How To Winterize A Generator? – Weatherproof Your Machine

Like we use winter jackets, winter shoes, etc. our generator also needs winterization to perform uninterruptedly in low temperatures. Well, we are going to reveal our step-by-step guide on how to winterize a generator. And How to store it properly? If you are out of town.

Without wasting your time let’s winterize your portable generator.

What Is Winterization Of Generator?

Winterization of the generator is the process to keep ready our generator for harsh weather. Basically, we have to weatherproof our generator through some processes to get smoother operation even in real winter. Also, we do winterization for preserving it in real winters

How To Winterize A Generator?

Below is the step-by-step guide to wintering your portable, RV, or standby generator properly.

How To Winterize A Portable Generator?

How To Winterize A Portable Generator?

Below is the step-by-step guide to winterizing your portable generator.

#1. Drain the gasoline:

Make sure to drain out the whole fuel from the generator’s tank and operate it for about 1 to 2 minutes until the fuel of the carburetor burns. The presence of gasoline in the tank and fuel line may produce excessive sludge; since gasoline will be eroded after about 10 – 12 days and sludge will be there.

#2. Clean the carburetor (optional):

Some experienced users do the cleaning of the carbonator every year to remove the sludge, however, this is not an easy task for newbies. Make sure to do carburetor cleaning after about two years if you are a newbie or you can seek help from experts as well.

#3. Change the engine oil:

Remove the burned engine oil completely and pour the new engine oil. Make sure that your selected engine oil should be of desired viscosity and can sustain low temperatures perfectly. You can follow this guide about how to change the engine oil of the generator.

#4. Clean the filter:

Remove the air filter and clean it with pressurized air first, then wash it with a detergent to remove all of the dust particles. If it needs replacement don’t hesitate to replace it.

#5. Check out the spark plug:

Remove the spark plug and inspect its threads and condition, make sure to clean it before attaching, you can hit a few fogging sprays to remove the rust and condensation of the cylinder.

#4. If your unit has a battery keep it charged and use a battery warmer as well.

#6. Clean the whole unit:

Clean the whole unit with pressurized air and a normal cloth, you can coat your unit with oil to prevent corrosion.

#7. Invest in a generator cover:

Investing in a generator cover will not only protect your machine from the snow but also protect it from dust and debris entering the sensitive parts of the generators.


  1. If you want to store the unit make sure to store it in a modest warm area where there is no access to snow and water. Also, make sure to remove the battery connections as well.
  2. If you don’t have to drain the gasoline or diesel make sure to add a fuel stabilizer so that the fuel stays fresh for a longer time without evaporating.
  3. Follow the same process for winterizing your Portable RV generator.

How To Winterize A Standby Generator

standby generator

Below is the step-by-step guide to winterizing your standby generator.

#1. Clean out the surrounding of your generator; make sure to remove the debris, excessive dust, dead foliage, etc.

#2. Tune up your generator, I know it’s a bit difficult task for a newbie; you can hire an expert and tune up the generator. Tuning up will help your generator to run smoothly by combusting the fuel properly.

#3. Change the engine oil; make sure to use the type of engine oil that can be used in winter.

#4. Install a battery warmer, this will help the generator battery to run smoothly even if it has low cold-cranking amps.

Whenever the temperature becomes too low the battery warmer starts transferring heat to the battery to drain excessive coldness.

Checkout our guide about how to replace the generator battery

#5. Make sure to run your machine after every 10 – 15 days this will help your generator to lubricate the engine’s parts properly. Also, the engine oil becomes hot and energized. If your unit has a scheduled running option you can set a schedule of your machine to run for about 15 minutes after every 10 days.

Importance Of Winterization

Longer last: Winterization will prolong the life of your machine since we have to inspect each part of the generator and do some minor repairs to avoid bigger problems.

Also, you will get longer runtime, because of the carburetor and spark plug cleaning the fuel will burn properly.

Saves your ongoing cost: Due to lower repair and fuel costs, you will save lots of bucks.

Optimal running: Your machine runs smoothly throughout the winter. No matter how harsh the winter will be, your unit will provide you with uninterrupted running.

Environmental benefits: Due to complete full burning you will never find dirty fumes full of CO2.

Does A Generator Need To Be Winterized?

If you want uninterrupted running without breaking the engine’s parts, yes winterization of the generator is important. Without winterization, the normal engine oil becomes thick like a gel, and the inner parts of the generator keep scraping and after some time the engine becomes ceased.

Also, you may face a longer startup time; your unit needs some time for warming up. Moreover, the battery of your unit may not work perfectly since an ordinary battery can’t work without having a battery warmer in harsh winter.

How To Store A Generator In Winter?

Well, we have discussed some of the most important steps like draining or stabilizing fuel, changing engine oil, cleaning spark plug, etc. Now we are going to only show you how you can store your winterize machine.

  • First, you have to hunt snow and rain-proof area. This could be a generator box, your garage (avoid running your machine in the garage this is only for storage), or any other place.
  • Let’s remove the all connections and coat your unit with oil to avoid corrosion.
  • Disconnect battery connections and OFF the fuel valve. Run your unit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the fuel of the lines and carburetor burns. We have a detailed guide about how to store a battery safely make sure to have a look.
  • Cover your machine with a generator cover.
  • You can schedule running after every 20 to 30 days for the portable generators of 2000, 3000, or 5000 watts. Schedule running will keep your machine energized. Since running will lubricate the inner engine’s parts.

Checkout our guide about how to run a generator in the rain

Wrapping Up

Like cars and RVs, winterization is also important for your generator to perform well in real winter. Winter-grade engine oil that can sustain extremely low temperatures and a battery with low cold cranking amps is a lifesaver for me in winter.

Also, you can find detailed instructions in the user’s manual to get a better understating of what type of batteries, engine oil, etc. your generator requires to run optimistically in harsh temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Can I leave gas in my generator over the winter?

No, you may ruin your machine, since the excessive moister and snow can cause corrosion or water may enter the spark plug’s compartment or even in the fuel or engine oils tank.

How can I keep my generator warm in the winter?

For warming up your generator in real winters you have to operate it periodically also use a battery warmer and engine block heater as well.

Can a portable generator freeze?

In a harsh winter, the engine oil of your portable generator may freeze like a gel.

Can a generator be stored outside in winter?

Yes, if you have a proper shelter or generator box with no space for water or snow, if your shelter or generator box has space for water and snow your generator will ruin for sure.

Is it safe to store a generator in the garage?

Yes, you can store only, Please never use a generator in your garage if your garage doesn’t have ventilation, the carbon monoxide (CO) may enter your house and you know how toxic it is. If you are going to use you have to make a proper exhaust for your generator and install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

josh Milan


Josh is a highly skilled electrician with specialized expertise in the field of generators. With years of experience under his belt, he has established himself as an expert in all aspects of generators, ranging from installation and maintenance to troubleshooting and repairs. Josh’s in-depth knowledge of electrical systems and his commitment to staying updated with the latest industry advancements make him a reliable and sought-after professional.

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