How to Change Generator Oil?

Rodney Nestor
Rodney Nestor
Research Writer
Rodney holds a Master’s degree in Arts and apart from working as a freelance writer, is a rather successful author of science fiction stories published in several literary read more
Last updated: August 16, 2023
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One way to have your generator last a long time is to change the oil regularly. If you don’t know how to change generator oil, this guide should help. There are two things to consider when thinking of oil change.

The first is to know what brand of generator you own. For instance, the maintenance routine for a Honda EG5000 generator can be different from other brands of generator. It is important that you know the model of generator you use and where to check the oil.

The second factor to consider when changing your generator’s oil is to determine how frequently you use the generator. If you run your generator for long hours or if you run it every once in a while. When you replace the old oil with new oil in your generator, it will help the vital parts of the engine function properly. We will show you how to go about the generator oil change and when to change it.

Oil Checking and How Often The Oil Change Should Be Done

How to Change Generator Oil?If you just bought your generator, either Honda, Generac or other brand, you will need to put in new oil because it is very much likely that the manufacturer did not put oil in the generator. Now, if you have had your generator turned on for a while, you need to turn it off and allow the engine to sit for a while. Give it two minutes for the oil to settle. Then you can use the dipstick from the back of the engine to check the oil. Make sure you wipe it clean with a cloth before you use it to check the oil. You will place the dipstick inside the dipstick tube and pull it out to look at it. This will let you know if the oil needs changing. This shouldn’t be a difficult process if you have a regular maintenance routine for your generator. Experts recommend that you change your generator oil at least every 50 to 200 hours of operation. This is, however, subjective because it depends on if your generator is new, the brand of the generator, and where you place the generator. Your generator may require regular change if it is placed in a dusty environment or where there are contaminants. It will mix with the oil and increase the number of times you will need to change it.

Oil Draining On Portable and Frame Mounted Generators

Your portable generator comes in handy as security when there is a sudden power outage or when you are in a remote area with no access to electricity. You need to keep it in working order, and for that reason, the oil should be changed regularly. There are many brands of portable generators. Depending on the brand you use, it should be easy to drain out and change the oil with this guide.

Steps to Take

How to Change Generator Oil?We will use the Generac generator to help explain the process because most users are familiar with this brand, especially the Generac iQ3500 generator. Besides, the oil changing procedure is the same for all portable generators within the range of 8 to 20 kilowatts. You can follow these simple steps to drain out your old oil and change it to a new one.

Step 1

Turn on your generator, and allow it to run for a while to warm it up.

Step 2

After it is warmed up, you should turn it off. Remove the oil drain hose and detach it from the spring-loaded mounting clip.

Step 3

Take off the cap at the end of the oil drain hose, and drain the oil out into a container. Hold on to the hose till it has drained out the last bit of oil.

Step 4

Put back the cap on the drain hose and keep it back in the mounting clip.

Step 5

Turn the oil filter anticlockwise to remove it. You must change the old oil filter at least every two years.

Step 6

Apply a light coating with oil on the gasket of the new oil filter, to seal it better.

Step 7

Use your hands to screw the new filter tight and make sure it makes contact with the gasket. Do not make it too tight, and don’t use any tools.

Step 8

How to Change Generator Oil?Pour the new oil into the engine to fill it. The amount you pour and the type of oil you use depends on the size of your generator as well as the temperature it works on.

Step 9

How to Change Generator Oil?Turn on the generator again and allow it to run for a minute. When you put it off, check the generator for leaks.

Step 10

You can check the oil level with the dipstick to see if you need to apply more oil. Remember not to pour too much oil in the generator, so it doesn’t overfill.

Recommended Oil

To know the type of oil your generator needs, you should check the information from your user manual. The manufacturer usually specifies the type of oil needed for an oil change, and they even provide the techniques to change the oil. Weather is another factor that determines the grade of oil you should use for the generator. If you live in a cold region, you will need a lower  viscosity oil, Trusted Source Viscosity index - Wikipedia The viscosity index (VI) is an arbitrary, unit-less measure of a fluid’s change in viscosity relative to temperature change. It is mostly used to characterize the viscosity-temperature behavior of lubricating oils.  while those in warmer regions use higher-viscosity oil.

Final Thoughts

You may choose to get a professional to change your  generator Trusted Source Engine-generator - Wikipedia An engine-generator is the combination of an electrical generator and an engine (prime mover) mounted together to form a single piece of equipment.  oil, but it isn’t necessary. If you follow these steps, you can easily do it yourself. Always check your generator oil, so you know when to change it. The oil filter should be changed every two years. It is good to have routine maintenance for your generator if you want it to run smoothly. Maintaining it will help keep it functioning well so when you need it, it won’t disappoint. It is vital that you learn how to change generator oil because you will be doing this regularly.

With the information outlined in this article, we’re sure you will find changing your generator oil quiet easy to carry out.


Viscosity index - Wikipedia
The viscosity index (VI) is an arbitrary, unit-less measure of a fluid’s change in viscosity relative to temperature change. It is mostly used to characterize the viscosity-temperature behavior of lubricating oils.
Engine-generator - Wikipedia
An engine-generator is the combination of an electrical generator and an engine (prime mover) mounted together to form a single piece of equipment.
Spencer Buckley

Hey! How do I know when it is time to change the oil in my generac generator?

Bruno Simmons

The interval between oil changes will depend on how much you use your generator. Every generator has its own maintenance schedule, Generac generators require an annual service, I know that recommended oil change frequency is typically every year or every 5k hours of use.

Spencer Buckley

I have a Generac GP5500 generator with a Kawasaki 4 stroke engine. I purchased it new in August of 2015 and have used it a lot for power outages, etc. I have changed the oil in the generator every year since I purchased it, but I have never checked the oil in the engine. I am going to be selling this generator soon and I want to know how often I should change the oil in the engine. I don’t want to sell it with dirty oil and have the new owner have problems with it. I have the oil filter off and I am looking at the oil plug on the engine and I can see some oil around the plug and I am thinking that it looks like it is time for an oil change, but I am not sure how to check the level of oil in the engine. I would appreciate anyone’s advice on this matter.

Isla Brooks

Guys who know how to change the oil in generac 22kw generator? Never done it before, thanks

Enzo Arellano

please help. how to reset generac generator after an oil change?

Cole Ramsey

Simply turn the engine off, remove the air filter cover, and hold down the “reset” button until the indicator light blinks twice. The process is straightforward and easy, requiring only a few basic tools and about 15 minutes of your time. Hope it will help!

Marley Blankenship

Does anyone have some tips to avoid common mistakes when changing the oil in a generator?

Preston Ortiz

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they change the oil in a generator is not getting the oil filter off before they start. The filter has to come off before you can get at the oil pan. When you take off the filter, you should also inspect it for any signs of wear and tear and replace any that need to be.

Ruby York

What kind of oil should I use for my generator? Thanks

Roman Andersen

make sure you get oil from a good supplier, cheap or bad quality oil can damage the engine or cause it to fail and a good supplier will help you make the right choice

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