the key or press the start button to initiate the start sequence.
  3. Observe: Monitor the generator for any unusual noises or vibrations.

Initial Running Checks

Monitor Gauges:

  • Oil pressure: Ensure the oil pressure gauge reads within the normal range.
  • Temperature: Monitor the coolant temperature to ensure it stays within the safe operating range.
  • Voltage and Frequency: Check the voltage and frequency outputs to confirm they are stable and within specifications.

Inspect for Leaks:

  • After a few minutes of running, inspect the generator again for any signs of leaks or other issues.

Load Testing

No-Load Running:

  • Run time: Allow the generator to run without load for about 15-20 minutes to ensure it reaches normal operating temperature and stabilize.

Gradual Load Application:

  • Initial load: Gradually apply load to the generator, starting with 25% of the rated capacity.
  • Increase load: Incrementally increase the load to 50%, 75%, and then 100%, monitoring the generator's performance at each stage.
  • Full load test: Once at full load, run the generator for at least 30 minutes to ensure it handles the load properly.

Post-Start Checks

Cool Down:

  • No-load running: After testing under load, remove the load and let the generator run at no-load for 5-10 minutes to cool down.

Shut Down:

  • Stop switch: Turn off the generator using the stop switch or button on the control panel.
  • Fuel supply: Close the fuel supply valve if applicable.

Post-Operation Inspection:

  • Check fluids: Recheck oil, coolant, and fuel levels.
  • Battery: Ensure the battery is still fully charged.

Documentation and Maintenance

Record Keeping:

  • Log book: Maintain a log of all start-up procedures, including date, time, and any issues encountered.
  • Service schedule: Adhere to the manufacturer's recommended service schedule for oil changes, filter replacements, and other maintenance tasks.

Regular Inspections:

  • Weekly checks: Perform regular weekly inspections of the generator to ensure it is ready for operation.

Maintenance and Service Schedule


  • Check Fuel Level: Ensure there’s enough diesel fuel.
  • Inspect for Leaks: Check for any fuel, oil, or coolant leaks.
  • Visual Inspection: Look for any obvious signs of wear or damage.


  • Check Oil Level: Top up if necessary.
  • Check Coolant Level: Ensure the coolant is at the correct level.
  • Clean Air Filter: Check and clean if necessary.


  • Run the Generator: Operate the generator for at least 30 minutes under load to ensure it’s running smoothly.
  • Inspect Battery: Check the battery terminals and clean if necessary.

Every 6 Months:

  • Change Oil and Oil Filter: Replace with manufacturer-recommended oil and filters.
  • Inspect and Clean Fuel System: Check fuel lines, filters, and pump.
  • Check Electrical Connections: Ensure all connections are secure and corrosion-free.


  • Professional Service: Have a professional technician perform a thorough inspection and service, including checking the alternator, voltage regulator, and control panel.

Additional Tips:

  • Use Quality Fuel and Oil: Always use the recommended types to ensure optimal performance.
  • Keep Clean: Regularly clean your generator to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Proper Storage: Store in a clean, dry place when not in use.
  • Inspect Components: Regularly check mechanical and electrical parts for wear and tear.

Diesel Generator Troubleshooting Guide

Thank you for purchasing a diesel generator from Tracksonhire Ltd T/A Affordable Generators. To help you keep your generator running smoothly, we’ve created this detailed troubleshooting guide. Please review it before contacting our support team at

Common Issues and Detailed Fixes

1. Generator Won't Start

Possible Causes and Fixes:

Battery Issues:

  • Check: Look at the battery terminals to see if they are clean and the connections are tight.
  • Fix:
    • If the terminals are dirty, clean them with a mixture of baking soda and water. Use a wire brush to scrub the terminals.
    • If connections are loose, tighten them with a wrench.
    • If the battery is old (typically more than 3 years), replace it with a new one.

Fuel Problems:

  • Check: Ensure there is enough diesel fuel in the tank.
  • Fix:
    • If the tank is empty, refill it with clean diesel fuel.
    • If the generator ran out of diesel, air might have entered the fuel system.

