Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (2024)

Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (1)

by Kyle Graham

The Predator 3500 generator is a popular choice among individuals and professionals alike, thanks to its reliable power output and portability. However, like any other piece of equipment, it can experience certain problems over time. In this article, we will explore seven common Predator 3500 generator problems and provide detailed solutions to address them effectively.

Contents hide

1 Problem #1: Starting Difficulties

2 Problem #2: Engine Misfiring or Stalling

3 Problem #3: Overloading and Tripping Breakers

4 Problem #4: Low Output Voltage

5 Problem #5: Fuel Leakage

6 Problem #6: Excessive Noise and Vibration

7 Problem #7: Electric Starter Failure

8 Conclusion

Problem #1: Starting Difficulties

One of the most frequent issues reported by users is difficulty in starting the Predator 3500 generator. This problem can be frustrating, especially when you need immediate access to power.


  • Stale Fuel: Over time, fuel can become stale and cause starting issues. Stale fuel does not burn efficiently, making it harder for the engine to ignite.
  • Dirty Spark Plug: A dirty spark plug can prevent the generator from starting by hindering the spark necessary for ignition.
  • Clogged Fuel Filter: A clogged fuel filter restricts the flow of fuel to the engine, making it difficult to start.
  • Choke Improperly Set: If the choke is not set correctly, it can lead to starting difficulties.


  • Drain and Replace Stale Fuel: If the fuel in your generator has been sitting for an extended period, drain it completely and replace it with fresh gasoline.
  • Clean or Replace the Spark Plug: Remove the spark plug and inspect it for dirt or carbon deposits. Clean it thoroughly or replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect and Clean the Fuel Filter: Locate the fuel filter and check if it is clogged. If so, clean it or replace it to ensure proper fuel flow.
  • Adjust the Choke: Consult the generator’s manual to learn the correct choke settings. Adjust the choke accordingly to facilitate smooth starting.
Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (2)

Problem #2: Engine Misfiring or Stalling

The generator may experience engine misfiring or stall unexpectedly during operation, causing interruptions and potential damage to connected devices.


  • Low Oil Level or Oil Leakage: Insufficient oil levels or oil leakage can lead to engine misfiring or stalling due to inadequate lubrication.
  • Clogged Air Filter: A dirty or clogged air filter restricts the airflow to the engine, affecting its combustion process and leading to misfiring or stalling.
  • Incorrect Carburetor Adjustment: If the carburetor is not properly adjusted, the air-fuel mixture may not be optimal for combustion, resulting in engine issues.
  • Faulty Ignition Coil: A faulty ignition coil can cause intermittent sparks, leading to misfires and engine stalling.


  • Check Oil Level and Address Leakage: Ensure the generator has sufficient oil levels and address any leakage promptly. Top up the oil if needed and fix any leaks to maintain proper lubrication.
  • Clean or Replace the Air Filter: Remove the air filter and inspect it for dirt and debris. Clean it thoroughly or replace it if necessary to ensure adequate airflow.
  • Have the Carburetor Adjusted: Seek the assistance of a qualified technician to adjust the carburetor properly. This ensures the right air-fuel mixture for optimal engine performance.
  • Inspect and Replace the Ignition Coil: If misfiring or stalling persists, have the ignition coil inspected and replaced if necessary by a professional.

Problem #3: Overloading and Tripping Breakers

The generator may frequently trip circuit breakers or fail to handle the load effectively, preventing the smooth operation of connected devices.


  • Overloading the Generator Beyond Its Rated Capacity: Exceeding the generator’s power capacity by connecting too many or high-wattage devices can overload it, leading to circuit breaker trips.
  • Faulty Appliances or Equipment Connected to the Generator: Malfunctioning or defective devices connected to the generator can cause power surges or irregular power consumption, resulting in breaker trips.


  • Reduce the Load on the Generator: Disconnect non-essential appliances or equipment to reduce the load on the generator. Prioritize essential devices to avoid overload.
  • Ensure Proper Functioning of Connected Equipment: Inspect all connected devices for any issues or malfunctions. Repair or replace faulty appliances to prevent power surges or irregular power consumption.
  • Consider Upgrading to a Higher Capacity Generator: If your power needs consistently exceed the Predator 3500’s capacity, consider upgrading to a generator with a higher power rating to meet your demands.
Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (3)

Problem #4: Low Output Voltage

Users may experience low voltage output from the generator, resulting in underpowered appliances or equipment.


