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4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? #5402850 04/14/20 10:09 AM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Hello,

I have a Ryobi RY09460 for personal use. Had it for about eight years. I change the oil (SAE 30) every spring and probably use it for about 20 hours every year. I also only use premium gas because it gives me better starting. However, I am noticing during recent oil changes that I am losing oil (not too much), unlike the lawn mower which gets the same treatment of SAE 30 and premium gas. The reusable filter in the Ryobi blower is clean. And so far, I have only checked the oil level of Ryobi every spring as I never noticed oil consumption in the lawn mower and figured that would be the same case for the blower. This behavior will obviously change.

So, I am trying to see if I should change the oil type or if I am doing something else wrong. As I was checking oil change of the particular model in YouTube, users seem to be screwing the cap into the blower to check the level. However, the manual specifically says to: “Set unit on a flat surface. Wipe dipstick clean and re-seat in hole; do not rethread.” This is how I was doing checking oil level so far when changing oil and am concerned if this is causing the increased oil consumption as manual specifically states that overfilling can cause oil loss. And to clear the confusion, I called Ryobi support and they said the blower was created to be have the oil check in this manner, without rethreading. But I’m unsure, because when filling to ‘full’ level of oil without rethreading, the oil can slightly overflow as the oil tank is at an angle. And also, Ryobi support recommended SAE 30.

I am concerned about the longevity of this blower. I thought about switching to a different oil type like synthetic Mobil 1 10W-30 as I do use the blower in winter months to clean up. And I thought a synthetic would perhaps provide better heat protection than SAE 30 which I assume is why the blower is losing oil? Or am I wrong in this assumption? I am reading that smaller engines produce more heat than bigger engines making synthetic oil more reliable? The oil I have been using thus far is the SAE 30 for small engines found in Home Depot. The cost is the same as a synthetic Mobil 1. I guess that I am asking is, will I get better oil consumption especially in regards to heat with a synthetic 10W-30 or SAE 30? And am I changing the oil properly?

I also just called Briggs & Stratton, the manufacturer of the engine in the lawn mower, and they recommended a synthetic 5W-30 and said synthetic oil consumption will be less than SAE 30.

Thanks for reading.


RY09460.PNG
Last edited by dinofish; 04/14/20 10:14 AM.
Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5402894 04/14/20 10:49 AM
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ripcord Offline
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Do you mean it's leaking oil or is it burning oil? If it's leaking, it could be the valve cover. It might be a good time time to adjust the valves if it hasn't been done before.

It's not exactly a high end unit, so I wouldn't expect it to be trouble free forever. If it runs well, I'd just keep topping it off and using it.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: ripcord] #5402896 04/14/20 10:50 AM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ripcord
Do you mean it's leaking oil or is it burning oil? If it's leaking, it could be the valve cover. It might be a good time time to adjust the valves if it hasn't been done before.

It's not exactly a high end unit, so I wouldn't expect it to be trouble free forever. If it runs well, I'd just keep topping it off and using it.


Not leaking, but consuming/burning oil.

I know it is not a high-end unit, but I had no issues so far other than a $7 stop switch replacement and the $11 primer is on order. A replacement 4-cycle leaf blower would set me back about $300.

Last edited by dinofish; 04/14/20 10:52 AM.
Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5402903 04/14/20 10:55 AM
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Zaedock Offline
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I would follow what Ryobi recommends in regard to both checking the oil and viscosity.

I use SAE30 and 10W30 depending on what's next in the stash, although I actually think I have 15W40 in my Tractor right now.

In your case for piece of mind, I would follow manufacturer recommendations for each machine and you can't go wrong..


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Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: Zaedock] #5403012 04/14/20 01:14 PM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Zaedock
I would follow what Ryobi recommends in regard to both checking the oil and viscosity.

I use SAE30 and 10W30 depending on what's next in the stash, although I actually think I have 15W40 in my Tractor right now.

In your case for piece of mind, I would follow manufacturer recommendations for each machine and you can't go wrong..

I have reason to suspect Ryobi's response. I felt it was 'yes, follow the manual', and not based on any technical grounds. If I were to follow the instruction by setting the blower level on floor and then inserting dipstick, a 'full' line would only be shown on one side, not the other. Also, Ryobi recommended 20W50 in the manual.

I couldn't find the video of the blower again, but I found another Ryobi product having similar oil tank installed at an angle with a similar dip stick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agKwJ4sQwwg

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5403235 04/14/20 05:11 PM
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I would use HDEO in 15w40 or 5w40...ie rotella...


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Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5403236 04/14/20 05:14 PM
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Oildudeny Offline
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10w30 may result in more burnoff I think manufacturers go that route since a lot of newer yard equipment don't call for oil changes the manuals just say check regularly and top off when needed. Like my mower with the Briggs engine.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: Oildudeny] #5403562 04/15/20 04:43 AM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Oildudeny
10w30 may result in more burnoff I think manufacturers go that route since a lot of newer yard equipment don't call for oil changes the manuals just say check regularly and top off when needed. Like my mower with the Briggs engine.

I have read from my research that Briggs & Stratton started recommending synthetic 5W-30 over a decade ago. Even on my Briggs & Stratton engine manual for the mower, they recommend it for most temperature ranges, but the mower manual itself recommends SAE 30.

I have decided to switch to synthetic 5W-30 because synthetic 5W-30 offers both lower viscosity and same high temperature benefits as a synthetic 10W-30. I believe viscosity of an oil is critical as otherwise, one is hard starting from lack of proper oil flow in the engine. My mower usually starts on the second pull with SAE 30 AND premium gas when temperatures are above 50 degrees, but the Ryobi 4-cycle blower takes at least six pulls or more in the summer and even more in slightly colder temperatures. This was the case even when brand new. Which to me, from my current understanding, is due to too high of an oil viscosity of the SAE 30. And I would think this hard starting can perhaps cause the same damage as having low amounts of oil. I finally understand why Briggs and Stratton recommends the synthetic 5W-30 over others - greater oil flow for better starting from low viscosity of the 5W and more temperature range coverage from it being a synthetic. I will be using Mobil 1 5W-30 because I can find it almost anywhere and hopefully keep consistent in its usage.

Since I have already changed oil of both blower and mower for this year with SAE 30, I will run both for a few weeks before changing to Mobil 1 5W-30. I will update on any positive or negative results, especially regarding oil consumption and hard starting. I believe one can observe minute changes on smaller the engine, like how I noticed that premium gas functioned better when testing on smaller engines, but not immediately noticeable in vehicles. So hopefully, I will see a benefit in synthetic 5W-30, especially an immediate one in starting the Ryobi blower.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5403695 04/15/20 08:32 AM
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Zaedock Offline
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Originally Posted by dinofish
[quote=Oildudeny] I believe viscosity of an oil is critical as otherwise, one is hard starting from lack of proper oil flow in the engine. My mower usually starts on the second pull with SAE 30 AND premium gas when temperatures are above 50 degrees, but the Ryobi 4-cycle blower takes at least six pulls or more in the summer and even more in slightly colder temperatures. This was the case even when brand new. Which to me, from my current understanding, is due to too high of an oil viscosity of the SAE 30. And I would think this hard starting can perhaps cause the same damage as having low amounts of oil. I finally understand why Briggs and Stratton recommends the synthetic 5W-30 over others - greater oil flow for better starting from low viscosity of the 5W and more temperature range coverage from it being a synthetic. I will be using Mobil 1 5W-30 because I can find it almost anywhere and hopefully keep consistent in its usage.

Since I have already changed oil of both blower and mower for this year with SAE 30, I will run both for a few weeks before changing to Mobil 1 5W-30. I will update on any positive or negative results, especially regarding oil consumption and hard starting. I believe one can observe minute changes on smaller the engine, like how I noticed that premium gas functioned better when testing on smaller engines, but not immediately noticeable in vehicles. So hopefully, I will see a benefit in synthetic 5W-30, especially an immediate one in starting the Ryobi blower.


