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Generator change interval #4813247 07/13/18 01:40 PM
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Dave Sherman Offline OP
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Owner's manual for Predator 4000 generator calls for oil changes every 20 hours. Seems a little excessive even by small engine standards, and I run Rotella T5 10W-30 in it. I figured more like 100 hours or annually, and I have an hour meter installed on it. It's barely changed color in the 13 hours on it so far.


2015 Honda Pilot EX AWD Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 STP filter
1977 MG Midget Valvoline VR-1 20W-50 Bosch Filter
Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813269 07/13/18 01:57 PM
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928 Offline
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Oil is cheaper than a good burger- change it . It may seem to be excessive but remember in a small engine it does double duty as a lube & coolant.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813295 07/13/18 02:16 PM
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Donald Offline
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If no filter, follow manual.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813297 07/13/18 02:17 PM
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walterjay Offline
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Based on my experience with generators I would do every 50 hours.
I have a Makita generator that I bought 18 years ago. Used mainly on dirty construction sites. I change it about every 40-80 hours and runs like new. Used 5-30 dino oil in it for years and recently switched to synthetic.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813339 07/13/18 02:58 PM
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andyd Offline
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Thank you for reminding me. I have the same engine on a snowblower. I ran it for 5hrs and changed the oil. I was expecting shiny bits in the oil. Didn't see any specks at all. Barely used this yr, but it hasn't been changed in 3yrs. Great little engine IMO.


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

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Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813402 07/13/18 04:47 PM
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spackard Offline
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I think 1st oil change is after 20 hours. After that, 100 hours is reasonable.
If it's sitting in my garage doing standby use only, I keep it in there for 5 years.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813406 07/13/18 04:58 PM
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Padawan Offline
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The manual definitely calls for 20 hour intervals, and that's what I'd follow. The capacity is only 0.6 quarts, so it's quite a small investment, especially if you're buying 5 quart or gallon jugs.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813500 07/13/18 07:32 PM
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Astro_Guy Offline
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That seems excessive. 20 hours would imply daily oil changes during an extended outage. 50 hours seems more reasonable.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813593 07/13/18 09:48 PM
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bubbatime Offline
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The basic rule of thumb for small engine generators, is that if it does not have an oil filter, you change every 50 hours. If it has an oil filter you can go 100 hours. Some of the more expensive, commercial style generators will want an oil change every 200 hours.

I agree, 20 hours is excessive. To me, that is put in the manual because a lot of people blow up their engines (due to lack of oil), so perhaps that's Harbor Freights way to get out of warranty claims. "Did you change the oil after 20 hours?" No? Sorry, warranty declined.

So if it were mine, I would just go with the standard recommendation above for every other brand. Change it every 50 hours (no filter) or every 100 hours (with filter).

Of course, the standard recommendation to check the oil at every fuel fill up still applies.


2019 Honda CRV 1.5T dealer bulk
2017 Chrysler Pacifica SuperTech synthetic 5W20
2013 Yamaha XT250 Valvoline motorcycle 10W40
2006 GMC Sierra SuperTech high mileage 5W30

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813634 07/13/18 11:32 PM
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CaspianM Offline
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As a general rule, whatever your manual says is the one to follow.
That is 20 hours of full throttle operation. There is a reason every small engine recommends 20 hrs specially if there is no filter. Keep your air cleaner clean as well.
I am not in longer and longer oil change interval camp.
I have not exceeded 30 hrs in occasions.


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Re: Generator change interval [Re: CaspianM] #4813664 07/14/18 02:01 AM
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bubbatime Offline
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Originally Posted By: CaspianM
There is a reason every small engine recommends 20 hrs specially if there is no filter.


Which small engines recommend changing the oil every 20 hours?


2019 Honda CRV 1.5T dealer bulk
2017 Chrysler Pacifica SuperTech synthetic 5W20
2013 Yamaha XT250 Valvoline motorcycle 10W40
2006 GMC Sierra SuperTech high mileage 5W30

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813882 07/14/18 11:47 AM
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CaspianM Offline
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After looking up my manuals, most of them recommend 50 hrs under normal condition and 25 hrs under severe after break-in which requires 5 hr oil change. My Subaru recommended 20 hrs after initial break-in.
Sever condition is defined as hi temp and/or dusty condition. So it is up to the owner to decide.
Perhaps 30 hours would be a more realistic recommendation imo than 20 hrs.


14 Dodge Durango
15 Yamaha FZ09
13 Lexus CT200h(M1 0W-20)
15 Yamaha Bolt (FF)
08 Suzuki B-King M1(4T)
10 Xterra SE
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Re: Generator change interval [Re: bubbatime] #4813888 07/14/18 11:53 AM
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Padawan Offline
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Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Which small engines recommend changing the oil every 20 hours?


The manual for the original poster's Predator generator, for one.

Re: Generator change interval [Re: Dave Sherman] #4813909 07/14/18 12:39 PM
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RF Overlord Offline
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You guys just made me look at the manual for my Subaru/Robin RG4300iS generator and it states the initial change should be at 20 hrs, but every 100 hrs after that. It does not have a filter.

I did the initial change at 7.5 hrs and found no glitter. Now has 50 hrs and I've changed it twice since then and each time the oil looks almost new coming out.

Last edited by RF Overlord; 07/14/18 12:44 PM.

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Re: Generator change interval [Re: CaspianM] #4813914 07/14/18 12:48 PM
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Lawn_Care Offline
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Originally Posted By: CaspianM
After looking up my manuals, most of them recommend 50 hrs under normal condition and 25 hrs under severe after break-in which requires 5 hr oil change.


This ^

Common practice for countless small engines over the years.

Last edited by Lawn_Care; 07/14/18 12:49 PM.

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