Contrary to popular belief, the answer to the question “how often should I change my generator oil” is… there is no magic one-size-fits-all oil change interval for generators.
Unfortunately, the recommended generator oil change interval can change dramatically from manufacture to manufacture and from model to model.
How Often Should I Change The Oil In My Generator
Duromax Oil Change Interval
For example, Duromax generators recommend changing the oil in your generator after the first 6- 8 running hours to flush out the engine and then every 20 hours after that (or after every 50 running hours for the XP15000E and XP15000EH).
Honda Generator Oil Change Interval
On the other hand, the Honda EU2000i inverter generator recommends changing the oil after the first 20 hours of use and then every six months after that.
Generac Generator Oil Change Interval
While Generac recommends that you change the oil in your generator once a year or after 150 hours, whichever comes first.
Firman Generator Oil Change Interval
FIRMAN recommends changing the oil in your generator after the first 25 hours of use and then every 100 hours after that.
Champion Generator Oil Change Interval
Champion recommends changing the oil in a new generator after the first 5 hours of use and every 50 hours or once a year, whichever comes first.
How Often Should Generator Oil Be Changed
As you can see, there is a considerable variation in the recommended maintenance schedule for changing the oil in your generator.
This is why you should change the oil in your generator based on the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer whenever possible.
You will typically find recommended oil change intervals in your owner’s manual or other operating instructions given at the time of purchase.
However, what do you do if you don’t have access to your owner’s or operator’s manual? Are there any “rules of thumb” you can follow when changing the oil in a generator?
How Often Should You Change The Oil In A Generator If You Don’t Have The Manual?
If you don’t have access to your owner’s manual, then…
How often you should change the oil in a generator depends on the answers to several important questions, including…
How many hours has your generator been used since the last oil change?
Changing the oil in a brand-new generator after the first 6 – 8 hours is generally recommended to flush out the engine. After that, you should change the oil in your generator every 20 – 50 hours, more frequently under extreme operating conditions.
Does your generator have an oil filter?
Generators with oil filters typically require fewer oil changes than those without. Changing your oil every 50 – 100 running hours is generally recommended if your generator has an oil filter.
Do you run your generator in dusty, wet, or humid environments?
If you operate your generator in dusty, wet, or humid environments, you should consider changing your oil significantly more often than recommended under “normal” conditions.
What kind of load does your generator typically operate under?
Operating your generator for prolonged periods under a heavy load can significantly stress your generator and your oil. So, if you run your generator under heavy loads… consider changing your oil more often.
How long has it been since your last oil change?
Even if you haven’t been using your generator, your oil will degrade over time, providing less protection to your engine. That’s why changing your oil at least once every 6 – 12 months is essential, even if you haven’t used it.
Final Thoughts On How Often To Change Oil In Generator
It comes down to this…
You should change the oil in your generator based on the oil change interval listed in your owner’s or operator’s manual.
If you don’t have your owner’s manual, then…
It is generally recommended that you change the oil in a new generator after the first 6 – 10 hours of operation and then every 20 – 50 running hours or every six months, whichever comes first.
If your generator has an oil filter, then you can probably get away with changing your oil every 50 – 100 hours of operation or every twelve months, whichever comes first.
However, if you run your generator for an extended period under a heavy load or in wet, humid, or dusty conditions… you should change the oil in your generator more frequently.
And while you’re at it…
Check out our Generator Maintenance Tips article to learn more about getting years of trouble-free service out of your generator.
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