What Type Of Oil Do You Use In A Lawn Mower?

A Lawn Mower
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What type of oil do you use in a lawn mower?

A functioning mower and a healthier lawn depend on proper mower maintenance, which begins with the right refill. Learn more about the choices for engine oil for lawn mowers here.

Lawn Mower Oil Types

Based on the oil’s viscosity and how it responds to changes in temperature, different grades of motor oil are available. The majority of mowers have what are referred to as four-stroke engines. They do this by burning straight gasoline straight from the pump at the gas station, but they also need motor oil added separately to the engine’s crankcase. 10W30 is a common motor oil grade suitable for many lawn mowers. Your owner’s manual will specify the exact grade needed, but 10W30 is typically the best option for four-stroke engines.

Your mower will work just fine with any brand of oil that is appropriate for cars or trucks. Both a service and a viscosity rating are present in all reliable oils. Search for oil with the designations SF, SG, SH, or SJ or higher.

  • Single Grade Oil: A single grade level oil typically does not contain additives to alter its viscosity and is only relevant at higher temperatures (100°C).
  • Multi Grade Oil: an oil with multiple grades that employs additives to improve viscosity over a wide temperature range.
  • Synthetic Blend Oil: a synthetic oil blend with additional additives to help it perform better in colder temperatures without costing as much as a full synthetic oil.
  • Full Synthetic Oil: An artificially created lubricant with a wide range of benefits designed for use in high performance and commercial engines

Some lawn mowers have two-stroke engines, and these need oil in a different way than four-stroke engines. In tandem, gasoline and oil are burned in all two-stroke engines. In the case of lawn mowers, two-stroke oil is combined with the gasoline before it enters the tank. The ratio of gas to oil in a mixture can vary, but it typically falls between 30:1 (4-1/4-oz. of oil to one gal. of gas) to 50:1 (2-1/2-oz. of oil to one gal. of gas). The ratio of gas to oil is stated in the lawn mower’s owner’s manual.

Due to emissions regulations, two-stroke engines are less common but they are still available. How can you tell whether the lawn mower’s engine is two- or four-stroke? The best resource for instructions is your owner’s manual.

Why Lawn Mower Oil Matter?

Lawn mower engines, like all internal combustion engines, require oil to operate. Even simple engines have numerous moving parts that are frequently created to operate at extremely high speeds and temperatures. This is why oil’s lubricating and cooling properties are crucial. The engine of your lawn mower would quickly overheat, seize, and be destroyed without it.

How To Pick The Right Lawn Mower Oil?

Some experts claim that the only type of oil you should use in your mower with a four-stroke engine is more expensive “small engine oil,” but this is untrue. All four-stroke engines perform best when using standard engine oil designed for cars and trucks, which is of the highest quality currently available. Have a two-stroke engine? Your two-stroke lawn mower engine will operate flawlessly with any two-stroke motor oil designed for air-cooled engines, such as those in chainsaws, water pumps, and weed eaters.

  • SAE 30 Oil: Engine oil best suited for warmer temperatures.
  • Synthetic SAE 5w-30 Oil: For use in both warm and cold climates, synthetic mower oil is recommended.
  • 10w-30 Synthetic Oil: In colder climates, synthetic oil can be useful.
  • 15W-50 Synthetic Oil: High-end and commercial engines typically use synthetic oil.

For a two-stroke engine, the best way to mix gas and oil is to first add the necessary amount of oil to an empty gas can before filling it up at the pump. Give the can a good shake before using the gas to ensure that the oil and gas are thoroughly combined.

A Lawn Mower

How Often Should I Change The Oil In A Lawn Mower?

The frequency of use of the lawn mower will determine how frequently you change the oil. Every year, just before the beginning of the cutting season, it is a good idea to replace the oil. It’s advised that you change the oil in your walk-behind mower after fifty hours of use if you frequently mow your lawn, maintain the lawns of numerous neighbors, or own a lawn care company. You should change the oil in your riding mower or zero-turn mower after 100 hours of use, depending on the size of the job.

While the process for changing the oil will vary depending on the type of mower you have and the engine model, for the majority of walk-behind mowers, you can typically unthread the oil tank cap, remove the dipstick, if applicable, and carefully tip the mower to empty the old oil into an approved container. In most auto parts stores, lawnmower engine oil can be recycled just like car engine oil. After emptying the oil tank, put the mower back in the upright position and fill the oil fill tube with the fresh oil. Normal oil requirements for walk-behind mower engines are 15 or 18 ounces, whereas 48 or 64 ounces are needed for riding mower engines. Pour in roughly three-quarters of the bottle to prevent overfilling, then use the dipstick to check the tank to see if the oil level is full. If more oil is required, add it now.

How Do You Check Your Oil?

  1. Apply some pressure and turn the dipstick cap counterclockwise after removing it.
  2. To ensure an accurate reading, remove the dipstick and clean it with a clean rag.
  3. Make sure the teeth on the cap match the grooves on the dipstick tube before reinstalling the dipstick.
  4. Apply some pressure and turn the dipstick cap clockwise to replace it.
  5. View the oil level near the dipstick’s blade by removing the cap once more.
  6. Oil should be in the range of the full and add marks.
  7. Pour a few ounces at a time to avoid overfilling if the oil level is low.
  8. Before checking the oil level again, give the oil time to settle.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil For A Lawn Mower?

You may now use synthetic 5W30 (100074WEB) or 10W30 oil in all temperature ranges, according to changes we made to our engine oil recommendations. The use of Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil is advised. By using this premium detergent oil, Briggs & Stratton warranty conditions regarding the use of the right oil are met.

Synthetic oil engine break-in procedures remain the same. Do not forget that using synthetic oil does not prevent you from performing your routinely scheduled maintenance on your lawn mower (i.e. check oil, change oil, etc.).


The right oil, along with routine oil changes, can extend the engine’s life and keep your lawn mower operating effectively and efficiently. Based on the model of your lawn mower and the manufacturer’s recommendations, take the time to determine the best oil for it. Think about the engine type, viscosity, and operating circumstances as well.

By taking some precautions, you can prevent your lawn mower’s engine from suffering irreparable damage from using the incorrect oil.

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