What type of oil should I use in my diesel generator?

what type of oil should i use in my generator

How does oil protect my generator?

Your oil plays a vital part in the health of your generator diesel engine. It provides the lubrication to critical components such as the crank shaft and bearings, turbo bearings, valves and valve springs.

Your engine oil assists with decontamination by removing dirt or deposits away from the engine and into the oil filter. The oil also helps to seal the pistons in the cylinder and prevent compression loss.

If this isn’t enough, the oil also assists with cooling the engine parts by reducing friction and removing heat in components caused by high combustion temperatures.

By managing the quality of your diesel generator fuel, you can reduce the likelihood of contamination that could damage your engine. At Solent Power, we serve customers with a range of generator fuel & contamination services nationwide. We offer comprehensive fuel management for our customers, including nationwide fuel supply, sampling, analysis and treatment services.

How do generator engines get lubrication form their engine oil?

 See image below showing a diesel generator engine and how the generator oil travels around the engine to lubricate the engine and prevent engine wear.

diesel engine lubrication system

Why replace my generator oil?

Your engine oil contains additives that neutralize acids caused by combustion and protects your engine from corrosion and contamination. These additives are gradually lost during operation. Also after time oil has thermal breakdown and is much less effective as a lubricant due to changes in the oil viscosity or loss of additives. This can cause more friction and wear in your engine components.

 Make sure that whenever your engine oil is replaced, you also replace your oil filter at the same time. Any contaminants found in your motor oil will be captured in your oil filter. Most generators require oil changes and this varies between portable generators and larger power generators.

when to replace generator oil

How often do I change my generator oil?

The frequency that you need to change your motor oil will depend on the hours your engine is running and the type of generator you have.

A Portable generator will normally run much more often than other static units so you should expect to change your oil in portable generators every 150 hours as a guide.

Generator Oil types and grades

So what is the best oil? Different types of engines require different types and grades of motor oil and different oil viscosity.

Some manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Cummins, Deutz, Volvo and Iveco will also have preferences for their engines. To determine the best oil for your generator, this information should be found in your handbook or user manual.

Most modern diesel engines will have full synthetic oil. Advantages or synthetic motor oils are that it has better oil viscosity than conventional oil and many generators are turbocharged and benefit from synthetic oil rather than other generator oils or engine oils that are not proper oil for generator applications.

Synthetic oil is generally more expensive but are far superior than conventional oils for long running applications.

One main consideration is oil viscosity. This is essentially the thickness of the oil and its performance under different temperature conditions.

What do the oil types mean?

The first numbers in your oil type correspond to the performance in the cold e.g ‘W’ for winter, and the second numbers relate to the heat performance and change in oil viscosity at temperatures. E.g – 15W-40 . See the table below as a guide for selecting the best oil for your generator oil.

Solent Power oil grades and generator oil services

Does generator oil have Additives

The majority of engine oils now contain a range of additives that help with several areas such as performance, efficiency, emissions reduction and engine protection. A high quality oil will have additives that clean your engine components during operations.

It is important to understand the age, condition and application of your engine to determine how these additives will benefit you most.

How much oil do I need?

Depending on the size of your diesel engine you will require more engine oil the larger it is. Different brands of engine will have larger or smaller sumps that hold more motor oil.

Usually this information can be found in your power generator user manual or by searching for spec sheets online or from the manufacturer.

You can get a good idea of how much oil in a generator by measuring how much engine oil comes out of the engine. When you top up your engine oil you can check your oil level by using your engine oil dipstick like a car. Engines will burn oil when running so make sure you put enough motor oil in your engine. Too little oil can be harmful.

engine oil

What brands are best engine oil for your generator?

There is a lot of information conflicting information online when searching ‘what oil should I use in my generator?’ and trying to find out the required engine oil or recommended oil for your portable generator or diesel engines.

Choosing a reputable and recognized brand is key to prolonging the life of your portable generator or diesel generator. We are now in a marketplace with limitless product offerings and options and this presents various choices for the consumer.

You cant go wrong if you choose the oil recommended in the user manual. At least your warranty wont be affected if you use the right oil.

If the wrong oil type is used, and not the recommended motor oil for your generator, the oil can cause harm to your engine and cause additional friction and heat.

This can also cause the oil breakdown and loss of lubrication and treatment properties. Once again….it is really important to use the right oil for your generator!

What oil brands do we recommend?

At Solent Power we work with reputable oil dealers such as Morris Lubricants to specify and deliver premium quality engine oil at fair and competitive prices. This ensures that we never compromise on quality for our product delivery and always supply the best generator oils.

morris lubricants

What do I do with my old motor oil?

It is crucial that your old motor oil is disposed of correctly to prevent damage to the environment. There are special motor oil recycling facilities where you can dispose of your fuel and engine oil. Never dispose of your engine oil down traditional drains. You can receive large fines for this.

Need help with your your generator?

If you are unsure about any of your operation or maintenance requirements for portable generator or diesel generator please feel free to get in touch. At Solent Power we have the experience and knowledge to provide any guidance or assistance that you may need.

Contact us today for a no obligation discussion about your generator or emergency power system.

Paul Phelps
Paul Phelps

Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protecting your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.

Contact Us
Contact Us
Please complete our contact form and we will soon get back to you with expert advice.
Recent Posts

Trusted providers for Emergency Power Equipment Sales & Services

Featured Posts

What uninterruptible power supply do I need

What Uninterruptible power supply do I need?

When the power goes out, do you have a plan?If not, you should consider investing in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPS systems provide backup power to your home or business during a power outage, ensuring that your devices stay on and your work is protected. There are many different types of UPS systems available

Read More »
how much fuel does my generator use

How much fuel does a generator use?

With the ever increasing energy and fuel costs these days, we are all looking to decrease our fuel consumption and also become more environmentally friendly. The amount of fuel a generator will burn will depend on the generator size in kw, the type of fuel, the load or power being used and the efficiency of

Read More »
Scroll to Top