11 Best Oils For Generator (2024)

There are some things you can never avoid in life, for example, death and taxes. And yes, you can neither do anything to prevent the occasional power outages. However, there are several ways you can employ to mitigate the condition.

Turning to a kerosene lamp is an option; however, it does not give enough illumination for your space. In fact, its major downside is the inability to generate electrical energy for your electrical appliances. This leaves a backup generator as the ideal go-to option when severe weather conditions knock out power.

Now, like any other motor-driven machine, generators need proper maintenance to keep their performance at par. One way of getting the best out of your generator is by maintaining a healthy level of oil.

Unfortunately, not all generator oils are good for use. In this article, we will be reviewing the top 11 best oils for generator!

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11 Best Oils For Generator

#1 Briggs & Stratton 30W Engine Oil

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The first suggestion we have for you is from Briggs & Stratton, one of the most trusted names in the industry for consistently producing high-quality products.

Its effectiveness in doing what it is made to do is the major reason as to why it receives very favorable reviews from most of its users.

What exactly makes it ideal for your generator? Well, there are several reasons as to why you need to buy this generator oil and not any other option.

The primary reason you need it is that Briggs & Stratton 30W Engine Oil 100028 is designed for higher engine operating temperatures on air-cooled motors, like those in the generators.

Also, being detergent generator oil, this high-quality maintenance oil offers full protection by preventing residue build-up in the engine for a longer lifespan and optimal performance of the engine.

The 48-ounce capacity is also a decent amount to provide enough for a complete generator oil change when still leaving some for that occasional top off.

Reason To Buy:

  • The 48-ounce bottle is cost-efficient.
  • The quantity is plenty.
  • It works ideally for small engines.

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#2 Briggs and Stratton 100074 Synthetic Oil

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Also coming from the same manufacturer, this is yet another option that will hardly disappoint. It is a true synthetic oil and that is why those that have used it hardly go for other oils in the market.

The synthetic property implies that this oil will lubricate the engine components of your generator faster than the conventional oils. The oil is designed to offer all-time protection to your generator.

I mean, Briggs and Stratton 100074 Synthetic Oil will keep all the parts of the motor well lubricated during the cold winter days, making it an ideal purchase for you if you often use your generator during cold days.

But even when the summer knocks, this synthetic oil will still keep all the engine components well lubricated to minimize wear and optimize the performance of the generator.

The package includes two 32-ounce oil canisters. Hence, expect it to sustain your generator for quite some good time.

Reason To Buy:

  • It’s very affordable.
  • It works well in cold temperatures.
  • The synthetic oil outperforms other conventional oils.

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#3 Royal Purple 01130 10W30 Synthetic Oil

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This generator oil is packed in a 32-ounce bottle and comes in a price that most homeowners can comfortably take in their budgets. However, it is also available in larger quantities in case you need it for several machines.

The oil has a rating of SAE 5W-30. This weight denotes that it can work perfectly in cold and normal operating temperature levels. And since it is an example of synthetic oils, Royal Purple 01130 10W30 outperforms oils made from crude oil in terms of engine protection.

You will also delight in the fact that this generator oil works excellently in minimizing engine wear. This is achieved by the unique additive technology that curbs metal-to-metal contact. This guarantees long-lasting performance. And since it also promotes engine efficiency, expect to spend less in fuel than ever before.

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Reason To Buy:

  • It uses superior additive technology.
  • It is available in different quantities.
  • The purple color makes it easy to tell when changing it is necessary.

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#4 Hammond Suzuki Tone Generator Oil Pair

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This oil comes in two bottles of 118 millimeters each. Thus, it will provide enough supply for your backup generator and even leave you with some for topping up the oil level when needed.

The oil, however, does not come in larger packs. For this reason, you may be forced to grab several cans if you need it for several engine-powered tools, which makes it generally more costly than buying larger canisters of oil.

The high-quality generator oil is specifically designed for lubricating all the mechanical parts of your generator. By doing this, the oil prolongs the lifespan of the engine, enhances fuel efficiency, and ensures the optimal performance of the engine.

In other words, if you want generator oil that will promote the engine health and boost its performance, then these cost-efficient bottles of oil offer the solution.

Each bottle features a flip-top dispenser that makes it more convenient to pour the oil to the very last drop! You no longer have to worry about some oil getting spilled when loading your generator!

