Fixing Predator 3500 Generator Problems (Won’t Start)

It would be nice if this was a perfect world. Nothing would break down, nothing would need repairing and you could go about your day trouble-free. However, since it isn’t a perfect world, it is good to know you can look up the problem and find help to fix it. Even Predator generators need a helping hand from time to time.

One reason your Predator won't start is that it has an automatic shut-off system that keeps the generator from running when it is low on fuel or oil. Check both tanks to make sure they are not your problem. A quick check saves you on embarrassment at the repair shop.

To learn more about fixing different issues with your Predator generator, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about in order to fix your generator and get it started without calling the repairman. Take a few minutes to get up to speed on these DIY fixes.

Does The Predator 3500 Have a Pull Start?

Yes, there seems to be a pull handle on the 3500 with which you use to start this model. But that is not the main source for starting this unit. The pull cord seems to be a manual backup in case anything goes wrong with the electric starter.

It pays to have a backup system in place as that not only puts more value on the product but makes sure you can still use it when just one part has a problem. The pull handle is on the right side when looking at the machine and is housed in a recessed area.

The handle is not hard to grasp when inside this pocket and should be easy to pull as well. As we said the pull handle is a backup system but not for when the electric starter fails but when the battery is out of power.

That should get you some peace of mind knowing you can still use your generator when you need to recharge the battery.

How to Start a Predator 3500 Generator


To start this machine, you do not have to put a lot of effort into doing this task. You do not need to use the pull handle to get the generator running. That is only a backup when you forgot to keep power in the battery.

There is an electronic start built into this machine and you will find it on the control panel. It is hard to confuse the starter with any other device or knob located there as everything is marked very clearly

All you have to do is turn the throttle knob to the start position and then flip it back to run when it has started. For specific details, make sure to read your owner’s manual on how to start this generator.

They will have further instructions in case anything should go wrong. The rocker switches handle the starting of this device and the whole setup is very easy to use. There should be no confusion as to which switch, dial, or knob does what since all markings are very clear and under the appropriate spot.

Predator 3500 Generator Problems

We will deal with the generator won’t start issues in a few minutes. One problem you will encounter is overheating. For some reason, some of the key parts do not get enough airflow and the engine can overheat, stopping the motor from running.

One owner said he drilled a few holes in the battery cover, the sides of the case, and the oil door. These extra holes allow for better airflow and keep the engine nice and cool. he also reported that you can find YouTube videos showing you how this can be done properly.

When you are at 25% of load, the noise level seems to be quite tolerable. However, if you start to raise the power production, you will experience a lot more noise. The decibel rating at 25% is only 57 but as you go higher so do those decibels. there is nothing you can do about this issue either.

Then there is the inability to use all 4 wheels all the time. The fault lies in the handle design and that limits the use of those 4 wheels. Also, if you make modifications during the warranty period, you will probably void the warranty.

Modifications are not allowed but some people do not care and make them anyways as those modifications tend to make the machine run better. Finally, there is no fuel gauge which makes it hard to know you need to add fuel until the engine automatically stops on you.

The automatic shut-off lets you know when you need to add more fuel.

Why is My Predator 3500 Generator Surging?


There are different reasons why this issue rises in your Predator generator. One is that the float in the carb could be stuck. This will cut off the fuel supply and cause your generator to surge. Just a tap to the side of the float bowl to solve this issue, hopefully.

Or you need to flush the fuel bowl. Just open the bowl drain and turn on the front panel fuel switch and give the fuel bowl a good flush. another problem could be that the fuel line is plugged with debris.

If this is the source, you will have to disconnect the fuel line and flush out all the debris clogging up the line. Then it could be that your carb is running too lean. A light adjustment should take care of this problem.

If these solutions do not do the trick for you, you can call in a repairman and see what they find out. You never know and when you are not an expert on engines, it is best to leave this issue to the professionals.

Predator 3500 Electric Start Not Working

The most obvious possible problem would be that there is something wrong with the switch itself. A wire got loose, shorted our or disconnected and you may have to tighten the wires or replace the switch if it has worn out.

Another problem that could be the source is if the spark plug is damaged in some way. It may have been overheated, got oil or debris to its point or the gap is wrong. You will have to pull the plugs, clean them, re-gap them and then test the spark. If the color is blue you are fine.

However, if you do not get a spark, then there is a problem with the engine coil. Next, the choke lever may be positioned wrong. When you start the machine, it should be in the closed position. Then it needs to be moved to the open position once the generator warms up.

One of the bigger problems is when you leave appliances or empty extension cords plugged in. The generator cannot have anything plugged into it when it is starting. Even empty extension cords. Double-check to make sure everything is unplugged.

Also, check the gas and oil levels and see if the battery is drained of all power. If so, you will have a hard time starting the generator. The battery is there to operate the electronic starting mechanism. It will lose power if not used over a long period. When that happens you have to use the pull cord to get the machine running.

Why Does My Predator Generator Keep Dying?


