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Author Topic: Onan generator oil change  (Read 17742 times)

Fcranger

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Onan generator oil change
« on: July 22, 2007, 08:27:03 PM »
I think Onan recomends to change the oil in the generator after the first 20 hours of use.
I have not used it very much since I bought it, I have almost 20 hours on it. most of it half hour run times a month to exercise it. haven't had to use it steady since all the campgrounds had electric hookups.
How much of a job is it to change the oil myself? I take the motorhome to Oil Can Henry's for oil changes and they use Mobil 1 synthetic in the engine, is it okay to use the same thing in the generator? its a Onan Microquiet 4000   ???
Frank

Ron

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 08:45:29 PM »
If the Genset is over a year old then the oil and filter needs to be changed.   Mobil 1 is probably better to use than Dino oil.  The genset is designed to be used not set idle.  Lack of use causes more problems then frequent use.  You might say USE IT OR LOOSE IT or pay the increased maintenance/repair costs.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 09:13:53 PM »
I don't have much choice Ron since most campsites don't want you to use your generator if they have electric hookups. and to run it sitting by my house for hours will have my neighbors P***** off at me, even though it quiet but not that quiet, so I have no choice.  :'(
Frank

Jeff

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 09:20:38 PM »
Frank:

IIRC Onan reccomends running the generator under a load for 2 hours once every thirty days. That shouldn't upset anyone if you do it during the middle of the day should it?

ArdraF

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 09:25:58 PM »
Frank,

Do you have the genset in a motorhome?  If so, use it while driving down the road.  We use ours to run the roof air when it's hot, not to mention heating stuff in the microwave.  I guess if it's in a trailer that won't work.  Onan recommends using it with a load, hence using the A/C.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2007, 09:42:12 PM »
Jeff:
sometimes I run it for and hour, twice a month but I always put the  AC on that puts a good load on it. I don't think my neighbors works nights, like I do,  but I think if I run it in the afternoon I won't get any complaints.?    ;D
Frank

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2007, 09:47:42 PM »
ArdraF
It's a Winnebago Aspect and now that you mention it I do run it while on the road with the AC on.
Frank

ArdraF

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2007, 10:51:00 PM »
Frank,

Well, how 'bout that!  So you run it a little more than you think you do.  ;)  In this case, that's good.  The more the better and try for a minimum of an hour at a time.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Ron

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2007, 11:02:05 PM »
How long have you had the MH.  20 hours doesn't sound like much.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2007, 11:52:02 PM »
just about a year :D
Frank

Ron

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2007, 11:56:35 PM »
just about a year :D

That is not many hours for a year old genset.  I recommend changing oil at least once a year even if you don't get the recommended hours for the oil change.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 12:30:45 AM »
That's the reason I need to get the oil changed in it
I only have 4000 miles on the motorhome  don't get to go as much as I would like to
have to work can only go on the weekends and not very far. can't wait for the day I can retire.
 and go more often. did'nt hit the lottery so I have to work. :(
Frank

Jeff

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 12:39:40 AM »
Frank, the Onan instructions are pretty specific about running the gen 2 hours at a time,not shorter periods that accumulate the two hours.

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2007, 12:48:52 AM »
I know I should run it more often. but got to get the oil changed first.
how about people that live in the northern states that their motorhome sits from nov. till march or april. in storage. I guess there sol. :)
Frank

Ron

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2007, 09:02:16 AM »
Actually when we lived in Montreal and our Bounder was stored in Vermont we made a point of starting the Genset each month and running it with what ever loads we could including space heaters for a couple hours during the winter months.  When we bought the MH the genset had very low hours on it and needed to be worked on before it would run properly.  The dealer got it running correctly and then I read the Onan recommendations which I doubt were complied with by the previous owner which resulted in the problems it had.  We never had another problem with a genset.  Lucky for us Pete's RV in Burlington VT was an honest dealer and got the Genset operating properly at no coast to us.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

KodiakRV

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 07:19:55 PM »
...How much of a job is it to change the oil myself? I take the motorhome to Oil Can Henry's for oil changes and they use Mobil 1 synthetic in the engine, is it okay to use the same thing in the generator? its a Onan Microquiet 4000   ???

I've got that model and I changed mine a couple of weeks ago.  It's easy as long as the RV manufacturer didn't install it with a brace blocking the drain hole.  The manual instructions say it all...  [my comments in brackets]

1. Run the engine until warm, stop it and remove the oil fill cap.

2. Remove the oil drain hole cover in the base [2 screws], place a pan underneath and unscrew the drain
plug [a hex-head bolt].  Let all oil drain from the engine and then secure the drain plug. Torque the
plug to 21 lbs-ft and secure the cover.

