oils for predator generators

Predator Generators Oil Type & Capacity Guide

Looking for the best type of oil for your Predator generator can be confusing, but we’ve got you covered! Our team here at Generatorist has helped over 600,000 people find information about generators, and we’re here to help you too.

THE KEY TAKEAWAY:

The recommended oil for general use in all Predator generators mentioned in our guide is SAE 10W-30. For winter use, SAE 5W-30 is recommended, and for summer use, SAE 30 is recommended. Note that Predator generators do not come with oil included, as stated in the owner’s manual.

This information is based on official manuals from Harbor Freight. We provide detailed specifications for different models of Predator generators, including the recommended type of oil, oil capacity, and links to the relevant manuals. Our data is verifiable through the references we provide.

To find the specifications for your specific generator model, simply click on the appropriate link.

Predator Generators

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (-5 °F / +95 °F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (-30 °F / +25 °F)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 0.26 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WasTn9SfVJQ

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 °F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 °F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 0.4 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 25 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic47Y-deSf4

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30
  • Oil capacity: 13 fl. oz.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L45_gkb77Ng

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30
  • Oil capacity: 20 fl. oz.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02MgpJW9b1U

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 °F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 °F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 20 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmJ5sixniCM

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 ° F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 ° F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 20 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30
  • Oil capacity: 0.6 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 °F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 °F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 1.16 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 20 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx4A1QZqm-Q

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 ° F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 ° F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 1.16 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 20 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvZAXQ_F-aM

Owner´s manual – https://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 ° F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 ° F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 1.1 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 25 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvZAXQ_F-aM

Owner´s manual – https://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30 (above 32 ° F)
  • Winter use: SAE 5W-30 (at 32 ° F or below)
  • Summer use: SAE 30 (+50 °F / +105 °F)
  • Oil capacity: 1.16 qt.
  • Break-in oil change: 20 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Monthly / 20 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nga5NaOVRYg

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Oil type (info from the User’s Manual)

  • General use: SAE 10W-30
  • Oil capacity: 37 fl. oz.
  • Break-in oil change: 30 hours of use
  • Regular oil change: Every 6 months / 100 hrs. of use

DIY Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlmE5og5PKc

Owner´s manualhttps://manuals.harborfreight.com

Official product pagehttps://www.harborfreight.com

Is your generator missing from the list?

Feel free to check out the Harbor Freight website in case you didn’t find your generator on this list.

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.

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 a 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 at 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?

comparing oils on the shelf in store

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 synthetic oil is 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 conventional oils, but for their longevity, they are hard to beat.

HERE ARE THE BENEFITS OF SYNTHETIC OILS:

  • Superior performance in extreme temperatures
  • Longer service life & extended oil change intervals
  • Better resistance to oxidation, thickening, and deposits
  • Improved wear protection for engine components
  • Higher resistance to thermal and oxidative breakdown
  • Improved fuel economy & reduced emissions

Learn more about the advantages of synthetic oil by reading this article on Valvoline.com

You will still find that synthetic oil is graded in the same way, so you still need to consider the temperatures and manufacturers’ recommendations.

Signs of Low Engine Oil

There are several signs that may indicate low oil levels in a generator, including:

  • Warning light: Many generators have a warning light on the control panel that will flash when the oil level is low.
  • Unusual noises: A generator that is low on oil may produce unusual noises, such as knocking or ticking sounds.
  • Reduced power output: A generator that is low on oil may not produce as much power as it should.
  • Overheating: Low oil levels can cause the generator to overheat, which may lead to damage or a shutdown
  • Oil pressure warning: Some generators have an oil pressure gauge that will indicate low pressure or oil pressure drop when the oil level is low.
  • Engine damage: If the generator runs low on oil, it can cause damage to the engine, which will require costly repairs.
  • Smoke or burning smell: If there is smoke or a burning smell coming from the generator, it could be caused by low oil levels.

It’s important to note that some generators may not have a warning system to indicate low oil levels. Therefore, it’s recommended to regularly check the oils level according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

how to change oil in your generator

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change the oil in your generator:

  1. Gather the necessary equipment: You will need new oil (the correct type for your generator), a drain oil can or canister, a new oil filter (if applicable and the correct type), a clean brush and towel, protective gloves, protective goggles, a ratchet and oil filter wrench, a socket wrench (correct size), Phillips and flat screwdriver, and an oil funnel.
  2. Ensure safety: Put on protective gloves and goggles before starting. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment at hand.
  3. Warm up the old oil: Start the generator and let it run for a few minutes to warm up the old oil inside the engine, which will make it easier to drain.
  4. Place the generator on blocks: Get at least two identical blocks and place them on a level surface. Place the generator on the blocks so that there is free space under the oil drain plug. Make sure the generator is stable and won’t fall off the blocks.
  5. Unplug the spark wire: Locate the spark plug and unplug it to prevent an accidental start of the engine that has no oil in it. If you have problems locating your spark plug, consult your owner’s manual.
  6. Prepare for draining the old oil: Locate the oil drain plug, which is usually a 3/8″ nut with either a square or hexagonal head. The size and shape of this nut depend on the brand and model of your generator, so consult the owner’s manual to locate it. Wipe away any oil residue and grime around the drain plug and place the drain pan or empty canister underneath to catch the old oil.
  7. Drain the old oil: Use a socket wrench to loosen the drain plug and allow the old oil to flow into the drain pan or canister. Once all the oil has drained, clean the drain plug with a brush and towel.
  8. Refill with new oil: Use an oil funnel to pour new oil into the generator. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the correct amount and type of oil to use. Once the generator is filled with oil, screw the oil filler cap back on and reconnect the spark plug wire.

By following these steps, you can change the oil in your generator and ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently.

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2 thoughts on “Predator Generators Oil Type & Capacity Guide”

  1. I would like to input something here. I own some oil and gas wells here in Texas. We have to compress our gas and to do this we use a 22 HP Predator engine, it runs 24/7 on natural gas pulling a Quincy compressor with 150 psi.

    My current engine is as stated above a 22 HP Predator which has been in service for 30 months. It has an added engine oil cooler because Texas summers are hot, and also an added bigger oil filter.

    I run Shell Rotella T6 5W30 and add as instructed Lucas oil stabilizer. Never have changed oil just add as needed. Two times I have had an oil leak and all oil lost, the shut down shorted out within the first 6 months of use and has been disconnected, and all that was done was refill and start up.

    I feel that the synthetic oil is the reason for this engines long life and survivability!

  2. I have a 3 month old predator 4550 inverter generator. this is my 3rd predator generator and my second 4550 inverter. The first 4550 had the o2 sensor shut down activated and wouldn’t run though it was outside where no o2 could build up. I exchanged it for another 4550. I’ve just did its second oil change and though the oil level is full it runs then dies giving me a low oil alert then shuts down! Wtf!! Any help here would be appreciated.

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