Bleed Air from Fuel System:

  • Locate the bleed screw on the fuel injection pump.
  • Place a container under the bleed screw to catch any fuel.
  • Open the bleed screw with a wrench.
  • Manually pump the fuel primer or use the manual pump lever until a steady stream of fuel, free of air bubbles, flows out.
  • Close the bleed screw securely.

Electrical Connections:

  • Check: Ensure all electrical connections are secure.
  • Fix:
    • Inspect the wires connected to the starter motor and ignition switch.
    • Tighten any loose connections with a screwdriver or wrench.
    • Replace any damaged wires.

2. Low Power Output

Possible Causes and Fixes:


  • Check: Compare the total wattage of the devices connected to the generator to its rated capacity.
  • Fix:
    • Disconnect non-essential devices until the total wattage is within the generator’s capacity.

Dirty Air Filters:

  • Check: Remove the air filter and inspect it for dirt and debris.
  • Fix:
    • If the filter is dirty, clean it by tapping it gently to remove dust or use a vacuum cleaner.
    • If the filter is excessively dirty or damaged, replace it with a new one.

3. Overheating

Possible Causes and Fixes:

Low Coolant:

  • Check: Open the radiator cap (only when the generator is cool) and check the coolant level.
  • Fix:
    • If the coolant level is low, top it up with the recommended type of coolant.

Blocked Radiator:

  • Check: Look at the radiator for any debris or dirt blocking the fins.
  • Fix:
    • Clean the radiator fins with compressed air or a soft brush.
    • Ensure there is nothing obstructing airflow around the generator.

Faulty Cooling System Components:

  • Water Pump:
    • Check: Listen for unusual noises and check for coolant leaks.
    • Fix: If faulty, replace the water pump.
  • Thermostat:
    • Check: If the generator is overheating quickly, the thermostat may be stuck closed.
    • Fix: Replace the thermostat if it’s faulty.
  • Fan:
    • Check: Ensure the fan is running when the generator is on.
    • Fix: If not, inspect the fan motor and connections. Replace if necessary.

4. Black Smoke Emission

Possible Causes and Fixes:


  • Check: Ensure the load is within the generator’s capacity.
  • Fix: Reduce the load by unplugging some devices.

Dirty Air Filter:

  • Check: Inspect the air filter.
  • Fix: Clean or replace the air filter as described above.

Poor Quality Fuel:

  • Check: Ensure the fuel is clean and high-quality.
  • Fix: Drain the fuel tank and refill with clean, high-quality diesel fuel.

Injector Problems:

  • Check: Inspect fuel injectors for clogging.
  • Fix:
    • Use a fuel injector cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • If the problem persists, have the injectors professionally cleaned or replaced.

5. Generator Runs Rough or Stalls

Possible Causes and Fixes:

Contaminated Fuel:

  • Check: Inspect the fuel for contaminants.
  • Fix: Drain and replace the fuel with clean diesel.

Air in Fuel System:

  • Fix: Bleed the fuel system as described above.

Dirty Spark Plugs:

  • Check: Remove and inspect the spark plugs.
  • Fix: Clean the spark plugs with a wire brush or replace them if they are worn or damaged.

6. Electrical Issues

Possible Causes and Fixes:

Loose or Damaged Wires:

  • Check: Inspect all wires for damage or loose connections.
  • Fix: Tighten loose connections and replace damaged wires.

Faulty Control Panel:

  • Check: Look for error messages on the control panel.
  • Fix: Consult the user manual for troubleshooting specific error codes. If unresolved, contact a professional technician.

7. Battery Keeps Dying

Possible Causes and Fixes:

Faulty Charger:

  • Check: Test the battery charger to ensure it’s working.
  • Fix: Replace the charger if it’s faulty.

Old Battery:

  • Check: Inspect the battery for age and ability to hold a charge.
  • Fix: Replace the battery if it’s old or unable to hold a charge.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact our support team at

Thank you for choosing Tracksonhire Ltd T/A Affordable Generators. We’re here to help you!