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Posted: 11/11/2012 1:00:28 PM EST
Is synthetic really better for a generator engine, and if so, why? I used Castrol for the first 20 hrs on my Honda 2000, and then refilled with that because that was what I had. I am going to resupply with oil, and am wondering if this really matters.

Also, I assume there is no harm in mixing a little dino oil with synthetic, because even if I change some normal oil will remain in the generator.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:09:47 PM EST
I have always heard that once you use synthetic oil not to go back to the regular oil and not to mix the two....but I have never seen it published.

from what I understand Synthetic oil doesn't break down as fast as regular oil.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:11:22 PM EST
Synthetic oils tolerate heat better. This is important with portable generators for 2 reasons:

1) Portable generators typically have air cooled engines which both run at a higher operating temperature and have more localized hot spots.

2) in an emergency situation portable generators are typically run longer than their designed duty cycle. That means that the oil is exposed to high temperatures for longer than designed to.

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Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:12:08 PM EST
Synthetic usually does better in cold weather, and holds up longer than standard oil. I like to know that if I get in a pinch, I can run it a little longer. And where I live, it can get cold.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:28:06 PM EST
All my machines (vehicle, generator, etc...) run on synthetic oil. Just makes more sense.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:33:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/11/2012 1:34:52 PM EST by JakeThePimp]
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
I have always heard that once you use synthetic oil not to go back to the regular oil and not to mix the two....but I have never seen it published.

from what I understand Synthetic oil doesn't break down as fast as regular oil.


Old wives tail, they even sell synthetic blends. They mix just fine.

Synthetic is more tolerant to high heat and it does last longer. However, most automotive oils have removed a bunch of zinc lately (protects catalytic converter) and that can be an issue in these simple generator (flat tappet cams). Look for an oil high in ZDDP. I've been using Valvoline VR1 "Racing" and "Not Steet Legal" oils in all my small stuff lately, there are many others but that's what I can find on the shelf.

I"ve also been using it in my Porsche and that takes 12qts of oil $$$.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:36:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
I have always heard that once you use synthetic oil not to go back to the regular oil and not to mix the two....but I have never seen it published.

from what I understand Synthetic oil doesn't break down as fast as regular oil.


When synthetic oil first came out cars that switched from regular oil to synthetics developed a lot of leaks. 2 reasons - the synthetic dissolved deposits around the seals, and seal material incompatibility. Those issues are pretty much resolved now. But that's pretty much the root of ask the "don't mix" folklore. That and marketing.

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Link Posted: 11/11/2012 1:42:03 PM EST
Everything I have small motor gets synthetic oil and premium gas.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:01:28 PM EST
I run synthetic (Mobile 1) in my Honda EU2000i as it doesn't have an oil filter and with the heat the oil needs all the help it can get. In December I'll be purchasing a Yamaha 6000 inverter for the house. Again, in that one I'll be running synthetic.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:11:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By R2point0:
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
I have always heard that once you use synthetic oil not to go back to the regular oil and not to mix the two....but I have never seen it published.

from what I understand Synthetic oil doesn't break down as fast as regular oil.


When synthetic oil first came out cars that switched from regular oil to synthetics developed a lot of leaks. 2 reasons - the synthetic dissolved deposits around the seals, and seal material incompatibility. Those issues are pretty much resolved now. But that's pretty much the root of ask the "don't mix" folklore. That and marketing.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Most of those problems were resolved by the early 1980s. You would have to work to find an engine that had lived on a diet of pure SA mineral oils today. It's quite hard, actually. Mix and be happy,
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:14:38 PM EST
I am in the process of going over my three generators, and I am switching them all over to synthetic. I bought the Valvoline simply because it was cheaper than Mobil 1. I have used Valvoline dino oil for years and have been happy with it, so I hope their syn is good stuff too. I am also moving away from 87 octane ethanol gasoline since I have a source for 90 octane non-ethanol gasoline now.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:25:41 PM EST
Syn is the way to go...holds up better and isn't thick as honey when you're trying to pull start a big gen in the winter.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:33:32 PM EST
There is a reason it costs double.

I do regular changes on all my equipment, and usually use synthetic blends, I should use pure synthetic but our stuff isn't usually over used or beat on.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:39:24 PM EST
I use synthetics in my DD and dino oil in my extra car.

I use synthetic VR1 racing oil in my genny and riding lawn mower, because it has a high zinc content and I got 12 quarts for free last year with a coupon posted here. Thats enough for about 5 oil changes each. I have been using the same oil for two years in both items because it is still the same color as it was when it came out of the bottle. I figure the genny has 10 hours on the oil and my mower has 75 hours on it. Thats nothing for an oil designed for super hot, high friction use.

Synthetic oil lasts much longer and if you factor in the protection level and the time you save not changing the oil, and the money you save not buying another filter really the price is pretty much the same as Dino oil, if not cheaper. I run synthetics for twice as long as Dino oils.

