11 Reasons Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working

Predator generators are popular inverter generators that can be carried around. This generator’s popularity can be attributed to its excellent fuel consumption and quality efficiency. However, this fantastic generator’s electric start may not work sometimes. So, why is Predator generator electric start not working?

Your Predator 3500, 2000, 8750, and 9000 generator’s electric start may not start because of a faulty starter switch, damaged spark plug, low oil and gas level, clogged air filter, or drained battery. The Predator 2000 generator’s electric start can malfunction due to improper fuel supply and stale gasoline. Predator 3500 also suffers from a clogged carburetor, a starter circuit faulty connection, and a blocked fuel passage preventing electric start. 

To identify the problem, the article has included possible checklist items. Learn how to resolve the issues causing your predator’s electric start button to malfunction in the following paragraphs!

Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working: 11 Reasons & Solutions 

Predator 3500, 2000, 8750, and 9000 generators’ electric start may not start due to some specific reasons. 

Reason Solution Model  
Faulty starter switch Repair or replace switch3500
Damaged spark plug Repair or replace the plug 3500, 2000, 8750 
Extension cords left plugged in Unplug everything 3500
Drained battery Recharge the battery 3500, 9000, 8750
Low oil and gas levelAdd enough oil and gas 3500,2000, 9000
Stale gasoline Check and use fresh gasoline 2000, 8750
Clogged air filter Clean air filter 2000, 9000
Low Compression and Locked up transmission Inspect and repair transmission2000,3500
Clogged Carburetor Clean or replace carburetor3500
Starter Circuit faulty ConnectionInspect and reestablish connection3500
Blocked Fuel passage Clean passageways3500
Clogged Spark arrestor Clean the arrestor3500

Reason 1: Faulty Starter Switch 

If your Predator 3500 generator electric start doesn’t work, the obvious cause would be a problem with the switch itself. If the wire of the switch is loose or disconnected, the switch won’t work. Also, the switch can wear out and prevent the electric start from functioning.

Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working
Source: popularmechanics.com


Check the wires of the switch for any loose connection. If you find it loose or disconnected, you need to tighten the wires. Replacing the switch is the best solution if you find the switch worn out. You need to spend around $15 to $20 for a replacement switch.

Reason 2: Damaged Spark Plug

A damaged spark plug could be another source of the cause. The spark plug provides the spark that ignites the fuel in the generator’s engine, creating the combustion necessary to start the engine. 

If the spark plug is overheated or dirty, the spark may be insufficient to ignite the fuel, which prevents the engine from starting. Also, if the gap between plugs gets compromised, it can lead to a problem.

Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working
Source: generatorist.com


You need to pull the spark plugs out and clean them. Make sure that the plugs aren’t touching each other during the process. 

Check the plug for any damage. If it’s blue, you’re good to go. If not, you must replace them. It can cost from $5 to $10 for a plug depending on your generator model.

Reason 3: Extension Cords Left Plugged in

Leaving appliances and extension cords plugged in is another bigger cause for your Predator 3500 generator to not start. The generator shouldn’t have any cords plugged in while starting. 


You must always unplug everything before leaving the generator off, even the empty extension cords.  This portable generator is safe for electronic appliances, but make sure not to plug them in before running it.

Reason 4: Drained Battery

The next possible reason is having a drained battery. If the age of your battery is more than 12 months from the manufacturing date, it may not function properly. 

If you leave the battery unused for a massive amount of time, the battery will lose power.  


Electronic starting mechanisms are powered by the battery. To ensure the proper functionality of the electric start of the Predator generator, make sure to charge the battery properly.

Check the battery voltage with a multimeter, and it should be between 11.6 and 12.5 volts. Also, don’t leave your battery unused for a long time. Your battery should be replaced if it’s older than 12 months. 

Reason 5: Low Oil and Gas Level

Therefore, if the oil level is too low, the generator’s electric start will not work. Running the engine without enough oil can cause severe damage to the engine components. 

If the gas level is too low, the engine may not start or may shut down during operation. This is because the fuel pump may not be able to draw enough fuel from the tank to supply the engine with the required amount of gas.


Ensure that the gas tank is filled to an adequate level before starting the generator. Always keep more than ¼  of the tank topped with fuel before operation.

Reason 6: Stale Gasoline 

Predator 2000 generator electric start won’t function if the existing gasoline loses its volatility. Stale fuel can also form deposits that can clog fuel filters, carburetors, and fuel lines, preventing the proper flow of fuel to the engine. 

When a generator sits idle for an extended period, the fuel in the tank can start to break down and become stale. If you try to start the generator electrically during that time, it may not work.


In order to prevent problems with stale fuel, use fresh gasoline in the generator and empty the fuel tank and carburetor after a long period of inactivity. Fuel stabilizers can also help keep gasoline fresh for longer periods of time.

Reason 7: Clogged Air Filter

If you operate a Predator 2000 generator in a dirty and open environment, it tends to gather dust and dirt more. The generator will catch more dust and the air filter will become clogged.

Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working
Source: generatorist.com

Read also: Can You Use A Jump Starter While Plugged In?

Air filters’ primary purpose is to clean the air and remove dirt, dust, and debris before it enters the engine. It can be difficult or impossible to start an engine with a clogged air filter. Dirt builds up quickly if you’re running the generator in a garage.


To prevent the electric start from stopping, you should clean the air filter. 

