I have already checked the spark plug, just replaced the old one, opened the fuel line to make sure the gas flow was good, made sure the filter was clean, checked the oil level and it still wouldn't start, what could be the next issue

  • Does it make any sounds? What is the make and model of the unit?
    – Tester101
    Oct 12, 2015 at 15:53
  • If you have (or can find online) the manual, there should be a list of startup steps. I would go through it carefully to make sure all the knobs and valves are set correctly. Could be you forgot a little detail that is preventing the engine from starting.
    – Hank
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:07
  • 1
    If it hasn't started in a while, the carburetor having old, gummed-up fuel in it is a cause for many small engines not starting. By the way, what size/type of engine is this?
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:24
  • You didn't say whether your gas was new, or 3 years old. Oct 12, 2015 at 19:29
  • I usually run my generators out of fuel to store them, on all the models I have there are fuel shutoff valves, could this have been turned off? If you remove the load from the generator then turn off the fuel and let it use everything in the carb. This provides a cool down cycle similar to industrial machines need. the varnish and water issues have not caused me any grief with the 3 gas generators I have 2 are over 20 years old and my little one is even older I do put stabilizer in the fuel in the big ones as they get very little use in the winter unless a power outtage.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 20, 2018 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Clogged carburetor, 90% of the time, especially with modern gasoline/petrol.

You need fuel, air and spark for a gasoline engine to run. You have checked the air filter; you have changed the spark plug, but probably not actually verified spark (it's common to get a harmless but irritating shock while testing that, but you can avoid that with clever use of a bungee cord to hold the removed from engine, connected to wire spark plug's base against a metal part of the engine, rather than using your hand) and you have checked fuel flow from the tank - but if the fuel is not getting through the carburetor due to small ports and passages being clogged, it won't get into the air stream.

Another possibility is that the generator uses a manual choke, which most younger folks are not all that familiar with and may forget to operate as a result.

Rarer with modern controls/engines is a flooded (too much fuel) engine, where a few cranks with the throttle closed will help to clear out the excess fuel.

  • You were typing your answer as I commented... Actually fixing the clog can be as simple as a few strategic sprays with carburetor cleaner (at an auto parts store), or it may need to removed and disassembled to thoroughly clean it. I just went though both options on a pressure washer that was sitting for 3 years.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:43

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