Fixing 15 Common Non-Starting Predator Generator Problems

When you really need power is when you discover you have a problem getting the engine started. I hope this checklist will help you find and fix the cause of your generator’s starting issue so you can get it up and running again.

A Predator generator won’t turn over if the fuel filter is clogged, the fuel tank vent is blocked, the spark plug is bad, the air filter is blocked, the choke is set incorrectly, there isn’t enough oil in the engine, or the gasoline is old.

On Predator generators that use an electric start, check for a faulty starter solenoid, low battery, or malfunctioning ignition switch.

Read on to learn about some additional potential causes of your initial issue. Before making any repairs to a hot engine, you should always take the precaution of removing the spark plug boot.

If your Predator generator won’t start, check these 15 things:

  1. No gas in the tank
  2. Used fuel
  3. Stuck fuel filter
  4. Fuel line clog
  5. Carburetor failure
  6. The air filter is clogged
  7. The Vent in the Gas Tank Was Blocked
  8. Inertia-activated spark arrestor with plug
  9. Lack of spark
  10. A drop in oil pressure
  11. Misadjusted choke setting
  12. Recoil from a faulty starter.
  13. Inadequate or poor battery (electric start)
  14. The ignition switch failed (electric start)
  15. Ineffective solenoid for the starter (electric start)

Fixing 15 Common Non-Starting Predator Generator Problems

Before attempting any diagnosis, repairs, or use of the equipment, make sure you have read and fully understand all of the safety precautions included in the equipment’s operator’s manual. Don’t try to fix something if you don’t know how to or if you’re not in a fit state to do it yourself.

Causes of Your Predator Generator Not Turning On

Empty Predator Power Plant Fuel Tank

Although being the most obvious cause of a generator not starting, it’s often overlooked. When you’re feeling frustrated, it’s easy to start focusing on other things and forget to check the gasoline.

If the generator starts leaking gas, you may notice it burns through fuel faster than usual. You could have forgotten the last time you refueled, or the fuel gauge could be broken.

A fuel leak or faulty fuel gauge could be the cause of this problem. Restore functionality by replacing worn or broken components. The gas tank has to be refilled.

Poor or Old Predator Generator Fuel

After only 30 days, the quality and effectiveness of gas can start to degrade. It deteriorates and creates a varnish that limits gasoline flow.

Most gasoline contains ethanol, which is a fuel additive that attracts moisture to the fuel system. Gummy residues consisting of ethanol and water will be left behind as gas is released. The gasoline system and engine are also vulnerable to corrosion.

Never put E15 or E85 in your gas tank, or any other gas with a high ethanol level, due to the harm it can cause. The ethanol content of these fuels ranges between 15 and 85 percent.

Predator generator gas buying and storing advice:

  • Get some new gas with at least an 87 octane rating (91 RON).
  • Avoid using fuel with an ethanol level higher than 10%. Ethanol-free and low-ethanol fuel perform better.
  • Within 30 days, all gasoline must be used.
  • Prevent gas from going bad as quickly by using a fuel stabilizer.
  • Keep gasoline in a certified fuel container, far from anything that could catch fire.

ANSWER: Flush the generator with fresh fuel. To do this, a fuel siphon pump is ideal. Add a fuel additive to a can of new gas. Don’t forget to put this concoction into the gas tank.

Turn it on and let it run for about 10 minutes so that the fuel system can distribute the mixture.

Sea Foam Motor Therapy is a product I find useful. I put this in every gas tank I fill to mitigate the potential problems caused by ethanol.

It does more than just keep gas stable for longer; it also helps minimize moisture and clean the fuel system. Moreover, STA-BIL is a viable alternative.

Having a Predator Generator with a Clogged Fuel Filter

Generator fuel filter needs checking. The purpose of this filter is to prevent debris from entering the fuel system and wearing out the engine.

If the filter isn’t changed regularly, it might get so dirty and blocked with deposits that it prevents a sufficient amount of fuel from getting through. The generator will be unable to start due to a lack of fuel.

The fuel filter should be changed once a year at minimum for the typical residence. If you frequently use the Predator generator, you may need to replace it sooner.

Repairing a clogged Predator fuel filter.

A Predator Power Plant With a Blocked Fuel Line

Old fuel can leave behind sticky deposits that can clog the fuel lines, resulting in less fuel reaching the carburetor. To verify the fuel flow, turn off and then back on the gasoline supply.

Once the fuel has been turned off, the fuel line end farthest from the tank should be disconnected and saved. Turn on the fuel and observe how much flows through the line and into the storage tank.

Remember that fuel can’t flow uphill without a pump, so set the container lower than the fuel tank.

If a blockage is discovered in the fuel line, the problem can be solved by disconnecting the line from the generator and stopping the fuel flow. To remove the obstruction, spray carburetor cleaning and then use compressed air to blow through the line.

If the gasoline restriction cannot be removed, or if the fuel line is dry or damaged, a new fuel line of the same diameter and length should be installed.

A Predator Power Plant with a Faulty Carburetor

The generator has a carburetor to control the ratio of fuel to air during combustion. An insufficient amount of gas may be supplied by the carburetor, making it impossible to start the engine, if old fuel has clogged the fuel channels.

The fuel jet can become clogged with old fuel, and internal parts may freeze and cease to work properly if the fuel is not replaced. A clean carburetor and the replacement of any broken components should get the engine running again.

It’s important to verify sure the carburetor is getting enough fuel before attempting to clean it. If you aren’t, perhaps there’s a blockage in the fuel system’s filter, line, or pump (if your generator uses one).

After diagnosing the fuel restriction as being caused by the carburetor, the solution is to take it apart and give it a good cleaning.

Notwithstanding what you may have read elsewhere, it is not possible to erase all traces of accumulation without first disassembling the system.

Photographing the disassembly process can help with the subsequent assembly.

Check that the fuel jet, float, and float needle in the carburetor are all clean and in good working order. A carburetor rebuild kit or a new carburetor will need to be purchased if any broken components are discovered.

A Predator’s Generator with a Clogged Air Filter

Filtering the air before it enters the engine prevents debris and grime from damaging the machine over time.

A decrease in the air-to-gas ratio during combustion occurs when a clogged air filter is not periodically cleaned or changed.

If you are using the Predator generator in a dusty environment, you should change the air filter more frequently than once a year. The filter needs to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis in between replacements.

Air filters need to be regularly cleaned to prevent buildup of dirt that prevents the engine from starting. Overheating due to a blocked filter can ruin an engine even if it starts.

If the Predator’s air filter appears to be excessively dusty or damaged, the problem can be fixed by installing a new filter. Clean it up and put it to good use if it’s filthy but still functional.

Filters of many types are used in predator generators. If you are unsure what kind of filter your generator uses or how to clean it, refer to the handbook. If you scroll down, you’ll find some cleaning recommendations for various filter kinds.

Cleanse a Predator generator FOAM air filter:

  • Take out the air purifier’s filter.
  • Examine the filter’s condition. If the filter seems dry, brittle, or ripped, it has to be replaced. If not, then go ahead and clean.
  • Use some water and a gentle cleaning detergent to flush the filter. Take care to clean up the mess as much as you can.
  • Let the water run as you scrub.
  • Remove any extra water from the filter and set it out to dry.
  • The filter should be oiled using SAE 30 engine oil. In order to get rid of any surplus oil, you should squeeze the filter.
  • Put the filter back in place.

Cleanse a Predator generator PAPER air filter:

  • Take out the air purifier’s filter.
  • Replace the filter if it is severely soiled, broken, or caked in oil. If not, then go ahead and clean.
  • Shake free the dirt and let it fall out of the filter. When held up to the light, a paper component should allow light to pass through it. If you’re having trouble, try switching to a new filter.
  • Put the filter back in place.

Predator Generator Fuel Tank Vent Plugged

There needs to be some sort of vent on the gas tank. The vent for the gasoline tank on a Predator generator may be included into the fuel cap, or it may be a separate component that is placed on top of the tank. Doing so lets air into the tank.

When fuel is being added to the tank, air must be allowed to escape. After gasoline is used up, the air pressure inside the tank needs to remain constant at the same level as the air pressure outside the tank.

A vacuum can occur in the gas tank if air cannot escape through the vent on the gas cap. Since the carburetor can’t acquire fuel, the generator won’t turn on.

Use a pressure gauge to detect vacuum buildup in the fuel tank and establish if the vent is the source of your starting difficulty.

In the absence of a pressure gauge, it may be possible to start the generator by first releasing some of the pressure by removing the cap.

If, after tightening the gas cap and letting the engine run for a while, it suddenly shuts off again, the cap may be at fault. My advice is to get rid of the faulty fuel tank vent and get a new one installed.

A Predator Generator with a Clogged Spark Arrestor

The Predator muffler has a metal screen called a spark arrestor that catches any sparks or stray flames before they escape the exhaust system. This safety screen is mandatory for fire and injury prevention.

The generator will have trouble starting and running if the exhaust becomes clogged.

