How Do I Troubleshoot a Caterpillar Generator 3306?

by Erick Kristian; Updated September 26, 2017

The Caterpillar Generator 3306 is an industrial diesel generator. It has an inline six engine, and produces 85 to 150 ekW, 60 Hz at 1800 rpm. The diesel engine is designed to produce less pressure on the block, resulting in longer life and improved fuel economy. The generator is naturally aspirated and has a displacement of 10.45 liters. It can produce between 155 to 236 horsepower. The one hour power is between 166 KW to 260 KW and it consumes 220 to 225g/kw.h in fuel.

Step 1

Check the starter. If the generator fails to start, then the starter switch or starter lines may be the issue. Look for frayed contact patches, broken switches or severed lines.

Step 2

Examine the fuel injector. Look to see that the injector is pumping fuel. If the injector is not functioning properly, the engine will not start. The injector may also be clogged. Remove the injector and clean the nozzle, if necessary.

Step 3

Check the governor. This regulates the idling speed of the engine by controlling the amount of fuel delivered. If the governor is not functioning, the engine may not be getting fuel. If this occurs, the engine will not start. If the governor is pumping in too much fuel, it will cause high idling speeds.

Step 4

Check the glowplugs. Glowplugs are small electronic heaters that are required for starting the engine. In cold environments, the generator may not function due to the temperature not being warm enough. Glowplugs can counteract this if they are working.


  • Caterpillar: G3306 Gas Engine Generator
  • “Troubleshooting and Repair of Diesel Engines;" Paul Dempsey; 2007
  • “Diesel Technology: Fundamentals, Service, Repair;” Andrew Norman and John "Drew" Corinchock; 2007
  • “Diesel Engine and Fuel System Repair;” Robert N. Brady and John F. Dagel; 2001

About the Author

Erick Kristian began writing professionally in 2008. He has a strong background in business and extensive experience writing fiction and articles related to spirituality and self improvement which are published on Kristian has written several screenplays, produced numerous films, published books and written numerous articles on a variety of subjects. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Schulich School of Business.