How To Change Oil In Generator (Step By Step In 2023)

Have you ever faced issues like your generator is breaking down or needing inopportune repairs frequently? You may go through this unexpected condition due to not changing the oil where experts recommend replacing oil after 100 hours of use.

Changing or replacing oil is one of the necessary generator maintenance parts that ensures optimal engine condition and high-quality function. Changing oil helps the generator work smoothly by preventing overheating and reducing friction in the engine.

Although replacing oil helps to ensure supreme generator service, many people don’t do it as they don’t know the appropriate procedure. And if you’re also one of those who don’t know how to change oil in generator, stick to this article.

Throughout this article, we’re going to explain the oil replacement procedure with all other related and necessary aspects.

How Often Do You Need To Change Oil In Generator?

Nothing is more frustrating than using an emergency generator for your home, and not getting the desired result. If your generator fails to ensure the promised result, this condition could happen due to a lack of proper maintenance.

How Often Do You Need To Change Oil In Generator

There are a lot of maintenance requirements that you have to ensure to use a generator that will work smoothly. Here are some of the maintenance requirements:

  • Change the oil
  • Keep the generator clean
  • Test your generator once a month
  • Don’t use old fuel
  • Store the generator appropriately

Well, all the mentioned aspects are equally important to ensure the smooth and optimal running of your generator. However, among all aspects, changing the oil is the most essential aspect that requires special attention.

Not changing the oil will make the oil solidify and will lead to sludge in the internal parts. That’s why it’s essential to change or replace the oil on time. However, if you’re wondering how often you need to change the oil in the generator there is no short answer.

Experts advise performing oil change after 50 to 200 hours of use to ensure reliable and smooth service from your generator. Well, if you want a more specific answer, change the oil of the small generator every 50 hours and the larger generator every 500 hours.

And the best thing would be checking the manual that comes with a generator to identify the exact oil changing requirements.

How To Change Oil In Generator

When it’s about generator oil replacement, many owners find it complicated due to not knowing the proper process makes oil changing time-consuming. However, the process is not that challenging and by following the section below you can easily perform generator oil replacement. Have a look:

How To Change Oil In Generator

What You’ll Need

The generator oil changing process can be tricky if you don’t arrange all the necessary tools or equipment. In that case,  if you want to know what tools you might need for oil changing, follow the section below:

  • New oil
  • Drain oil can or canister
  • New oil filter
  • Protective gear (gloves & goggles)
  • Ratchet & oil filter wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Phillips & flat screwdriver
  • Oil funnel

Steps To Change Oil In Generator

Once you’ve arranged all the necessary equipment and ensured the safety measurements, it’s time to proceed with the oil replacement. We’re going to show you the generator’s oil replacement through 8 simple steps, have a look:

1. Warm up the Engine

To begin the oil replacement, you should start with warming the generator or heating up the existing oil. When you warm the oil for a couple of minutes, the oil will get warmer, and hot oil offers supreme liquid consistency. And after warming the oil switch off the generator to proceed to the next step.

2. Place Generator on Blocks

The next thing you have to do is place your generator on blocks and also ensure that the generator is positioned properly. Simply get some similar blocks, after that place them on a flat surface, and then place your generator over them. When you put the generator over blocks this condition will leave a lot of free space below the oil drain plug.

3. Unplug the Spark Wire

After safely placing the generator, the next thing you have to do is unplug the spark wire. Simply locate the spark plug and unplug it to prevent a casual start. When there is no oil then any kind of accidental start will damage the generator.

4. Prepare for Draining Old Oil

Once you detach the spark wire, the next thing you have to do is locate the oil drain plug or pipe. The oil drain plug or pipe usually comes with a nut with a square or hexagonal head. Once you identify the oil drain plug, place a metal pan or oil tray just under it.

5. Remove the Oil Plug

It’s time to remove the oil plug and for that, you must have to use the socket wrench. Or you can also use a ratchet to make the procedure more easier. Use the ratchet to loosen the oil plug and then remove the remaining threading manually.

You need to keep in mind that, once you remove the oil plug, your generator’s existing oil will immediately start draining out. Let the oil drain completely and try to collect every drop of old oil in your drain pan.

6. Replace the Old Oil Filter

If your generator is equipped with an oil filter, then replace the filter with a new one. That is because replacing the oil and oil filter will help to avoid all types of casual breaking down.

However, to remove the oil filter you must use a high-quality oil filter wrench. Now use the oil filter wrench and loosen the oil filter gently. Once you’ve loosened the oil filter, unscrew the remaining parts manually.

Remember that old oil can come out from the filter so put the drain pan under it. Now install the new filter properly and don’t forget to lubricate the oil filter gasket with the new oil.

7. Tighten Plug & Pour New Oil

Once the oil filter installation is done, reinstall the drain plug. Now disconnect the oil fill cap, insert a funnel into it and start pouring new oil. While pouring new oil be careful not to overfill the generator which can cause damage to the internal components.

Remove the funnel and secure the oil fill cap once you’ve poured the recommended amount of oil.

8. Reconnect Spark Plug Wire

After squaring the oil fill cap it’s time to reconnect the spark plug wire. Grab this wire boot then slide it to the top of the plug and press it until it goes completely inside. Once it connects properly, you’ll hear a click sound.

Reattach all the covers that you’ve removed, and now you’re ready to start the generator. Now fire up the generator and let it run for a couple of minutes.

Moreover, you can take help from this video to learn about generator oil change effortlessly. Have a look:

Can You Put Oil In A Generator While It’s Running?

If you’re wondering if you can put oil in a generator while it’s running, the short answer is both YES and NO. However, if you want a safe solution then you should never refill the generator while it’s running or hot.

Generators become hot when you’ll run them and putting oil in that condition can cause oil spills and toxic fumes as well. During refueling, if your generator spills oil the hot oil can cause instantaneous fire and also damage the fuel tank.

So the best solution would be to turn off the generator and let it cool down when the generator requires refiling. Let the generator cool down (10-15 minutes would be enough) and then put oil or required fuel.

What Happens If You Put Too Much Oil In Your Generator?

Want to know what happens if you put too much oil in your generator? Well, everyone knows that overfilling is not good or recommended for any type of device and the same goes with generators.

What Happens If You Put Too Much Oil In Your Generator

You should never put or pour the excess oil in your generator and here is why:

  • Premature Wear: Premature wear is one of the major reasons why you should never overfill your generator. Overfilling will cause damage to the engine’s internal parts which will lead to permanent damage and generator failure as well.
  • Air filter issues: Another issue that can occur due to overfilling is damaging the air filter and air cleaner case. The excess oil can easily be transferred to the air filter and the clear case which will cause damage.
  • Smoke and Choking Issues: The extra fuel has to go somewhere and most probably the oil will go to the cylinders or air cleaner housing. When you put excess oil above the required level of your generator, this condition will cause toxic smoke and engine choking issues.

As you can see, putting an extra amount of oil or overfilling will bring no benefits instead of causing damage to the generator.

Bottom Line

Just like any electric appliance that you use on a daily basis, maintaining your generator will help to keep the generator on the top. Although there are many basic maintenance available for generators, changing oil is the crucial one.

Changing the oil between 50 and 200 hours of use is recommended which helps to prevent impurities from building up in the engine. Changing or replacing the oil also trims friction in the engine and lets the generator run smoothly.

Well, now you know how to change oil in generator which is relatively easier than people think, you can easily perform the replacement. And never put oil when the generator is running and never overfill the generator.

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