How to Check the Capacitor in a Coleman Generator


Coleman generators utilize a small unit called a capacitor that serves as a type of "jump-start" battery for the generator. It stores a small amount of power to prime the system and provide enough energy to get the compressor or rotors going. Much like the starter in a car, if the capacitor is dead the generator won't start. It is easy to check the capacitor.

  • Make sure the generator is filled with gasoline if it is gas powered. If it is battery powered, open the battery compartment and ensure the battery is connected properly, with the black lead on the black tip and the red lead on the red tip. Try to start the generator; if it fails to start, go to Step 2.

  • Press the start ignition multiple times.

  • Listen closely. If there is no sound at all, the capacitor is likely bad. If the generator starts but then quickly dies, the problem is likely not the capacitor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never try to take apart the generator or stick your hand inside it while the generator is running.

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