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Generac Generators Oil Type & Capacity Guide

Are you looking for the best type of oil for your Generac generator but have no idea how to choose one?

I have great news for you! Our team here at Generatorist has helped over 430,000 visitors find information about generators and we will help you as well.

THE KEY TAKEAWAY

Guidelines from the official website for Generac portable generators:

“Above 32°F, use SAE 30. Below 40°F and down to -10°F, use 10W-30. Synthetic 5W-30 can be used in all temperatures. Oil should be changed after the first 20-30 hours of operation and every 100 hours of run time thereafter.”

Data for this page is based on official manuals from Generac. We will show you the type of oil for specific models of Generac generators, oil capacity and links to manuals. We also provide references where you can verify this info for yourself.

Just click on your model to see the specifications.

Generac Portable Generators

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.4 qt. / 0.38 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyedPVhSWzE

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.63 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-ix2000-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com/service-support/

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.36 qt. / 0.35 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vj8r8hCDCA

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.36 qt. / 0.35 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyedPVhSWzE

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyedPVhSWzE

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.634 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com/service-support/

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.634 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Official product pagehttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.634 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.634 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 0.634 qt. / 0.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.jackssmallengines.com/diy/generac-generator-oil-change/

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.06 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83Gtw3sNqI

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com/service-support/

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.06 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcyR3vpL8s

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com/service-support/

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.06 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83Gtw3sNqI

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com/service-support/

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.06 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83Gtw3sNqI

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83Gtw3sNqI

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x83Gtw3sNqI

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZKp8dCPEtY

Owner´s manualhttps://www.manualslib.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZKp8dCPEtY

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.5 qt. / 1.42 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.06 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.05 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.05 qt. / 1.0 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.7 qt. / 1.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual & the Generac website)

  • Winter use: SAE 10W-30 (40°F and down to -10°F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (above 32°F)
  • General use: SAE 5W-30 (all temperatures)
  • Oil capacity: 1.7 qt. / 1.6 l.
  • Break-in oil change: 20-30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY oil changehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-r9tnhbLFc

Owner´s manualhttps://www.generac.com

Is your generator missing from the list?

Feel free to check the data for the portable generators or the home backup generators on the Generac website in case you didn’t find your generator on this list.

Search by model number or serial number on the official website to find the manual for your generator.

How to find the serial number or the model number of your generator?

Here is nice graphics that will show you where to find this information: You can find the serial & model number of your portable generator here and the standby unit here.

KEEP IN MIND THE OIL VISCOSITY

The most crucial feature you need to pay close attention to while choosing the engine oil for your generator is its viscosity. You can find the recommended type of oil in the Owner´s Guide or Manual.

According to the Generac website, this is the recommended type of oil for portable generators:

“Above 32°F, use SAE 30. Below 40°F and down to -10°F, use 10W-30. Synthetic 5W-30 can be used in all temperatures. Oil should be changed after the first 20-30 hours of operation and every 100 hours of run time thereafter.”

And this is the recommended type of oil for home backup generators (source):

“An SAE rated high detergent oil that meets API Service Class SF requirements for gasoline engines, similar to your car. In general, when the temperature is over 40 degrees F, the most recommended oil is a 30-weight detergent product.

When the temperature drops below 40 degrees F, you should use 10W-30.  Refer to your owner’s manual for details.

To find your owner’s manual online, visit our Product Support page and enter your serial number or model number.”

General guidelines for portable generators:

In most cases, you will need an SAE 10W-30 oil type. The 10W-30 oil from Honda (1,767+ Reviews) is the best one in this category, but it’s pricey. We think that it is the best fit for most generators.

Here is our detailed comparison of 10W-30 oil vs 5W-30 oil, the second most recommended type of oil for generators.

For cheaper alternatives, check out Valvoline VR1 Racing (725+ Reviews) or Castrol Motor Oil (465+ Reviews). They offer the same performance for better price.

The SAE acronym in the name of motor oil refers to the grading system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The rest of the code refers to the oil’s viscosity at different temperatures.

The first number in the code, in this case the 10W, means how well can this oil be pumped at cold temperatures. The W refers to the word winter (not the weight).

The second number in the code means how well can the oil be pumped when heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) or higher.

Also, you should select a good quality detergent oil bearing the American Petroleum Institute (API) service classifications SJ, SL, SM, or SN.

Bear in mind this fact: If you use a different type of oil than the recommended one, you may cause premature wearing of individual engine parts.

THE IDEAL OIL CHANGE FREQUENCY

The main idea for changing the oil in regular intervals is to make your generator last as long as possible and avoid unnecessary damage.

The general rule is to change the oil after the first 20-30 hours of operation and every 100 hours of run time thereafter. With synthetic oil, you can double the run time to 200 hours.

To sum up the ideal oil change frequency:

  • The break-in oil change is at 20 hours
  • Every 6 months of use
  • Every 100 hours of use

Some generators are equipped with a run time meter, for some generators you will need to keep track of hours manually. When you are not sure of the ideal interval, just remember this: 

You can’t go wrong with changing the oil sooner rather than later.

CAN I USE A SYNTHETIC OIL IN MY GENERATOR?

Yes, it’s possible to use synthetic oil in your gas generator. In theory, this type of oil should provide better coating, but this is seen only in motors with overhead valves.

Using a synthetic oil is totally safe for your generator. In the past there were some issues with overheating in small engines, when they were first introduced. Nowadays they are completely safe.

For example, the most popular producer of generators – Honda, offers this advice:

“Honda engines are developed, tested and certified with petroleum based motor oils as a lubricant. Synthetic oils may be used; however, any motor oil used in our engines must meet all oil requirements as stated in the owner’s manual. 

In addition, recommended oil change intervals must be followed.”

The main disadvantage of using synthetic motor oils in your generator is the price. These oils are much more expensive than the conventional oils, but for their longevity, they are hard to beat. 

About Generatorist

Matthew Gerther

Founder, Generator enthusiast

Our aim here at the Generatorist is to become the No. 1 resource for all things related to generators & your power needs. We have helped over 430,000 visitors with our tips, articles and reviews and we will help you as well.

Our work has been featured in many publications around the world – Yahoo.com, Telegram.com, PaylessPower.com, TopTenReviews.com, TechRepublic.com, ThePrepared.com, Renogy.com or ADT Solar. Generators are our passion, and we strive to provide the most reliable & most comprehensive information out there.

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