If your diesel generator is overheating – that’s a bad sign.

If your generator starts overheating, the alternator will overheat, and it will burn out the windings affecting their insulation. Causing them to either melt or catch fire. When brushes are exposed to such a high temperature, they can unsolder themselves.

Other problems you might encounter include:

  • Warping of the rotor.
  • Bearings start to melt.
  • If the cylinder head overheats it could crush the head gasket
  • Overheating can cause damage to the radiator core.
  • The exhaust valves will also expand damaging the valve guide.

What causes overheating of diesel generators?

  1. Low coolant levels which could mean the coolant is leaking internally or externally
  2. Poor circulation of the coolant which could be caused by a collapsed soft hose
  3. The diesel engine generator has accumulated dirt on its exterior. Heavy accumulation of grease and dirt on the surface of the generator hinders normal heat dissipation.
  4. A broken cooling fan or improper fan belt tension.
  5. Clogged diesel injectors
  6. Clogged air filters can cause the generator to overheat
  7. Damaged exhaust that restricts exhausting
  8. Overloading the generator
  9. Low oil levels.
  10. Your generator needs proper air flow! And therefore, needs to be run in a well-ventilated area

Overheating of the generator can lead to damage to different parts of the generator which would need to be repaired or replaced. Repair costs can sometimes exceed the cost of purchasing a new generator. If the generator shuts down, you will have to deal with the loss of power which could mean losses associated with downtime.

How can you prevent this from happening in the first place?

  • Service your generator! Most people forget their generators need to be serviced until its too late.
  • Keep both the coolant and oil levels at their correct levels.
  • Monitor the exhauster to make sure that it is not blocked.
  • Place the generator in a protected but well-ventilated area.
  • Do not place the generator close to other equipment that emits heat.
  • Run your generator regularly to make sure it is in good working condition.
  • Do not overload the generator. If you need more power, replace your current generator with a more powerful one.
  • Ensure you use quality fuel and coolant.


Visit our website adendorff.co.za and view our full range of generators – or visit one of our 24 branches nationwide

One thought on “Overheating your Diesel Generator

  1. Sewes le Roux says:

    Good day Hilton,

    You can take the generator to our Alberton store so that they can assess it for you.
    We do repairs on all of our generators.

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