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How to start a portable generator in cold weather?

Generators can be temperamental when the temperature dips below freezing. Knowing how to start a portable generator in cold weather can save you from frustration and help ensure your power stays on during a storm. It’s cold outside, and your portable generator is just the thing to keep you warm.

But how do you start it in the cold weather? It’s not as difficult as you might think. If you’re like most people, you use your portable generator to power essential appliances in the event of a power outage. But what do you do if it’s cold outside and your generator won’t start! So the question is portable generator users is how to start a generator in cold weather!

Now you don’t need to worry about the cold weather stopping you from using your generator, as long as you know how to start a generator in cold weather. It might take a little longer than usual but starting a portable generator in cold weather can be achieved by following this simple guide that we have prepared just for you.

How to start a portable generator in cold weather?

How to Start a Portable Generator in Cold Weather?

There are several factors that you should keep in mind that will help you start a generator in cold weather. These include: Check the oil level of your generator before starting it. This is one major mistake that people make when trying to start a generator in cold weather and often end up with oil spilling all over their hands and machine.

Use the right kind of oil for your machine, as using the wrong type of oil will not provide lubrication to the engine parts and can damage it in cold weather. Make sure that there is enough gasoline in your generator. If you have issues with gas supply then it might be difficult for you to start your generator this time around.

You can purchase a separate fuel tank or try other alternatives like starting the generator outside under a shelter which will keep gas fumes away from your eyes and nose until they are properly mixed together.

Let all components of your generator reach an ambient temperature before trying to start the unit. Don’t go ahead and immediately start cranking up the engine without giving it some time.

Clean your machine thoroughly before trying to start it in cold weather. A dirty generator will surely give you a tough time starting it and might not provide the optimum output after you do manage to get it started for the first time.

Avoid using your portable generator in extreme weather conditions such as rain or snow, as these conditions can affect the performance of your device and might cause damage in the long run. If possible, don’t use generators in enclosed spaces unless they have been designed to work despite such conditions.

Try attaching an extension cord to your machine when starting it up, this way you can easily start multiple appliances at once without having to worry about manual cranking the engine.

Check that you have removed all kinks from the cord before starting a generator in cold weather. Once again, this is a mistake that people make when trying to start a generator in cold weather. A kink can cause overheating and might damage your generator in the long run.

Use an appropriate extension cord for your machine. You don’t want to end up frying or damaging your appliances just because you used an incompatible cord with your machine!

Tips for Starting a Portable Generator in Cold Weather

There are several things you can do to make sure that your generator starts and operates smoothly in the cold weather: Make sure that all extension cords or appliances are properly plugged into the machine.

You don’t want any accidents due to loose connections so always press firmly when connecting cords and cables. After plugging everything in, place a wooden board between the cord and the ground as this will prevent it from slipping around as you crank up your generator.

If your machine doesn’t start after cranking then unplug everything before re-checking the connection once again. Don’t try to stir up an already ignited flame by turning on more switches, this might cause burns and other injuries if not handled carefully and can damage various components of your device as well.

If there is a need to turn up the heat after it has already started then make sure that you turn off any other switches or buttons and go ahead and increase the intensity slowly.

Your portable generator needs time to gain optimum temperature, so wait for at least ten minutes before trying anything else. This way, the oil will flow smoothly throughout the device and also allow you to operate it as per your requirements.


If you can follow all these steps correctly then it should be relatively easier for you to start up your machine regardless of how cold it might be outside. Also, instead of waiting around for hours before your generator starts up, try doing things the smart way and use some tricks provided in this article to get started on the right track immediately.

You will never have to worry about extreme temperatures making it difficult for you to get the right amount of electricity flowing in your devices ever again.


Q 1) Is it possible to start a portable generator in winter?

Yes, there are many techniques that can be used when starting a generator in cold weather.

Q 2) Can you charge a mobile phone with a generator during winter?

As long as the generator is producing power, you should be able to power up your mobile phones and laptops without any problems.

Q 3) How does winter affect a generator?

Extreme weather conditions might cause your generator to break down so it is advised that you don’t use the device in such conditions.

Q 4) Do generators work in winter?

If you are properly equipped then there should be no problem with starting your portable generator in cold weather. However, if you are not able to start it up even after following all these steps then try contacting customer care or take your machine back for servicing. You can also try warming up the engine using an appropriate tool before attempting anything else.

Q 5) Is using a cheap generator efficient?

If done correctly they can last longer but make sure you follow all precautions and learn how to handle them smoothly before trying anything else. Also, make sure that you have a good generator in the first place so that you don’t have to suffer from any issues later on.

Q 6) Do generators need gas even when they are stored?

Yes, a stored generator should be fueled before it is stored and then refueled after every 30 days if not used. You can also opt for an automatic supply system that will keep your device completely fueled all the time.

Q 7) What is the best way to start a portable generator?

To start a generator just switch it on and add some oil followed by some gasoline and let it run till warm up. Then turn off the engine and pull out the choke which will make sure that your machine runs smoothly without overheating or breaking down due to cold weather conditions.

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