The oil you should use for a Predator 212 depends on the average outdoor temperature. SAE 10W30 oils should be used as Engine oil at temperatures above 32° F and 5W30 at or below 32° F.
The two numbers you see for the engine oil 10W30, 10W and 30, are the viscosity number of the oil at low-temperature (winter) and high-temperature (summer) respectively. The lower this “number” is, the better the oil will flow.
This system of rating motor oils was developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) according to the average outdoor temperature.
The 5W30 oil is recommended in cold regions because it will flow easily at low temperatures in comparison to 10W30. Some people who live in very hot areas also use the 10W40 oil, this oil will stick with the engine’s component at high temperatures.
Can you use Synthetic Oil in a Predator 212?
Synthetic 10W30 or 5W30 oil can be used instead of conventional oil after the engine breaks in. The engine breaks in after 2-3 hours of light usage.
Synthetic Oil vs Conventional Oil
A lot of you might be asking, what even is synthetic oil and why should you even use it in the first place? Synthetic oil is artificially made whereas conventional oil is taken from crude oil.
Synthetic oil is better than Conventional for most purposes, it will provide the engine with better protection and give overall better performance. Synthetic oil can withstand high temperatures and flows better in cold temperatures in comparison to conventional oil. It also increases your fuel mileage.
High-performance engines such as the modified predators should definitely consider moving to synthetic oil, synthetic oil flows much better in comparison to conventional oil, as a result, your cold engine will start much faster.
But, Synthetic oil is not ideal to be used before the Engine break-in. What does it even mean you might ask…
What is Engine break-in?
When your Predator 212 comes out of the factory, its components aren’t perfectly shaped for each other.
When you first start your Predator 212 or any other engine, it will cause some wearing, which will cause the piston ring to settle into the cylinder wall. This initial wearing is known as engine break-in.
When to switch over to Synthetic Oil?
According to HarborFreight themselves, the break-in period of Predator 212 is 3 hours. When breaking in a Predator 212, you shouldn’t apply a heavy load on the engine and use it at a low speed.
It is highly recommended to not switch to synthetic oil before the engine entirely breaks in. Synthetic oil is very slippery and will prevent wear which will further prevent the ring to settle.
The best time to switch to synthetic oil is after 3 hours of usage.
We recommend first leaving the engine idle for 10 minutes with the conventional oil, then draining the existing oil and refueling again with conventional oil. After that ride your go-kart/mini bike for a little while under very little load. Then finally change to synthetic oil.