I was identified with an immense oil leak from a portable generator, although it can happen for all types of generators.
At the end of diagnosing this generator, I found out that the engine crankcase was dried up, meaning there was no single oil in the generator, and that was just a few moments when the leak began.
You see, oil left in a generator can be really dangerous and can extremely damage your generator for instance:
- Can damage the engine as a whole.
- Can cause your not to function again except you buy a new one.
- And also can cause your generator components/parts such as the bearings to get work and start making noise.
However, while there are various reasons why you should allow your generator to leak, it’s important you know that you would occasionally experience this problem.
But the truth is, it’s a simple fix with the right generator mechanic. Hence, in this blog post, we will discuss the steps to identify and fix a generator oil leak to ensure its proper functioning and longevity.
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Step 1: Identify the Source of the Leak
What I usually do in resolving an oil leak is to locate its source — without locating the source of the oil leak, it would be hard for me to fix the problem.
I begin by inspecting the generator thoroughly. This might involve removing the generator tank or any cover at the generator, etc.
After that, I look for any visible signs of oil around the engine or any wet spots that may indicate a leak.
The common areas prone to oil leaks I thoroughly inspect include:
- the oil filter
- oil drain plug
- gasket seals
- crankcase breather
After a thorough inspection and identifying the exact location of the leak, it will help me in determining the appropriate course of action, which takes me to the next step.
Note: In most cases, you would find oil signs at a place, but that doesn’t mean that’s the actual location the oil might leak from.
Step 2: Drain the Oil
After I’ve identified the location of the oil left, before I attempt any repair, I make sure to drain the oil from the generator.
This is technical and if you don’t know how to drain the oil in your specific model generator, you can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely drain the oil.
When draining the oil, ensure you have a suitable container to collect the used oil, as it needs to be disposed of properly at a recycling center.
Why I did remove the oil to prevent any further leakage during the repair process and enable me to work on a clean surface.
Step 3: Replace Faulty Gaskets and Seals
In many cases, but I don’t know for you, an oil leak is caused by worn-out or damaged gaskets and seals.
In that case, inspect the gaskets and seals around the oil filter, drain plug, and other accessible areas such as the seal at the starter of your generator using a manual starting recoil, etc.
If you check and noticed notice any cracks, tears, or signs of deterioration from the gaskets, you must replace them and not use them back
Visit an authorized dealer or parts store to obtain the appropriate gasket and seal replacements specific to your generator model.
Carefully remove the old gaskets and seals and install the new ones according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your generator model. Ensure they are properly seated and tightened to prevent future leaks.
Step 4: Inspect the Oil Filter
Not all generators use oil filters. Mostly, oil filters are found on standby or whole-house generators.
In that case, the oil filter can also be the cause of an oil leak in your generator. What you should do is check if the oil filter is properly installed and tightened.
If it appears damaged or loose, replace it with a new filter or tighten it till you think it’s stagnant.
To ensure no future leave from the oil filter, always use the recommended oil filter type and size specified by the generator manufacturer.
Step 5: Tighten Loose Fittings and Connections
Sometimes, an oil leak can occur due to loose fittings or connections especially if the generator has been working for long hours or has been overloaded.
In such cases, it mostly causes oil leaks in the generator. Some things to be done here include
- Inspecting all the oil lines, fittings, and connections associated with the generator.
- Gently tighten any loose fittings or connections using the appropriate tools.
- And be cautious not to overtighten, as it may damage the threads or cause further issues.
Expert Advice: If you have no experience fixing loose fittings or connections on your generator, consult a professional to help. He has all the tools and knowledge needed to avoid your generator crankcase from developing a fault.
Step 6: Check the Crankcase Breather
The crankcase breather is designed to allow air to escape from the crankcase while preventing oil from leaking out.
Sometimes, if the crankcase breather becomes clogged or damaged, it can lead to an oil leak, especially in the air filter area.
Clean the breather and ensure it is free from any debris or blockages. If it is damaged, replace it with a new one.
Expert Advice: The breather can be tricky in a way that if you aren’t a professional you wouldn’t know if it’s the cause of an oil leak on your generator. Additionally, the piston rings and valve seals can also cause your generator to leak oil. If you notice your generator blowing out white smoke ensure you fix it adequately.
Step 7: Refill with Fresh Oil
Once you have fixed the oil leak and made all necessary repairs, it’s time to refill the generator with fresh oil.
Depending on your generator model, refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to determine the correct oil type and the appropriate oil level.
Additionally, carefully pour the recommended amount of oil into the generator and secure the oil fill cap tightly.
An oil leak in your generator can be a cause for concern, but with the right knowledge and steps, you can fix it effectively.
By identifying the source of the leak, replacing faulty gaskets and seals, inspecting the oil filter, tightening loose fittings, and checking the crankcase breather, you can resolve most generator oil leaks.
Remember to always consult the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise caution when working with your generator. But if you think it’s something beyond your reach, consult a professional.