View Full Version : Synthetic in mowers
08-16-2004, 12:34 PM
Do any of you use synthetic oil in your mowers? I have a new commercial 21" Snapper with Honda motor that I want to last a long time. I know synthetic helps engines run cooler and prolongs life tremendously. I don't want the annoying fractional loses in power with this mower, is synthetic too thin? Can I use it? The dealer said I can use it after a 100 hours on it, but I am curious.
I won't even bother calling Snapper because I'll never get to talk to an engineer and the rep will just say no. I need some experiencial info.....
08-16-2004, 12:38 PM
You will want to use the Search Feature here on the site as you will find tons of this same question with lots of answers there.
08-16-2004, 02:06 PM
I would put it in right now, you want to use the thinner molecules before to get any tolerances that the thinner oil will pass through, like past the rings. Modern thinking is going towards thinner oils, they flow faster providing better lube as well as running cooler oil temps. My new ford 330 runs 0-20w.
08-16-2004, 06:05 PM
The engine needs a number of hours with regular oil to break in properly.In the case of break in,a certain amount of friction (in relative terms) is a good thing for seating the rings,etc.
After the 100 hours I would use the synthetic,it does make a difference on Kohler motors for sure.
The synthetic debate is a bit amusing because manufacturers are less than diligent to recommend it............my only guess is because they've done all their testing with dyno oil and have no legal backup to advise the use of syn oil if a motor blows and someone decides to take them to court...............you know the great lawyers we have in the good ole USA..........
08-16-2004, 06:09 PM
Or better yet, they want their mowers to wear out, that way they can keep selling them!!!!
08-16-2004, 06:16 PM
Point taken on the wear out issue but I don't believe I'd replace a Lazer over a blown engine with lower hours on it.............
08-16-2004, 07:15 PM
New Vettes come with syn. oil from the factory, so did my 2004 Ford 5.4 F150.
At first oil change, changed all my mowers to syn. Less heat and wear.
I also run syn. 2 cycle.payup
08-16-2004, 09:27 PM
I run synthetic only. Have a 15 Kohler, and a 15 Kaw. I change the filter only at 50 hrs, and the whole deal at 100 - Absolutely no oil consumption on either engine. They absolutely stay on the full mark for the entire time. I also run synthetic in all my cars and my truck (Dodge V10 - takes about 9000 miles to use the first quart. - I change filter at 5000, and the whole deal at 10,000). Thanks. brad
08-16-2004, 09:32 PM
Synthetic is better than dino oil. Period.
That said, I would not dump $4.00 a quart oil into my 82' diesel pickup, as it burns/ leaks it pretty fast... But the mobile one in my wife's Woo' get's changed every 7500 miles.. 58,000 miles so far and 0 engine problems... Both my mowers will get the mobile one at their next changes....
08-16-2004, 10:14 PM
Mr. Magpie, I bought a Snapper Fastback Pro Z with a 21hp Kawasaki about 2 months ago and that came with synthetic in it. I've changed oil a couple times and put the Snapper synthetic back in as it will double my engine warranty.
08-16-2004, 10:38 PM
I disagree on the use of synthetic 2 stroke oil AND the use of synthetic oil in a small 4 cycle engine.
I agree that synthetic oil is superior to dino oil.
I believe that the benefit of synthetic oil is NOT realized in a 2 stroke application. The 2 stroker burns the oil - - The BEAUTY of synthetic oil is that it does NOT break down (as quickly) like dino oil does. With a 2 stroke, you are burning it faster than you can benefit from it.
For a 4 stroke . . once again...in order to BENEFIT from synthetic, you have to leave it in there twice as long or more than dino oil.
Would you recommend an extended oil change interval on your 12 - 20 hp 4-stroke motor?
I would venture that your #1 enemy is dirt....the more frequent you get that dirty oil outta there...the better off you are maintenancewise. I would opt for dino oil and more frequent changes.