Outdoor power equipment is inherently harder to start in the cold vs warmer weather. This is more of a choke issue than an oil issue. Both of your engines likely use a non-pressurized oil slinger, so they are probably not hard to start because of lack of flow, but more because of a combination of the cold choke and the oil slinger having to dip in a higher viscosity oil.

Your sig indicates you live in the North East, so I'm guessing New England. I live in Western MA and have not seen any difference between 87 and 94 octane cold starts.
I have started my log splitter in 10+/-*F weather on the first or second pull (10W30 oil in the crankcase). The benefit I see using a higher octane fuel is the thwart detonation in high temperature use. That's when I'll use 93/94 octane in the lawn tractor, the regular tractor and any equipment running in 90* weather. I do the same thing when we ride ATV's. In fact, last summer I added octane boost to mine and my son's quad when wheeling in 95*F temps (only for a couple hours - too hot!).

If you're going to deviate from Ryobi's recommendation next season, I recommend checking the oil more often, especially as I believe it probably only holds 3 or 4 oz of oil.


2019 Escape EB AWD/2016 KIA Optima SXL 2.0L Turbo/2012 F150 Ex-cab 5.0L
1992 YJ "The Heep"/2015 Chrysler 200 Limited
1975 Ford Bronco/1959 Willys CJ5/Tube Rock crawler
Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: Zaedock] #5403716 04/15/20 09:03 AM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Zaedock
Originally Posted by dinofish
[quote=Oildudeny] I believe viscosity of an oil is critical as otherwise, one is hard starting from lack of proper oil flow in the engine. My mower usually starts on the second pull with SAE 30 AND premium gas when temperatures are above 50 degrees, but the Ryobi 4-cycle blower takes at least six pulls or more in the summer and even more in slightly colder temperatures. This was the case even when brand new. Which to me, from my current understanding, is due to too high of an oil viscosity of the SAE 30. And I would think this hard starting can perhaps cause the same damage as having low amounts of oil. I finally understand why Briggs and Stratton recommends the synthetic 5W-30 over others - greater oil flow for better starting from low viscosity of the 5W and more temperature range coverage from it being a synthetic. I will be using Mobil 1 5W-30 because I can find it almost anywhere and hopefully keep consistent in its usage.

Since I have already changed oil of both blower and mower for this year with SAE 30, I will run both for a few weeks before changing to Mobil 1 5W-30. I will update on any positive or negative results, especially regarding oil consumption and hard starting. I believe one can observe minute changes on smaller the engine, like how I noticed that premium gas functioned better when testing on smaller engines, but not immediately noticeable in vehicles. So hopefully, I will see a benefit in synthetic 5W-30, especially an immediate one in starting the Ryobi blower.


Outdoor power equipment is inherently harder to start in the cold vs warmer weather. This is more of a choke issue than an oil issue. Both of your engines likely use a non-pressurized oil slinger, so they are probably not hard to start because of lack of flow, but more because of a combination of the cold choke and the oil slinger having to dip in a higher viscosity oil.

Your sig indicates you live in the North East, so I'm guessing New England. I live in Western MA and have not seen any difference between 87 and 94 octane cold starts.
I have started my log splitter in 10+/-*F weather on the first or second pull (10W30 oil in the crankcase). The benefit I see using a higher octane fuel is the thwart detonation in high temperature use. That's when I'll use 93/94 octane in the lawn tractor, the regular tractor and any equipment running in 90* weather. I do the same thing when we ride ATV's. In fact, last summer I added octane boost to mine and my son's quad when wheeling in 95*F temps (only for a couple hours - too hot!).

If you're going to deviate from Ryobi's recommendation next season, I recommend checking the oil more often, especially as I believe it probably only holds 3 or 4 oz of oil.

The reason why I think the starting issue is an oil issue is because I have a snow blower which always starts with a single pull, and it has a conventional 5W-30 oil in it. Starts with one pull even when I empty the fuel tank by running it dry when the temp hit 40s/50s. With little to no knowledge when it comes to oil types, I had assumed the snow blower's efficiency in starting was due to less wear from it not being used as much as the other two.

