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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
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Oil change in a generator

What is the best oil to use in a portable genset (Briggs & Stratton Storm Responder 5500 watt unit). I am thinking of changing the oil to get it ready for power outage season.

This is in an area with warm summers and cold winters (Western Massachusetts).
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I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


Juggernaut
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Kelowna, BC
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I would use a synthetic in the grade recommended. It flows so much better in the cold, and offers superior protection.
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to IowaCowboy
My generator recommends synthetic. I assume you keep the generator inside, so it wouldn't be that cold... And when it runs it warms up really quick...


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to Juggernaut
said by Juggernaut:

I would use a synthetic in the grade recommended. It flows so much better in the cold, and offers superior protection.

It would flow the same whether it's synthetic or mineral if it has the same rating. The SAE rating gives the viscosity.


Juggernaut
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reply to cowboyro
I run synthetics in all my vehicles, and never keep them inside...

They start like it's a summer day in the coldest of weather. -30C (-22F) is nothing to a synthetic.
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


Juggernaut
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reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

It would flow the same whether it's synthetic or mineral if it has the same rating. The SAE rating gives the viscosity.

Actually, that's not quite true. Synthetics maintain their rated viscosity, while dino oil either thickens, or thins depending on temperature extremes.
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by Juggernaut:

said by cowboyro:

It would flow the same whether it's synthetic or mineral if it has the same rating. The SAE rating gives the viscosity.

Actually, that's not quite true. Synthetics maintain their rated viscositys, while dino oil either thickens, or thins depending on temperature extremes.

A 10W30 will have the same cold/hot viscosity whether it's synthetic or mineral. After all that's what the ratings are for.


Juggernaut
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Well then, I'll leave you to it, as you know better than I do.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
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1 edit
said by Juggernaut:

Well then, I'll leave you to it, as you know better than I do.

You're right that synthetic oil has a better viscosity than dino oil in cold temperature.

He's right that dino oil and synthetic oil of the same SAE rating will have the same viscosity at the same temperature range. That's because the dino oil has lubricants and additives to make it perform just as well.


nunya
LXI 483
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O Fallon, MO
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reply to IowaCowboy

Here's what the manufacturer suggests for your model.

You can get a lot of bad advice from shadetree mechanics on an internet forum. Just follow the manual.
It does look like you "can't go wrong" with synthetic 5W30.
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If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Juggernaut
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I'm a tad more qualified than a shade tree mechanic.


Jack_in_VA
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North, VA
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reply to nunya
said by nunya:


You can get a lot of bad advice from shadetree mechanics on an internet forum. Just follow the manual.
It does look like you "can't go wrong" with synthetic 5W30.

+1

Why people will ignore their owners manual and take advice from from an internet forum for something this important is beyond me. Your post of the manufacturers recommendation for that equipment should be all anyone needs

I don't use synthetic but stick with 10W30 and have never had an issue with could starting with my Honda EB5000X.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
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join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
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reply to nunya
I went with 5W-30 synthetic when I changed out the engine oil in my new tractor. It has a Briggs engine, and since I want to use it for all season use, it was clearly the best choice.


Juggernaut
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reply to IowaCowboy
Well, for all those that doubt what I say is true, try this experiment. Put 1 liter of synthetic, and one of your favourite dino juice in a deep freezer for 24 hours. Then, pour them into a glass, and see which one flows faster.
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


Jack_in_VA
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North, VA
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reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

I went with 5W-30 synthetic when I changed out the engine oil in my new tractor. It has a Briggs engine, and since I want to use it for all season use, it was clearly the best choice.

I use Penzoil 10W30 HD in my JD mower (B&S 2-V) and I use it year round. No issues at all with it.


Juggernaut
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What are the lowest temps you get?


Jack_in_VA
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North, VA
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1 edit
Not all that cold although we do get some teens and down to "0" every now and then. Not cold enough for 10W30 or 5W30 for my vehicles to be any issue at all. All in line with manufacturers recommendations.

I've included the average yearly temps here.

Coastal Virginia
Average yearly temperatures
High °F Low °F Place High
69 52 Back Bay Wildlife Reserve
71 47 Colonial Beach
70 53 Hampton
69 47 Mathews
71 51 Newport News
68 52 Norfolk
68 50 Painter
69 51 Suffolk
67 52 Tangier Island
69 49 Williamsburg


Juggernaut
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That would be the rub, bud. A rare zero wouldn't warrant it. That would require an extended cold snap to justify.
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


Juggernaut
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reply to Jack_in_VA
Hell, that's positively balmy! I wear t-shirts in weather like that.

That ain't winter to me. LOL
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.


Jack_in_VA
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said by Juggernaut:

Hell, that's positively balmy! I wear t-shirts in weather like that.

That ain't winter to me. LOL

This is too cold for the wife and me now that we are full of blood thinners and other strange effect meds. I would like to move on down south or maybe even the Virgin Islands. I love St. Thomas.


Juggernaut
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At a certain point, life becomes too short not to enjoy. Grab your bride, and do it!
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Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.