Can You Use Car Oil in a Lawn Mower? [A Simple Guide]

Joseph Gilpin
By Joseph Gilpin • Last Updated: June 28, 2022
Can You Use Car Oil in a Lawn Mower

Most lawn mowers are driven by internal combustion engines, either two-stroke or four-stroke.

Lawn mower engines, like vehicles, feature many pieces that operate together at extremely high speeds and higher temperatures.

But what if you ran out of oil but had some extra stashed in your storage shed? Is lawn mower regular oil compatible with motor oil?

Yes, you can use car oil in a lawn mower, however quality and viscosity are two of the most crucial factors to consider. If your car oil meets these requirements, there’s a good chance that it will work fine without any issues.

If you need a simple suggestion for your lawn mower, the Briggs & Stratton 2-cycle oil is a good choice.

  • 2-cycle easy mix
  • Fuel stabilizer, which leaves no residue
  • Good for toro, lawn boy and 2-cycle power equipment

Will a Lawn Mower Work Without Oil?

Most lawn mowers are equipped with a low oil switch that monitors the pressure within the engine and shuts it down if it drops below a pre-set threshold.

If you realize that your lawnmower has too much, tip it over to allow the oil drain plug to spit out the excess drain on the opposite side of the air filter, avoiding filter damage.

Because two-stroke lawn mower engines lack an internal tank, you may need to drain the oil into glassware to monitor the lawn mower’s oil level.

Lawn Mower Oil Types

What Are the Varying Lawn Mower Oil Types?

Car oil comes in many different grades, depending on thickness and how the oil responds at different temperatures.

Viscosity index improvers are crucial factors when choosing which car oil is compatible enough for your mower. Here’s a list of the different lawn mower oil types:

SAE 30

In warmer conditions, this oil with a viscosity rating of 30 is commonly used in compact air-cooled engines like lawnmowers, tractors, and chainsaws.

SAE 10W-30

SAE 10W-30 is an adjustable temperature range oil in your lawn mower that aids cold-weather starting while potentially increasing oil usage.

Keep in mind that one is better for warmer climates while the other is better for cold temperatures.

Synthetic SAE 5W-30

Synthetic SAE 5W-30 is a perfect choice for manufactured oil if you want the finest protection in all conditions and better startup, and less usage.

SAE 5W-30

SAE 5W-30 is strongly suggested if you live in extremely cold temperatures.

This oil works effectively in colder temperatures ranging from -30°C to 35°C, as well as during the summer season.

Vanguard 15W-50

Vanguard 15W-50 is another variation of manufactured oil in a lawn mower that works perfectly fine in extreme weather conditions.

Are Additives in a Lawn Mower Oil a Good Idea?

Additives can help your vehicle’s motor oil life span and overall effectiveness by reducing eventual engine damage in the mower’s motor.

Furthermore, because additives are meant to operate in bigger engines, it is better to avoid them while using lawnmowers with small engines, especially in high temperatures.

Go to your owner’s handbook for the lawn mower manufacturer’s tips on whether or not to put detergent additives to your lawnmower motor oil that will be filled in the oil tank.

Can Synthetic Oil Be Used as a Lawn Mower Oil?

A full synthetic oil is beneficial to your lawn mower engine for various reasons, the most important of which is that it provides better starts and lower oil usage.

Synthetic oils are suitable for all climates, and while they are more pricey up front, you will not need to change the oil regularly.

Tip Mower on its side to drain oil

What’s the Ideal Oil for a Lawn Mower’s Engine?

The ideal oil for lawn mowers would be the CORRECT TYPE of oil compatible with them. This rule applies to whether or not your lawn mower can use automobile oil in your lawn.

Car oil is frequently upgraded to meet modern standards, so if you use car oil to refill the oil in your mower, you would most certainly extend the life of your machine.

For four-stroke engines, the recommended type of automotive oil to use in your lawnmower is 10W30.

You’ll need to work out the correct mixing ratio for two-stroke engines, which normally runs from 30:1 (4-1/4 oz. of oil to one gallon of gas) to 50:1 (2-1/2 oz. of oil to one gallon of gas).

The best quality automobile and other engine oil is likely the best grade available, making an auto engine oil an excellent choice for most lawn mower engines.

If you’ve had a two-stroke engine, you may use any two-stroke motor oil, such as the Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle oil mentioned above.

It’s also important to consult your owner’s manual for recommendations on how and when to change the oil, normally done before each mowing season.

Tips on Changing Lawn Mower Oil

Using poor oil for longer periods can be dangerous to the engine and damage it. It’s important to occasionally change the oil for enhanced fuel efficiency.

This is part of routine maintenance, and if you use fresh oil, you’re good to go.

Generally, if there’s no oil change, it can lead to engine inefficiency and damage to the engine or create a real safety threat. It also relates to oil cars in general.

Here are some tips you need to check on how to change lawn mower oil.

  1. Check the Dipstick – To check the oil levels, remove and lift the dipstick lid. Wipe the dipstick with a clean towel and replace the readings immediately to check the readings.
  2. Run the Engine for Less Viscosity – Let the lawn mower run first to let the old oil warm up before changing it. Five minutes is enough to make engine oil less viscous. You should know that you must remove the spark plug wire from the lawn mower engine. Doing so will stop the four-stroke mower engine from randomly starting.
  3. Drain the Oil Accordingly – There are various options for draining. It may be done with a drain plug, dipstick, or oil extraction equipment. Check with your lawn mower manufacturer first to see which method is best to drain the oil.
  4. Fill in the Engine With Fresh Oil – Use the best oil to fill in the four-stroke engine or any other type, especially for a small engine. A funnel would be useful to prevent oil leakage as you pour it in. Then, reinsert the dipstick and make sure the oil level is sufficient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we end, let’s peek into some of the questions frequently asked by lawn owners regarding this matter

Is Lawnmower Oil the Same as Car Oil?

Both cars run on diesel, but owners may check the instructions to ensure it doesn’t include any chemicals that could harm the engine.

It is occasionally suggested to utilize synthetic chemicals or oil products and see how the special oil reacts.

Can I Use 10W30 Car Oils in My Lawn Mower?

The 10w30 motor oils are available in the market and are perfect for many lawn mowers.

The same oil grade required is specified in the manufacturer’s guide. However, in almost all cases, the engine requires 10 W30. Any oil suited for vehicle engines would work.

Final Thoughts

Your lawn mower requires clean, high-quality oil to perform well and last longer.

When changing the oil in your lawn mower, use synthetic oil. This will help the lawn mower live longer and perform better over time than standard oil.

Your lawn mover will require oil to keep riding mowers on your lawn without any problems.

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