The reason for me changing from regular to premium fuel is because I noticed that regular fuel loses its effectiveness at starting with time. It only takes a week and the initial easiness at starting decreases. If it sits for a month or more, then starting becomes even more difficult. So, I thought I would try the premium rated one. And so far, even with two gallons (I only purchase two gallons at a time) of premium sitting unused for a couple of months, I notice little to no change in starting. I tried sta-bil with regular gas, but premium works better and is much less of a hassle. I also notice that where you get the gas from matters. Premium gas from Mobil has less starting power than the premium gas from Shell. For example, the Ryobi blower starts with less than three/four pulls when using gas from Shell. Of course, this could be down to individual stations, but I thought that was interesting. Also, it should be mentioned that the Shell station is new.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5403841 04/15/20 11:17 AM
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dave123 Offline
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Were getting into some tin foil hat talk now.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dave123] #5403881 04/15/20 12:07 PM
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dinofish Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dave123
Were getting into some tin foil hat talk now.

Funny how 'tin foil' has the word oil on it. If you have any concerns with what I have said, please address it rather than making disparaging remarks. I think what I said about oil is pretty logicall. I still don't know how I get better starting with higher octane, though. But I don't have time to delve into that.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5404135 04/15/20 04:17 PM
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Zaedock Offline
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Originally Posted by dinofish
The reason why I think the starting issue is an oil issue is because I have a snow blower which always starts with a single pull, and it has a conventional 5W-30 oil in it. Starts with one pull even when I empty the fuel tank by running it dry when the temp hit 40s/50s. With little to no knowledge when it comes to oil types, I had assumed the snow blower's efficiency in starting was due to less wear from it not being used as much as the other two.


You're overthinking this. My Snow blowers always start easier than any of my smaller equipment (I have 4 snow blowers on my property). It's a larger engine with a different carburetor (no air filter) and choke set up. Leaf Blower 30cc vs 330cc Snow Blower. Apples and Oranges, in my opinion, especially as the equipment you're comparing are used in opposite seasons and your blower is also 8 years old. Age could be a factor, but what about maintenance? You said you use the blower 20 hours a year - when was the last time you cleaned the exhaust / spark arrestor screen? Did you know you had to do that? Is the spark plug original and has the gap ever been adjusted? When was the last time the rocker arms were adjusted? All of these items can contribute to hard starting.




Originally Posted by dinofish
The reason for me changing from regular to premium fuel is because I noticed that regular fuel loses its effectiveness at starting with time. It only takes a week and the initial easiness at starting decreases. If it sits for a month or more, then starting becomes even more difficult. So, I thought I would try the premium rated one. And so far, even with two gallons (I only purchase two gallons at a time) of premium sitting unused for a couple of months, I notice little to no change in starting. I tried sta-bil with regular gas, but premium works better and is much less of a hassle. I also notice that where you get the gas from matters. Premium gas from Mobil has less starting power than the premium gas from Shell. For example, the Ryobi blower starts with less than three/four pulls when using gas from Shell. Of course, this could be down to individual stations, but I thought that was interesting. Also, it should be mentioned that the Shell station is new.


I have never seen a difference in starting performance between different octane fuels in any of my equipment - and I have a lot of equipment. I also don't see how you could tell a difference in starting between Mobil and Shell gas in a 30cc engine. Just my $.02


If you're still set on running 5W30 in your 30cc leaf blower that specs 20W50, then simply change the oil for Winter and Summer. I looked up the capacity and it's 2oz!!! Buy 2 quarts of oil and have 16 years of oil changes. I re-read your first post and you said you only check the oil once in Spring - because the lawn mower doesn't use oil? Can't wrap my head around that because you said you use the thing 20 hours a year! You need to check the oil before each use, just like the manual states!
Take it or leave it, but that's the advice from a guy who rebuilds snow blower, lawn mower and hot rod engines and maintains a lot of power equipment.
Good luck!