This is a fuel and carb problem. If the carb is clogged or not getting enough fuel, then the motor will continue to die on you. Even if the fuel tank is full of gas. That means checking your carb to make sure it is operating as it should.

One of the sources that clog up your carb is varnish. There is such a thing as fuel varnish and if you do not keep replacing old gas it can build up over time. When it does, you can get oil overflowing onto the engine, or clog the carb.

This is not an overnight issue. It comes, as we said, over time when you do not replace your gas often enough. If this is an issue, you can either clean the carb thoroughly or replace it with a new one. Or at least run some carb cleaner through the engine regularly.

Does The Predator 3500 Have An Oil Filter?

We checked the owner’s manual and there was no mention of this generator having an oil filter. It did say that there was a strainer on the gas tank but nothing for the oil tank. The fuel tank strainer needs to be checked and cleaned when dirty.

The process to change the oil is quite simple as well but it requires you to start the motor and run it until you get to normal operating temperatures. You will have to remove the oil cap and the drain plug in order to get the proper flow needed to get all the oil out.

Other than that, it is a standard oil changing process that you do on any other machine. The standard oil viscosity runs between 0, 5, 15 W 40, and also 10W 3O, the brand should not matter. You should change the oil after the first 20 hours of use then every 100 hours after that.

if you are missing your owner’s manual, just click here to get to one.

Predator 3500 Leaking Gas


This is actually a common generator problem and not one specific to the Predator series of machines. There is one normal source for this issue which makes it very easy to fix.

The cause of the problem is the float in the carb or float bowl is stuck and not moving to shut the gas feed off. When this happens it means that something is jamming the float operation.

The common problem for the sticking is gas varnish or the gas turns to gum when it is stored for long periods. The solution is to clean the float bowl, the carb and make sure to get all the varnish, etc., out of the engine.

The way to avoid this issue is to properly drain the float bowl, a part many people forget to check and empty, then store the generator. Another name for this part is the float inlet needle.

Does The Predator 3500 Have a Fuel Shut Off?

Yes, this model, like all Predator generators, does come with a list of safety features to protect you and your family. One of those safety features is a low fuel automatic shut-off system. What this does is monitor your fuel tank and when the fuel level gets too low, the motor is turned off.

If your generator is not starting, check your gas tank to make sure it doesn't need any more gas. If it is too low, make sure to add some in. It is a good idea to keep checking every time you go to start the generator. This will ensure no interruption of service later on.

Also, check your oil level as well. There is an automatic low oil monitor which will keep the generator from starting if the oil level is too low. Regular checks will help you avoid that frustrating feeling when the generator doesn't start.

Predator 3500 Display Not Working


If this happens to you, you should check all the simple sources first. The key one will be the start-up battery. If the battery has no power chances are the display won’t light up. No power in the battery means no electricity for the electrical parts.

Or you could have a short somewhere or a loose wire. However, this is not something you should do on your own. Especially if you have no electronics experience or hate working around electricity.

When your display doesn't light up, and after checking those possibilities, call in a repairman to troubleshoot the problem. The problem may be something simple but why take the chance.

If it is something simple and the issue happens again, then you know how to fix it without getting any expensive help. Sometimes it just pays to let the repairman handle these problems. They have all the parts and tools to repair quickly.

Predator 3500 Eco Mode Not Working

The eco mode is a feature that lets you run your generator at a fuel-efficient level. You save on fuel and still get enough power to run certain appliances. When it stops working the source is fairly easy to find.

It is a fuel supply problem and when you have a float stuck, debris in the fuel line, a dirty carb, and other issues, then the eco mode won't operate as it should. All the solutions for the leaking fuel, motor dying and similar problems will work here as well.

You will need to clean out the debris, flush the float bowl, clean the carb and replace any old gas with new gas. if the problem is not caused by those sources, you may have to call in a repairman to troubleshoot and see if there is a wiring issue or a power supply problem.

How to Clean Predator 3500 Spark Arrestor


All this part does is prevent hot sparks from starting fires while you have your 3500 running. It is an important safety feature that helps your generator run at full capacity without any worries.

The easiest way to clean this part is to replace it with a new one. That will save you from doing a potentially messy job. If that is not an option, then you will need to use some carb cleaning fluid and use a soft brush to do some scrubbing.

Don’t press too hard though as you do not want to damage the part. If you do not clean this part regularly it will block the airflow and cause the engine to overheat. That situation can cause the pistons to expand and seize the engine.

It is important to clean this part often in order to avoid major damage other than starting a fire.

Some Final Words

Once you know where to look, the repairs on a Predator 3500 can be done very easily. It is only when those problems become too severe or too complicated that you will need to call in a repairman.

Remember always check the simple, easy-to-locate possible sources first. that way you will know if you can repair the problem in a matter of a minute or two. Some repairs like filling up with gas or oil are quick and very easy.

Cleaning parts take a little more and often needs a gentle touch.

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