It’s important to remember that your food truck’s generator is a mechanical and electrical device that will require service and parts to maintain proper function. In addition to exercising the generator on a regular schedule, you should pay close attention to the following list of generator maintenance basics.

Generator Maintenance Basics

Cooling System

  • Radiator fins must be inspected monthly. Clear of all dirt and debris. Make sure the generator is OFF prior to inspecting by shining a light through the front of the radiator. If the light doesn’t shine through the fins, clear the blockage.
  • Antifreeze levels should be checked on a weekly basis.
  • Make sure the block heater is plugged in and warm. Block heaters should be plugged in year-round. They reduce wear on the generator’s engine.
  • Inspect hoses and the water pump for signs of wear, bulges, cracking, and leaks. Check hose clamps for tightness.

Fuel System

  • Change fuel filters every 200 to 250 hours. This range depends on environmental conditions and how clean the fuel is. At a minimum, change the filter on an annual basis.
  • Keep an eye out for wet spots around the fittings.

Battery and Charging Systems

  • The charging gauge (or indicator light) should read OK on the battery charger.
  • Make sure the battery and charger connections are tight, and clean any corrosion off the terminals.


  • Inspect the engine for leaks and wear.
  • Check engine belts for wear, cracking, splitting, or looseness.
  • Check oil levels. In addition, the engine oil and oil filter should be changed annually, or every 100 to 250 hours.
  • Check the air filter every 100 hours of operation and change the filter at least once per year. Make sure the filter canister does not contain dirt or other debris.

RELATED: Food Truck Generator Safety Tips

The Bottom Line

Your food truck’s generator is as important as the truck itself. If your generator isn’t running, you aren’t selling. Follow these generator maintenance basics to assure your generator is in tip top shape the next time you need to start it.

Do you have any additional tips or generator maintenance basics? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter