Synthetic oil in portable generator?

6 replies to this topic
  • gcvt

Posted February 26, 2004 - 08:46 PM


What kind of oil do you use in your portable gas generator? I've just been using 'premium' lawnmower oil so far. Any reason not to use a high quality synthetic oil...other than cost?

  • beer_studd_76

Posted February 26, 2004 - 09:08 PM


is it one of those air-cooled, single cylinder, no oil filter type engines? if so, it probably calls for a 30w oil. as long as you don't let it get too dirty it doesn't much matter if it's synthetic or not.


  • gcvt

Posted February 26, 2004 - 09:27 PM


is it one of those air-cooled, single cylinder, no oil filter type engines?

Yep, that's exactly what it is....with 30w.

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  • Jetster220

Posted February 27, 2004 - 05:05 AM


We run Mobil 1 10w-40 in ours, mainly because on race weekends it can end up running for like 48 or more hours nonstop.

  • Burnrider

Posted February 27, 2004 - 04:45 PM


At the risk of fighting the gulf war on the internet-again, I don't see what it can hurt. No clutch to affect. If the oil rings and valve seals don't have a problem with it, a stationary air cooled engine would have a lot to gain with added synthetic protection.

  • Jetster220

Posted February 27, 2004 - 06:03 PM


I agree, especialy if you plan on running it long hours on end or dont want to change the oil all the time. Generators also see lots of load for long periods of time, so I would really think they could benefit from a synthetic.

  • Vibeguy

Posted February 27, 2004 - 06:37 PM


The most important thing is the viscosity, not whether the base stock is mineral or synthetic.

If you are going to be using your generator at temperature extremes a synthetic oil and it's higher viscosity index will work in your favor. For a portable generator that might sit a while between usage the synthetic oil will also hold about twice the dissolved water that a mineral based oil will hold. Dissolved water is not nearly the problem as free or emulsified water is. :)

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