Replacing old oil in your generator is a requirement to become a responsible generator owner. Doing this process is often thought of as a very difficult task that can only be done by a professional.

The exact opposite is true however, it is extremely simple to change the oil in your portable generator.

As long as you have your official product manual, step by step guide, and the items below, you will be able to change the oil in your generator with ease.

Your official product manual will provide information on the oil filter, recommended type of oil, and the replacement frequency necessary for your generator.

Items You Will Need To Change Generator Oil

  • New oil (make sure its the correct type)
  • Drain oil canister
  • New oil filter (make sure its the correct type)
  • Clean brush & towel
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Ratchet oil and filter wrench
  • Socket wrench (correct size)
  • Phillips & flat screwdriver
  • Oil funnel
  • A beverage for you to enjoy during this process

Once you have all the items listed and put on your safety gear, you can proceed to the following steps.


First, you should start the generator and allow it to run for a few minutes.

After about five minutes, the oil should be warm enough to turn off the generator.  

The purpose of this is to make the consistency of the oil more liquid. It makes the process of changing the oil much easier.

Next, place your generator on some cinder blocks.

Get a few level blocks, cinder blocks are perfect, and place them on a level surface. Then place the generator on top of these blocks.

*PRO TIP* Place the blocks on a table so you don’t have to hurt your back by bending over too much. Generators are extremely heavy so make sure you have some extra hands to help you lift it.

After, unplug the spark wire.

If you are unaware of where your machine’s spark plug is, locate it in the user manual or search around for it.

(Some higher quality generators may have multiple spark plugs. Consult your user manual to verify if there is a specific plug specifically for changing oil).


After unplugging the spark wire, find the oil drain plug.

An oil drain plug may look something like this (but check your user manual to know what your machine’s looks like):

Once you have found the drain plug that belongs to your machine, place an oil pan or canister underneath to catch all the old oil as you will now be getting ready to begin the draining process.

Use a ratchet and a socket (⅜”) to remove the oil drain plug. Be sure to catch every single drop of old oil from inside of your machine.

If your generator has an oil filter, replace it while you are replacing the oil.

Replacing both the oil and the oil filter, will make sure your generator lives a long healthy life. The reason being, when the filter is being used constantly, it can wear down and cause eventual damage to your machine.

With your wrench, begin to remove the filter. Use it to also loosen the filter slowly to ensure it comes out without breaking inside the machine. When the filter is loose, you should begin to remove it manually. Make sure you are wearing protective gloves as oil can be extremely hot. In addition to this, place the drain pan underneath in case any excess oil was to spill out.

After this, place the new filter and begin screwing it into the generator. Be careful however as the filters are surprisingly fragile.


Once the changing process is completed, CONGRATULATIONS!!

The most difficult parts of the process have been completed. Now all you have to do is tighten the plug and pour the new oil.

As a housekeeping rule, ensure that you research the ​best oil for your generator and know the generator oil type you are putting into your machine. Substantial damage could be caused if the wrong generator oil type is put into your generator.

This information can be easily accessed in your user manual. To be safe, purchase the highest quality of oil possible. Typically, it is the best bet to ensure your generator will function optimally.

Once the new oil has been put into the generator, reconnect the spark plug. Grab the foot of the wire, slide it over the top of the plug, then press it all the way in.

When you hear a click, the plug is in the correct position.

Now, start your generator and let it run for a few minutes. This way, the new oil can flow throughout the engine and lubricate it.

And just like that, you have successfully changed the oil in your generator. Now you know you can rely on your generator to assist you in case of an emergency.

You might be interested in:

How to Start an RV Generator | A Complete Guide

How To Test Portable Generator With A Multi-meter

How To Install A Generator

The Brief History Of Generator

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap