View Full Version : oil change time?

09-17-2012, 07:58 AM
My gen's oil is 2 seasons old now. Previous owner told me it was changed shortly before I bought the boat, so I figured I'd change it after this season. I've done my due diligence to ensure proper levels and appearance, so don't shoot me for not changing it already.

It's getting time to start watching the low temperatures in the forecast and thinking about winterizing it. Should I change the crankcase oil before winterization or at the beginning of next season?

BTW, my boat has Honda 4 stroke outboards, which don't require any winterization. :cool: I think I may buy some engine covers for them though, as i don't want anything building nests in the air intakes.

09-17-2012, 05:18 PM
i change the oil and all filters on all 3 motors just before i pull the boat. its the cheapest money you can spend on a boat.

09-17-2012, 06:03 PM
I am gonna change the oil on both engines this weekend. I have to figure out the oil change for the Genset. I haven't done it yet.

09-17-2012, 07:24 PM
The theory is that changing the oil at the end of the season, drains all the nasties that will eat the engine up internally over the winter. In reality for 99% of the boaters it doesn't mean squat.

However: I always changed mine at the end of the season cause it felt good.

09-18-2012, 05:21 AM
What OHB said. If you are going to change it, go with the chemical theorists and change it as part of winterization.

09-18-2012, 07:15 AM
Whether you need to change your oil depends more on engine hours (within reason) than the calendar. Most generator manufacturers say to change every 100 hours. Many users, like me, run their generators more than that in one season and need mid-season oil changes. If you have logged more than 100 hours and haven't done an oil change, I'd do one asap. If you are a 25-hour-a year user, it's a little more of a judgment call. If we were still using 1950s oil, I'd say to go ahead and change at the end of each season even if you only hit 25 hours. But today's oils are so good at suspending contaminants and neutralizing acids that you can go multiple years and do some good for your time, your wallet, and the environment.

There are pros and cons to spring vs fall oil changes. The advantage of the fall change is new oil around all your engine vitals all winter. Spring oil changes free your oil from picking up moisture as it sits in the oil pan all winter as your crankcase "breathes" with temperature changes. I lean toward a fall change because I live in Utah, the second driest state in the union. But it's a close call with two good answers so long as you do changes at reasonable intervals. Whatever you do, don't make the the mistake of changing at the end of the season and forgetting to run the engine after the oil change. That would give you old oil around your bearings, crankshaft, and similar vital parts and brand new oil sitting in your pan absorbing moisture. That would be the worst of both worlds.