Diesel Generator Low Oil Pressure Warning

Is your diesel generator reporting low oil pressure, either by means of a warning light or a message on the controller display? Or have you noticed symptoms of low oil pressure, including a recent increase in generator noise (insufficient oil to lubricate the moving components) or a burning smell (leaking oil landing on a hot area of the engine surface). Let’s consider some possible reasons for low oil pressure in a diesel generator:

  • Oil Level Too Low– This is the most obvious thing to check initially. If there’s not enough oil in the engine then this may be down to evaporation or increased oil consumption due to the age of the generator, but visually check for leaks and replace/tighten components if necessary. Consult your generator manufacturer or manual to ensure that you use the correct type and quantity of oil. Your generator engineer will top-up the oil during each service, but it’s good practice to regularly check levels in between such visits.
  • Faulty Oil Pump– A worn pump may be leaking oil or may not be able to create sufficient pressure, in which case repair or replacement should be carried out.
  • Clogged Oil Filters– Check the oil filters and replace if necessary.
  • Faulty Pressure Gauge or Switch – If you’ve checked all of the above and everything seems fine, it may be that the pressure gauge is at fault. Use another pressure gauge to get a second opinion, and if the oil pressure reading is normal then replace the generator’s pressure gauge.

Do not ignore a low oil pressure warning, as a lack of lubrication can cause serious internal damage to your generator and lead to an expensive repair bill. Regular checks and planned preventative service and maintenance can prevent this. As soon as you are aware of this issue then take immediate steps to ensure that it’s rectified as a matter of urgency.

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