Portable generator problem. Pull start works, turning the key to start doesn’t work.

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New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:18 am


I have a Generac XT8000EFI generator that won’t start when turning the key but will start when pull starting. It’s fuel injected and has both a key start and pull start.

After the first fail to start with the key I checked the battery with a multimeter and the voltage was slightly below 10v so I charged it using the power plug that came with the generator for over 12 hours. While plugged in, voltage at the battery terminals will slowly climb to about 14.2 volts so I know it is charging.

The manual says a minimum of 10v is required to start with pull start and that seems to work fine after charging the battery. I tested this a few hours into charging.

This morning, after charging for 12 hours, I tried the key start. It tried to turn over, in a very sluggish way, for a second or two and then nothing. Not even a clicking sound. I was then able to start with the pull start. After running for a few minutes I shut it down and tried the key start. Again it was a sluggish attempt to turn over and then nothing. Tried one more time with the pull start and it started right up. I checked the battery and confirmed it was above 12v before trying the key start the first time.

The generator is about 3 years old and the only maintenance I’ve done is oil changes. It has about 32 hours on it. Fuel is emptied at the end of each season as well.

Any ideas about what the issue might be?

Thank you
Top Contributor
Top Contributor
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:19 pm

Load test the battery. It will probably fail.
Generator Guru
Generator Guru
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:02 pm

I had problems with the built in battery charger with my older 7550exl. I don't recall the details, but there were a lot of deposits and I had to replace a battery cable and the battery, at a minimum. Used a Battery Tender after that with no problems, for years, knock on wood.
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