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Old 09-23-2020, 08:38 PM   #1
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Onan HDKCB generator Oil Change Intervals

I have seen two different recommendations for oil change interval for many of our Onan 12 KW generators. Some time ago and for several years, I believe that the recommendation from Onan was 50 hours for the first oil change and then every 150 hours thereafter. However, now the Onan owners manual says after 50 hours and then after every 250 hours. Big difference.

Anyone know of the reason for the change? What are most people doing?

Gary
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:44 PM   #2
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…..50hrs and then 150hrs or annually....
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:49 PM   #3
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Found an Onan owner's manual for the 12.5 dated 2015 which says 50 + 250 thereafter.... still looking for more recent.

Gary
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:31 PM   #4
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Gary, I've been doing the first oil change at 50 hours on the meter, the second at 250 hours on the meter, (i.e., 200 hours after the first oil change), then every 250 hours (500, 750, 1000, etc. on the meter) for at least the last ten years, probably longer (three different motorhomes, each with an Onan generator).

We do a fair amount of dry camping and put a lot of hours on our generators, so it would be very unusual for us to go a full year with less than 250 hours.
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Old 09-24-2020, 05:12 AM   #5
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My old Travel Supreme 7500 KW was 150 hour after break in. All of my Entegras have been 250 hour after break in. I asked Onan at one of the shows, why the difference. The 7500 is a smaller engine and worked harder. The 1250's are larger engines and just idle along to power a MH. I rarely hit the 250 hours as I usually change it annually before are long summer trip.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:50 AM   #6
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Thank you boys for the information.

We usually rack up about 250 hours annually and that includes a lot of use at Quartzsite for the 10-14 days there, but I have notes indicating both intervals in my maintenance notes and so wanted to confirm my thinking with others.

Now at NIRVC Lewisville (Dallas) getting a front windshield replaced. Caught a stone in the lower passenger side of the glass which then managed to walk the crack a good foot and a half up and over the front glass.

Talked briefly with Brett and Angie walking across the parking lot in the camp ground yesterday. They are doing well. Brett no mask, Angie with..... Brett is now in yet another 21 Cornerstone and he says they are NOT going to sell this one out from under him this time. This one is his home for a while. The new building is closed in and they are installing windows and starting on the inside. Looks like new corporate offices upstairs in front, new customer waiting area upstairs, new repair/service offices downstairs as well as what looks like 7 or 8 "traditional" looking pull-through or pull-in service bays in the back of the building, and supposedly the body and paint division will now take over the old offices in the original building and they will expand the coach storage area.

Hopefully no rain and a new windshield by 5:00 this afternoon...............

Gary
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:33 AM   #7
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Larry

Leave it to you to come up with yet a different interpretation of the change intervals (one that I have never seen anyone else interpret ... ..... Creativity needs its own space, I guess....

Gary
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:52 AM   #8
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My older generator was 150 hours. I was checking in our new manual and was surprised that it said 250 hours between services.
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:32 AM   #9
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I've had mine changed annually as part of my overall maintenance program. Engine, genny and chassis, AH and A/C. Personal preference to have it done by a reputable shop, NIRVC this last time and will be from now on, where they may find some things in need of attention that I wouldn't.

Gary, out of morbid curiosity, how much was the windshield? In reviewing my insurance policy I've got a zero deductible, haven't read the fine print to determine how bad the cracks have to be but I do have several rock bites I've repaired that could crack at any time, but just curious on the cost.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:00 AM   #10
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I wouldn't take the recommended interval too seriously. They are pretty arbitrary. The challenge is that the manufacturer has no idea how you are using your generator or what kind of oil you are putting in. They have to be conservative, but not too conservative, or people will simply not do oil changes at all.

The right way to know when to change your oil is to get it tested. If you're putting on enough hours that you need to change more than once a year, that would be my advice. That will give you the proper interval for your generator, based on your usage patterns.

Or just change every 150 hours, because oil and filters are cheap and changes on generators are quick and easy.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:15 AM   #11
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Totally agree with "schad"....cheap insurance....easy to do....not much cost....so I do it annually....rarely meet the hrs requirement in a single year anymore---1700hrs on my 2003 era Onan 7500.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:41 AM   #12
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Another thing about servicing generators. They sit low to the ground and suck up a lot of dirt. If a persons use is in dirt and not paved conditions, service should be more frequent. However, with that said, the Kabota engines are tough little tractor engines use to running in dirt, but not sucking it up at ground level.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
Another thing about servicing generators. They sit low to the ground and suck up a lot of dirt. If a persons use is in dirt and not paved conditions, service should be more frequent. However, with that said, the Kabota engines are tough little tractor engines use to running in dirt, but not sucking it up at ground level.
They may not suck up dirt at ground level, but they get it flung at them by the mower deck and dropped on them by the loader. I just did the 200-hour service on my Kubota BX2370 and it is so much dirtier than my generator.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
Larry

Leave it to you to come up with yet a different interpretation of the change intervals (one that I have never seen anyone else interpret ... ..... Creativity needs its own space, I guess....
Gary, I understand what Onan recommends, I just tweak it a bit to keep things simple. To illustrate...

Onan's Recommendation:

- First oil change at 50 hours
- Second oil change at 300 hours (250 hours after first oil change).
- Third oil change at 550 hours (250 hours after second oil change).
- Fourth oil change at 800 hours (250 hours after third oil change.
- And so on.

My Approach:

- First oil change at 50 hours
- Second oil change at 250 hours (200 hours after first oil change).
- Third oil change at 500 hours (250 hours after second oil change).
- Fourth oil change at 750 hours (250 hours after third oil change.
- And so on.

The point of my approach is that once I complete the second oil change (50 hours earlier than the recommended interval), all of my oil changes come due at hour numbers that are multiples of 250; i.e., 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750, 2000...

Much simpler (for me anyway) than 300, 550, 800, 1050, 1300, 1550, 1800, 2050...

I do much the same on our passenger vehicles. Regardless of what the manufacturer recommends and/or what the oil life indicators is reading, I do an initial oil change at 1000 miles, next one at 5000 miles, then 10000, 15000, 20000, 25000, etc.
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