Reason To Buy:

  • It lubricates and protects.
  • The flip lid dispenser increases convenience.
  • The oil is of high-quality.

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#5 Honda 08207-10W30 Motor Oil

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Honda is also another trusted name when it comes to producing products that not only meet but also surpass the needs of the customers. Therefore, by just bearing the name, this product will do what it is made to do to satisfactory levels.

In fact, it’s even easy to tell this by simply looking at the reviews and the number of customers turning to the oil for their generator engine maintenance. It doesn’t come in the largest can, though, but still the 32-ounce bottle should offer excess than what you need for replacement.

In other terms, with the 946-ml bottle, this motor oil is will allow you to replace your generator oil when also sparing some for the occasional oil level top-ups. Actually, some users even found it to be enough for 2 oil replacements.

The major strength of this oil lies in its viscosity. Having just the right viscosity, this engine oil distributes itself in all engine components quickly than other options. By doing this, it ensures that all the oil components become lubricated immediately they run dry and remain lubricated for a very long period.

This unique ability prevents metal-to-metal contact and eliminates the chances of the components developing rust.

Reason To Buy:

  • It has very good viscosity.
  • The quantity is good.
  • It also works ideally for mowers.

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#6 Mobil 1 (120758) Synthetic Motor Oil

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For those operating high-end generators, this motor oil is among the reliable oils you can count on to keep your valuable unit performing to its best level for several years to come. It arrives in an affordable pack of 4 that provides enough for your generator and other motor-driven lawn equipment.

The oil makes use of an advanced full synthetic formula that maximizes engine efficiency and reduces fuel consumption by up to 2%. I mean, once you use this motor oil faithfully, expect to spend less on fuel. The oil also boasts an outstanding thermal and oxidation stability.

This unique property slows down oil aging to ensure that it provides more long-lasting protection to your generator than most of the options. This ability slows down the interval of oil change which helps to save maintenance costs in the future.

The generator oil meets or exceeds the ILSAC GF-5 requirements so you can buy knowing that it will deliver value for your money. Also, Mobil 1 (120758) Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20 possesses impressive low-temperature capabilities that make it more than just ordinary engine oil.

Reason To Buy:

  • It is very cheap per volume.
  • Promotes fuel economy by 2%.
  • It provides enough for those with heavy oil needs.
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#7 Cummins 3265336 Onan SAE 15W-40 Oil

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This generator oil may not suit every budget because it’s quite pricey. However, as the phrase goes; ‘You get what you pay for’, this is exactly the case with this product. It comes from Cummins, one of the esteemed names in the manufacture of engines of all sizes.

Thus, you can buy Cummins 3265336 Onan SAE 15W-40 Oil with the confidence that you are getting something premium that will boost the health of your generator and improve its overall performance.

To ensure that it does what it claims, this oil is factory-tested and found to meet the company and third-party stringent performance standards. It works by reducing the friction in the generator engine. This minimizes wear and prolongs the service life of the product.

It comes in a lot of 4 and each canister holds a capacity of 32 ounces. Therefore, if you have several machines that require engine oil, this package should satisfy all your needs and still have some left.

Reason To Buy:

  • It is factory-tested for reliability.
  • It arrives in a lot of 4 for long-lasting protection.
  • It meets the strictest performance standards.

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#8 Generac 0J93230SSM Synthetic Oil

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If you are looking for a maintenance kit that will get your standby generator operating as if it were new, then you should look no further beyond this premium-grade maintenance kit.

The kit contains 2 spark plugs, rectangular air filter, oil filter, and synthetic oil. The oil comes in packs of 2 with each canister holding 946 ml. This quantity should last you for a long period so you won’t be going to the market any time soon for the same product.

The oil lubricates the engine components of your generator to minimize friction and wear and maximize fuel efficiency. By doing this, your generator will cause fewer troubles in the future and will minimize fuel consumption.

What most people like about this option is that it works with most generators. I mean, whether you have 0062440, 0062500, 0062580, 0062620, 0062680, 0062770 or 0062581, you will like how good your machine gets with this maintenance oil.

Reason To Buy:

  • It has very impressive compatibility.
  • It comes as a kit.
  • It minimizes the chances of engine breakdown significantly.

