Automatic Standby Generator Maintenance

Did The Yellow Light Come On?

Automatic Standby Generator Maintenance

If you own or are thinking about owning a Generac automatic standby generator, it’s important to understand that, just like a car or any piece of combustion machinery, automatic standby generator maintenance is required annually. When the indicator light on the side panel of the generator turns yellow, that is your friendly reminder it is time for maintenance!

All too often, backup generators are installed by electricians or individuals who don’t specialize specifically in automatic standby generator service, maintenance or warranty repairs. If these generators are not set on a weekly test cycle or do not receive annual maintenance, they will have their lifespan shortened significantly. Automatic standby generators should last between 20 to 30 years when properly maintained.

Oil Changes

Just like any other combustion engine, Generac automatic standby generators need to have regular oil changes. Depending on how often your automatic backup generator had been used during power outages any given year will dictate the frequency of oil changes. Typically, oil changes for Generac generators are needed only once a year but may require more oil changes if the generator is used more than 200 hours in any given timeframe. Also, automatic standby generators exercise once a week (in most cases), and as the engine cools it condensates. Because of this and the difference in temperatures throughout the year, moisture gathers in the oil. This is why you will need an oil change annually at a minimum – even if your generator unit has not run during an actual outage all year.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are critical to your Generac generator’s ability to provide backup power during outages and usually don’t need to be swapped out as regularly as annual oil changes. That doesn’t mean they should be ignored during the inspection. All automatic standby generators should have annual inspections of their spark plugs to make sure they’re clean and firing properly. Spark plugs should always be replaced if they are drenched in carbon or have a weak ignition.


Generac standby generators have three primary filters. These filters are the oil, fuel, and air filters. They should always be inspected and replaced as needed during the annual maintenance.

When your generator gets an oil change, make sure the oil filter is changed at the same time. Reusing old oil filters with fresh oil is a bad idea since you would be introducing clean oil to a dirty filter. Tiny metal fragments and other impurities in an old filter can greatly reduce the performance and lifespan.

Fuel filters on Generac standby generators always need to be evaluated during inspections. If they appear to be dirty or old, they should be replaced. Unlike oil filters that need to be replaced with each oil change, fuel filters can last years before needing to be changed.

All combustion engines have to take in fresh air, so be sure your Generac generator’s air filter is looked at during annual maintenance. If the air filter is filled with debris or appears generally dirty, replace it. If your generator can’t take in fresh air, it can’t properly function or may even fail when it’s most needed. Strong winds could send a storm of pollen or debris clogging your filter all at once.


Residential air-cooled standby generators and Commercial Generac generators have only one large battery in them coupled with a charger to maximize your battery’s life.

When inspecting and maintaining your generator, make sure the battery and the charger are tested and with good amperage. If the charger isn’t functioning properly or the battery’s amperage is low, replace them immediately. A failing charger or drained battery will lead to a generator’s inability to start or work at all.

Gas Regulator

Natural gas regulators have a lot going on and need to be inspected regularly. Gaskets, diaphragms, and fittings are weak points in your fuel system that can cause serious issues leaving you without backup power. Midwest Electric & Generator technicians will carefully look at these during the annual maintenance.

Other Items That Should Be Inspected & Maintained Include:

  • Battery Charger
  • Coolant system (if applicable)
  • Alternator (often overlooked)
  • Engine Valves
  • Transfer Switch (most common problems happen to those exposed to the elements outdoors)

Who To Hire For Automatic Standby Generator Maintenace

Contact Experienced Generator Technicians

In Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, the need for backup generators is critical. Power outages can happen at any moment. At Midwest Electric & Generator, we ensure that you have a high-quality power generator operating for your home or business. Midwest Electric & Generator is committed to your comfort and satisfaction. Providing the best products, the finest service, and warranties.  Ensuring your generator remains in good working order for the long-term.

Midwest Electric & Generator can maintain your generator system so that issues can be caught before they start, saving you a great deal of money as you preserve the integrity of your system. The technician will arrive on-site to perform the automatic standby generator maintenance. A full diagnostic report of your generator unit is presented following the appointment. Homeowners are kept in the loop every step of the way. Ensuring the homeowner that everything has been inspected and the unit is ready to run. The technician will thoroughly explain if anything was found needing replacement.

If you have invested or are thinking about investing in a Generac generator for your home or businesses, don’t forget to maintain it. Annual maintenance of your system will ensure it is well-oiled and fine-tuned and ready when you need it most. If you have an automatic Generac generator and need it properly maintained and serviced by factory-certified Generac technicians, call Midwest Electric & Generator at 612-284-1550 to speak with a generator expert.

Midwest Electric & Generator offers Maintenance Memberships to save you time and money! Protect your investment and the peace-of-mind of knowing your generator is ready to run.