6 Common Kohler Generator Control Board Problems [With Fixes]

Kohler generators are renowned for their enduring reliability and exceptional performance. However, like any mechanical device, they are not immune to occasional problems.

One of the most common issues that users face concerns the control board. The control board serves as the generator’s brain, directing its operations and ensuring smooth functioning.

In this article, I’ll share Kohler generator control board problems that you may encounter and offer solutions for resolving them.

Let’s dive in.

Kohler Generator Control Board Problems

Kohler Generator Control Board Problems

1 . Failure to Start

A common cause of failure to start in Kohler generators could be a malfunctioning control board.

This issue may arise due to a faulty starter motor relay or a corroded connection that prevents the smooth flow of electricity, inhibiting the generator’s ignition sequence.


To resolve the issue, first, check the starter motor relay for any signs of damage or wear. If it appears faulty, you’ll need to replace the relay.

For a corroded connection, carefully clean the corrosion using a wire brush or sandpaper and apply a protective layer of dielectric grease to prevent future corrosion.

If the problem persists, it is recommended to consult with a Kohler generator technician.

2 . Frequent Shutdowns

Frequent shutdowns of your Kohler generator are often indicative of a compromised control board.

Overheating, resulting from inadequate ventilation, or a malfunctioning cooling system, may trigger the control board’s protective measures, causing the generator to shut down.

Another potential cause could be power surges that can damage the control board’s delicate components.


To deal with frequent shutdowns, first, ensure that the generator is well-ventilated and the cooling system is functioning properly.

Inspect the cooling fan for any obstructions and clean it if necessary. If overheating persists, you may need to replace the cooling system

A surge protector can help safeguard the control board from power surges. However, if these adjustments do not resolve the issue, you should seek professional assistance.

3 . Unresponsive Control Panel

An unresponsive control panel is often a sign of a failing control board in your Kohler generator.

This could happen due to various reasons, such as dampness or moisture infiltration into the control board, short circuits caused by faulty wiring, or wear and tear over time that degrades the board’s functionality.


The first step to troubleshooting this issue involves inspecting the control board for any visible signs of damage, like corrosion or burned parts.

If moisture is a concern, consider installing a dehumidifier close to the generator or using moisture-absorbing packets.

For potential short-circuits, review the wiring diagram and check for any defects. If the control board is simply old and worn out, it may need to be replaced entirely.

Remember, handling electrical components requires utmost caution. It is highly recommended to seek professional assistance for repairing or replacing the control board.

4 . Erratic Generator Behavior

Erratic behavior in your Kohler generator can be a clear indication of a faulty control board.

This could be due to inconsistent power supply, which can disrupt the control board’s operations, leading to random generator start-ups or shutdowns.

Another potential cause is faulty or damaged components on the board itself, like resistors or microchips, which can lead to irregular generator performance.


To tackle this issue, check the generator’s power source first and ensure a stable, uninterrupted supply.

If the power supply is not a concern, inspect the control board for any damaged components. In some situations, these components can be replaced individually.

However, if the control board shows signs of significant damage or wear, it would be best to replace the entire board to ensure optimal generator performance.

Always seek professional help when dealing with such intricate electrical components to avoid any risk of injury or further damage to the generator.

5 . Inconsistent Power Output

Inconsistent power output from your Kohler generator can be a symptom of an issue with the control board.

The control board is responsible for regulating the generator’s power output. Therefore, if it malfunctions, the generator may produce a voltage that is either too high or too low, leading to an irregular power supply.

This could occur due to faulty voltage regulators, worn-out capacitors, or loose wiring connections on the control board.


Addressing inconsistent power output involves a meticulous inspection of the control board’s components. Firstly, check the voltage regulators and replace them if necessary.

Next, inspect the capacitors for any signs of wear and tear. A worn-out capacitor might not be able to hold charge as efficiently, leading to voltage fluctuations.

Replace any faulty capacitors to ensure stability in the power output. Lastly, check the wiring connections on the control board.

Loose or frayed connections can disrupt the power flow, causing inconsistencies in the power output. Tighten any loose connections and replace frayed wires.

6 . Display Error Codes

Display error codes on your Kohler generator can be an alarming sign of a defective control board.

These error codes are the generator’s way of communicating specific issues that need attention.

They can be triggered by a variety of problems, such as faulty sensors, wiring mishaps, or malfunctioning components on the control board itself.


The first step towards resolving display error codes is to consult your Kohler generator’s user manual.

This manual usually contains a list of error codes and their respective meanings, which can guide you towards pinpointing the issue.

Incorrect sensor readings can be rectified by replacing the faulty sensors.

If the error codes suggest wiring issues, thoroughly inspect all the wiring connections for any loose ends or corrosion and fix them accordingly.

For issues related to the control board components, consider seeking professional assistance.

Remember, dealing with electrical components can be hazardous if not done cautiously. If after all these steps the error codes persist, it might be time to replace the entire control board.


Dealing with Kohler generator control board problems can be complex, mainly because the control board is an intricate component that drives the generator’s functionality.

It’s crucial to conduct regular maintenance of your generator to avoid such problems.

However, if you still encounter issues such as an unresponsive control panel, erratic generator behavior, inconsistent power output, or display error codes, take a systematic approach to troubleshoot and fix them, as we’ve discussed in this guide.

Always prioritize safety and consider seeking professional help when dealing with electrical components.

If the control board shows signs of significant wear or damage, replacing it entirely may be the most effective solution.


How often should I inspect my Kohler generator control board?

Regular maintenance schedules suggest a monthly inspection to keep your generator in optimal condition.

Can I replace the control board myself?

Although it’s possible, it’s recommended to hire a professional to avoid any risk of injury or further damage to the generator.

What does erratic generator behavior look like?

Erratic behavior can manifest as random start-ups or shutdowns without any apparent triggers.

What can cause inconsistent power output in my Kohler generator?

Inconsistent power output can result from faulty voltage regulators, worn-out capacitors, or loose wiring connections on the control board.

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