Which Is the Best Oil for Generator?

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Which Is the Best Oil for Generator?

Generators are found in almost every house. We do tend to use it a lot during emergencies but do we take its best care. The way to take care of the generator and make sure it has a long life is using the best oil for generator.

Generator oils are specific to their model and features. It is important to go through an instruction manual before going out to get oil. Look at the specifications of the generator. Find the model and the type of oil it requires and then go find a reliable brand to cater to the needs of your generator.

In order to make the best choice for your generator, we have listed what are the best oils for your generator.

How To Choose The Best Oil For Your Generator?

Standing in a shop, looking confused while you look at the numerous brands of engine oil available. At that point, all of them might look like the best candidates. But, only some of them would actually suit your generator.

 Certain features define a great engine oil. Let’s have a look:

Type Of Engine

The generators usually have two types of engines. It’s either a 2 stroke engine or a 4 stroke one. Most of the generators use 4 stroke engines and only a handful are 2 strokes. The Mobil oil required for 2 strokes and 4 stroke engines is different.

In a 4 stroke engine, one uses fuel and oil separately. However, for a 2 stroke engine, it’s a different story. The oil and fuel are mixed in a fixed ratio to obtain an oil. These can be mixed at home or can be purchased from the market.

Oil Viscosity

Another one of the very crucial factors is viscosity. Viscosity is also the type of oil your engine uses. You can get an idea of this by looking at the user manual or the directions. The type of engine will determine how viscous your oil should be.

One of the most popularly used oils is the SAE 10W-30. Here the SAE comes from a society of Automotive Engineers. They determine the viscosity of the oil at different temperatures. The 10 W part shows the powerful pump at cold temperatures. 

You need to carefully check what engine oil you require and do not deviate from that.

User’s Manual

This is the first thing you should do while trying to maintain your generator. In the directions manual, you will find all the necessary information for this. The maintenance area will walk you through the whole process better than anything else.


While buying oil for your generator, reliability is a key element. An oil that is not reliable may damage your engine and not last as it says. Several reliable oil brands are Honda, Briggs and Stratton, Onan, Shell Rotella, etc.

How to Change Oil in A Generator?

There are a few simple steps to change engine oil. You must be very vigilant in changing your engine oil. This will increase its life and make sure it works as if it’s brand new. 

Some engines come with indicators to show the engine oil needs to be poured in. Changing engine oil is pretty easy. Some people do it at their homes, themselves. Others like to call in someone from the mechanic shop and look at their generator.

There are some tools you would require for this. You will need an empty canister to drain the old oil, oil filter, new oil, oil funnel, socket wrench, screwdriver, and protective wear.

Heating the old oil

Oil is thicker when cold so it may not drain out easily. By warming the oil, it will flow faster. Start your generator and make sure it runs for a few minutes. This will be enough for you to heat the oil.

Placing the generator

To reach the oil drain, plug you need to make sure the generator is at a certain height. You can do this by placing blocks under it. If your generator is on the heavier side, you can ask someone to lift it with you. If it is lighter, you can even place it on a height so you don’t have to bend. Just make sure your generator is stable.

Unplug the Spark Plug

Removing the spark plug from the generator will make your generator won’t accidentally start without oil. Also, in some generators, the spark plug is hidden in the plastic so you might have to locate it.

Draining old oil

Find the oil plug which will be in the shape of a nut. Before opening it make sure there is no grime over it. Clean the grime if it is and then place the empty can under it. Opening the nut will drain the old oil in it.

Replacing the Filter

Some people do not change the oil filter to save money. However, changing the oil filter will improve the durability of your generator. The generator will also work more efficiently this way. The oil filter can be hot so be careful. Use a wrench to pull it out and replace it.

New Oil

Once the filter is placed back, screw it tightly. Now put in a funnel and start pouring in new oil. Once you pour the oil, remove the funnel and screw it shut.

Plug-In The Spark Wire

Now as you have changed the oil, it is about time that you plug in the spark plug.

Which is the Best Oil for Generator

The market is filled with numerous brands claiming their product as number one. Some of the brands that sell the best oil for generators are Honda, Shell, Onan, etc.

If your engine is the SAE 10W 30 one then, 10W-30 oil from Honda would be one great oil. This one is a bit expensive but the money is certainly worth it. It allows quick lubrication and is non-synthetic. It is classified as SN for The API or American Petroleum Institute.

If the price is a problem for some you can get the Valvoline VR1 Racing SAE 10W-30 Motor Oil. It is a cheaper alternative to the Honda one. It has an anti-foam system that will protect your engine against stress.

If your generator has a 2 stroke engine then a good option for oil may be Echo Power Blend 1 Gallon Oil Mix. It is a mixture of gas and oil. 2.6 oz od oil is mixed with a gallon of gas to suit your generator.

If you want an oil that is synthetic or can work in all the seasons without any disruption from the weather, then Generac Full Synthetic Motor Oil is the top choice. This protects the generator against any deposits or grime. It is placed in the highest class by the API. 

This generator is especially beneficial for people in colder regions who have a problem starting their generators. This will have better viscosity at colder temperatures.


If you ask us, we will recommend Generac Full Synthetic Motor Oil for all kinds of generators. However, your generator might prefer a different type of oil depending on numerous factors discussed above. So look carefully before choosing the best oil for generator.