As winter approaches, ensuring the reliability of your backup generator becomes crucial. Cold temperatures can take a toll on your generator’s performance, particularly its battery. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through essential maintenance steps to keep your generator running smoothly during the cold winter months.
1. Test the Battery’s Strength: Your backup generator relies on a car battery to start, but did you know that extreme cold can significantly weaken it? When the temperature drops below freezing, car batteries can lose 20-35% of their strength. At zero degrees, this loss can escalate to a staggering 60%. To ensure your generator kicks into action when you need it most, test the battery during the first months of cold weather. Verify that it has sufficient Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) to start your generator in the harshest conditions.
2. Clean Battery Terminals: Corrosion buildup on battery terminals can hinder the flow of electricity. It’s essential to keep the terminals clean and free from corrosion. Use a battery terminal cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water to gently scrub away any deposits. This simple task can significantly improve your battery’s performance.
3. Check Oil Level: Maintaining the proper oil level is fundamental for your generator’s engine. Check the oil level and ensure it falls within the acceptable range specified in your generator’s manual. Top off the oil if necessary to guarantee optimal engine lubrication during winter operation.
4. Inspect the Air Filter: A clean air filter is essential for your generator’s engine to function efficiently. Examine the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty or clogged. A clean air filter ensures a proper air-fuel mixture and combustion, which is crucial for consistent generator performance.
5. Liquid-Cooled Generator: If you have a liquid-cooled generator, take the time to inspect all belts for signs of wear and tear. Worn-out belts can lead to malfunctions or engine overheating. Additionally, check the coolant system for leaks and ensure the coolant level is appropriate. A well-maintained cooling system is vital, especially in cold weather.
6. Comprehensive Generator Inspection: Consider a comprehensive generator inspection by professionals who specialize in electrical services. At Benfield Electric, with our decades of experience since 1968, we offer annual generator inspections that cover all essential maintenance tasks to ensure your generator is winter-ready.
Conclusion: Don’t wait until the first winter storm to discover your generator needs attention. Proper winter preparation is essential to ensure your backup power source is reliable when you need it most. By testing the battery, cleaning terminals, checking oil levels, inspecting the air filter, and considering a comprehensive generator inspection, you can be well-prepared for a safe and warm winter season. Contact us at Benfield Electric for expert assistance and peace of mind throughout the colder months.