Predator 3500 Inverter Generator’s Common Problems and Troubleshoot

As a Predator 3500 generator user, I personally face multiple issues with my generator. This is one of the best generators which I have, but still it causes some problems. As a generator mechanic, I always solve it by myself, but everyone can’t the reason and solution by themselves.

So I decided to write a complete guide on the most common problem of Predator 3500 generators which I face and every Predator 3500 user can face, believe me, most of the problems have to follow solutions that you would not even open your generator cover. So let’s start with the most common “Starting Issue”.

Warning: never perform maintenance on your generator while it is running, always stop it and disconnect it from all outlets.

Why My Predator 3500 Generator Doesn’t Start:

This is the most common problem that I face while using my Predator 3500. After solving multiple times I learned that this can be caused by multiple issues, and we will discuss it step by step.

Check the Gas Fuel Level:

In the first step when my generator does not start, I always check the fuel level in its tank, because it is the main reason for my generator starting issue.

Check If Spark Plug is OK:

To check the Spark Plug you have to open the left side of your generator and remove the spark plug, now check the spark plug if it is dirty try to clean it, and check by connecting its head with the generator’s uncolored body and start the generator. If it has enough arks (produce sparks) it means it is ready to use in other cases try to replace it with a new one.

Spark Plug for Predator Generators

  • For Harbor Freight Storm CAT 63CC 2HP 800 900W
  • For Harbor Freight Predator 13HP 420cc 60340 60349 69736 Gas Engine

Ignition Ignitor Module

After changing or cleaning the plug if it still doesn’t produce sparks, it is possible that the Ignition Ignitor Module of your Predator 3500 generator has moisture on it or it is faulty. Remove it from your generator and check it for moisture, if not moisture found then try to smell it if it smells burned try to replace it.

Note: you can find it inside the right cover of your generator.

Ignition Ignitor Module for Predator 3500

  • Wattage 3500 watts
  • Engine Type 4 Stroke
  • Engine Displacement 418 Cubic Centimeters
  • Frequency 60 Hz
  • recommended for Harbor Freight Predator 3500 Inverter Generator
  • fixe no spark issue in the generator

Check Battery for auto Start:

You can find if the battery is dead or low in charge, to do that you need to try the “recoil starter” If it starts your generator and auto-starting does not work it means that your generator battery is fully charged or dead. Try to recharge the battery, if it still not working replace the battery with a new one.

Note: you can find the battery on the bottom right corner of the front side.

YTX7L-BS Rechargeable Maintenance Free Battery

  • Worke Perfectly for Predator 3500 Generator.

Try to Clean The Carburetor:

Carburetor is used for cleaning the gas before it goes to the engine, so it cleans the unwanted material from the gas and becomes dirty. When it becomes dirty it blocks the fuel supply to the engine. Always try to clean the carburetor once a month or if required.

Check If the Choke is Correct:

Before starting the Predator 3500 generator always place the choke at starting position. It may cause to not start properly while it is placed in wrong direction.

Check the Air Filter:

An air filter is used to clean the air for the engine to burn the gas, but when it is blocked use to dust or any other reason it can’t clean the air, and instead of cleaning the air it blocks the air. So keep a look at the air filter if you find it dirty or damaged, clean it or replace it.

Not: The air filter is located inside the left cover of the engine, so remove the left side of your engine and check the air filter.

Air filter for Predator 3500 generator

  • Fill in Harbor Fright Predator 3500 inverter generator

Check the Engine Oil Level:

No oil in a predator generator can also cause it not to start or break down your engine. Always check the oil level before using or once a week if necessary. Extra Oil in the engine is not the main cause of not starting but it causes of not starting.

First if you overload your engine with oil this will make your spark plug dirty and secondly, it will also make the spark arrester dirty. Always use the recommended level for oil.

Honda 08207-10W30 Motor Oil

  • Quality engine oil for small engines
  • Made by Honda
  • Recommended for Predator 3500 inverter generator

Spark Arrester or Silencer:

This is not a reason for not starting in case it is fully blocked, it still may cause missing on shutting down of your generator while it runs. Try to remove the spark arrester and smoke filter (which is tightly placed in the spark arrester). Clean it with gasoline and place it back in its place.

