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Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? #4756261
05/13/18 08:09 PM
05/13/18 08:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 46
NE Indiana
Elijah1 Offline OP
Elijah1  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 46
NE Indiana
I read all the time that using an oil like 5w-30 in a lawnmower will cause increased consumption. However, I’ve never heard the “why” . Why does this happen?


2003 Honda Accord: Mobil 1 high mileage 0w-20
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756281
05/13/18 08:31 PM
05/13/18 08:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 678
Mississippi
TheLawnRanger Online content
TheLawnRanger  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 678
Mississippi
I think itt's due to the combination of the heat of a small engine and 5w30 being thinner. I always use HD 30 since the manual calls for it in warmer weather and it rarely gets below freezing where I live. (not that I mow during the winter) I would use 5w30 if I had extra but with three vehicles that use it, I rarely do.


'99 Cavalier 5w 30 SuperTech conventional
'11 Impala 5w 30 Magnatec full synthetic
'12 Colorado 5w 30 Magnatec full synthetic
*regular Wix oil filters for all
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756330
05/13/18 09:20 PM
05/13/18 09:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,762
Ottumwa, Iowa
jhellwig Offline
jhellwig  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,762
Ottumwa, Iowa
I have been running synthetic 10w-30 and 5-30 for the last couple of years since I now have a blower on my 318 and it doesn’t get enough use to warrant changing it twice a year. It consumes more than the straight 30 I used to run. I won’t say that they are thinner oils but they flow better letting them get through the known pass through areas easier than straight 30.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: TheLawnRanger] #4756335
05/13/18 09:25 PM
05/13/18 09:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,926
Midwest
volk06 Offline
volk06  Offline
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,926
Midwest
Originally Posted By: TheLawnRanger
I think itt's due to the combination of the heat of a small engine and 5w30 being thinner. I always use HD 30 since the manual calls for it in warmer weather and it rarely gets below freezing where I live. (not that I mow during the winter) I would use 5w30 if I had extra but with three vehicles that use it, I rarely do.


Partially correct. A 5w-30 is not thinner than a 10w-30 or a 30wt at operating temprature. The reason 5w-30 may see an increase consumption is because they have to use viscosity improvers, this in return makes the oil a little more volatile than a 10w-30 and a 30wt. The general rule of thumb is the wider the difference from Xw and the XX (Xw-XX) part, there is a potential for the oil to be more volatile. The HTHS is also typically higher on a 10w-30 and 30wt vs a 5w-30. This because the oil does not need as many viscosity improvers.


2011 F-150 Ecoboost
2012 Focus S
2001 Taurus
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756344
05/13/18 09:35 PM
05/13/18 09:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,762
Ottumwa, Iowa
jhellwig Offline
jhellwig  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,762
Ottumwa, Iowa
I wounder if the energy conserving addatives in the normal pcmo play into it also.


Sparks fly from my fingers.

1995 Chevy K2500 Suburban lt 5.7
2014 Toyota Sienna
1983 Chevy K5 350
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756365
05/13/18 10:07 PM
05/13/18 10:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 623
texas
danez_yoda Offline
danez_yoda  Offline
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 623
texas
I use PP 5w30 in my 24HP B&S mower and have not seen consumption over 100 or so hours. Oil doesnt turn brown either.

No problems for me.

Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: volk06] #4756380
05/13/18 10:35 PM
05/13/18 10:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 312
HondaBroMike Offline
HondaBroMike  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 312
Originally Posted By: volk06
Originally Posted By: TheLawnRanger
I think itt's due to the combination of the heat of a small engine and 5w30 being thinner. I always use HD 30 since the manual calls for it in warmer weather and it rarely gets below freezing where I live. (not that I mow during the winter) I would use 5w30 if I had extra but with three vehicles that use it, I rarely do.


