Engine Oil Types for Push Lawn Mowers

All small-engine manufacturers suggest changing the engine oil in your mower at least once per year, and more often for commercially used mowers. The owner's manual for your mower should have a recommendation for what oil to use under varying conditions.

Single Viscosity SAE 30

Operating at temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, TecumsehPower and Briggs & Stratton recommend Single Viscosity SAE 30 motor oil. Honda and Kohler suggest SAE 30 motor oil for summer-time operating temperatures, but not below 50 degrees.

Multi-Viscosity 10W-30

Honda and Kohler recommend 10W-30 as the standard oil for their engines, under most operating conditions. TecumsehPower and Briggs & Stratton suggest 10W-30 only at low operating temperatures (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit), which you would rarely encounter when mowing. Briggs & Stratton indicates that multi-viscosity oil can increase oil consumption in its engines.

Synthetic 5W-30

Briggs & Stratton suggests that synthetic 5W-30 provides excellent all-weather protection for its engines, with improved ease of starting and low oil consumption. Other small-engine manufacturers suggest synthetic 5W-30 only for extremely cold operation--more likely when using your snow blower rather than your lawn mower.

Keywords: small engine oil, lawn mower oil, mower oil recommendation

About this Author

Jeff Farris has focused his career on instructional communication since 1980. He has written instruction manuals, promotional materials, instructional video scripts and website articles on a variety of hands-on topics. His work has appeared in "Scuba Diving" magazine as well as several websites. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in marketing.