If you didn’t find any of the above problems in your generator there is a high chance that your generator’s starter is not working or its engine is broken for booth problems you need a qualified mechanic to call, because working with these things can make your generator worst.

Surging Problem in Predator Generator:

Surging in the Predator 3500 inverter generator is another common problem that I face often, in this case generator fluctuates the electricity and sounds like doping and raising of rpm. Believe me, 90% of issues can be fixed by each one of you. We will discuss the most common cause which is low gas in fuel tanks.

Low Oil in Fuel Tank:

This is the first and most common funny issue in a generator’s surging, so check the fuel and fill it.

Dirty Air Filter:

The air filter is another reason for Predator 3500’s surging. First, you have to remove the left cover of your generator and remove the cover from the air box. Inside you will find foam which is used for cleaning air, if you find the foam filter dirty you need to clean it and the whole inside of the air box.

Note: you should clean the air box once a season regularly.  

Clogged Carburetor:

A clogged or dirty carburetor is another reason for surging. To access your carburetor you need to remove the air box first, for that you need to remove all screws from the air box “Don’t forget one on the back bottom side of the air box”.

After removing the air box safely remove the carburetor don’t forget to set the generator on or off position to stop the gas from draining. Now remove the carburetor from the generator, uncover it, and clean all the jet and the carburetor body from inside.

Old or Dirty Gas:

If you use old fuel it is possible that it becomes dirty while you use it and it is also the one possible cause of generator surging.

Faulty or Dirty Spark Plug:

A faulty or dirty spark plug is another reason for surging in the Predator 3500 generator. To remove it and check if it is dirty, clean it and check the spark if works place it back if not buy a new one.

Why my Predator 3500 inverter Generator is Overheating:

Overheating in another Predator 3500 generator’s problem which I faced a few times. If you are facing an overheating problem with your generator try to reduce the load or use it outside the room. More possible reasons are given below.

Air filter:

The air filter is the most important part of the generator, if anything it becomes dirty generator needs more power to get air. This is why the generator can overheat. So keep your air box clean and well-maintained.

High RPM

If your generator runs at high rpm it is possible that it may heat up your generator very quickly. If it is your problem try to adjust the rpm from the below-mentioned screw [screw right = high rpm, screw left = low rpm]

Predator 3500 generator problem of high and low rpm

Check the Engine Oil level:

Oil in the engine helps the generator to run its engine smoothly, if you use old oil or the wrong oil the generator will need more power to run and produce electricity. It is highly recommended to use the oil which is suggested by Predator. Most commonly SAE 10W-30 is recommended if the temperature is higher than 32 °.

Check Exhaust and Spark Arrestor blockages:

Exhaust, spark arrestor, and filter in exhaust can also cause overheating. Because this part of the generator is used to exhale the air and carbon from the engine, if this part is blocked this will require more power to operate.

Operate the generator in cooler temperatures:

Operating your generator in a closed area can also cause overheating in summer. If it is your problem try to use it in an open area or make the temperature cool.

Reduce the load:

If you put more load than the generator’s capability it will overload and make the generator overheat, it may stop or break down your generator.

No Current or Output:

If your generator is not producing any current you need to check the electric cable on the back side of the output plugs, if you find any disconnected cable fix it and it will work great. If not then it is not your job to do just call an expert to fix it.

Too much Noise:

Predator 3500 is an inverter generator which means this produces less noise than a conventional generator it commonly produces 56 dBA noise. If your generator is producing nosier try to solve the following issues.

Reduce the RPM:

Try to adjust the rpm by adjusting the screw which I mention early in the above overheating section.

Use Eco Mode:

If you don’t have enough load to power up try to use it on eco mode this will reduce the noise and also decrease the consumption of gas.

Final Thoughts:

Predator 3500 inverter generator is a great machine; it can almost fulfill all your required needs for electricity as a portable generator. To keep your generator running great you have to notice a few things.

  1. Have an eye on Gas.
  2. Always check the engine oil level once a week.
  3. Keep the air filter clean check it every quarterly.
  4. Keep the battery fully charged.
  5. Keep the spark arrester clean.
Jacob Henry
Jacob Henry

Jacob Henry is a skilled generator mechanic passionate about electricity and machines. He specializes in quick electrical repairs and stays up-to-date with the latest techniques. Jacob values high-quality repairs and excellent customer service, making him a valuable asset to his clients.

Articles: 16

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