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Oil changes

2281 Views 43 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  OrlyP
I just realized that I haven't tested my generator in a while, so I drug it out and hooked it up to the gas line for a good test run under load. After the test run, the oil level was up to the full mark, and looked like it had been freshly changed.

I got to thinking about all those manufacturer recommendations regarding oil change intervals, particularly about changing your oil after so many hours of operation or so many months. It has been well over a year since the oil was changed, more likely two years, and in that time, the genny hasn't been run more than a couple of hours.

It's clear that oil needs to be changed based on engine runtime. That will contaminate and break it down. However, I don't see much difference between oil sitting in its original container and it sitting inside an engine crankcase for two years when the engine is not run. As long as I don't see any evidence of water condensation or contamination, I'm not inclined to change it, except maybe for some possibly unfounded peace of mind.

What's the consensus here? Convince me I'm wrong.
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Kinda like brushing your teeth twice a day. Why bother? All you’re really doing is lining the pockets of the toothpaste manufacturers….😉
I’ve got thousands of dollars invested, so overspending on wasted oil changes is the least of my worries 😬
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We’re talking about small engines in emergency generators here. You blow up the engine in your lawnmower?….meh, no emergency. The grass grows a little extra tall for a week or two until you get the mower repaired/replaced. The neighbors might just think that you’re cheap. You blow the engine in your generator?….the lights go out, the freezer thaws, the toilet doesn’t flush, your cell phone dies, your wife gets upset, really upset….major emergency.
Blow $50 on generator maintenance per year….you’re the hero!
My priceless wise suggestion 😉
It’s really important to run an oil that has high ZDDP levels in small engines. The engines in our portable generators run at 3600 rpms so a car oil doesn’t cut it. Car oils also have low ZDDP as these can be detrimental to the emissions systems. In the very least a synthetic motorcycle oil would be a much better choice, as bike engines rev higher and run hotter, much like generators do. However, I like the Amsoil Synthetic Small Engine Oil which is purposely designed for hard working small engines, and use magnetic oil drain plugs too. In a pinch this oil provides protection for up to 200 hours. I Order online and it’s delivered in a day or two. Works for me…
Here’s a link to more info.
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A Semi synthetic oil label has no standards as to how much is mineral versus synthetic. Is it 50/50, 30/70, 10/90… Manufacturers very rarely state the actual ratio.
Anyways, like I stated above, a synthetic motorcycle oil is the easiest type to find other than a car rated oil, which is inadequate in my opinion. My 2cents…
Hey, You guys be talking about my favourite oil 😉
Yes it’s not cheap….but certainly not the most expensive, but the cost can be offset somewhat with a longer drain interval if desired/needed. Extensive testing shows that Amsoil Synthetic Small-Engine Oil has the ability to provide service life of up to 200 hours or one year, whichever comes first. It provides an extra measure of protection (TBN 8.5-11) when equipment goes longer between oil changes than is recommended by the OEM. Exactly one reason, besides others, that I use it. Has a nice safety margin in extreme conditions where an oil change gets extended out of necessity…
All my Honda engines take a qt or less, so they get the best. IMHO
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