  • Dirty or Worn-Out Spark Plug: A dirty or worn-out spark plug can affect the generator’s voltage output by hindering the ignition process.
  • Incorrect Voltage Regulator Setting: If the voltage regulator is set incorrectly, it can result in low voltage output.
  • Faulty Alternator: The alternator plays a crucial role in generating electricity. A faulty alternator can lead to low voltage output.


  • Clean or Replace the Spark Plug: Inspect the spark plug and clean it thoroughly or replace it if necessary. A clean spark plug ensures proper ignition and improves voltage output.
  • Adjust the Voltage Regulator Setting: Refer to the generator’s manual to find the correct voltage regulator setting. Make necessary adjustments to achieve the desired voltage output.
  • Inspect and Repair the Alternator: If low voltage output persists, have the alternator inspected and repaired by a professional. A faulty alternator may require replacement or repairs to restore optimal voltage generation.

Problem #5: Fuel Leakage

Fuel leakage is a potentially dangerous problem that should be addressed promptly to ensure safety and prevent damage to the generator.


  • Loose or Damaged Fuel Lines: Over time, fuel lines can become loose or damaged due to vibration or wear, leading to fuel leakage.
  • Faulty Fuel Tank Cap or Gasket: A faulty fuel tank cap or gasket can result in fuel leakage if it fails to provide a tight seal.
  • Cracked Fuel Tank: A cracked fuel tank can cause fuel to leak, posing a safety hazard.


  • Inspect and Tighten Fuel Lines: Regularly inspect the fuel lines for any signs of looseness or damage. Tighten any loose connections and replace damaged fuel lines to prevent fuel leakage.
  • Replace the Fuel Tank Cap or Gasket: If the fuel tank cap or gasket is faulty, replace it with a new one to ensure a tight seal and prevent fuel leakage.
  • Replace the Cracked Fuel Tank: If the fuel tank has cracks, it is crucial to replace it immediately. A cracked tank can lead to significant fuel leakage and requires professional attention.
Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (4)

Problem #6: Excessive Noise and Vibration

Some users may find the generator to be excessively noisy or vibrating excessively during operation, causing discomfort and potential damage to the generator itself.


  • Loose or Damaged Engine Mounts: Engine mounts can become loose or damaged over time, leading to excessive noise and vibration.
  • Unbalanced Rotor or Flywheel: An unbalanced rotor or flywheel can cause the generator to vibrate excessively during operation.
  • Exhaust System Issues: Issues in the exhaust system, such as obstructions or damage, can contribute to excessive noise and vibration.


  • Inspect and Tighten Engine Mounts: Check the engine mounts for any signs of looseness or damage. Tighten them if necessary or replace them if they are damaged to reduce noise and vibration.
  • Balance the Rotor or Flywheel: If you notice excessive vibration, have a professional balance the rotor or flywheel to minimize vibrations during operation.
  • Check the Exhaust System: Inspect the exhaust system for any obstructions or damage. Clear any blockages and repair or replace damaged components to ensure proper exhaust flow and reduce noise and vibration.

Problem #7: Electric Starter Failure

The electric starter may fail to function, making it difficult to start the generator. This can be inconvenient, especially when manual starting is not preferred.


  • Faulty Starter Motor: A malfunctioning or damaged starter motor can prevent the generator from starting when the electric starter is engaged.
  • Weak or Dead Battery: A weak or dead battery can hinder the electric starter’s performance and prevent the generator from starting.
  • Loose or Corroded Connections: Loose or corroded connections between the battery, starter motor, and generator can result in electric starter failure.


  • Inspect and Replace the Starter Motor: If the electric starter fails to function, have the starter motor inspected by a professional. Replace it if necessary to restore proper functionality.
  • Charge or Replace the Battery: Ensure the battery is adequately charged or replace it if it is weak or dead. A fully charged battery is essential for optimal electric starter performance.
  • Clean and Tighten Electrical Connections: Check all electrical connections related to the starter motor and battery. Clean off any corrosion and tighten the connections to ensure proper electrical flow.


The Predator 3500 generator is a reliable and versatile power source, but it can encounter various problems over time. By understanding the common issues and their detailed solutions as outlined in this comprehensive guide, users can troubleshoot and resolve these problems effectively. Regular maintenance, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, and seeking professional assistance when needed can help ensure optimal performance and longevity for the Predator 3500 generator.

Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (5)

Kyle Graham

Kyle Graham works as a writer and editor for He is happy to put in the time and effort to conduct thorough market research to identify common issues faced by households concerning their plumbing systems and other household fixtures. His passion is to help you solve the most pressing issues you are facing in your home and recommend the best products available on the market.


Common Predator 3500 Generator Problems and Solutions - Stellar Outdoor Life (2024)


How long will a predator 3500 generator last? ›

The predator never feels like its running at the limit like the Honda does. Based on this data, I plotted a trendline in Excel and calculated the expected results at 25% & 50% load. They were 11.9 hours and 8.7 hours. This exceeds the published value at 25% load, and is slightly below at 50%.

Can a predator 3500 generator get rained on? ›

OSHA Standards state clearly how to run your generator safely: "Keep a generator dry; do not use it in the rain or wet conditions. If needed, protect a generator with a canopy."

What does the ESC switch do on a predator generator? ›

A: ESC = electronic speed control. You can turn it on after the generator is running to save gas. It will speed up when you increase load, and return to idle when load is reduced. It may take a minute for fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor after you turn the fuel switch from off to choke or run.

How long can you run a predator generator? ›

A: One person on Y*Tube estimated up to 20 hours at 25% light load, and maybe 5 to 6 hours on heavy load.

What is the life expectancy of a generator? ›

The General Lifespan of a Generator – How Long do Generators Last? If you would buy a generator today, it would generally last you 15 to 20 years depending on the availability of the repair components. The repair is an important part of the life of the generator.

Are predator generators made by Honda? ›

Predator is a Chinese made Generator and they have Honda Clone engines. I honestly can't say anything bad about predator engines or generators. Honda parts are even interchangeable with predator engines so there just a copy of a honda engine. Just take a look at the Honda es2000 and you can see the similarities.

Where can I put my generator when its raining outside? ›

Take these precautions when using a portable generator in the rain. Set the generator up on a dry, level surface. If possible, place it under an awning or shelter to keep it dry. If you're using the generator outdoors, make sure it's at least 20 feet away from any building.

How do I protect my generator from running in the rain? ›

The answer, of course, is to keep it covered with a generator rain shelter or canopy while its running. A GenTent generator canopy is specifically designed to fit your unit and helps ensure you get power when you need it most.

Can I run my generator in the snow? ›

Generally, it's best to wait for severe weather to subside before you set up your generator. After the peak of a winter storm passes, a properly ventilated running portable generator cover will help protect your generator from falling snow, rain, and high winds.

How often should you change the oil in a Predator 3500 generator? ›

The Current Manual says every 6 months or 100 hours. Much more logical. BUT... do consider the break-in. The new manual says to run it no harder than 75% for the first 30 hours and then change the oil.

Should I keep ESC on or off? ›

The ESC system is an important safety feature that automatically comes on to improve your car's stability. Turning it off is dangerous. It is not advisable to intentionally deactivate a vehicle's electronic stability control for normal driving situations.

What happens if ESC is off? ›

ESC operation off

To cancel ESC operation, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF ) for less than 3 seconds and the ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF ) will illuminate. At this state, the engine control function does not operate. It means the traction control function does not operate. Brake control function only operates.

Is it okay to run a generator 24 hours a day? ›

While some generator models can run anywhere from eight to 12 hours, or even for multiple days, generators should never be left to run for weeks or months at a time. Essentially, this comes down to generators' engine construction, which requires not just fuel, but regular lubrication and routine maintenance.

Can you leave a predator generator in the rain? ›

Cover Your Generator. Whether it's a light mist or a torrential downpour, rain can lead to generator damage. And wet generators are a liability.

How long can a generator sit unused? ›

Gas-powered generators can sit for months or years without being used, and the fuel in their tanks can go bad, Galeotafiore says. Old fuel can clog up the fuel line and parts of the engine.

How long can you run a 3500 watt generator? ›

3500 Watt* Portable Generator with RV Outlet
Running Watts3500
Run Time @ 1/2 LoadUp to 8 hours
Start TypeRecoil
21 more rows

How many hours is high for a generator? ›

On average, a standby generator can run for up to 3,000 hours powering a medium-sized home, though it is recommended you do not run a generator for longer than 500 hours continuously.

What size generator to run a house? ›

A portable 5 kW generator allows you to operate a refrigerator, four lights, a fan, and an electric motor. For the average-sized home, however, you'll probably want at least 10 kW of power. Most of these smaller generators run on natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel.

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