Portable generator wont start in cold

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windt

Active member
Joined
May 16, 2021
Posts
25
Location
houston
Hi, I am running into this problem. How do you keep your generator warm?

And when I warm it up indoor and take outside, it starts at one pull but will dies out a few minutes later.

It had the problem at 3000ft altitude with 26deg F while it works fine at ~1000ft with 14 deg F.

It is a champion 2000 inverter generator.
 

TonyL

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Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
649
Location
UK
I've never had that issue and we have champion generators.
My best advice is to call their technical support line. The help we got from them on our issue was Champion.
 

Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
Posts
2,236
Starting 2 strokes requires pretty specific technique to be reliable. First of all the hardware needs to be in good condition.

Then most all 2 strokes suggest choking the unit, leaving the "run" switch off and pulling 3-5 times when cold. Then go to run - I always wait 15 seconds or so - and then pull again.

What lights is not the raw fuel. It is the fuel/air vapor. Getting some fuel in the air intake and cylinder and allowing it to "gas off" gives you the best chance of a light off.

Then most can be tricky on how much choke to leave on and for how long. In the last year I have had a zillion occasions to start small pole saws and chain saws while clearing my land. I also have a 4kw generator and a 9hp Evinrude 2-stroke boat motor.

They all take a little different approach - especially choke after start - but they all start with the basic sequence I laid out above.

It took a lot of experimenting to realize that it's not how hard you pull on the string but making sure as best you can estimate that the mixture is right.

Altitude is another wild card, needing a leaner mixture at high altitudes but anything below 8,000 feet should not require a carb adjustment unless the sea level mixture is already too rich.
 

TonyL

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Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
649
Location
UK
If the op's generator is the same as mine, it's 4 stroke.
 

Henry J Fate

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Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Posts
1,703
Does it start back up after it dies ?

Clean air filter, new spark plug, fresh oil, good fuel. Confirm all of those and if in question, replace or service. You could also try a higher octane fuel. You can buy octane boost at the parts stores. The best way is to buy high test at the pump.

The spark plug will offer a clue as to the problem. Once removed, the plug will display certain characteristics of the engine. Google "reading a spark plug".
 

Scott 3

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Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Posts
639
Make sure the vent is open on your gas cap. It's easy to forget.
 

Foto-n-T

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Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,134
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
If the fuel vent is open I'd be also considering the oil level. If it's cold outside you could easily be pumping the oil to the top end and it can't return fast enough to the lower end to prevent the "low oil" shutdown switch from tripping. I run into this regularly with my Honda 2000 in extreme temps sometimes having to restart it a half dozen times before the oil warms up enough to keep it running.
 

Alontheway

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Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
246
Location
Alageorgia
I was reading my inv/gen book (finally found it) and it states to adjust the carb for altitude over 2,000 feet. That sounds a bit much. Over 5,000 and I would be more inclined to adjust it.

As for starting, have you tried starting fluid or spray? Comes in a spray paint-looking can. Spray into the air intake and that will serve as your fuel vapor. It gets the motor running for a second and then your carb will need to take over, but by the time you get rpm's up the carb is more likely to work since air is blowing thru the carb faster.
 
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