Any lawnmower powered by an internal combustion engine needs oils to keep running smoothly. They are really not any different from your car that demands an oil change after a given number of miles.
Choosing the Right Oil for Your Mower
So what type of oil should you use for a lawnmower? Well. The answer to this question varies depending on three main factors.
The Type of Lawn Mower
Different brands have different recommendations for their lawnmowers. Take some time to leaf through your mower’s manual and look for the recommended oil grade. If you don’t have your manual, you can download a copy online.
The Outdoor Temperatures
If you live in warmer places, then SAE 30 is a great option. If you live in cold areas, you will be better off using SAE 5W-30 motor oil that is more resistant to the low temperatures. People in areas where temperatures fluctuate widely will be better off using SAE 10W-30 motor oil.
Your Mower’s Engine
Different lawn mower engines need different types of oil. For instance, if your mower has a 2 cycle engine, standard motor oil will most definitely damage the engine. Go for the right oil with APR ratings of S, SG or SF. These oils mix with the fuel when in use.
Four-cycle engine lawn mowers can use standard motor oil. Remember to choose the oil type depending on the outdoor temperatures.
Can You Use Regular Motor Oil in a Lawn Mower?
It is safe to use motor oil in a lawnmower if it is a four-cycle engine. A common characteristic that differentiates four strokes from two strokes is that the oil and fuel go into separate containers for four-stroke engines while two-stroke engines mix fuel and oil into one tank.
Can You Use 5W 30 Motor Oil in a Lawn Mower?
Yes, you can (as long as the mower uses a four-stroke engine). SAE 5W 30 is motor oil optimized for low-temperature use.
How to Check the Oil in Your Lawn Mower
2-cycle engines don’t need oil checks since you have to mix oil and fuel in the right proportions every time you refuel.
4-cycle engine lawn mowers have a dipstick you can use to check oil levels just as you do to your car.
- Remove the dipstick from the mower
- Wipe it with a rag
- Insert it back and twist it in its slot and pull out to check.
- The oil residue on the stick should be between ‘add’ and ‘full mark
Even if your lawnmower oil levels are good, it is wise to change your oil after 50 hours of use for push mowers and 100 hours of use in ride-on mowers. If you don’t hit these targets in a year, you should change the oil nonetheless.