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How To Change The Oil In A Generator

How To Change The Oil In A Generator

Oil is the lifeblood of your generator. It keeps it running in tip top condition and ensures that all your working parts have a long life. This article highlights the tools you need to change the oil in your generator, why and when you need to change it and how to change the oil in your generator safely and as easily as possible.

What You Need To Change The Oil

First, gather everything you need before you start, including:

  • Manual/instructions for your specific make and model of generator.
  • PPE such as gloves and goggles.
  • New oil (ensure you have the required type).
  • Oil funnel.
  • Socket wrench.
  • Towel (for cleaning up parts and spills).
  • Brush (for cleaning – old toothbrushes are handy).
  • Oil filter wrench.
  • Something to put the old oil into so it can be recycled/disposed of appropriately and safely.
  • Screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat head).
  • Replacement oil filter (ensure you have the required type).

Why Do You Need To Change The Oil?

Regular maintenance is important for any machinery that you need to be able to rely on and generators are no exception. A crucial part of regular maintenance is an oil change.

Changing the oil in your generator helps it to start and run more smoothly. It also keeps the working parts well lubricated, which will keep them working well for longer, saving you both time and money.

Checking The Oil In Your Generator

It is good practice to check the oil level in your generator before every use. Some makes and models of generator need the oil level checking after every 12 hours of use. For others it can be significantly longer. Check your manual to be sure.

Your manual will also tell you exactly where to check your oil. Follow the instructions and wipe the dipstick with a rag before re-inserting and checking to check your generator’s oil level.

When To Change The Oil In Your Generator

How often you should change the oil in your generator will depend upon the amount of use it gets and what it says in your manual.

Different sizes, makes and models of generators will require more maintenance than others – it might be every 50 hours of use or it might be more like 500, so it is important to check.

Draining The Oil In Your Generator

In order to quickly and easily drain the existing oil from your generator, you may want to run the generator for a couple of minutes first. This will gently heat the oil, lower its viscosity and make it flow more quickly.

Next, create a space underneath your generator so that you can put your can under it to catch the old oil. Do this by placing blocks underneath.

If it is safe for you to do so, lift your generator onto a high solid surface, the tailgate of a truck for example or a strong workbench or table. Always lift safely and get someone else to help you, if required. Having it up high like this will make the job easier and give your back a break!

To make the job of draining the oil and replacing it safer, you need to unplug the spark plug.

Once the spark plug is removed, place your can or container underneath and remove the plug to the oil reservoir.

When the oil has completely drained, carefully clean and brush away any grime and dirt.

Changing The Oil & Filter In Your Generator

  • Put the can or container for catching old oil under the filter and, ensuring you are wearing your protective gloves, remove the filter using your wrench.
  • Carefully, and as thoroughly as possible, clean the oil filter adapters.
  • Use a dab of your new oil to lubricate the new filter to help it fit more easily into place.
  • Screw it in manually and, once it is touching the filter adapter, use the wrench to tighten it some more (perhaps a half turn) but be careful not to over tighten it.
  • Put the plug back into the oil reservoir, remove the fill cap and use the funnel to pour in the new oil. Put as much oil in as recommended in the manual.

Hopefully this will make the process of changing your oil in your generator quick and easy. However, if it seems daunting to you or you would prefer an expert to do it then get in touch with us at Generator Pro to book a service.

Alternatively, if you just require some friendly advice on this or any other aspect of generator maintenance, or if you are looking to buy, then fill out our contact form today and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

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