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Onan Generator Maintenance, Dos, and Don’ts

Posted by Cummins Expert on

Get the most out of your Onan generator with these maintenance tips, dos, and don’ts.

When it comes to choosing parts and accessories for your Onan generator, there’s no reason to settle on “will-fit” parts. Onan Green Label Parts are made to exact product specifications to maximize the power output and life of your Cummins Onan generator. The parts you choose for your generator must be relied upon, and that’s exactly why it’s so important you insist on the real thing.

We’ve compiled some general maintenance recommendations that will help increase the longevity and performance of your Onan generator. For most of these maintenance action items, there are corresponding Onan Green Label Parts.

Maintenance

RV QG (Gasoline)

  • Clean and check battery and connections monthly. Do this more often if operating in dusty environments.
  • Clean spark arrester every 50 hours. Perform sooner if engine performance deteriorates.
  • Change oil and oil filter every 150 hours. Perform more often if operating in dusty environments or hot weather. This should be performed at least once a year.
  • Change the air filter every 150 hours. Perform more often when operating in dusty environments. Perform sooner if engine performance deteriorates.
  • Replace spark plugs every 450 hours. Perform sooner if engine performance deteriorates.
  • Change the fuel filter every 450 hours. Perform sooner if engine performance deteriorates.
    • Check fuel quality monthly and add fuel stabilizer, like OnaFresh, for prolonged storage.
  • Schedule Cummins service center tune-up every 450 hours. 

RV QD (Diesel)

  • Clean and check battery connections monthly. Do this more often when operating in hot weather.
  • Change oil and oil filter every 150-250 hours. Perform more often when operating in dusty environments and hot weather. This should be performed at least once a year.
  • Change the air filter every 500 hours. Perform more often when operating in dusty environments and sooner if the engine performance deteriorates.
  • Flush the coolant system every 1,000 hours.
  • Change the fuel filter every 500 hours. Perform sooner if engine performance deteriorates. 
    • Check fuel quality monthly and add fuel stabilizer, like OnaFresh, for prolonged storage.

For your convenience, Cummins has released RV Maintenance Kits. Maintenance kits are available for most of our current Onan RV Generator Diesel, Gas, and LP models. These kits offer an exceptional value and provide you with everything needed to perform your regular maintenance. This may include:

  • OnaMax oil
  • Air, fuel, and oil filter
  • Spark plug(s) 

These kits are readily available on shopcummins.ca

Dos and Don’ts 

To keep your Onan generator running at its highest potential and running for as long as possible, follow these general dos and don’ts.

DO

  • Keep your generator clean by wiping it periodically with a clean cloth
  • Turn off all appliances before starting your generator for best long-term performance
  • Stay up to date on maintenance schedule
  • Check exhaust system regularly for damage or leaks
  • Check air filter periodically and clean it tapping it on a flat surface
  • Install a running hour meter, if not already present
  • Exercise your generator for a few hours every month with a load
  • Make sure that clean fuel is used, and for prolonged storage or inactivity be sure to add OnaFresh fuel stabilizer to avoid damage caused by bad fuel
  • Change your fuel filter. This is often forgotten about 

Your fuel filter is very important as it removes bits of debris from the fuel to prevent clogging the carburetor jets. In time, however, it collects enough material to become plugged. This restricts fuel flow and reduces the generator’s power delivery. 

It is recommended to always have a spare set of filters, oil, and belts on hand in case of an emergency.

DON’T

  • Don’t run the generator for long periods of time without using it to power appliances
  • Attempt to adjust the carburetor, governor, choke, etc. yourself. See your Cummins authorized RV service and parts dealer for assistance
  • Run your generator set with the generator door panel removed
  • Run your generator on roads when there is heavy pooling of water

Never settle when it comes to buying parts for your Onan generator. Choose the parts designed to the exact product specifications, shop for Onan Green Label Parts.

For more information on how to operate and maintain your Onan generator, you can download our RV Handbook. Please visit https://www.cummins.com/generators/rv-generators, select “Manuals & Helpful Publications,” then click on “RV Handbook.” You will also find other helpful information such as user manuals, dealer director, parts reference guide, etc. to download.


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