Updated November 15, 2023

What Cause, How to Fix – Why Is There Oil In My Generator Air Filter?

Generators are powerful machines that are used to produce electricity when there is a power outage. They can also be used in remote locations where electricity is not readily available. However, like all machines, generators require regular maintenance to ensure their smooth functioning.

One important component of a generator that needs attention is the air filter. The air filter in a generator is responsible for cleaning the air that enters the generator’s engine. A clean air filter is essential to ensuring the longevity and performance of the generator.

However, if you’ve noticed oil in your generator’s air filter, you might be wondering why it’s happening and what you should do about it. This post will explain what causes oil to get into the air filter. and what steps you can take to prevent it.

Why Is There Oil In My Generator Air Filter


The Function of an Air Filter in a Generator


Before we dive into what causes oil to come out of the air filter, it’s important to understand the function of the air filter in a generator.

The air filter in a generator is responsible for filtering out dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the air that enters the generator’s engine.

The air filter is essential to ensure that clean air is delivered to the engine, which is necessary for efficient combustion. A dirty air filter can lead to reduced performance and fuel efficiency, increased emissions, and, ultimately, engine damage.


So, Why is There Oil in My Generator Air Filter?


Now, let’s move on to the main question: Why is there oil in my air filter? There are several reasons why oil might be present in your generator’s air filter. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


1. Overfilling the oil tank


One of the most common reasons there is oil in your air filter is overfilling the oil tank. If you overfill the oil tank, the excess oil can find its way into the air filter.

This happens because the air filter is connected to the engine’s crankcase ventilation system. The crankcase ventilation system is responsible for allowing gases that build up in the engine to escape.

If there is too much oil in the crankcase, some of it can escape through the ventilation system and make its way into the air filter.


2. Worn piston rings


Another reason why oil might be present in your generator’s air filter is worn piston rings. The seals between the cylinder wall and the Piston rings are created by the piston rings.

If the piston rings are worn, oil can seep past them and make its way into the combustion chamber. This can lead to a buildup of oil in the combustion chamber and ultimately result in oil finding its way into the air filter.


3. Clogged breather valve


The breather valve is responsible for allowing gases to escape from the engine. If the breather valve becomes clogged, gases can build up in the engine and force oil out through the ventilation system and into the air filter.


4. Faulty PCV valve


The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve is responsible for regulating the flow of gases in the crankcase ventilation system. If the PCV valve is faulty, it can cause too much pressure to build up in the crankcase, forcing oil out through the ventilation system and into the air filter.


What Should You Do If There Is Oil in Your Generator’s Air Filter?


If you’ve noticed oil in your generator’s air filter, there are a few steps you can take to address the issue.


1. Check the oil level


The first thing you should do is check the oil level in your generator’s oil tank. If the oil level is too high, drain some of the oil until it reaches the recommended level.


2. Replace the air filter


Next, you should replace the air filter in your generator. If there is oil in the air filter, it


3. Inspect the breather valve and PCV valve


After checking the oil level and replacing the air filter, inspect the breather valve and PCV valve to ensure they are functioning properly. If either valve is clogged or faulty, it will need to be replaced.


4. Check for worn piston rings


If you’ve checked the oil level, replaced the air filter, and inspected the breather valve and PCV valve, and you’re still noticing oil in the air filter, it could be due to worn piston rings. You can check for worn piston rings by performing a compression test.

If the compression in one or more cylinders is low, it could be an indication of worn piston rings. In this case, you should take your generator to a professional mechanic for repair near your area.


5. Perform regular maintenance


To prevent oil from getting into your generator’s air filter in the future, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your generator.

This includes changing the oil and air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, checking the oil level before starting the generator, and inspecting the breather valve and PCV valve periodically.


6. Use the right oil


It’s also important to use the right type of oil in your generator. Using the wrong type of oil can cause excessive oil consumption and lead to oil getting into the air filter. Make sure to use the oil recommended by the manufacturer and check the oil level regularly.


Conclusion


Oil in your generator’s air filter can be a sign of various issues, such as overfilling the oil tank, worn piston rings, a clogged breather valve, or a faulty PCV valve. It’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent damage to your generator’s engine.

By following the steps outlined in this post, you can identify the root cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it. Additionally, performing regular maintenance on your generator can help prevent oil from getting into the air filter in the future.


FAQs About Why is There Oil in My Air Filter Box?


Is it Possible to Clean the Air Filter Myself, and How Do I Do It?

Yes, get a step-by-step guide on DIY cleaning methods for your air filter, along with the tools needed to get the job done.

Can I Continue To Use the Generator If There Is Oil In The Air Filter?

It’s not recommended to continue using your generator if there’s oil in the air filter. Oil in the air filter can cause damage to the engine and decrease the performance of your generator. It is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Can I Prevent Oil From Getting Into My Generator Air Filter In The Future?

Yes, you can prevent oil from getting into your generator’s air filter by performing regular maintenance on your generator, including changing the oil and air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, checking the oil level before starting the generator, and inspecting the breather valve and PCV valve periodically. Additionally, make sure to use the right type of oil in your generator to prevent excessive oil consumption.

What Would Cause Oil To Be in the Air Filter?

Oil in the air filter can be caused by several factors, including overfilling the oil tank, worn piston rings, a clogged breather valve, a faulty PCV valve, or using the wrong type of oil in the generator. It’s important to diagnose and address the issue promptly to prevent damage to the engine.

When Should I Seek Professional Help For Oil In The Air Filter?

Understand the warning signs that suggest it’s time to call in the experts and ensure your generator gets the attention it needs before bigger issues arise.

About Saad Ahmed
Hi am Saad Ahmed and as you can see that i have been a generator mechanic for the past 12 years of experience in this industry. But now i am Full time digital marketer and affiliate blogger.