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Oil usage


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#1 K3522 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 09:36 AM

I have mowed three times running the mower for about 1.5 hours each time
for a total of 4.5 hours and the 16 hp onan used about 6 oz. of oil.

Does that sound bad? It doesn't smoke or smell like it is using oil.

#2 nra1ifer OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 09:57 AM

I think that's somewhere between good and bad........ It's been a long time since I had a machine with an Onan engine, but my first inclination would be to simply keep a close eye on it. Any other suggestions?

#3 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 10:20 AM

That's as NRA said, somewhere in-between. Is it putting oil out the crankcase breather tube into the air filter housing? If so, the reed in the breather may need attention, or the dipstick seal isn't tight. Otherwise it's likely just worn rings/valve guides. The compression rings may be fine with high psi readings, while the oil control rings may be the only ones worn. 6oz isn't something to be alarmed about, but requires vigilance in checking oil level.

#4 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 10:41 AM

but requires vigilance in checking oil level.

Kind of reminds me of what my grandfather used to say " the engine that uses oil never runs out but the guy who says his never uses oil will burn his up because he doesn't check it ! "

#5 1978murray OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 12:20 PM

there could be a worn seal on the motor that is leaking or the rings may be bad. Just keep an eye on it and it will be fine

#6 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 03:12 PM

If you don't see blue-tinged smoke coming from the tailpipe when the engine is working hard, then you don't have an oil consumption problem to worry about just yet. Kohler K's and Onan's were designed to use a small amount of oil because both are what we call "old technology engines". If you have no oil filter on that Onan, then change the oil every 25 hours max and check the oil every time you take it out to use it. Keep the level as close to the mark on the dipstick as you can, at all times. Stick with straight grade 30W detergent oil during the warmer weather. If the ambient temps are dropping below the freeze point of water regularly, then switch to 15W40 or 10W30. However, multi-grade oils will get consumed faster than straight grade oils so you must keep an even closer eye on the dipstick.
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#7 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 05:31 PM

Thanks Hydriv, That is good info. I have been using straight 30W in my Kohler forever, but was thinking of going to a multi weight oil, or Synthetic..

#8 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 06:15 PM

The other plus side of an engine that uses oil is you don't have to worry about changing the oil since it is already done :D

Just kidding though as you should still change the oil. I don't think 6 oz is really that bad for four outings of mowing for 1.5 hours a piece. Like has been mentioned if you don't have the bluish white smoke coming from the exhaust I would check the breather and reed valve. There is an Onan service manual in the manuals section and it has details on how to check and clean the breather.

#9 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 06:24 PM

Thanks Hydriv, That is good info. I have been using straight 30W in my Kohler forever, but was thinking of going to a multi weight oil, or Synthetic..


AMSOIL does make a synthetic that is meant for outdoor power equipment engines that need a straight 30 weight. Your engine would run slightly cooler using a synthetic. The question that only you can decide is this. Do you want to spend that much more for a synthetic? You can't leave it in the engine any longer than if you used dino oil. So...if you dump your oil twice per year, then do the math on the price difference. The choice is yours.

Millions of those Onan's have worked just fine on dino oil. The secret is changing it often to get rid of the contaminants.
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#10 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2011 - 06:46 PM

I'm a believer in Synthetic oil in an air cooled engine as long as it's not an oil burner.
I've seen engines that burned a little bit of oil stop using oil and also seen engines that it made no difference on oil consumption with either oil used.
From what I've seen 2 areas where Synthetic makes a difference is in the summer when an engine is pushed hard it seems to run cooler, use less oil and be more consistent in terms of power delivered.
In the winter easier starting oil doesn't thicken up as much.
Also I notice the oil stays cleaner longer.
It is more expensive but how many lyters, quarts do you need to change oil.
Case in point my 3wheeler which is the most used and reliable piece of equipment that I have will burn oil with mineral oil in it but with synthetic in it, I can go a whole season of grass cutting without adding any.
It has a vert shaft B&S 18 hp opposed twin.
T3100 002.jpg

K3522 maybe you might want to try synthetic see if it makes a difference, I'm not saying it will but if your not loosing oil from a bad seal or breather problem as has been said by others it might work for ya.

Edited by DH1, June 01, 2011 - 06:52 PM.

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#11 K3522 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2011 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for all the great info.

#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2011 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for all the great oil info. I wonder if there are many suppliers of synthetic oil that is spec'd for older engines that are using 30Wt. Amsoil has been mentioned but are there any others?

#13 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2011 - 10:34 AM

Not that I am aware of.

I don't know of any synthetic straight grade products. All the one's I've seen are multi-grade. Surprise me, someone. :bigrofl:

#14 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted June 05, 2011 - 07:14 AM

I had an STX that did this but that poured oil out of the lower seal. Doesn't sound like you have a big leak.




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