3. Refill with 1.6 quarts (1.5 liters) of oil. See ENGINE OIL RECOMMENDATIONS  [table below].
Check the oil level and add or drain oil as necessary.

4. Screw the oil fill cap back on securely.

TABLE 1-1. OIL VISCOSITY VS. TEMPERATURE
EXPECTED AMBIENT
TEMPERATURES                                   SAE VISCOSITY GRADE
32° F (0° C) and higher --                      30
10° F to 100° F (−12° C to 38° C) --      15W-40
0° F to 80° F (−18° C to 27° C) --          10W-30 or 10W-40
−20° F to 50° F (−28° C to 10° C) --      5W-30
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 07:22:35 PM by KodiakRV »
Frank
Florida

scottydl

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2007, 09:28:34 PM »
How often should the genset oil/filter be changed, with regular use?  I should probably change ours since I don't know the last time it was done.  Should it be changed with the engine oil, or is that too often?
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 sold but not forgotten
Now looking for the next perfect RV...

Tom

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2007, 09:46:16 PM »
Scotty,

IIRC our Onan manual says every 150 hours. Check your owners manual for the correct frequency for your generator.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Ron

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2007, 10:16:04 PM »
How often should the genset oil/filter be changed, with regular use?  I should probably change ours since I don't know the last time it was done.  Should it be changed with the engine oil, or is that too often?

The genst oil/filter should be changed  at least annually or at 50 some cases 150 hours of operating time.  Check you owners manual for frequency.

In our case we find we never reach the specified operating hours so the oil is changed annually at the same time we change to engine oil.  Again in our case we never reach the 15000 miles the manufacturer gives as frequency so the engine oil and filters are also changed annually.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 10:19:50 PM by Ron »
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

scottydl

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2007, 10:06:47 AM »
Yep, sounds like annually will be the frequency for mine also, engine and genset.  The Ford owner's manual states I can go 7500 miles between engine oil changes (except in dusty conditions or heavy engine use) and I know I probably won't cover that in the average year.  Same goes for the genset, I'm sure I'll run it regularly in the summer but nothing close to 100+ hours.  Thanks guys.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 sold but not forgotten
Now looking for the next perfect RV...

Fcranger

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2007, 05:37:40 PM »
Thanks Kodiakrv (Frank)   you told me exactly what I wanted to know
I think I'll change it this weekend.   ;D
Frank

joester

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2007, 04:05:49 PM »
the 150 hours sounds about right - depending on your use and weather conditions, I would think that once/year might be more than necessary for an Onan. bringing mine in for an oil change, new oil and air filters, clean carb and plugs (whatever else may be included in the camping world basic gas generator service).
its' a 1991 - Onan emerald series 4000 - 494 hours on it now. been a real trooper for the 10 years we've had it. 
I now run it about 45 minutes on the weekend - take the rv for a drive, run the gen and a/c, start the fridge on propane each weekend also - use it - or you'll be fixing it just when you want to use it.
tener corazón de oro

1991 Tioga class C

billy barksdale

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2010, 02:09:42 PM »
i have 4000 onan gas geneator recomend15w40 oil i would like to change to synthetic oil would use the same weight oil or what weight oil should i use
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 08:17:56 PM by billy barksdale »

scottydl

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2010, 02:25:38 PM »
i have 4000 onan gas geneator recomend15w40 oil i would like to change to synthetic oil would use the same weight oil or what weight oil should i use

Use the same weight recommended by the manual for your uses and weather conditions, regardless of conventional vs. synthetic.  In central IL where I live, it can get really hot and really cold but I still fall in the 10W-30 range for my usage (which is rare) so that's what I keep in there when I change oil annually.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 sold but not forgotten
Now looking for the next perfect RV...

PatrioticStabilist

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2010, 02:33:50 PM »
We took a 3000 mile trip a month or so ago.  It was so durn hot I put almost 90 hours on the genset, running the AC while running down the road, that was over a period of 3 weeks.  Hubby changed the oil when I got home.  I have a feeling mine will have big time hours on it in short order.
Added 1992 American Eagle diesel pusher 38 ft

Winnie Sightseer 29 ', 2005 Class A 2 slides!  Bought 5/5/2010, Sold 1/7/2012. Added Tru Center , Trac Bar,  Air bags, Bilstein shocks Compressor for air bags, new awnings . New tires. New satellite dome, 2 flat screens
SOLD 6/17-10 Ford Aluma Lite

82 Honey 27

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2010, 05:04:27 PM »
we got a 1988 airex class A with a 6.5k onan admiral. the filter is about 1 inch from a piece of the body!!  i cant figure out how to change it without removing the whole gen!!

billy barksdale

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Re: Onan generator oil change
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2010, 08:14:26 AM »
 thanks for the info oil from regular oil or synthetic