Knowledge Base

What Kind of Oil Should You Use for a Lawn Mower?

By December 25, 2016 No Comments

Before making a new lawn mower purchase, it’s a good idea to understand what the maintenance requirements for your newly purchased tool will be. With this in mind, one of the most important aspects of lawn mower maintenance is oil. You should be aware that lawn mowers are not one size fits all when it comes to the type of oil they require. Putting the wrong kind of oil into your mower’s engine could have catastrophic results. I’m sure this is something you’d like to avoid.

In most cases, you’ll have no further to look than the owner’s manual that came with your lawn mower to find out the type of oil it requires. Generally speaking, lawn mower engines call for higher quality detergent type oil.  In many cases, these include synthetic oils as well.


As you know, different people use their mowers at various intervals. If you’re one who goes extended periods of time between lawn mower usages, then you’ll want to consider removing the fuel from your lawn mower between usages. It’s good general rule not to store gasoline in your mower for more than a month as it could lead to a clogged carburetor and thus the destruction of the mower’s engine.

Lawn Mower Oil

You should keep in mind just like all other types of engines; lawn mower engines require oil changes as well. These oil changes keep the internal workings of an engine lubricated and functioning properly, thus adding longevity to the life of your mower. For this reason, it’s important to know the type of oil your particular lawn mower model requires. Here’s a list of a few types of lawn mower oil:

  1. SAE 30 is a popular kind of detergent oil used in warmer temperatures and is thought to be best when used for 40 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and higher. It is what’s known to be thick oil that does a good job of keeping push mower engine parts from clogging.
  2. SAE 10W – 30 is for conditions where the temperature varies from 0 to 100 degrees. You may notice that you use more of this type of oil, but the tradeoff is it makes starting your lawn mowers engine easier during cold weather.
  3. Synthetic 5W – 30 is a type of oil that is used to lessen oil consumption in temperatures ranging from 20 to 120 degrees.
  4. SAE 5W – 30 is the kind of oil most recommended for temperatures that are below 40 degrees. Some types of mowers use this type of oil to protect their engines for a longer period at virtually any temperature.

Some things to keep in mind when changing your oil

  • If your engine does not have a separate filter, mix the oil with gasoline.
  • Most modern lawn mower engines are not compatible with detergent type oils so do not use them
  • Pay close attention to the manufacturers’ suggestions as they will certainly know which type of oil is best for your engine.
  • The conditions in which you use your lawn mower could lead to needing to change your oil more often. This is true for conditions where the ground is rough or dusty.
  • Make a habit of checking the oil before each use. When the oil gets dark, it’s time for an oil change.

•    For gasoline engines, the oil type is based on your expected air temperature.

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