what type of oil is used in lawn mowers

by Anna

Lawn mowers are essential tools for maintaining a well-kept and attractive lawn. To ensure their smooth operation and longevity, proper maintenance is crucial. One of the critical aspects of maintaining a lawn mower is choosing the right type of oil. The type of oil used can significantly impact the mower’s performance, efficiency, and lifespan. In this article, we will delve into the different types of oils used in lawn mowers, their characteristics, and the factors to consider when selecting the most suitable lubricant.

Engine Oil Types

Lawn mowers predominantly use two types of engine oils: conventional and synthetic.


a. Conventional Engine Oil:

Conventional engine oil is derived from crude oil and is the traditional choice for many lawn mower owners. It is generally more affordable than synthetic oil but may require more frequent changes due to its lower resistance to breakdown under extreme conditions.


b. Synthetic Engine Oil:

Synthetic engine oil is artificially created and offers several advantages over conventional oil. It has a higher resistance to breakdown, performs better in extreme temperatures, and provides superior lubrication, resulting in reduced friction and wear. While synthetic oil is more expensive, it often offers better overall performance and extended maintenance intervals.


Oil Viscosity

Oil viscosity refers to its thickness or resistance to flow. It is denoted by numbers such as 10W-30 or 5W-20. The first number indicates the oil’s viscosity in cold temperatures, while the second number represents its viscosity at normal operating temperatures.


For most lawn mowers, a common choice is 10W-30 oil, as it provides adequate viscosity for both cold starts and hot running conditions. However, it is crucial to check the manufacturer’s guidelines as some mowers may require specific oil viscosities.

Four-Stroke Engine vs. Two-Stroke Engine Oils

Lawn mowers are typically equipped with either four-stroke or two-stroke engines, and the type of oil they require differs.

a. Four-Stroke Engine Oil:

Most modern lawn mowers come with four-stroke engines that require engine oil similar to what is used in cars. It lubricates the engine’s internal components and is separate from the fuel.

b. Two-Stroke Engine Oil:

Some older or smaller lawn mowers may have two-stroke engines, which require a mixture of oil and gasoline for lubrication. In such cases, it is crucial to use the correct oil-to-gasoline ratio as specified by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer Recommendations

The best source of information regarding the appropriate oil type for your lawn mower is the manufacturer’s manual. Manufacturers thoroughly test their engines to determine the optimal oil type and viscosity for each model. Deviating from their recommendations may void the warranty or lead to suboptimal performance.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental consciousness is increasingly crucial when selecting lawn mower oils. Many conventional engine oils contain additives and compounds that can harm the environment if not disposed of correctly. As such, it is recommended to opt for eco-friendly oils or those with reduced environmental impact.

Changing the Oil

Regular oil changes are essential to maintain the lawn mower’s performance and extend its lifespan. The frequency of oil changes depends on the type of oil used, the mower’s usage, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. As a general guideline, conventional oil should be changed every 25-50 hours of operation or once per season, while synthetic oil can last up to 100 hours or more.

To change the oil, follow these steps:

a. Warm up the engine to ensure the oil flows easily.

b. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

c. Place an oil pan beneath the mower and remove the oil drain plug to drain the old oil.

d. Replace the drain plug and refill the engine with the recommended amount and type of fresh oil.

e. Dispose of the used oil responsibly at a recycling center or an approved oil disposal location.


Selecting the right oil for your lawn mower is a crucial aspect of its maintenance and performance. Consider the type of engine, oil viscosity, manufacturer’s recommendations, and environmental impact when making your choice. Regular oil changes and adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure your lawn mower operates optimally and serves you well for many years to come. By following these simple tips, you can keep your lawn looking pristine and ensure the longevity of your beloved lawn mower.

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