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What's the proper oil for a push mower #5389153 03/30/20 07:31 AM
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jayjr1105 Offline OP
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I'm just curious what's the actual oil spec you're supposed to use in a typical push mower engine. I always thought PCMO wasn't that great for mowers because it holds all the dirt in suspension where a filter would normally clean it out but with no filters on a typical push mower engine, what's the actual proper oil to use?


2013 Mazda 3 - PP 0w20
2005 Honda Odyssey - PP HM 5w20
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389163 03/30/20 07:36 AM
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2004tdigls Offline
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https://www.briggsandstratton.com/eu/en_gb/support/maintenance-how-to/browse/changing-the-oil.html

"We recommend the use of Briggs & Stratton Warranty Certified oils for best performance. Other high-quality detergent oils are acceptable if classified for service SF, SG, SH, SJ or higher. Do not use special additives."

any API SF or higher is acceptable

Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389165 03/30/20 07:38 AM
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To add to the above statement:

"When choosing lawn mower oil, use a high-quality detergent oil classified as "For Service SF, SG, SH, SJ" or higher. Do not use special additives".

So Briggs does recommend a detergent oil as noted in this statement on their web page.

Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389167 03/30/20 07:42 AM
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kschachn Online Content
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Originally Posted by jayjr1105
I'm just curious what's the actual oil spec you're supposed to use in a typical push mower engine. I always thought PCMO wasn't that great for mowers because it holds all the dirt in suspension where a filter would normally clean it out but with no filters on a typical push mower engine, what's the actual proper oil to use?

What does the manufacturer of your engine recommend? Have you ever seen a recommendation for a non-detergent oil, ever? It's not a secret nor should it be confusing.

I always wonder where people get these notions when the manuals don't say anything of the sort.


1994 BMW 530i, 252K
1996 Honda Accord, 288K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 434K
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Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389169 03/30/20 07:44 AM
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Honda
[Linked Image]

With a special “Notice”: Using nondetergent oil can shorten the engine’s service life, and using 2-stroke oil can damage the engine.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450
19 Buick Regal TourX
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389172 03/30/20 07:46 AM
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Screen shot of Briggs and Stratton 2020 recommendations:

488D0919-BA18-4292-9507-C022A5CDE08B.png

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389178 03/30/20 07:52 AM
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Jimzz Offline
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I run 10w30 high mileage oil in my push and riding mower. Very little oil usage and easy to find oil as well.


yup
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389186 03/30/20 08:01 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Any thing leftover from you car**: keeping gas clean and blade sharp and balanced is more important. Add to that Cleaning and oiling the air filter.

**But NO 20 grade or 50 grade but anything in between is fine.

Go to for ODPE was 10W30 Rotella Triple Protect dino.

I think you can only get this in bulk now, not in gallon jugs.

All my equipment HATED T5 10w30 semi synth. - Or at least what they blended 3 years ago.

Your engine will outlast the rest of the mower. My 3.5hp briggs Yard Machines was purchased in 1991 and is still going strong except wheels, and bags are falling apart. That got an OC maybe every 3 years or so.

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 03/30/20 08:01 AM.

2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#9 70254mi-Rotella
Gas Truck 5W20 + Fram Ultra 7317 Filter
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389188 03/30/20 08:01 AM
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I run Amsoil 10W30 small engine oil. I order a few quarts with the other lubricants.

The only special needs for a lawn mower might be high temp. Its typically run in the summer, the engine is air cooled via its cooling fins that may be covered in grass.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389190 03/30/20 08:06 AM
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Most owner's manuals recommend SAE 30 or synthetic 5w30. Honda is the only one that I've seen 10w30 marked right near the dipstick on their lawnmower engines.

With that said, mowers will run on basically anything that resembles oil. After working on small engines for close to 15 years I've noticed that keeping the oil level full on splash lubricated engines is more important than the viscosity used. Over the years I've run everything from 0w30 synthetic (snowblower) to 20w50 (old mower that burned enough oil to kill mosquitoes). The modern PCMOs of today are worlds ahead technology wise than those of even 5-10 years ago just so they can hold up to turbo GDI cars. They will be completely fine in a small air-cooled engine. If you want to run the most expensive synthetic PCMO money can buy, go ahead, the engine will be fine, and it will also be just fine on the cheapest gas station name brand oil as well. It's really up to the consumer to use what makes them feel good. My experience has shown it doesn't really matter as long as the oil level is correct. I still have customers who insist on using SAE 30 non-detergent oil, and their mowers are fine. crazy


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (157k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (61k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389194 03/30/20 08:07 AM
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I use a M1 EP 0w-20, because I have about 20 oz (mower capacity) remaining in the 5Q jug after I do an oil change for my Honda. I change it every few years since it gets only around 10-15 hrs/yr use.

Last edited by NO2; 03/30/20 08:07 AM.
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389201 03/30/20 08:16 AM
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My 1997 mower calls for straight 30 wy oil. But over the years it's had alot of different brand and weights in it. And it runs the same. By looking at what eveyone else uses, from used oil from their cars, to special "mower use only", to specific API grades, it's obvious you can use any oil you like and whats handy, and the mower motor will outlast the rest of the mower. The biggest danger would be hitting that hidden rock or tree stump and bending the shaft. Then all that special mower use only oil won't mean much to you, as your rolling it out to the curb on trash day.,,,,

Last edited by BigCahuna; 03/30/20 08:16 AM.
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: BigCahuna] #5389206 03/30/20 08:23 AM
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jeepman3071 Offline
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Originally Posted by BigCahuna
My 1997 mower calls for straight 30 wy oil. But over the years it's had alot of different brand and weights in it. And it runs the same. By looking at what eveyone else uses, from used oil from their cars, to special "mower use only", to specific API grades, it's obvious you can use any oil you like and whats handy, and the mower motor will outlast the rest of the mower. The biggest danger would be hitting that hidden rock or tree stump and bending the shaft. Then all that special mower use only oil won't mean much to you, as your rolling it out to the curb on trash day.,,,,



This.

The most common killer of mowers from what I've seen are:

1. low oil (usually no oil)
2. Mice nests (see #1)
3. stumps/rocks bending crank shafts
4. wheels rusting off the deck

The most common situation is the mower sits outside or in a shed over winter, mice build nests in the cooling shroud, and the mower overheats which burns up all the oil in the crankcase after a couple uses. This process is sped up by a engine that is either already low on oil, or an engine that already burns oil.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (157k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (61k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389228 03/30/20 08:38 AM
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Rat407 Offline
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Back in the early 80's in high school shop class on small engines we were told to use a 30w high detergent oil since push mowers didn't have filters.


2002 Silverado 5.3 5w-20 AMSOIL
Re: What's the proper oil for a push mower [Re: jayjr1105] #5389264 03/30/20 09:06 AM
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Jackson_Slugger Offline
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Toro mounted Briggs and Stratton engines have vacillated. My father's old beater mower he bought in the mid 1990's preferred 10W-30 but said you could use SAE30. But his Toro 22" Recycler from around 2010 only says detergent SAE30 SF-or newer. I did use 10W-40 in it and noticed it did burn some, but nothing major. I picked up some VWB SAE30 on clearance at TSC for it. I preferred using multi-weight oiis like 10W-30 just for ease of starting in colder months in spring and fall. But modern GII-III SAE30's seem to flow as well as older 10W-30s with a pour point at -27C.....

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