What is considered “normal” oil consumption on air cooled generators?

What is considered “normal” oil consumption on air cooled generators?

Air Cooled engines are built with more tolerances for the block and rings to heat and cool or expand and contract. Because of this the engine will use more oil to cool the engine and also have some blow by in the rings due to the way the air cooled engine is made. Due to changes in automotive motor oil formulations, it is no longer recommended to use automotive oils in air cooled engines.

What changed about automotive motor oils?
 The allowable levels of Zinc and Phosphorus were reduced by about half in 2010 and that’s after they had already been reduced in years prior to 2010. This reduction lowers the thermal conductivity and anti-wear properties of the oil. Air cooled engines are impacted by this change much more than water cooled engines because air cooled engines depend on the motor oil to carry heat to cool the engine.

Air cooled units will use oil and the recommendations are to shut down and check oil every 24 hours. How much oil is going to be determined by what oil you use. We use 5-30 full synthetic that was formulated for air cooed NG/LP units and does a better job of using less oil. The amount that can be used will be determined by how much loads you are using, and the oil you have in unit. It is not uncommon to see a half quart used in a day. That is why you should check oil daily if you are using the generator with significant load volumes.  

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