Key Takeaways

  • Changing the oil in your generator is important for regular maintenance and will help ensure that it is a dependable companion. 
  • Make sure you have all the necessary equipment, including the correct type of oil and oil filter, as well as protective gloves and goggles. 
  • Follow the steps outlined in the guide, which include warming up the old oil, placing the generator on blocks, unplugging the spark wire, removing the oil drain plug, draining the old oil, replacing the oil filter (if applicable), filling the generator with new oil, and replacing the oil drain plug. 
  • Follow the instructions in your official product manual to find the correct type of oil, its amount, and the frequency of oil replacement. 
  • If you are unsure about any step in the process, it is best to leave the oil replacement to professionals. 
  • Make sure to follow safety precautions when working on your generator, including unplugging the spark wire and wearing protective gloves and goggles.

Are you tired of your generator sputtering and coughing like an old man trying to start his lawn mower? 

It might be time for a little TLC in the form of an oil change! 

Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Follow these easy steps, and your generator will be purring like a satisfied kitten in no time. 

Just make sure to have your safety glasses on because things might get a little oily.

Oil drops indicates the procedure to change oil in a generator

Tools Required

  1. New oil (appropriate for your generator) 
  2. Oil filter wrench 
  3. Oil drain pan 
  4. Funnel 
  5. Ratchet and sockets 
  6. Adjustable wrench 
  7. Jack and jack stand (if changing oil in a car generator) 
  8. Shop towels 
  9. New oil filter 
  10. Lug wrench (if changing oil in a portable generator)


Get Your Generator Running Smoothly Again with These Squeaky-Clean Oil Change Steps!

  1. First, gather all the necessary tools and supplies. 
  2. You will need an oil filter wrench, oil drain pan, funnel, ratchet and sockets, adjustable wrench, jack, and jack stands (if chanthe ging oil in a car generator), shop towels, a new oil filter, and new oil (appropriate for your generator). You may also need a lug wrench if you are changing the oil in a portable generator. 
  3. If you are changing the oil in a car generator, you will need to lift the vehicle using a jack and secure it on jack stands. If you change the oil in a portable generator, skip to the next step. 
  4. Locate the oil drain plug on the bottom of the generator. This is usually located near the oil filter. 
  5. Using a ratchet and socket or adjustable wrench, loosen the oil drain plug. Be careful not to strip the threads. 
  6. Place the oil drain pan under the oil drain plug to catch the old oil as it drains out. 
  7. Once the oil has finished draining, remove the oil drain plug and set it aside. 
  8. Locate the oil filter on the side of the generator. 
  9. Using the oil filter wrench, loosen the oil filter by turning it counterclockwise. Be careful not to strip the filter housing. 
  10. Once the oil filter is loose, remove it by hand and set it aside. 
  11. Using a shop towel, clean any excess oil from the oil filter housing. 
  12. Take the new oil filter and lubricate the gasket with a small amount of new oil. This will help create a tighter seal when installing the new filter. 
  13. Install the new oil filter by hand, turning it clockwise until it is tight. Do not over tighten. 
  14. Install the oil drain plug by hand, turning it clockwise until it is tight. Do not over tighten. 
  15. Using the funnel, pour the new oil into the generator. Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct amount and oil type. 
  16. Start the generator and let it run for a few minutes to circulate the new oil. 
  17. After the generator has run for a few minutes, turn it off and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle. 
  18. Using the dipstick, check the oil level to ensure it is at the correct level. Add more oil if necessary. 
  19. Dispose of the old oil and oil filter according to local regulations. 
  20. Clean up any spills or messes using shop towels.

Related: Investigating Backfiring in a Generator: The Role of Old Oil and Other Potential Causes


How often should I change the oil in my generator?

Industry experts generally recommend changing the oil in a generator every 50-100 hours of operation or at least once a year.

However, the interval will depend on the model and its recommended maintenance schedule. It is important to refer to the owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your generator. 

If you use your generator frequently or in extreme conditions (such as hot or dusty environments), you may need to change the oil more often to ensure that your generator is running smoothly and efficiently

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