Reader questions starting an old generator

Using a gas stabilizer is recommended by most experts if any gasoline-powered piece of equipment is going to be stored, especially if longer than 90 days. James Halderman photo
Using a gas stabilizer is recommended by most experts if any gasoline-powered piece of equipment is going to be stored, especially if longer than 90 days. James Halderman photo

Wheels:

RS writes by email: “I have a generator purchased March 20, 2005, which has been sitting in my garage but never used. My question is, should the engine oil be replaced before starting it up?”

Halderman:

Good question. I think I would change the oil as it has been sitting and the oil has been absorbing moisture from the air for 15 years. For about a quart of oil and a little time, it would be a good investment.

Be sure to use the specified viscosity, such as SAE 30 and if so, do not substitute SAE 10W-30. Also, be sure to use fresh gasoline and treat the fuel with a stabilizer so it will remain fresh longer. The shelf life of gasoline is only about 90 days, so I suggest using what gas you have in a gas can and pouring it into your vehicle. Then purchase fresh gas for the generator regularly.

Have an automotive question? Get a straight answer by writing to Jim at jim@jameshalderman.com.

Using a gas stabilizer is recommended by most experts if any gasoline-powered piece of equipment is going to be stored, especially if longer than 90 days. James Halderman photo

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