How to Troubleshoot a Sears Craftsman Generator

Your Sears Craftsman generator should work fine in the long-term; however, dirty engine oil can lead to sluggish performance and a shorter lifespan. If you have owned your generator for some time, an oil change likely is due. When the generator's engine is new, the oil should be replaced between 2 and 5 hours to get it ready for reliable wear. After that, old oil should be dumped every 50 hours of use. Some easy troubleshooting tips and oil maintenance techniques might make your generator run more smoothly.

Troubleshooting the generator

  1. Lighten the electrical load if the circuit breaker repeatedly trips.

  2. Relocate the generator to an area where fresh air is more plentiful if it overheats.

  3. Place the generator on level ground and change the engine oil.

  4. Wipe off the debris around the dipstick and oil drain plug so dirt does not fall into the engine.

  5. Remove the oil drain plug and dipstick.

  6. Place the oil drain pan under the oil drain and angle the engine down a little, pointing it toward the oil drain. Drain the old oil in an oil drain pan.

  7. Put the oil drain plug back on the generator and tighten it to prevent leakage.

  8. Pour new oil into the crankcase and stop when the dipstick is at the "Full" level mark.

  9. Dispose of the oil in the oil drain pan, according to the waste laws in your city and state.


  • Be careful to avoid burn injuries when replacing oil. The old oil should be warm, but not hot.
  • If your generator fails to auto idle, contact a qualified technician. A slow idle indicates either a defective idle control switch, circuit board or other problem that requires a professional.
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