The solution is to take out the muffler’s spark arrestor screen. Ensure there are no tears or holes in the screen by giving it a thorough inspection. When this happens, a new display must be installed.

You can clean it using a commercial solvent or a light brushing with a small metal brush to get rid of carbon deposits if it’s in good shape and hasn’t been damaged. Screen should be replaced after cleaning.

Faulty Predator Power Plant Spark Plug

If a spark plug is unclean, the porcelain is fractured, or the electrode is scorched, it won’t work properly. A Predator generator will be unable to spark in such conditions.

The deposits on the spark plug’s tip can be removed by cleaning the plug. If the tip of your spark plug is broken or looks particularly dark, you should get a new one.

Following the manufacturer’s recommended gap for the spark plug can be found in the user handbook. A spark plug with improper gapping or a spark plug wire that has come loose can both contribute to a vehicle’s inability to start.

Predator Generator with Low Engine Oil

In the event of low engine oil, a Predator generator may automatically shut down and refuse to start. That way, the engine won’t suffer as much wear and tear from operating without enough oil.

In the absence of a low oil sensor, your generator’s engine may become too damaged to start after being operated on very little oil.

The smooth operation of an engine depends on the lubrication provided by oil. Too little oil in the crankcase causes the oil to thicken, which in turn causes friction and heat.

Put the generator on a level surface to check the oil level. Take off the oil fill cap and use a dry towel to remove the oil from the dipstick.

Insert the dipstick back into the oil fill tube but do not tighten the lid. You may check the oil level by removing it and examining the dipstick. Make sure it’s inside the dipstick’s full range.

If it isn’t, you should either drain some oil or add some oil to get the engine to the right level.

If you check the oil level and find it to be where it should be, yet the low oil sensor continues to illuminate, you may have a malfunctioning sensor. You should have the generator serviced professionally.

If you find the oil is low on your Predator generator and it still won’t start after you’ve corrected the problem, you may have damaged the engine.

If you want a proper diagnostic, you should take it to a shop that specializes in tiny engines.

The Predator Generator’s Choke Is Either Stuck or Not Set Correctly

To start the engine on a cold day, the choke on a Predator generator must be used to restrict airflow.

To keep the engine running after it has warmed up, the choke lever must be moved to the “off” position.

If you’ve made sure the choke is in the right spot but are still struggling to get enough air into the engine, examine the linkage to ensure it is free to open and close.

Before trying to start an engine at any temperature, check to see if the choke lever is in the “on” position. If the choke is stuck, you can apply carburetor cleaner to get it moving freely again.

Manually-Started Predator Generator with a Faulty Recoil

If the starter recoil is worn or broken, starting the generator will be difficult at best. Start-up issues can occur if the recoil’s rope becomes unstrung or if the pulley, springs, or clips fail.

The solution is sometimes as simple as restringing the spring. It may also be necessary to replace damaged components of your recoil at other periods. Recoil replacement costs should be estimated before individual pieces are replaced.

It can be cheaper to buy a new recoil assembly than to take it apart and fix the parts that are broken.

Faulty Predator Power Supply Battery (Electric Start)

Verify that the battery has sufficient charge. Battery charging is an option if the power supply is low. A new battery should be installed if the old one is unable to maintain a charge.

Make that all of the wires and cables are securely connected and have adequate continuity.

REMEDY: If the battery voltage is low, charge the battery. To fix a battery that won’t keep a charge or doesn’t work at all, you need to replace it.

Incorrect Ignition Switch for a Predator Generator (Electric Start)

A generator that relies on an electric start is susceptible to a switch failure.

The switch should be checked with a multimeter, and if it fails, it should be replaced.

Predator Generator Faulty Starting Solenoid (Electric Start)

In some models, starting the generator causes a clicking or humming noise when you press the ignition switch button or turn the key. The wiring could also be overheating and smoking.

These symptoms suggest a faulty solenoid. The internal spring or copper plate of a starter solenoid fails if either becomes weak or corroded. It is also possible for the solenoid to fail due to a poor starter, a dead battery, or an unstable ground.

The solution is to try and connect the battery cable directly to the starter cable, rather than through the starter. Be wary, since it could potentially spark.

Bypassing the solenoid to see if the engine will turn over is a good indicator of a faulty solenoid.

Before you go and swap out that solenoid, make sure there aren’t any dangling wires or a faulty ground. These are examples of things that might interfere with the solenoid’s proper operation.

The good news is that most of the portable Predator generators that use an electric starter also come with a manual starter recoil. If you can get it going manually, you know the issue is with the electric starter.