Getting out the owners manual, which of course we've never read, I give it a quick scan looking for info and read the entire, though very short, troubleshooting section. You talk about not being helpful. That troubleshooting page basically sad that if the generator isn't out of gas and something it wrong with it, take it to an authorize service center. What? Hey buddy, I'm out in the middle of the sticks! And besides, most authorized service centers for just about anything are located on Oahu, not here.
Has anyone else noticed that nowadays owners manuals for most equipment are next to useless for repairs? They seem to be pages full of warnings and disclaimers now, just something to protect the manufacturer from lawsuits and stupid people from maiming themselves.
Anyway, back to the ailing generator engine. Internet to the rescue. Hubby searched using the engine's symptoms and came up with the most likely causes and fixes. The problem ended up being the air filter.
Looks ok, right?
New filter in place, and the engine purred like a happy kitten. We were in fact surprised to see the air filter fail so rapidly since the generator is practically new, but it goes to show that there has been a lot of volcanic activity lately. The poor air filter was almost totally clogged. Looks like this is something to put into our monthly checked list while the volcano is so active ...... clean the various air filters.