FAQ: Winter Weather Generator Care

At this time of year, winter storms can bring strong, possibly damaging winds, heavy snowfall, significant icing and coastal flooding. We’ve put together a list of FAQs to help homeowners ensure their KOHLER generators are ready for severe winter weather and impending power outages.


Q:  Do I need to clear the snow from the intake and exhaust vents?

A:  YES – It is essential for generator cooling.  Permanent damage is possible if the unit overheats.

Q:  How do I manually “power off” the generator set?

A:  Open the generator hood or access door and flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position (you’ll find the breaker near the digital controller). This shuts off power to the house (the load). It’s a good idea to run the generator with no load for 2-5 minutes. Then press the “off” button on the controller.

Q:  How long can my generator run before I need to check the oil?

A:  We recommend checking the oil level after every 8-24 hours of operation, depending on the size and model of the generator. Oil change and filter change frequency and other routine maintenance varies per model, especially during periods of extended power outage. Check the Operation Manual included with your generator for a complete list of required maintenance procedures and schedules.

Q:  How do I check the engine oil?

A:  (1) Power off the generator and let the engine sit for two minutes to settle the oil. Pull the dipstick from the back of the engine and wipe with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the dipstick tube and pull it out. Note the crosshatching on the end of the dipstick, from “F” (Full) to “L” (Low), and see where the oil level falls. Add oil if the dipstick indicates that the oil level is low. (See What type of oil should I use in my generator?)

(2) Locate the yellow oil-access cap on the front of the engine (look for the oil can icon). Add a few ounces of oil, then recheck the oil level by inserting and removing the dipstick. Add oil until the level is near “F.” Do not overfill the engine.

(3) When you’re finished adding oil, make sure the dipstick and oil access cap are securely in place. Push the AUTO button to place the generator back in standby mode. If the utility power is still out, the generator will start within three seconds. After the generator starts, move the circuit breaker to the ON position so the generator is now supplying power to the house.

To get in contact with your local KOHLER dealer, click here.


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4 Responses to “FAQ: Winter Weather Generator Care”

  1. Melissa G. Butler
    January 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    I noticed when I checked my owners Manuel the air filter shows a pre-oiled
    foam pre-filter but when checking my air filter it did not have one, it was shipped this way from the factory, also my LED display on contrast on my RDC2
    controller has a space on the right that has gotten hard to see !!!??? This is an 14kwRESA Kohler that I paid $3,200.00 for & transfer switch RXT-JFNC 100 ASE
    was $ 795.00 & with installation it cost $6,233.00 so will Kohler check the controller out & fix or replace the display if necessary & I still have over three years on my warranty !!!??? I have my oil change & spark plug , filter kit on hand @ all times, check filter, oil & intake, exhaust frequently along with transfer switch !!! Melissa B.

    • KOHLER Generators
      KOHLER Generators
      January 26, 2016 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Melissa,

      We received your e-mail this morning and responded regarding the controller issues.

      At the time your generator was manufactured, we did not install a pre-cleaner for the air filter. Maintenance kits for the 14RESA now include the pre-cleaner and there are no compatibility issues. When you get the chance, please review the email our service team sent this morning.

      • Melissa G. Butler
        January 27, 2016 at 1:35 am #

        Thanks, I was worried some small particles of dirt may have gotten in, I got my
        14kwRESA controller RDC2 to reset by cutting the breaker off to the trickle charger, cutting breaker off on generator, & taking positive terminal cable off
        battery & putting back on & it reset after a few tries to do normal exercise Friday
        on 01-29-16 @ 4:45 pm !!! Love my Kohler 14 kw Resa !!! Not obsessed with it but
        do take very good care of it , that big storm could come one day, Jonas was rough
        but we didn’t loose power !!!

  2. Joseph Bowers
    January 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

    I completely agree that a regular winter generator maintenance should be done. All the FAQs here are very helpful to maintain the generator. Again a regular generator repairs NJ and services are very necessary to ensure its efficient working.