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  1. #1
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    2001 J. Deere 4300

    Default Kohler 30KW standby generator

    My neighbor has a propane fueled 30 KW Kohler with less than 400 running hours. We just had a 6 day power shutdown, and the generator was working fine until it shut down due to loss of oil pressure. It was down over 2 quarts on a 4-5 quart crankcase. The spec. says 5W-30 synthetic oil. The dealer said it needs to be checked every 24 hours, which, of course, requires a shutdown each time. After filling, it ran fine, and after another 36 hours, the oil was down over 1 quart, and the dealer says this is normal. I find that hard to believe. I have a 12 KW Kohler, and the oil level is down maybe a pint, and that is after about 250 hours since the last oil change. My spec. says 10W-30 synthetic. I'd be interested to know of others' experience on this subject.

  2. #2
    Super Member grsthegreat's Avatar
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    dk45se hst cab

    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    Yeiks...that doesn't sound like any normal engine.

    My Old Onan generator has never burnt any oil. I empty and refill at the start of every winter season and its never below the FULL mark.

    Does the dealer say what is happening to that oil? is it being burnt.

    I personally cant think of having to fill the oil every 24 hours.

    I have run very large jobsite generators 150KW size , that were never turned off for 5 days straight. Never added any oil except for routine maint intervals on those either.
    currently own
    2011 Kioti DK45SE HST CAB tractor/loader, Jimna 6" - 3 point wood chipper, 60" JD Brush Hog, JD 60" Rototiller, 3 point post hole digger with hydraulic assist, 3 point spring tooth rake, Fimco 55 gallon weed sprayer with 12 foot boom, 3 point hydraulic wood splitter (home built)
    Quick Attach 79" loader mount snowblower & rear powerpack
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  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    You may check this out with another dealer and see if he tells you the same thing. That is not normal oil usage but it may be within what they consider acceptable limits. If it is still under warranty, I would contact the manufacturer directly and express my dissatisfaction with his product and demand a rebuild or replacement engine. Kohler engines sure dont seem to be of the quality that they were 20 years ago.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Vermont
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    Kubota L4740 HSTC

    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    that is not right. gensets are meant to run. I have a 12k lister petter with a 3 cyl diesel and it does not burn a drop of oil.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    Kohler engines sure dont seem to be of the quality that they were 20 years ago.
    This engine is *probably* a 3.0 GM Vortec, they're common on several manufacturer's standby units of this size, as well as many other types of equipment such as aerial lifts and lot sweepers. I've got the service manual saved on my hard drive if you want a copy. According to the manual, anything less than 1.9L of oil consumption not due to external leaks per 50 hours of run time is considered "normal".

    I haven't seen any use that much myself, (and I'm not saying it's *right* either), but if it's what the official GM service manual says, then no warranty considerations will be made unless the consumption increases beyond their "excessive" number.

  6. #6
    Super Member grsthegreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    Quote Originally Posted by brokenot View Post
    This engine is *probably* a 3.0 GM Vortec, they're common on several manufacturer's standby units of this size, as well as many other types of equipment such as aerial lifts and lot sweepers. I've got the service manual saved on my hard drive if you want a copy. According to the manual, anything less than 1.9L of oil consumption not due to external leaks per 50 hours of run time is considered "normal".

    I haven't seen any use that much myself, (and I'm not saying it's *right* either), but if it's what the official GM service manual says, then no warranty considerations will be made unless the consumption increases beyond their "excessive" number.

    yeiks.... i am not sure if 2 stroke engines even burn that much oil
    currently own
    2011 Kioti DK45SE HST CAB tractor/loader, Jimna 6" - 3 point wood chipper, 60" JD Brush Hog, JD 60" Rototiller, 3 point post hole digger with hydraulic assist, 3 point spring tooth rake, Fimco 55 gallon weed sprayer with 12 foot boom, 3 point hydraulic wood splitter (home built)
    Quick Attach 79" loader mount snowblower & rear powerpack
    Quick Attach 84" Snow Blade
    Quick Attach 42" pallet forks

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    I try to think of oil consumption as it would be in a vehicle. If you ran a vehicle at 65 mph x 24 hours for 7 days you'd cover almost 11K miles. You'd certainly need an oil change but I wouldn't expect to be 40% low on capacity. I do realize that generators generally run faster than a vehicle at 65 mph. 400 hours would compare to 26k miles, still not where I'd expect that much oil consumption. MikeD74T

  8. #8
    Elite Member 5030's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    I'll chime in and say my propane fired Guardian (17KW) uses oil as well and has shutdown due to low oil, which is a good thing because it consumes a bit and I don't want a locked up engine.

    If we are experiencing an outage, I just shut it down every 24 hours (now) and check the oil, takes maybe 15 seconds. No biggie.

    The shutdown took me by surprise first time but I know what the issue is now.

    I was using more when I was running 5-30 Amsoil but I switched to 5-40 Rotella Synthetic and the consumption dropped off quite a bit and it's turning some serious RPM, 3600. It's a skewed 2 pole (3600-60hz) armature.

    I'm reasonably sure the Lister is tunning a 4 pole head or is coupled to a gearbox. Mine is direct drive.

    The OP states he runs his 250 hours between changes. Seems to be a bit extreme. Mine gets changed (oil), filters, air and oil) every year or 100 hours, whichever comes first. My overhead adjusrment is 250 hours.
    Kubota M9000HDCC3
    Kubota 105S
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  9. #9
    Veteran Member David_Kb7uns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    My Generac manual says using 5w-30 will increase oil consumption. Using 30W no problems with consumptiom though.

    David Kb7uns
    Grand L3130GST LA723 Loader, ATI grapple, ATI grapple bucket, WR Long front remote, Kubota rear remotes, Bradco 408 Backhoe with thumb, 60"KK brush hog, 60" RM Finish Mower, Speeco Post Auger, 72" KK rear blade, 60" box blade
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  10. #10
    Elite Member 5030's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kohler 30KW standby generator

    In actuality, all engines consume oil, some more than others but oil consumption is a result of engine design. I'd rather use a bit of oil than face scored bores or valve problems.
    Kubota M9000HDCC3
    Kubota 105S
    "If haying was easy, everyone would do it. It isn't."

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