Partially correct. A 5w-30 is not thinner than a 10w-30 or a 30wt at operating temprature. The reason 5w-30 may see an increase consumption is because they have to use viscosity improvers, this in return makes the oil a little more volatile than a 10w-30 and a 30wt. The general rule of thumb is the wider the difference from Xw and the XX (Xw-XX) part, there is a potential for the oil to be more volatile. The HTHS is also typically higher on a 10w-30 and 30wt vs a 5w-30. This because the oil does not need as many viscosity improvers.


^this drop that science, son. It cracks me up when someone's or so and so's car that needs a 0w-20 gets 0w-30, 5w-30 recommended to them or worse, 10w-30. This 0w-20 I use doesn't budge on the dipstick. Neither the Honda OEM 0w-20 or the Idemitsu although I just put that in.

Last edited by HondaBroMike; 05/13/18 10:37 PM.


Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756457
05/14/18 02:42 AM
05/14/18 02:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 534
San Antonio, TX
das_peikko Offline
das_peikko  Offline
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 534
San Antonio, TX
The thinner oil sneaks past the piston rings and upward into the combustion chamber to be burned.

Plain and simple and don't take a whole paragraph to explain.

Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756460
05/14/18 02:58 AM
05/14/18 02:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,233
Slovenia EU
Kamele0N Offline
Kamele0N  Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,233
Slovenia EU
Its because ILSAC has/knows (also) conventional 5w30...on the other side of the pond we have synthetic ACEA counterparts with HTHS 3.5min!

Yes you can get synthetic ILSAC variant...but it would be still with HTHS below 3.5 smile


2008 Toyota Yaris 1ND-TV 1.4 D4-D Elf FullTech FE 5w30
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Shell Rimula R6M 10w40
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756514
05/14/18 06:15 AM
05/14/18 06:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,878
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,878
The Midwest
Briggs & Stratton now recommends synthetic 5W30 in most of their engines except the Vangaurd series.
Interesting chart: http://sears.briggsandstratton.com/walk/oil.asp


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756527
05/14/18 06:32 AM
05/14/18 06:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,845
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,845
Florida, Cape Coral
I think the possibility of higher oil consumption is referring to 5w30 conventional oil and NOT 5w30 synthetic. Here in FL I run 10w30 synthetic blend in my 20 HP B&S twin and notice no measurable consumption in 40 running hours. Ed


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: skyactiv] #4756532
05/14/18 06:34 AM
05/14/18 06:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,752
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,752
Champlain/Hudson Valley
That chart was sobering.
I got the idea to use straight 40 in my near 40 year old Sensation lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton 3.5hp w/rotating valve engine.
Seems OK but I'll try throwing 5W-30 in it next time I run it.

Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756547
05/14/18 06:47 AM
05/14/18 06:47 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,094
Saskatchewan, Canada
Johnny2Bad Offline
Johnny2Bad  Offline
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,094
Saskatchewan, Canada
I'm not convinced they do cause higher oil consumption (specifically) but the vapour temperature will indicate when any given oil formula will generate blow-by gases and that is a consumption effect.


'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
'96 Ram 1500 [3.7L Mobil1 0W-20 / 1L 15W-50]
'01 PT Cruiser [Mobil1 0W-40]
Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Elijah1] #4756684
05/14/18 08:56 AM
05/14/18 08:56 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 80
VA
thastinger Offline
thastinger  Offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 80
VA
My Ferris ZTR has the B&S 28HP Commercial Turf engine. It has always had RP HPS 5/30 in it, never burned a drop but it only has about 90 hours on it.

Re: Why do oils like 5w-30 cause increase consumption? [Re: Kira] #4756791
05/14/18 10:34 AM
05/14/18 10:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,543
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,543
Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: Kira
That chart was sobering.


Yup, 5W-30 conventional oil is only good enough for temps up to 40 degrees F!!!

It seems they've learned the same thing I have. Thin dino oils do not properly protect hard working air cooled engines. I lost 2 Honda powered water pumps this way. Using Pennzoil 5W-30 in South Florida.

Here is South Florida, mower oil temps regularly reach 260+ deg F. That's high enough to warrant an oil more robust than 5W-30 automotive oil.

After a mow:


Last edited by Cujet; 05/14/18 10:38 AM.

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