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#9 ZEPRO 30010096-95300C020 Engine Oil

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This engine oil arrives in a 5-quart bottle. However, if you require just a little amount, it can also come in a 1-quart bottle. Nevertheless, we advise that you get the 5-quart bottle since it will last for a longer time and offers a better price-per-volume.

The product is primarily designed for use in cars. However, since most car engine oils can work well in generators, it will also go with your generator engine for optimal performance.

The high-quality oil utilizes advanced friction reduction technology. The advanced technology provides an improved level of wear protection to the motor when simultaneously promoting fuel economy. I mean, with this oil, your generator will perform better when also operating at peak efficiency.

Before being released to the market, this product undergoes thorough testing to ensure that it meets or surpasses the latest European, North America, and specific OEM quality requirements. For this reason, the product guarantees to do exactly what you read on the label.

Reason To Buy:

  • It surpasses the latest global fuel economy requirements.
  • It has improved thermal stability.
  • It also works perfectly for cars.

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#10 Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. 9003D-012S Supreme 9000 Full Synthetic Gasoline Engine Oil

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If you live in very cold areas, you should buy generator oil that will work perfectly even under low temperatures. And yes, this oil is designed to resist thickening during moments of low temperatures.

The oil will also not thin during the hot days of the summer. Therefore, whether you are living in cold or hot regions, expect this product to provide optimum wear protection in every start-up.

Most users of this oil claim that it not only protects and boosts the engine but also reduces the fuel consumption rate which as a consequence saves money. Also, this oil will maintain its performance for a very long time which prolongs the oil-changing intervals allowing you to save cash.

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Its rapid circulation delivers instant protection to your generator while its conformance to the strictest international requirements allows you to buy the oil with the peace of mind that it will not let you down.

Reason To Buy:

  • It maintains its performance for a very long time.
  • It resists thinning and thickening in extreme temperatures.
  • It circulates rapidly for instant protection.

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#11 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil

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This engine oil comes in a case of 6. The oil is designed for great compatibility and works ideally with most car and generator engines. Nevertheless, if you intend to also use it for your car, you should check your manufacturer’s recommendations in your car manual before buying it.

The oil, however, is also available in smaller packs if you don’t need that much. The PurePlus technology maintains low viscosity during low temperatures for optimal performance during the winter and other cold moments of the year.

The SAE 5W-20 rating also means that the oil will perform perfectly under high-temperatures which means that it does not thin with an increase in temperatures as with some members of the competition.

The oil ensures that the engine components of your car and generator operate smoothly against each other. This helps to reduce wear and prevent loss of power so that your engine keeps performing as new for several years to come.

Why you should buy:

  • It guarantees horsepower protection.
  • It boasts optimal performance under extreme temperatures.
  • It is made from natural gas and not crude oil.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Can I use synthetic oil in my generator?

One major advantage of synthetic oils over other motor oils is their ability to lubricate faster. They can work in generators and most people like them since their performance is not affected by temperatures.

What does SAE 30 mean?

SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers, a standards development organization for the engineering industry. The organization rates engine oil in terms of viscosity, that is, its ability to flow. Engine oil with SAE 30 rating means that this organization ran it through a tube-like device to see how many seconds it will take to flow the other end. The seconds are then rounded on to the next tens. Hence, SAE 30 means that the oil took approximately 30 seconds to flow.

What is the difference between single-grade rating and multi-grade rating?

SAE 30 is an example of a single-grade rating. It indicates the weight of the oil in warm temperatures. However, temperature affects the viscosity of the oil. Thus, this type of rating does not bring out the exact properties of the oil under all temperature conditions. That is why a multi-grade rating is important. 10W-30 oil, for instance, is an example of a multi-grade rating. The 30 in this rating denotes the same thing as the 30 in the SAE 30. However, the 10 stands for the viscosity of the oil in winter (W) conditions, hence 10W.

How do you maintain a generator?

Firstly, you need to maintain a healthy oil level and change it when necessary. Also, you need to keep the unit and the air filter clean. Proper storage and running it at least monthly are equally essential.

When should I change my generator oil?

When new, most generators will need you to change after 25 hours of continuous use. However, after the first oil change, most will need fresh oil every 50-60 hours.


Proper maintenance of standby generators enhances their reliability and improves their lifespan.

With one of these oils, your generator will run smoothly, efficiently, and effectively and will cause minimal to no troubles in the future. Just examine our options to find out the ideal option for your machine.

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Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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