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#1183869 - 07/01/08 05:12 PM 19 hp Kawasaki oil question
Rudyjr Offline

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 11
Loc: ohio
I did the reccomended 8 hour break in on a new 19 hp Kaw in a zero turn and was going to use synthetic for the oil change. I was going to use 10 30 Mobil 1 until I read that it was api sm and the engine manufacturer stated api sf sl etc.., Thought about going to Amsoil ASE 10 30 sae 30 because it meets the manufacturers specs. Kawasaki says they do not reccomend synthetic oil in their engines. Anybody with any good reccomendations as to which way I should go?

#1183882 - 07/01/08 05:19 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Rudyjr]
Pablo Offline

Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 47175
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Why don't they recommend synthetic oil?

#1183888 - 07/01/08 05:24 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Rudyjr]
Barkleymut Offline

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 2689
Loc: Richmond, VA
I had a 23HP Kawi on an Exmark ZTR. Trust me the oil is the last thing you need to worry about, if it is dusty at all get ready to change the air filters. Once they get a little dust in there they are never the same. I tapped out my air filters every other day and changed them every other week. (It was used on average 20 hours a week) Also I mowed some really [censored] industrial parks that had a lot of bare spots with sand.

But I would say any quality conventional or synthetic will do the trick. I used Havoline Syn in mine quite a bit. I also believe that a 10-30 is the best weight for them although I don't remember what the manufacturers recommendation was.
09 Vue(95K) 2.4 4spd AT -PU 5w30 / 09 Flex(52K)3.5L PU / Moms car 04 Pilot(105K) 5w20 PP + Puro

#1183889 - 07/01/08 05:24 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Pablo]
Rudyjr Offline

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 11
Loc: ohio
Called the manufacturer and the guy that answered the phone in the technical department gave me a canned speech about them not doing any testing with synthetic, blah blah blah. The same thing Harley Davidson used to do for years until everyone started to switch from the MOCO stuff to synthetic because it made an air cooled motor run cooler etc.., And then they came out with Syn 3 and the reccomend it for everything on their bikes.

#1183902 - 07/01/08 05:38 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Rudyjr]
pickled Offline

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 2098
Loc: The Rocky Mountains
Run the ASE 10W30 from Amsoil. After clients of mine have run it in a few different applications, and it has displayed excellent sheer resistance, oxidation resistance and wear control I can't recommend anything else to beat it.
Used gear lube and burnt ATF is all the cologne a real man will ever need!
Too many toys and automotive parts to list...

#1183911 - 07/01/08 05:52 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: pickled]
Rudyjr Offline

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 11
Loc: ohio
I think the ASE 10 30 Amsoil seems to make the most sense it meets all of the manufacturers ratings and it is syn oil. I was never a big believer in syn oil until I put Mobil 1 in my wifes new v6 Accord at the first oil change upon my neighbors reccomendation. My neighbor who is an aircraft mechanic will not run anything but synthetic in anything he owns and has used synthetic since the 70's.

#1184038 - 07/01/08 09:04 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Rudyjr]
artificialist Offline

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 8440
Loc: Florida
My dad ran M1 10w30 in all kinds of OPE engines that never made any mention of synthetic oil, many of which said only to use SAE30.

If the API classification on the oil container is the same, or later in the alphabet when compared to the OE, you will be fine.

Sure, I have had experience with M1 in OPE only, but I'm confident that the Amsoil ASE is a great product. I have used some other Amsoil products in different applications, and they were great.
2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback

#1184086 - 07/01/08 09:55 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: artificialist]
doitmyself Offline

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 5945
Loc: MI

I went thru your exact motions last year with my new workplace Exmark with 23 hp KAW. Same canned speech from their tech. guy, except he said even SM oil is suitable.

If you wish to ponder this more, visit for the "professional's" view. There, you will get more anecdotal stories of "My (insert: self, friend, father, etc.) used (insert: brand x,y,z, weight 10Weverything) and it ran for 8 gazzion hours trouble free. There is no "best" answer.

Generalizing, KAW still leans towards 30 wt.("maybe" consumption with 10w30) and Kohler Command recommends 10W30 due to its lifters.

We have had heated debate here wondering if SM additive levels are suitable for air cooled engines. Choose your side/belief.

Exmark (FAQ and service tips) says to break in your engine with dino (another debate...any where from 0 hours to 250 hours(Exmark)).

I chose to use Rotella 30W (SJ) for the first 100 hours (I'm chicken/warranty) and if I switch to synthetic it will be Amsoil ASE or ASD so I don't have to ponder 30 vs. 10W30. I think the ASE is a great choice for those "on the fence".

Everyone "seems" to agree that the one thing synthetic really does is reduce operating heat of air cooled engines. Less wear, extended drains, etc.. are still debated. Exmark as well as all auto MFG. recommend not changing OCI intervals with synthetic.....CYA I imagine.

Good Luck......are you "by the book" or "seat of the pants"....that is what will guide your decision.

#1184105 - 07/01/08 10:13 PM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: doitmyself]
doitmyself Offline

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 5945
Loc: MI
From the EXmark site service tips:

"most engine manufacturers do not recommend the use of synthetic oils. The proper petroleum-based oil lubricates the engine adequately."

Odd......very odd for this day and age. Pablo, please investigate and report back!

#1184275 - 07/02/08 05:36 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: doitmyself]
Brett Miller Offline

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 2636
Loc: Arizona
I use Amsoil ASE in my Dad's 26hp Kawi and it runs excellent. For conventional oil, I would try and find Rotella T 10W-30.

#1184319 - 07/02/08 07:07 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Brett Miller]
Blokey Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 1024
Loc: GA, USA
I have a 13 hp Kawi "KAI" in my SCAG and IIRC they advise against the use of syn oil because there may be an increase in oil consumption. I run RP MaxCycle 10W-30 in my engine and the oil level hasn't budged.
Running CAM2 because "you know it's tough and you love it"

#1184391 - 07/02/08 09:11 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Blokey]
Cujet Offline

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 6524
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I use Mobil 1 5-40 Turbo Diesel Truck in my JD (kawasaki 18HP twin). I was having a bit of an issue with oil pressure at idle with the dino oil. The syn oil clearly works better.


#1184393 - 07/02/08 09:12 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Blokey]
Rudyjr Offline

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 11
Loc: ohio
Well I put Amzoil ASE in it. I have become a believer in Synthetic oil from what I have seen and heard from people I know, some mechanics and just plain tinkerers. I know for a fact it will make a Harley Davidson run cooler. And heat is a big problem in those engines. I still follow the old 3500 mile interval on my wifes car with Mobil 1 in the crankcase. So if anything I am too picky about oil changes I suppose.

#1184445 - 07/02/08 10:14 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Brett Miller]
Turk Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 9103
Loc: MN
Go with the Amsoil ASE.
03 GMC Sierra 4x4 200k M1 0-40+PU
00 Saturn SL2 89 YO Lady Car 92k, Edge Ext
98 Saturn SC2 Rare "Red Hot" 165k, Edge Ext
97 Camry 245k, Maxlife

#1185134 - 07/03/08 05:56 AM Re: 19 hp Kawasaki oil question [Re: Turk]
Brett Miller Offline

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 2636
Loc: Arizona
I think small engines (both 2 and 4 cycle) are where synthetic oils really show their worth. Good choice.