If oil has been sitting in the ground for 3 million years, and I put it in my car's engine but don't use that car for six months, why am I supposed to "change the oil"? Does it go bad, or something?On my home generator it says change the oil every 20 hours or 3 months. Suppose I don't use it for 3 months. Am I supposed to change it anyway?
The oil itself doesn't wear out or break down. However, the additives package does wear out, especially with multi-viscosity oils.3 months of non-use on you generator will do absolutely nothing to the oil so it doesn't need to be changed because the oil is "bad". However, I would follow the guidelines of your generator as far as how often to run it and/or let it sit.
Sitting in the gen doesn't do anything to the oil... True, but doesn't quite tell the whole story. The reason they call for changing the oil is that sitting outside like that, you'll have moisture from the air condensing nightly (more commonly known as dew), and getting mixed in with the oil, eventually causing rust. This isn't a problem in your car because when you drive, the oil heats up and the water evaporates back out. Running your gen for 30-60 minutes monthly, as close to full load as you can, should accomplish the same effect.
Running your gen for 30-60 minutes monthly, as close to full load as you can, I've always wondered about this, too. Why at full load? (I have a big generator on the RV and do it monthly because I'm told to, but what's the deal about "full load"?) Either the engine is running or it's not, right? And you're not "exercising" the inverter, so what gives?
I've always wondered about this, too. Why at full load? Engines may not get up to full operating temperature unless they are doing work. Just spinning themselves around may not be enough.Richard
I really doubt the advice to change is valid because of any time scale, or at least that it's a measurable or noticeable difference. Can we really trust the oily industry for advice? Since I've gone to synthetics everywhere but my motorcycle, I've pushed things way out.. Pressure washer, it gets a few hours a year, I run the gas dry, never changed oil, that's been a decade or more now, zero problems, away it goes.. Motorcycle I keep to organics because it's a shared system, tranny shifts harsh with syn... But it was lucky to get oil changes in 5 year blocks, if that, and it's a 1976 XT500 bike, still fires off 1st kick, and that gas has never, ever been changed because it's 'old'! A lot of hype out there, makes for a lot of useless work, waste...
Some Gensets, pump stations. particularly diesels, if they aren't fully loaded never seat their rings, will be all screwed up, smoke run badly... Brother worked for a CAT dealer, some callouts were to remote irrigation pumps, they just never loaded the CATs, so they added additional load cells, made 'em work, really work, then they settled down, fewer calls for help... For testing the big locomotive diesels a Western, we'd bring in wet loads, barrels of water, some salt added to lower resistance, plus sliding dividers... Boil em! Later we'd bring in huge dry loads on a semi.. I remember the semi's deck caught fire on one job...But that Diesel WORKED!
There are no simple questions about oil - just ask the TMF buying and maintaining a car board participants.Myself included.Thanks for the smile,Steven
As a chemist, I'd like to mention air oxidation. Oil in its original sealed container is not exposed to air. But in your vehicle it is whether in use or not.Air oxidation has potential to degrade the oil and it can produce acids that corrode engine parts.Drain intervals are usually arrived at by running test engines and taking them apart to inspect for wear or signs of trouble. Most probably test various engine designs at full work load or typical regular use.Short trip engines that never come up to full temperature often have trouble with water vapor condensing in the crankcase. The water would usually boil off with regular use, but failing that, water is there to cause corrosion and rust can block oil channels.I would suspect that an unused engine can go longer between oil changes, but the risk is engine failure. Its your decision, but over doing the drain intervals can cost you engine life.
For questions like this, a visit to http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/ is in order.
There are so many variables in engine use, design, age, as well as a full variety of lubricants, organics, blends, synthetics, viscosities, additives, and likely a lot more that us average bears don't ever consider... Include in that the costs of all the above, the owner's own views fall in there somewhere, as well as their dealer, the manufacturer, or independent mechanic... We make choices along the way, if it works out, great! Else, failures... Nothing is simple...
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