Generac G-FORCE® Engine

Who Makes Generac Engines? Everything You Need To Know

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Generators come in handy whether you are looking for a backup option in the event of a power outage, or preparing for harsh weather conditions, say a hurricane. If this is you, then chances are you are battling questions like which brand you should choose. Who makes Generac engines is a common question and the focus of this article.

Who Makes Engines for Generac?

Founded in 1959 in Eagle and Whitewater, Wisconsin, Generac has grown its name to be an industry-leading brand for effective and reliable generators. Generac's products include portable generators, home and commercial standby generators, mobile generators, power washers, and light towers.

Having produced high-quality generators for over 60 years, it is no surprise that many people are curious to find out who makes Generac engines. In the past, Generac has been associated with companies like Sears(to make them Craftsman portable generators) and Briggs & Stratton, all generator producers.

According to the Generac website, the Generac G-FORCE® and OHVI engines are engineered and manufactured by Generac Power Systems Inc. in Wisconsin. However, the Generac OHV engines are not designed and manufactured in the U.S. Additionally, there's some evidence that suggests Generac OHV engines are provided and assembled by the Brigs & Stratton's plant in China.

What's the History Between Generac and Briggs & Stratton?

In 1998, Beacon Group, an investment firm based in New York, acquired the consumer products division of Generac Power Systems (then known as Generac Corporation). Fast forward, in 2001, Briggs & Stratton acquired the portable products division from the Beacon Group to form Briggs & Stratton Power Products.

Previously during the 1998 purchase, the Beacon Group and Generac had a non-compete agreement. However, the expiration of this agreement allowed Generac to expand its market in the portable generator industry. Additionally, Briggs & Stratton Power Products and Generac became competitors on some products upon the acquisition from Beacon Group.

Are Generac Engines Good?

With over 60 years in the power equipment industry, Generac Power Systems has built a name for itself by ensuring all its products, from portable to standby generators are quality and reliable. Third-party research shows that typical standby generators on the market today have a dependability level of 98%. However, this level is unacceptable, according to Generac.

This shows the level of quality, durability, efficiency and reliability you can expect to get from Generac generators.

A Generac generator has a diesel-powered engine to offer dependable, efficient and reliable power. The use of diesel also makes care and maintenance of your engine relatively easy since diesel is dependable. Additionally, Generac generator engines use industry-grade parts and air-cooled technology to enhance efficiency and durability.

Another factor that makes Generac engines and generators industry-leading is the application of pressure oil lubrication. In turn, this gives the engines an extended and trouble-free life, 3-4 times longer life expectancy than any competitor engines.

Features of Generac Engines

Generac Power Systems designs and engineers the production of Generac G-FORCE® and OHVI engines. Below are the impeccable features of each engine.

i). Generac G-FORCE® Engine

Generac G-FORCE® Engine
  1. Automatic Compression Release(ACR) - This feature helps improve the engine's start ability while reducing the drain on the battery.
  2. Engine Starter - This design improves the overall reliability and durability of the engine.
  3. Pressure Lubrication - This feature only on the 426cc Generac generator ensures that oil(diesel) is available when the engine starts. In turn, this allows the Generac engine to take on the load quickly.
  4. Heat Management - The G-FORCE® Generac generators are designed to run cooler thanks to the increased surface area for max heat rejection. As a result, this increases the engine's run time.
  5. Cold Smart Start - Standby generators in this series have a cool smart start that ensures the engine warms up before taking a load in areas with cold temperatures. This reduces the wear on the engine.
  6. Full Flow Oil Filter - The oil filtration feature only present in the 426cc Generac generator helps remove debris in the oil. As a result, this enhances the engine's durability and increases its life span.
  7. Thermal Safety Switch - Excess heat is the number one cause of engine failure. Generac Power Systems deals with this problem by ensuring your home standby generator has a thermal safety switch that shuts down the engine and alerts if the temperature is not optimal.
  8. Low Oil Pressure Sensor - The low oil pressure sensor prevents engine damage by shutting it down beforehand.

ii). OHVI Engine

  1. Plasma Filled Moly Ring and Plateau Honed Cast Iron Cylinders - This enables engine components to decrease oil consumption, creating less engine wear. Additionally, this promotes more heat dissipation and lengthens the engine life.
  2. Low Oil Pressure Protection - This feature acts like an oil pressure sensor and shuts down the engine when the oil overheats, becomes dangerously low or loses viscosity. Sequentially, the engine is protected from damages due to improper lubrication.
  3. Dual Element Air Filter - This ensures that dirt does not penetrate the engine even in the toughest of working conditions, extending the service intervals.
  4. Automotive-grade Spin-on Oil Filter - Thanks to the full pressure lubrication, OHVI Generac generators use the automotive-grade spin-on oil filter to remove dirt and carbon, causing premature engine wear.
  5. Pressurized Lubrication System - This system ensures that OHVI engines are properly lubricated by pumping oil directly to every bearing in the engine from start-up to shutdown.

