Generator Overheating

How to identify the main causes of generator overheating.Generator Overheating

Check the air intakes / air outputs are not blocked by leaves or debris

Check that nothing has been newly placed within 2 metres of the air intakes or air outputs as this will block or restrict the air flow.

Check the oil levels to ensure that the oil is at the correct level and not running low

Check the water coolant levels are correct and that the generator has not lost coolant or run out of coolant

Have you changed the air filters recently?
If clogged or overdue for replacement this will cause the generator to overheat and cut out.

Have you changed the oil filters recently?
If clogged or overdue for replacement this will cause the generator to overheat and cut out.Generator Overheating

Have you used cheap, non-brand oil or non-compliant oil ?
This will cause the engine to over exert itself and overheat

Is the exhaust damaged or has it been tampered with?
Restricted exhausting will cause the generator to overheat and cut out

Do you see any damage or weeping to the flexible hoses on the generator engine or fuel supplies?
Weeping hoses and loose supporting clips needs to be checked and / or replaced and tightened.

Have you overloaded the generator beyond it’s load capacity?
Imbalanced irregular load being dropped intermittently onto the generator? Either of these will cause the generator to overheat and stop.

After you have checked these and rectified any issues but you still have a problem with overheating, the next step is the generator environment.


Outside Environment –

How to stop outside generators overheatingGenerator Overheating

Is the outside temperature regularly above 40-45C ?

Is there an issue with airborne debris, dust, leaves or sand?

Is the generator likely to have been damaged by water levels rising?

If high outside temperatures are very high causing an issue, shield the generator from direct sunlight.

If airborne debris is an issue fit additional filters / net to the air intakes and air output vents to catch any airborne debris and clear these daily to prevent the generator overheating and cutting out

Check the generator is on hard standing and not likely to be affected by flooding.

Inside a building environment–

How to stop inside generators overheating

Is the air flow within the area of the generator restricted?

Do you have other equipment operating in the same space as the generator which is also giving off high levels of heat?

Is the area enclosed with NO ventilation?

Is this because you feel the space is so large it’s not required?

Even if the generator is located within an underground car park or similar, ventilation is still required to ensure the circulating air flow does not keep increasing in temperature until the generator cuts out due to overheated incoming air flow.

Always ensure there is permanent unblocked air flow to allow ventilation across the area. This may entail having ventilation on either side of the area. I.E. vents in back wall and vents on front walls to allow free flow of air 24/7.

For example, if you depend on an external vehicle car park entrance being open during the day to provide air flow when the generator is running, then you must also make provision for when the generator is running and the car park entrance is closed outside of the working day.Generator Overheating

Note- build-up of hot air form the generator output must have access to disperse, otherwise hot re-circulating air will cause the generator to overheat and cut out.

Check the exhaust exit point is not blocked by damage or bird’s nest.

How to prevent generator overheating- Quick prevention

Service your generator regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements. Never miss a service.

Keep air intakes and air out takes clear and unrestricted

Keep oil and water coolant levels topped up at the correct levels

Keep the exhaust clear

Check with the manufacturer

This video shows what a generator should look and sound like when running with no overheating issues – a 1000kVA Cummins diesel generator:

Still concerned? Call PowerContinuity on 0845 055 8455

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