Honda Generator Maintenance: Keep Your Power Running

Honda Generator Maintenance: Keep Your Power Running - Gilford Hardware & Outdoor Power Equipment

Honda Generator Maintenance: Keep Your Power Running

The power abruptly went out during a classic New England blizzard. In the pitch black, I searched for a flashlight before deciding to go outside to the garage and start my Honda generator. I had only occasionally used it and believed it would be a simple and quick way to turn the power back on. But nothing happened when I pulled the starter cord. I kept trying, but it wouldn't turn on.

This story has been told dozens of times, but don't let it happen to you! Although Honda Generators are one of the best portable backup generators on the market today they still need proper service! In this article we will cover how to properly maintain your Honda Generator so it's ready to go at a moments notice!

Check the Gas!

Honda Generator Maintenance: Keep Your Power Running Check the Gas

Protip: Use an ethonol free fuel like TrueFuel. It has a longer shelf life and won't break down as quickly as regular gas would.

Over time, gasoline can deteriorate, particularly when exposed to heat and humidity. As a result, the fuel may become stale and the Honda generator may have trouble starting or operating as intended. (You might get a surging sound!) Additionally, old fuel can clog the carburetor and harm the engine by causing it to overheat. To avoid stale fuel from accumulating and to drain the fuel tank if the generator won't be used for an extended period of time.

If you would like to leave fuel in your generator for easier starting, this isn't an issue as long as you take the proper care. You will need to run the generator periodically to prevent stale fuel from building up in the gas tank and carburetor.

Check the Oil in your Honda Generator

Honda Generator Maintenance: Keep Your Power Running check the oil

Many of the newer Honda Generator models come standard with Honda Oil Alert which lets you know the oil levels are low, and will not let you start the generator to prevent engine damage from running without the proper levels.

Older models which might not have Honda Oil alert can be checked by simply removing the dipstick and checking the level. If it's below the line, it's a good idea to add more oil. Typically Honda Generators use 10W-30 Oil, but it's always a good idea to check the internet or your owners manual. 

Checking the Air Filter of your Honda Generator

Honda EM6500 Generator clean and change the air filter gilford hardware

Checking the Air filter on your Honda generator is easy! The Air filter of your Honda generator is usually located under a plastic cover on the side of the generator. Remove the air filter cover by unsnapping the clip, then take out the element.  Now, you can wash the air cleaner element in nonflammable or high flashpoint solvent, or in a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water.

Rinse well after washing. Give the air cleaner element time to completely dry.
Clean engine oil should be used to soak the air cleaner element. Squeeze out any extra oil. If there is too much oil in the air cleaner element, the engine will smoke when starting for the first time.

Note: Never run the generator without the air filter. Rapid engine wear will result.

Last but not least, Check the Sparkplug!

Check the Spark Plug Honda Generator

Warning: The muffler will be extremely warm if the engine has been running. Don't touch the muffler, please!

The spark plug needs to be properly gapped and deposit/debris-free in order to guarantee proper engine operation. Changing or checking the spark plug is easy, the only tool you will need is a sparkplug wrench which is commercially available.  First remove the cap revealing the top of the spark plug. Next, use a cloth to remove dust, debris, or deposits from around the sparkplug and cap. Next use the spark plug wrench to remove the spark plug. Now all you have to do is inspect the sparkplug. If the insulator is broken, chipped, or fouled, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Consult your Honda Manual for the proper replacement spark plug. 

Honda Generator Proper Storage

Honda Generator Proper Storage Gilford Hardware

Your Honda generator's performance and longevity will be maintained with proper storage. It is suggested that you keep your generator in a dry, well-ventilated space like a garage or shed when it is not in use. This will lessen the likelihood of rust and corrosion, which over time may harm the generator. It's also crucial to store the generator on a level surface because doing so can prevent oil leaks from occurring in the engine.

Running your Honda generator until the fuel runs out is the first step in getting it ready for storage. By doing this, the carburetor and fuel system will not become clogged with old fuel. The generator should then be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during use. As a final step, check the oil level, add oil if necessary, and check the air filter. If necessary, clean or replace it. Following these steps, your generator will be prepared for storage and will be in good working order the next time you need it.


To sum up, regular maintenance is essential to keep your Honda generator in good working order. Important actions to take include keeping the generator clean and dry, changing the oil, air filter, and spark plug on a regular basis, and adhering to the suggested maintenance schedule. The generator can also be maintained in good working order by running it briefly each month and having it serviced by a professional. You can make sure that your generator is always prepared to supply power when you need it by adhering to these recommendations. If you have completed all of these steps and your Honda Generator still isn't running please contact an authorized Honda Service dealer near you!

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The Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment blog posts exclusively reflect the views of Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment and do not necessarily reflect those of the device manufacturers. Please be aware that product availability, specifications, and suggested uses are subject to change. For the most recent details, always refer to the manufacturer's website and product manual.