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How to Know When Your Generator Needs an Oil Change?

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Generator oil must be changed at proper intervals. This is important to ensure optimum performance and functionality of the generator. Not changing oil at regular intervals will result in accelerated wear and tear of internal components.

The frequency of how many times you need to change generator oil depends on the generator model as well as the oil type. Moreover, the generator usage will determine the ideal interval for changing oil. In this blog post, you will learn when to change the generator oil.

Generator Oil Change: What You Need to Know

The interval of oil change depends on the runtime of the generator.

Most residential generator manufacturers require changing the oil after every 50 to 100 hours of operations. Some generators such as RV generators require a change after up to 150 hours of usage. The frequency of changing oil for older generators is more than for newer units.

Regular change of generator oil is necessary to ensure that internal components remain properly lubricated. Here are some of the situations when a generator oil change is recommended.

1. First Oil Change Interval

Most manufacturers recommend the first oil change interval to be after 5 to 8 hours. The exact interval depends on the generator manufacturer. You can read the owner’s manual to know about the exact duration for changing oil the first time.

Most generators don’t come with oil. You must refer to the owner’s manual to confirm the type of oil that is suitable for the generator.

Use a dipstick to find out the proper level of the generator oil. You should know how to read the generator oil level. This is important to avoid overfilling and underfilling of the oil that can damage the generator.

2. After Running for a Long

Generator oil should also be changed after running for a long time. Most gasoline generators require a change after operating the generator for up to 50 hours. Diesel generators require an oil change after greater intervals typically 150 to 200 hours.

3. After Generator Maintenance and Repairs

A change in generator oil is also recommended after servicing and repairs. The generator repair technician will replace the generator oil in case of leakage or contamination of the oil.

Contaminated engine oil will reduce the lubricating ability of the oil. It will lead to corrosion and other internal damages. The fuel must be replaced to avoid serious damage to the engine.

4.  After Adverse Weather Events

Floods or storms can result in the accumulation of debris and grime on the oil filter of the generator. It can also contaminate the crankcase which can lead to damage to the internal components.

You must change the oil and the filter after the oil filter has been contaminated. The generator must be inspected by a professional after water damage. A professional technician will inspect the generator and perform necessary repairs if required.

The technician will replace the oil after draining the remaining oil. This step is important as adding new oil to the old will contaminate the oil leading to insufficient lubrication.

5. Replacement of Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil generally has a longer shelf life as compared to regular oil. You will have to replace the oil less frequently when you use synthetic oil compared to the same brand of conventional oil.

While the same factors such as load, usage, and generator model that determine the frequency of changing conventional oil apply to synthetic oil, the duration of an oil change for synthetic oil is generally longer.

Generac Superstore deals with generator sales, repairs, and maintenance. We specialize in the installation of gasoline and diesel-powered generators. Contact us today for generator maintenance in Huntsville and Birmingham, AL, and Nashville, TN by dialing (855) 880-1880.


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