I also highly recommend Brad Penn http://www.penngrade1.com/Products/Racing-Oils.aspx for their Penn Grade 1 HP oils. Many local racing teams use this oil.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 2:43:25 PM EST
If this isn't too off topic, What about using Mobil 1 versus the extended performance? They advertise twice the mileage. That true? Just changed the oil yesterday in a Montero Sport, and used the extended protection Mobile 1. $2 more for a 5 quart jug over the normal stuff. Figured it can't hurt. I'll check it at around 5-6k, and if it still looks good, throw on a new filter and check back on it.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 3:03:43 PM EST
I run Royal Purple in my EU2000i. Why because it only takes a little and the genny cost a lot. Oil in an emergency power generator is not the place to try and save $

Jim
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 4:50:29 PM EST
Mobil 1 in my Honda's.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 4:53:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By buckshot_jim:
Oil in an emergency power generator is not the place to try and save $

Jim


That's the bottom line
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 4:58:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/11/2012 4:59:15 PM EST by CLICKBANGBANG]
I thought this might go good here. I ordered a magnetic dipstick and magnetic drain plug for my Honda EM7000is. Link below and click Industrial. Follow the drops. It ran $14 for the drain and $19 for the dip. Shipped it was $34 total. They'll go in on the next oil change.

http://www.goldplug.com/
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 4:59:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By CLICKBANGBANG:
I thought this might go good here. I ordered a magnetic dipstick and magnetic drain plug for my Honda EM7000is. Link below and click Industrial. Follow the drops. It ran $14 for the drain and $19 for the dip. Shipped it was $34 total. They'll go in on the next oil change.

http://www.goldplug.com/


Thanks!
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:05:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By billyjoebob:
Originally Posted By buckshot_jim:
Oil in an emergency power generator is not the place to try and save $

Jim


That's the bottom line

Agreed.

When I need to run a genset I NEED to run it, monthly testing notwithstanding. During the winter months my Hondas run my furnace blower, and keeping my family warm is priority one. While we have backup methods to produce heat, an eu2000i powering our LNG furnace blower is our most efficient way to stay warm in a grid down situation.

My local Honda power equipment dealer suggests Mobil1, and that's good enough for me.


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Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:09:03 PM EST
OK, having longer oil life if I need it and better lubrication when cold are solid reasons to switch over, I'm sold.

Thanks to all for the input!
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:10:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAM:
If this isn't too off topic, What about using Mobil 1 versus the extended performance? They advertise twice the mileage. That true? Just changed the oil yesterday in a Montero Sport, and used the extended protection Mobile 1. $2 more for a 5 quart jug over the normal stuff. Figured it can't hurt. I'll check it at around 5-6k, and if it still looks good, throw on a new filter and check back on it.


EP does what they say it does. Wear will be reduced. That said, the oil in a lot o emergency generators will hit condemnation levels of water contamination from sitting for a year or two before it will "wear out" per se. That's not to say that the Mobil1 EP is a bad idea, just please don't try to save money by leaving it in for four years. The oil will make it just fine but the additive pack will not and you will have a ton of rust in the engine.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:18:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By trwoprod:
That's not to say that the Mobil1 EP is a bad idea, just please don't try to save money by leaving it in for four years. The oil will make it just fine but the additive pack will not and you will have a ton of rust in the engine.


Oh no....not at all. Oil in all the small engines gets changed at least once a year. I was more less asking for daily drivers. My driveway is gravel, and in winter, doing my own oil changes are a real bitch. If I can spend a few bucks more, and be good for the winter season, I'm all for it. Especially considering it's only $2 more. Why not for that price.....
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:23:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAM:
Originally Posted By trwoprod:
That's not to say that the Mobil1 EP is a bad idea, just please don't try to save money by leaving it in for four years. The oil will make it just fine but the additive pack will not and you will have a ton of rust in the engine.


Oh no....not at all. Oil in all the small engines gets changed at least once a year. I was more less asking for daily drivers. My driveway is gravel, and in winter, doing my own oil changes are a real bitch. If I can spend a few bucks more, and be good for the winter season, I'm all for it. Especially considering it's only $2 more. Why not for that price.....


What you are doing is absolutely right, but I have seen some things that make me scratch my head. I know lots of people that have a vehicle that gets a lot less use than the other one and they just time all of the oil changes the same way for the same reasons and do them all one weekend. It's smart. Unfortunately I have also seen people leave oil in the engine for years with the synthetics and have pretty serious issues because of that, so I wanted to mention it.

Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:25:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By Nunya:
Is synthetic really better for a generator engine, and if so, why? I used Castrol for the first 20 hrs on my Honda 2000, and then refilled with that because that was what I had. I am going to resupply with oil, and am wondering if this really matters.

Also, I assume there is no harm in mixing a little dino oil with synthetic, because even if I change some normal oil will remain in the generator.


You will not likely notice any difference at all.

I have run plenty of car engines well past 300k miles with regular old dino oil and never had any failures due to the engine oil... 335,000 miles on last mitsubishi before it finally died. That engine NEVER saw any expensive oil in its life and did just fine.

Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:42:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ar-15TechGuy:
Originally Posted By Nunya:
Is synthetic really better for a generator engine, and if so, why? I used Castrol for the first 20 hrs on my Honda 2000, and then refilled with that because that was what I had. I am going to resupply with oil, and am wondering if this really matters.

Also, I assume there is no harm in mixing a little dino oil with synthetic, because even if I change some normal oil will remain in the generator.


You will not likely notice any difference at all.

I have run plenty of car engines well past 300k miles with regular old dino oil and never had any failures due to the engine oil... 335,000 miles on last mitsubishi before it finally died. That engine NEVER saw any expensive oil in its life and did just fine.



My grandfather boasted about never changing the oil in his car........I guess what i'm saying is just because you have had good luck doesn't mean that better stuff isnt out there.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:50:29 PM EST
Of the oils tested, synthetics (best results were mobile 1) when compared to Dino oils show that they have lest breakdown of viscosity when benchmarked at 0, 800, 1500, and 3000 miles in a motorcycle engine test. Motorcycles run at higher temps due to air cool and nature of the engine. Thus, I went Mobile 1 in my Honda. The best plan though is to change oil regularly.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 5:51:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By R2point0:
Synthetic oils tolerate heat better. This is important with portable generators for 2 reasons:

1) Portable generators typically have air cooled engines which both run at a higher operating temperature and have more localized hot spots.

2) in an emergency situation portable generators are typically run longer than their designed duty cycle. That means that the oil is exposed to high temperatures for longer than designed to.


Also, there isn't a lot of extra expense in using synthetics in a backup power generator. The average generator crankcase capacity is less than a quart, so a complete oil change only costs a couple bucks more than with conventional mineral oils.

Furthermore, a backup generator doesn't need to be changed very often while it's sitting around waiting for a power failure - So on an annual basis, you're probably not looking at more than a few dollars in additional expense.

IMO, there really isn't any downside to using it.
Link Posted: 11/11/2012 8:29:28 PM EST
I just changed the oil for the first time on my pair of Yamaha EF2000is. I used Mobil 1 Extended Performance 10w30 for the first fill. I use it in all of my cars and had it on hand. At 16.5 hours the oil was more discolored/dirty than I expected and of course there was some gunk on the magnetic dipstick. the manual suggests Yamalube 10w40 (or 10w30) so I decided to try 10w40 this time. don't think Mobil 1 EP comes in 10w40 any more, so I used the Castrol Blend this time.

I think I'll change it again in another 15 hours or so, instead of the recommended 100 hours/6 mos

Link Posted: 11/11/2012 10:22:19 PM EST
Bob is the oil guy. Google it, if your a mechanical kinda guy.

Link Posted: 11/12/2012 3:51:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ar-15TechGuy:
Originally Posted By Nunya:
Is synthetic really better for a generator engine, and if so, why? I used Castrol for the first 20 hrs on my Honda 2000, and then refilled with that because that was what I had. I am going to resupply with oil, and am wondering if this really matters.

Also, I assume there is no harm in mixing a little dino oil with synthetic, because even if I change some normal oil will remain in the generator.


You will not likely notice any difference at all.

I have run plenty of car engines well past 300k miles with regular old dino oil and never had any failures due to the engine oil... 335,000 miles on last mitsubishi before it finally died. That engine NEVER saw any expensive oil in its life and did just fine.


Yeah, and I know a guy that survived a fall from a 10-story window. You're not going to see me trying that any time soon.

Yes, dino oil is fine, IF you change the oil regularly. We're also talking about small engines, which have different duty cycles than automotive engines, and have wilder swings in operating temperatures.

Synthetic oils provide better lubrication, better life and better flow when cold. Kinda seems like a no-brainer to spend the few extra bucks. But that's just me....
Link Posted: 11/12/2012 5:16:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/12/2012 5:17:03 AM EST by dawg69]
Everything you ever wanted to know about motor oils and more.

Seriously, take the time to read this. You won't look at oils the same way again.
Link Posted: 11/12/2012 5:54:30 AM EST
I put Mobil 1 in my old Ram at 78K when I bought it...at 94K a gasket went and I limped home with 1 qt in the sump for 25 miles, I found out it was flood damaged and only an engine change would fix it. I just added a qt of Mobil 1 at fill-up...ran it for 35K more miles until I gave it away...all I have has synthetic
Link Posted: 11/12/2012 6:30:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By KaProw:
I just changed the oil for the first time on my pair of Yamaha EF2000is. I used Mobil 1 Extended Performance 10w30 for the first fill. I use it in all of my cars and had it on hand. At 16.5 hours the oil was more discolored/dirty than I expected and of course there was some gunk on the magnetic dipstick. the manual suggests Yamalube 10w40 (or 10w30) so I decided to try 10w40 this time. don't think Mobil 1 EP comes in 10w40 any more, so I used the Castrol Blend this time.

I think I'll change it again in another 15 hours or so, instead of the recommended 100 hours/6 mos



Synthetics tend to scavenge and suspend better than "conventional" oils. This is normal for a first change.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 7:11:34 PM EST
I would run synthetic oil in just about any air-cooled engine I owned.
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