How long will a diesel generator last?(Life expectancy)

When you’re ready to buy a diesel generator, the question is how long it will last. Many people believe that diesel generators, like cars, will last forever, while others believe that their lifespan is extremely limited. After all, the life expectancy of a generator is an important factor to consider when purchasing a backup power system.

Do diesel generators last longer than natural gas or gasoline generators? There is no one answer to this question. Given that diesel generators are water-cooled and most run at 1800RPM, they typically last longer than standard generators, which are air-cooled and run at 3600RPM. Diesel generators can be used for at least 12,000 hours and up to 20,000 hours before an engine overhaul is needed – as long as they are exercised and well-maintained. At four hours a day, it would take 14 years to reach 20,000 hours.

Part of the reason for this longevity is the way diesel engines are made and what they are made of. Diesel engines are made of simpler and slower-moving parts, so the mechanical parts don’t rub as hard as natural gas generators. So diesel generators may not wear out as quickly. But how long will the diesel generator last? Here is an explanation, including the factors that determine the life of a diesel generator. The life expectancy of a diesel generator depends on two main factors: the power of the generator and the method of maintenance. Other factors include:

  • Brand and quality of the generator
  • ApplicationConditions
  • Generator engine power

Power of generator

When it comes to the efficiency of diesel generators, running power is important. This is why you should determine the load size of the machine you plan to run with the generator. If you use up to 90% of the generator’s load capacity, it will undoubtedly last longer. It ensures that the generator is always getting enough combustion pressure to hold its piston rings in place. However, using smaller diesel generators for larger loads can shorten their service life. In these special cases, the generator’s life expectancy is compromised by an underload.


Whether it’s natural gas or diesel, any well-maintained generator will last longer. Don’t wait until the power goes out to run the generator. Thorough maintenance of the generator includes regular oil or air changes, fuel filter changes, and checking for any changes in performance. Diesel generators can last from a minimum of 15,000 hours to a maximum of 50,000 hours before needing maintenance. Ultimately, the life expectancy of any individual generator will depend on factors such as the type of generator and preventive maintenance practices.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to check if your generator is making noise, smoking, vibrating, or consuming more fuel than before. These signs may indicate an underlying problem that needs to be fixed.

The life of a generator also depends on how many hours a year it runs. For example, a generator running 650 hours a year could operate for up to 30 years to reach a 20,000-hour life expectancy. Similarly, the life of the generator is shortened if it operates more hours during the year. In addition, the life expectancy of a generator depends on factors such as working conditions. By using your generator regularly and performing regular maintenance, you will find that you can greatly improve the life expectancy of your generator. So how do you extend the service life of diesel generators? Using these tips and tricks, you can keep the diesel generator running at a high level for a long time.

  • Change the oil regularly. The industry standard is to change the oil after 50 to 200 hours of use. Newer models may not need to be replaced as often, while generators used in dusty environments may need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Clean the generator. Dust and other debris can affect the efficiency of a generator. A weekly clean air filter, especially if used regularly, can eliminate dust buildup.

If the generator is used infrequently, start it once a month. By starting it regularly you can ensure that the diesel generator is running when you need it.

Before using diesel generators, it is necessary to check in detail, and a new generator set should be replaced in time if the following conditions are found; If the silent generator is used less frequently, in this case, the service life of the generator is generally around 20 to 30 years. But if the generator is used more frequently and often for long periods of time, the service life is often halved. Therefore, for generators with a service life of about 10 years, if the frequency of use is relatively high, it is recommended to increase the frequency of maintenance. If aging or serious wear has occurred, it is time to replace the new generator in time.