Generally, oil is a vital component that determines the engine health of your portable inverter generator. For this reason, using a specific oil brand designed for your generator simply prolongs the life of your engine and ensures that it remains clean throughout its lifetime.
Sometimes, you may find that a new inverter generator smells as though there is gas in the tank. When this happens the first thing you will find yourself asking is whether that is a normal indicator. Does it mean that your new Predator 3500 comes with oil?
No, it does not. The gas-like smell that you find in a new inverter generator is often a result of function testing the engine at the factory. You may also see some oil in the dipstick thread or smell gasoline vapor in the fuel tank of your new Predator 3500 that comes sealed in the original factory box. Other times, if you set the generator to its side, about ½ of oil may dribble out.
To affirm this fact, if you check the owner’s manual of the Predator 3500 generator, you will find a quote that says that the predator generators are run at the factory before packaging. Most of the oil is often removed before shipment, but some oil may remain in the engine and the amount of oil left tends to vary.
While the Predator 3500 only comes with a little oil in its tank, the first few hours of its use have a huge impact on the lifespan of your generator. That said, we will discuss the breaking-in process and why it is important for a new generator.
What is breaking in and why is it important?
Now that you have received your new Predator 3500, the first thing you need to do is break in your generator so that you can get the most out of your investment. Whenever we purchase a new generator, the first thing we assume is that the insides of the engine are smooth, polished, and have a very clean surface. However, this isn’t the case.
The cylinder walls of your engine often come with a cross-hatched pattern that appears like scratches and small dips. The valley-like sections are specifically designed to oil and the peaks are to be ground down to their optimal level by the pistons of your generator engine. The friction caused during this process can damage the engine if not well maintained. That’s where breaking in comes to play.
Breaking in an engine means letting it run controllably for a certain amount of time. Doing this significantly lubricates the cylinder walls, grinds them down to their optimal levels, and flushes out all the metallic and oil contamination that may have been left behind during the testing process at the factory. Additionally, breaking in prevents a dry start, which is the number one cause of engine damage in most inverter generators.
So, how do you break in your Predator 3500 generator the right way?
Generally, the breaking-in process should take approximately 3-4 hours. That said, here are the most important steps that you should follow to properly break in your brand new Predator 3500 generator;
Step One: Purchase the right oil, gas, and oil conditioner
The Predator 3500 inverter generator uses the engine oil type SAE 10W-30, capacity 20 fl. For all-year-round use, you can also consider synthetic high mileage oil 0W40 or 10W30. All in all, ensure to purchase the engine oil brand that is recommended by the manufacturer.
The oil conditioners, on the other hand, help oil stick to the engine cylinders hence consistent lubrication. It also prevents dry starts.
Step Two: Begin the lubrication process
The whole idea of breaking in is lubricating the engine cylinders on your generator. Start by removing the spark plug then use a funnel to pour some oil conditioner down the spark plug chamber. After doing this, pull the starters cord slowly about 8-10 times so that the piston can go up and down the lubricated cylinder. After the last stroke, put back the spark plug.
Step Three: Pour engine oil into the generator
Using a funnel, pour approximately 600ml of engine oil (the recommended amount for a 4-stroke OHV engine generator) into your Predator 3500 generator. Ensure to check through the user manual to understand how much oil is needed for your generator.
Recommended oil type for Predator 3500
Best oil type for all year round use
Ideal synthetic oil for Predator 3500
0W40 or 10W30
Step Four: Fill up the tank of your Predator 3500 with petrol
In this case, you should use high-octane fuel for better results. Once there is enough fuel in your tank, start up the generator. The generator may not start right away after the first or second pull, but you should keep trying until the engine begins to run.
Step Five: Run the generator for about an hour before the first oil change
At this point, you need to run your Predator 3500 at the lowest speed setting without connecting any appliances and tools. After an hour, power down the generator and drain all the oil from the tank. After draining the oil, change the oil to eliminate any tiny metal pieces that may have broken off during the first run. After all the oil is drained out, add a little more conditioner then add fresh engine oil (remember the recommended oil quantity at all times).
Step Six: Start the engine one more time and let it run for another hour
Now that the generator has fresh engine oil, start the engine one more time and let it run for another hour without any load.
Step Seven: Second oil change
Power down the generator and change the oil again. Drain all the oil in the tank and check whether it is cleaner than the first time. At this point, there should be little to no metal fragments in the oil. Remember to add a little more oil conditioner before pouring fresh engine oil into the tank.
Step Eight: Run the engine one last time
The third startup is the final hour run which allows you to load the generator between 500 and 1000W. You can let the engine run for an hour or an hour and 30 minutes. After that, your generator is good to go and is likely to last you a lifetime.
After breaking in your generator, ensure to maintain it as expected and change the oil regularly. Remember to stick to the maintenance schedule as recommended by your manufacturer if you want to get the most out of your investment.
Is synthetic oil good for a new inverter generator?
Yes, it is. Good quality synthetic 5W-30 engine oil is good for portable inverter generators.
How long will my Predator 3500 last?
Depending on your maintenance schedule, it can last for 20-40 years.