How Do Generac Generators Compare To Kohler Generators?

Generac standby generator vs Kohler standby generator

Image Source: empoweredglobalinc.com

a). Engine

Kohler and Generac produce portable generators and home standby generators for power backup. In addition, the two companies manufacture their own engines, which are reliable, durable and engineered to be efficient in different environments.

Portable generators made by Generac Power Systems run on either LP fuel(liquified petroleum) or gasoline. Conversely, Kohler portable generators require a conversion kit to run on other fuel types apart from gasoline. Additionally, you can run Kohler engines on propane, LP fuel and gasoline with a Tri-fuel conversion kit.

Standby or permanently installed home backup generators produced by Generac Power Systems Inc. and Kohler run on Liquified petroleum or gasoline connected to your home. For this reason, there's no need for refueling.

Although Kohler engines have been produced for 40 years more than Generac generator engines, both are high-quality generators and boast performance and reliability.

b). Enclosure/Housing

The generator housing or closing protects it from weather elements, children and animals. For this reason, it is just as important as the generator itself. Kohler uses steel or powder-coated aluminum to house lower-priced standby or portable generators. However, you will find corrosion-resistant composite housing on the mid-range and higher generators.

Similarly, Generac generators feature a powder-coated steel enclosure for their low-priced generators. The rest of their generators have corrosion-resistant powder-coated aluminum housing.

c). Noise Level

Paying attention to the noise level is key when choosing a generator. Generac and Kohler generators are quite quiet compared to other brands on the market. In addition, you will find the portable generators by these two companies to be louder than the permanently installed standby alternatives.

For example, a mid-range Generac standby generator rings at 66dB, the same as the air conditioner's condenser or a lawnmower about two to three houses down. Generac also offers a quiet-test mode performed weekly and as loud as an idling car. Finally, while Kohler does not provide the noise level rating for their generators, they claim that the mid-range ones are as loud as an air conditioner's condenser.

d). Environmental Impact

At a time when most people are concerned about their carbon footprints, brands alike need to follow suit. Fortunately, Kohler and Generac generators offer flexible fuel options, allowing you the choice of using cleaner alternatives like natural gas and LP fuel.

On top of that, Generac generators utilize a G-Flex technology that lets a generator work depending on its energy demands, therefore, saving energy. Although Kohler does not have this amazing feature, their generators are CARB-compliant, meeting California's most strict carbon emission standards.

e). Warranty

Generators are quite the investment making a warranty necessary with every purchase. Kohler guarantees a 3-year warranty on portable generators and 5 years or 2000 hours on standalone models. Conversely, Generac provides a shorter warranty with 2 years on portable generators and 3 years on standby alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Generac owned by Briggs & Stratton?

Although there's a long history between Generac and Briggs & Stratton, Generac went public in 2010, making it the largest producer of generators in the industry.

2. Does Generac make DeWalt generators?

DeWalt is an American tool and power equipment company. Even so, the brand's generator line is manufactured and licensed by Generac.

3. Who owns Generac?

Generac is a subsidiary(division) of Generac Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNRC). This is the leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial standby and portable generators.

4. Where are engines for Generac made?

Based in Eagle and Whitewater, Wisconsin, Generac Power Systems makes Generac generator engines. These are the OHVI and Generac G-FORCE® engines. However, the Generac OHV engines are not made in the U.S.

5. Are Briggs & Stratton engines made in China?

The world's biggest gasoline engines producer, Briggs & Stratton, has a plant in China since there's a lot of money to be made in South and East Asia.

6. How do you know your Generac generator is on?

Every other week, your generator runs a 10-minute self-diagnostic test that ensures that it is readily available as a backup power system.

7. How long does a Generac generator last?

The overall design makes Generac generator engines last up to 40 years. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy 25 years of reliable performance from this generator.

 Image Source: generac.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.