Of course if synthetic oil were the same price or cheaper than dino oil.....I would be saying "use the synthetic".
Can anyone here relate an engine failure that was no doubt a result of one oil rather than the other? (E.G. Quaker State vs Valvoline) - - Or synthetic vs non synthetic? I'll bet most of us could point out an instance where LACK of oil caused an engine failure....or perhaps where WRONG VISCOSITY oil was used...or even water/fuel in the oil as the culprit. But chances are you'll never know whether a motor would have gone another 100 hours or so with a more expensive oil.
Just the opinion I have gleaned from a multitude of years running offshore diesel crewboats..... No offense taken from those who may disagree...just say "Stow it Capn".
08-16-2004, 10:40 PM
As far as the synthetic goes. I like the Mobil1. But, which weight would you use in say a 6 hp 21". 10W30. 30 weight? ???
08-16-2004, 11:16 PM
I put AMS 10-30 in my walker at 700 hrs and it made a big difference. Better performance and lower engine temps. Better on gas too.
08-17-2004, 12:16 AM
I use the cheapest oil I can find. Right now I run Coastal oil from Auto Zone in my mowers. I change it way before I'm supposed to so I always have clean oil in there. I could never afford to do that with $5.00 a court Moble 1. How well dose Moble 1 work when its full of crud from running these engines in extreme conditions?
08-17-2004, 12:50 AM
Capn' and Lawnmower both bring up excellent points however, I say, if you are changing/maintaining the air filter at the reccomended interval, I don't see too much worry about the dirt ingestion. Especially if you have one of the canister HD filters on your machine ( which should be on every single commercial mower..). I DO NOT have one of the commercial filters, there fore, until I can afford the kit from Kohler, I clean both the outher wrap, and the paper element DAILY.. Without fail.. I agree though, most of the wear is from dirt ingested by the engine.. But an engine lubricated by synthetic, will resist the scoring/damage from the dirt better... I also believe that DC has the right idea with the Amsoil bypass filter on their machines.. Any bypass ( not just Amsoil's ) is better than none.. BTW Capn' I know where you're coming from, as I used to turn wrenches on MANY a' crewboat, years back.. IMHO, Synthetic is just cheap insurance....an oil change on my surfer ( with 22 Kohler ) costs me all of $15 every 50 hrs...That isn't much for Possibly considerable extra engine life.
08-17-2004, 12:53 AM
Iluv, I'd use what ever weight the mfgr' recommends.. It's usually 10w30 for most small engines.
08-17-2004, 06:36 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by txlawnking
[B] Without fail.. I agree though, most of the wear is from dirt ingested by the engine.. But an engine lubricated by synthetic, will resist the scoring/damage from the dirt better...
TXLawn: Respectfully submitted......
I do not believe that synthetic oil can save you from dirt.
If you have sand or dirt in your oil - - NO amount of additive, teflon, slick 50, snake oil or even horse snot can save you.
By the way, same applies to water or diesel: If your oil has been poisioned your goose is cooked.
08-17-2004, 07:11 PM
Ive been using amsoil in my honda commmercial since the 2nd change and it has been running great even in the hot atlanta weather lately. Also i use their 2 stroke oil in my blower and weedeater and it works great. The beauty of using it in the 2 stroke is that u can mix it at 100 to 1 so u can then retune the carb for more are cuz ure gettin more fuel. At first they smell a little funn but then they run way better than new. Reach rps faster and run smoother. No smoke at startup and starts the blower on the 2nd pull everythime.(first pull choke 2nd no choke )
08-17-2004, 08:06 PM
Thats cool.. My point is that if the dirt does not get in there in the first place, It won't do the damage. Thanks for pointing out my double talk, I appreciate it.
08-17-2004, 09:03 PM
I have a Wright Stander with a 17 Hp Kaw, and a scag with a 15 hp kaw. The wright stander just hit 400 hrs and the scag has around 250 hrs. Is it too late to switch to synthetic or is it ok. I was planning on using Mobil 1.
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