Skip to main content
Nationwide Servicing
24 Hour Support Line: 03339 960 886

Diesel Generator Operating Temperature

Standby diesel generators can be notoriously problematic during cold weather without the right care and maintenance. At 0 degrees, these power generators will typically deliver less than half the current they would at more normal temperatures. Diesel fuel can also become unstable in cold temperatures, and when the engine block and heads are cold, they absorb the heat of the compression required to ignite diesel fuel—which can prevent starting altogether.

As a responsible owner or operator of a diesel generator, you play a crucial role in ensuring its reliable start, quick load attainment, and smooth operation without incident or unnecessary stress. We will guide you through some of the equipment that can help you protect your generator. Read on for some tips to ensure your standby generator works as efficiently as it does in the summer months.

Diesel Generator Service and Maintenance Winter - Vital Power

Preparing your diesel generator for the winter months

It is becoming increasingly common for businesses of all shapes and sizes to have backup generators installed, and there is no denying that it is incredibly beneficial to have a backup power source should your mains power fail. During the summer, diesel generators are less likely to be called on for much other than a couple of power cuts.

However, it is fair to say that things can be quite different during the winter months. Whilst we’re quite lucky that here in the UK, we have relatively mild weather the vast majority of the time, over the past couple of years, we have had some harsh winters. As a business owner, it is essential to ensure that your diesel generator is prepared for the upcoming winter months and that you can still rely on it no matter what the conditions outside may be. Neglecting this preparation could lead to potential downtime and loss of productivity. So, below are some tips that may help ensure your diesel generator can operate at the correct temperature during winter.

Winter generator maintenance

Book in a comprehensive service

You should be having a comprehensive diesel generator service on an annual or biannual basis anyway, but even if you haven’t used this power source much over the summer months, it may be worthwhile getting another service in before winter. An experienced engineer like those on the Vital Power team can then ensure that there aren’t any big issues with your diesel generator.

Complete any required maintenance work

It isn’t uncommon for business owners with generators to overlook the importance of maintenance, and it can be put to the bottom of a ‘to-do’ list. However, particularly as we head into the winter months, it is essential that you complete any required maintenance that you’ve been putting off. This will ensure that you’re giving your diesel generator the best possible chance of surviving the winter months.

Ensure you have enough fuel on-site

During the winter months, storms and snow can easily take down power lines and this often means you rely on your diesel generator more than you thought you would need to.

For this reason, it is important to ensure that you have enough fuel on-site to keep the generator working and, in turn, your business running. You may find it difficult to get fuel deliveries if the weather conditions are really bad too, so it is essential you have enough to see you through.

Understand how your generator works

Often, business owners don’t know much about how their diesel generators work and just let them run in the background. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a problem when all is going smoothly, it can be beneficial to be more familiar with how you start, shut off and adjust your generator during the winter months. Should there be a power outage, you will be ready to handle the most common issues generator owners face.

At Vital Power, we offer year-round power outages and contingency plans alongside core services like load bank testing and regular service visits. We’re always on hand, 24/7 365 days a year, to help talk you through your generator and more. Check out our blog to learn more about how diesel generators work.

Turn the generator on frequently

As mentioned above, many generator owners don’t use their standby power generator during the spring, summer or autumn seasons and they might not have even turned it on for months. During the lead up to winter, it is incredibly important to ensure that you’re running your backup diesel generator occasionally. This has several benefits and really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Keep up with regular maintenance

It wouldn’t hurt to regularly do a full visual walk-around and inspect your generator. You should check for leaks, stains, and puddles and make sure debris is not collecting around the generator. Look for any visual clues to issues that may need to be addressed.

Regular generator maintenance is crucial – that’s why at Vital Power we offer complete service packages and year-round, 24-hour service. For owners, we recommend keeping an eye on your generator yourself.

Always check the engine oil, radiator coolant, ignition system, and air filter. Of course, you should also always make sure your battery is charged and regularly tested. Keeping up with preventative maintenance will allow you to fix things before they cause a bigger issue or even prevent your generator from working altogether. Of course, if any issues do arise, you can turn to our team of Vital Power engineers for specialist generator repairs.

Summer generator maintenance

Choose the best generator location

Where should you install your generator? This is something which be considered when first installing your standby generator. Consult our team of generator specialist for advice. In the UK our summers are getting hotter, with heatwave after heatwave. Generators can be used to power air-conditioners and fans but will also need to be protected from the extreme heat.

You need to ensure that your backup generator is housed somewhere which can remain warm enough in winter but stay well-ventilated during summer. If your generator is already in place and you think it will be too hot during the summer, we would suggest the installation of a high-powered fan, to prevent your generator overheating.

Drain generator fuel

Diesel fuel can effectively ‘go off’ when left unattended. Generators that are left sitting for a significant period can’t be kicked into action later without checking the fuel. To save you time, we recommend draining your fuel once the season comes to an end.

If you’re not sure about the quality of your diesel generator fuel, get in touch with Vital Power’s fuel services team. We offer fuel quality testing and fuel polishing to make sure your generator is ready for the season.

Summer generator inspections

Whilst this may seem like common sense, it is important that you have a team of experts carry out inspections before you power up your generator. Maintenance, in general, is very important, particularly after changing seasons. At Vital Power, we provide you with servicing packages where our team of experts is always available to provide technical support when required. These will ensure that any issues are picked up before becoming real problems.

What is the normal operating temperature for a generator?

As a rule, we recommend that a good operating temperature for generators is somewhere between 190 to 220 degrees. Anything above this can cause parts such as the engine and generator cylinder to break down.

What is the minimum operating temperature for a generator?

When the mercury dips, your generator might start giving you trouble, especially when the thermometer hits below 40°F. The reason? It’s all about the cold affecting the engine and its parts. When it’s chilly outside, the air in the cylinders and the cylinders themselves get cold too. This means the gasoline flowing through them doesn’t vaporise properly for a good burn, which leads to trouble igniting. Add to that thicker oil and a chilly battery, and you have a generator that won’t kick into gear.

Send us a message

Discover diesel generator solutions for your commercial and public needs today

    Close Menu