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Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: Zaedock] #5404249 04/15/20 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaedock
Originally Posted by dinofish
The reason why I think the starting issue is an oil issue is because I have a snow blower which always starts with a single pull, and it has a conventional 5W-30 oil in it. Starts with one pull even when I empty the fuel tank by running it dry when the temp hit 40s/50s. With little to no knowledge when it comes to oil types, I had assumed the snow blower's efficiency in starting was due to less wear from it not being used as much as the other two.


You're overthinking this. My Snow blowers always start easier than any of my smaller equipment (I have 4 snow blowers on my property). It's a larger engine with a different carburetor (no air filter) and choke set up. Leaf Blower 30cc vs 330cc Snow Blower. Apples and Oranges, in my opinion, especially as the equipment you're comparing are used in opposite seasons and your blower is also 8 years old. Age could be a factor, but what about maintenance? You said you use the blower 20 hours a year - when was the last time you cleaned the exhaust / spark arrestor screen? Did you know you had to do that? Is the spark plug original and has the gap ever been adjusted? When was the last time the rocker arms were adjusted? All of these items can contribute to hard starting.




Originally Posted by dinofish
The reason for me changing from regular to premium fuel is because I noticed that regular fuel loses its effectiveness at starting with time. It only takes a week and the initial easiness at starting decreases. If it sits for a month or more, then starting becomes even more difficult. So, I thought I would try the premium rated one. And so far, even with two gallons (I only purchase two gallons at a time) of premium sitting unused for a couple of months, I notice little to no change in starting. I tried sta-bil with regular gas, but premium works better and is much less of a hassle. I also notice that where you get the gas from matters. Premium gas from Mobil has less starting power than the premium gas from Shell. For example, the Ryobi blower starts with less than three/four pulls when using gas from Shell. Of course, this could be down to individual stations, but I thought that was interesting. Also, it should be mentioned that the Shell station is new.


I have never seen a difference in starting performance between different octane fuels in any of my equipment - and I have a lot of equipment. I also don't see how you could tell a difference in starting between Mobil and Shell gas in a 30cc engine. Just my $.02


If you're still set on running 5W30 in your 30cc leaf blower that specs 20W50, then simply change the oil for Winter and Summer. I looked up the capacity and it's 2oz!!! Buy 2 quarts of oil and have 16 years of oil changes. I re-read your first post and you said you only check the oil once in Spring - because the lawn mower doesn't use oil? Can't wrap my head around that because you said you use the thing 20 hours a year! You need to check the oil before each use, just like the manual states!
Take it or leave it, but that's the advice from a guy who rebuilds snow blower, lawn mower and hot rod engines and maintains a lot of power equipment.
Good luck!






For Ryobi, I think I can speculate on it starting with one or two pulls with synthetic 5W-30. At least, that is my hypothesis. If it doesn't, then I agree with you that something else is wrong. I will update on that after I change the oil in a few weeks. Regarding its maintenance, nothing has been done other than changing oil every spring and rinsing air filter. I did replace the stop switch once, and the primer is now leaking fuel for which I have ordered a new one.

The reason I don't check Ryobi's oil every time before use is because it is such a messy process. I am bound to get a couple of drops on the floor because the oil tank and small dip-stick being at an angle; bad design. The mower oil-check is a much more cleaner process. But I will check both now before starting each week. And the 20 hour usage of the Ryobi blower is an estimate, especially one for last season because no one seemed to have cleaned up last year and there was constant leaves in the property brought in by the wind.

Regarding Mobil and Shell difference, I think Shell's premium might be 93 and Mobil's premium might be 91. I think, but not sure. I will confirm later. I noticed there was a difference when Ryobi started much easier on the Shell premium compared to Mobil premium. The average difference might only be a couple of pulls, but that is a difference after all. As I have said before, smaller engines seem to be more sensitive to things being put inside it. Lawn mowers and snow blowers are small engines, but 4-cycle leaf blowers are even smaller; like you said, only ~2oz oil.

Re: 4 cycle leaf blower, Synthetic or SAE 30? [Re: dinofish] #5404305 04/15/20 06:29 PM
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What is the vapor pressure from them 2 fuels forget about octane.

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