  • First, turn off and cool down the generator. Place the generator in a well-ventilated area.
  • Now, locate the plastic air filter housing box containing the air filter. Then, unclip the front panel of the housing to remove the filter.
  • Once the dirt has been blown off or vacuumed up, you can move on to cleaning it. Use a mild washing agent to wash the filter. Allow it to dry in the sun.
  • Lubricate the interior of the filter facing the housing with motor oil once it has dried out properly. Finally, reposition the filter.  

One thing more, you should replace the air filter if it’s damaged to ensure that the generator runs correctly and starts efficiently. It costs only around 10$ for a new filter, so don’t ignore it! 

Reason 8: Low Compression Problem & Locked-Up Transmission

If the engine has low compression, it may not be able to generate enough pressure to start. For the engine to start, the starter motor must produce sufficient power to turn the engine over and create compression.  

So, the electric starter motor may not be able to generate enough power to turn the engine over and start it if the engine has low compression.

On the other hand, if the transmission is locked up, the engine cannot turn, which makes the electric start impossible to start.


Always make sure to inspect the compression and transmission to find out whether it’s in a bad condition or not. The generator should compress at a ratio of 8:1 to 12:1.

If compression issues are suspected, it’s important to have the engine inspected and repaired by a qualified technician. Also, the transmission should be diagnosed and repaired by a qualified mechanic. 

Reason 9: Clogged Carburetor

If the carburetor is clogged, it can prevent the proper mixture of air and fuel from reaching the engine, making it difficult or impossible to start. 


A clogged carburetor needs to be cleaned to function properly. 

  • The carburetor float is held in place by a bolt. Remove the bolt carefully to avoid spilling any remaining gas. Carburetors commonly build up varnish here. Put aside the pivot pin that connects the float to the pin, as well. Remove the float from its casing now.
  • Now, remove all the components and remember the location of all those components. 
  • Make a cleaning agent just by adding some water and cleaning solution. Then, soak all the components and scrub all metal components with a brass brush, and scrub plastic components with a stiff nylon brush.
  • Rinse all the components carefully and let them dry properly.

Reattach all the components you removed and your carburetor should be cleaned now.      

You should replace the carburetor if it’s damaged in order to ensure proper generator operation. Carburetor problems can also be prevented by using fresh gasoline and performing regular maintenance. A new one costs around $25 to $40 depending on your generator model.

Reason 10: Starter Circuit Faulty Connection

Your Predator 3500’s starter circuit may not be properly connected with the solenoid and the ground lead. This will lead to the malfunction of the starter motor. The 8750 model starter motor can sometimes hang up, also preventing electric start.


You need to check the connections of the starter motor, considering the battery is in working condition. The positive lead should be connected to the starter solenoid, and the negative lead should be grounded to the engine block. If any wiring gets damaged, you need to change it.

If the connections are tight, the starter motor or solenoid may be damaged. Visit a professional for replacing these parts. For a hung-up starter motor, try spinning it using your hand.

Reason 10: Blocked Fuel Passage 

Over time, debris builds up in the fuel passageway and clogs the route obstructing smooth fuel flow.


To clean out the passageways of your generator, you should use a fuel additive. For large dirt buildup, clean further using a carburetor cleaner or spray.

Reason 11: Clogged Spark Arrestor 

Dust particles get to build up in the spark arrestor occasionally. It will obstruct your Predator 3500 to start perfectly. This is also one of the Generac xt8500efi problems.


You need to clean the spark arrestor and for that, follow these steps.

  • Turn off the generator and let it cool down completely before attempting any cleaning.
  • Locate the spark arrestor on your generator. Take off the grate by unscrewing the six bolts at the back of the generator.
  • Remove the two bolts holding the spark arrestor bracket in place.
  • Inspect the spark arrestor for any signs of damage, such as cracks or corrosion. If you notice any damage, you may need to replace the spark arrestor.
  • Clean the spark arrestor using a wire brush or a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris, dirt, or soot.

FAQs: Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working

Can you run an electric start generator without a battery?

No, you cannot run an electric start generator without a battery. In order to start the engine and activate the starter motor, the battery must provide initial electrical power. Generator alternators typically provide electrical power to power the generator and charge the battery once the engine is running.

How do you test a generator battery? 

First, turn off the generator and cool down the engine.  Check the battery for any signs of damage or corrosion. Using a multimeter, test the battery’s voltage with no load or current. A fully charged 12-volt battery should read around 12.6 volts. If the voltage is lower, recharge or replace the battery.

What is the common problem of a Predator generator?

Battery failure is the most common problem of a Predator generator. The battery may fail due to low charge or old age, which can prevent the generator from starting. Regular maintenance and proper use can help prevent battery failures from occurring.

Conclusion: Predator Generator Electric Start Not Working

Hopefully, you’ve found out the reasons why your Predator generator electric start not working. The solutions to each problem are within your grasp, and all you have to do is get out of your toolbox and get started! 

Remember to check the easiest, simplest possible sources first. So that you can determine if the problem can be fixed within a few minutes. If not, you should go for professional assistance.

Read also: How Long Should I Let My Car Idle to Charge Its Battery?

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About Frank Diaz

Hi everyone, my name is Frank Diaz and I am the face behind GaragestPicks. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a mechanic for over 20 years. I love working on cars and doing DIY projects around the house. I write this blog to share my knowledge and help others fix their cars with most common tools.

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