What Oil Should I Use In My Generator?


Picture this: you just bought your new expensive generator, but all of a sudden the “low-oil” alarm is going off and you don’t have any spare oil on-hand. 

This begs the question: what kind of oil do you use in a generator? This is a loaded question, as you need all the right fuels, lubricants and specifications. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality choice to increase your generator’s efficiency, we’re here for you. In this article, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about generator oil to help you make the right decision.

What Kind Of Oil Do You Use In A Generator?

Choosing the right oil for your generator hinges on several factors, including viscosity, brand, operating temperatures and engine type. Let’s take a look at what each component entails. 

Read Your Manual

Before you simply Google “best oil for generator,” check the user manual that comes with your generator. Any specifications or important information should be on here. 

Things like the required engine oil are often included in the manual, so use it as a reference as you narrow down your decision. 

Look At The Oil Viscosity

Your user manual should tip you off to the specific viscosity your generator needs, but it’s important to know what the labels mean. 

More likely than not, you’ll need an SAE 10W-30 oil type. SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers, who created the grading system. The 10 in 10W shows how well the oil can be pumped at cold temperatures, and the W stands for the word “winter.”

Finally, the 30 refers to how well the oil can be pumped when heated at 100 degrees Celsius or higher. Always double-check the correct viscosity, as purchasing the wrong one could wear out your generator. 

Check Operating Temperatures

When choosing your oil, you’ll also need to consider the temperature you’ll be using your generator. 

The Synthetic 5W-30 can be used across all temperatures but will burn through your supplies quicker at higher operating temperatures. SAE 30 works well for temperatures above 0 degrees C, while 10W-30 works well for temperatures between -10 degrees and 40 degrees C. 

Know The Type Of Engine

You should also know whether your generator has a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. While most have the latter, each engine uses different types of oil. 

2-stroke engines can mix fuel and engine oil if the owner so desires, while 4-stroke engines use them separately. 

Buy Reliable Brands

When buying oil for your generator, don’t settle for cheap brands. Investing in name brands means putting your money in reliable products. 

Brands like Castrol, Gulf and Nulon are trusted brands that distributed quality generator engine oil to consumers around the world. Always check what type of oil you need and purchase the most reliable products.  

Best Oil For Generators

For the best 2-stroke engine generator oil, we recommend either the Gulf Pride 2T or the Castrol 2 Stroke Engine Oil. These products contain selected additives to fortify and protect your 2-stroke engines. 

We also recommend Nulon’s Semi-Synthetic 10W-30 Hi-Tech Engine Oil for its wear protection and anti-sludging properties. The Castrol Power 1 is a cheaper yet reliable alternative to the Nulon as well. 

Motor Oil Universal 2 Stroke 2x 1 L
0 out of 5
£19.77 inc. VAT
Motor Oil Universal 2 Stroke 2x 1 L
0 out of 5
£19.77 inc. VAT
  • Value for money
  • Safely packed
  • High quality
  • Range always up-to-date
High Tech Engine Oil 10 W-30 5 Litres
0 out of 5
£50.00 inc. VAT
High Tech Engine Oil 10 W-30 5 Litres
0 out of 5
£50.00 inc. VAT

Mineral multigrade oil for classical engines and aggregates in which the manufacturer specifies a mildly blended motor oil. Prevents sludge formation. Provides a stable lubricating film. With outstanding wear protection.

Engine oil for all petrol and diesel engines (aspirated and turbocharged). Especially suitable for long periods between oil changes and extreme running conditions.

The operating materials instructions of the motor vehicle and engine manufacturer must be followed.

Castrol 2 Stroke Engine Oil
0 out of 5
£16.99 inc. VAT
Castrol 2 Stroke Engine Oil
0 out of 5
£16.99 inc. VAT

2 Stroke oil from Castrol is the most suitable oil for your generator

Frequently Asked Questions

While you might now know which oil to purchase for your generator, you might have a few questions about changing your generator oil. We’ve compiled a few popular ones here and gave our best answers. 

Do Generators Need Oil?

Yes, generators need oil to properly lubricate parts of the engine. With oil, you reduce friction and keep the generator running smoothly. 

How Do You Change Oil In A Generator?

First, heat up the old oil to drain it easier. Then, place the generator on blocks to elevate it and carefully unplug the spark wire. Remove the oil plug and replace the old oil filter. Tighten the plug and pour in the new oil. Reconnect the spark wire and you should be good to go.  

How Often Should You Change Generator Oil?

You should ideally change the oil after the first 20 to 30 hours, then every 100 hours of operation thereafter. Synthetic oils can be changed after 200 hours. 

What Happens If You Use Too Little Oil?

You’ll have a much lower runtime with too little oil. It’ll also provide insufficient cleaning and cooling, causing your engine to overheat.  

Find The Right Generator Oil Today

Googling “what kind of oil do you use in a generator” will only give you a long list of scattered information from dozens of sites. Use this article to narrow down the facts and find the right generator oil for you. Looking to buy generator oil? Contact us today or click here to see the range of oil we have for sale!

Previous articleBrand Profile: Pramac
Next articleUsing Portable Generators Safely

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *