Maintaining Your Portable Generator

Maybe you bought your portable generator to use for camping trips, tailgating, or big backyard parties or maybe you just wanted reliable backup power in case of an emergency. Whatever you plan to use your portable generator for, it’s good practice to perform regular engine maintenance to ensure your generator is always ready to go before you actually need it. The last thing you want is to have a solution that doesn’t function when you really need it.

Your first step is always to consult your operator’s manual for maintenance and care instructions. If you have trouble finding your generator engine model number, check the side of the metal overhead valve cover under the muffler.

Even if you’ve stored your generator in a suitable space (somewhere accessible that doesn’t have lots of dust, debris or moisture) Briggs & Stratton still recommends that you:

  • Give your portable generator regular tune ups
    • Check/clean/replace your spark plugs.
    • Check/change your oil.
    • Inspect/replace parts like the carburetor, air filter and fuel filter.
  • Every 2-3 months, start your generator and run it for about 10 minutes.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer—especially if your generator goes unused for more than 30 days at a time.
  • If you have an electric start, make sure your battery is fully charged.

Interested in a portable generator but not sure what works for you? Check out our previous post: Which Portable Generator Is Right for Me? And always remember the only safe place to operate a portable generator is outside. For more information and safety tips, visit

NOTICE: Customer service questions are not monitored via the blog. If you need assistance with your Briggs & Stratton engine or power equipment, please contact our Answer Center or post your question to our User Community.