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Old 04-08-2010, 03:14 PM
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lawnworker lawnworker is offline
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running mower on last years oil

I usually change mine about twice a season. This year I have I did not change it at the start of mowing. In fact, I have not changed it since late last fall. Does oil break down over the winter or is it pretty much in the same shape it was when the equipment was stored?
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:17 PM
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unkownfl unkownfl is online now
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It breaks down and looses its properties. Every 6 months or x amount of hours. Remember these are air cooled engines so its very important to have good oil. Oil cleans, cools, and lubricates.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:33 PM
treemonkey treemonkey is offline
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I disagree with unknownfl to a certain extent. Lots of people change their oil in the fall before winter storage and then start the spring with oil that has sat in their mower for 4 to 5 months.

Lots of people do one year (or longer) OCI's on vehicles and equipment that see low use. Inquire to any of the oil analysis labs and they will provide you with facts about additive break down and TBN depletion.

I suppose it would matter on the amount of hours the oil had on it prior to storage. Everyone will have to decide what they are comfortable with, but if it was under 50% of the mfg. OCI at the end of the season, I would be comfortable using that same oil the next spring.

Except for moisture condensation that might accumulate in a very wet/humid storage location, their is no heat, combustion by products, etc. happening to degrade the oil. IF you are concerned, then start the mower up once a month during winter for a half hour or until it completely warms up to burn off moisture.

But, everyone has their opinion about oil.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:37 PM
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Turf Commando Turf Commando is offline
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Changed my mower oil before winter and now running them everythings fine...
Oil doesn't loss it's effectiveness, just by sitting idle a few months ....
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:46 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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A regular oil change is so inexpensive, I'm unsure why we read about the lack of doing this basic maintenance item. New engines are expensive, oil and filters are relatively cheap.

On my w/b (15hp Kohler) I change about every 40 hours of service, sometimes more often in the Fall with dirty conditions. Likewise, my 19hp Kaw on the ZTR gets changed at 40 hours, or less. I run them each about 350 hours per season, so about 8-10 changes per the eight month season. The Kohler has ran about 3,000 service hours, and continues to run fine. The Kaw only has about 1,050 hours at this time.

On my 21" hand mower, Honda HRX217 with Honda GCV engine. It runs about 30 hours per week, and get a weekly oil change. Over the season, oil gets changed about 25 times. Last season, it was new, and I think it ran about 700 service hours. The GCV is a consumer engine, but ran well all season, and is running the first 40 hours this season just fine. How much life left? I don't know, hoping for another 700 hours this season, but won't be surprised if it gives up.

Shell Rotella 10W-30 in the Kohler and Honda, 30W in the Kaw. Even though they aren't used during the Winter, I get them all out and run them for about 20-30 minutes every couple of weeks to get them hot. My intention is to get rid of any condensation. Does it work? I don't know, but have not had a problem.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:47 PM
Mike Blevins Mike Blevins is offline
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oil

Is oil sitting in a mower different than sitting on a shelf in a bottle? My Amzoil had 20 hrs on it when I stored my mower. I checked the levels and they wer right on the money. I changed plugs,air filter, fuel filter, and hydro and she purrs like a kitten.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:47 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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I use synthetic because assuming the machine does nothing but sit, it doesn't decompose over time.
Two of my machines have last year's oil in them but I'd be willing to bet yours is a LOT darker.
Regular oil, three months of sitting in an engine and it's over, it might still show clear on the stick
but run it up to OP Temp and I can guarantee that stuff turns black.

Once that oil turns black, it's too far gone.
Way too far.

Last edited by topsites; 04-08-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:48 PM
fredmullegun fredmullegun is offline
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Why would you change the oil before winter? Seems odd.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:50 PM
fredmullegun fredmullegun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Blevins View Post
Is oil sitting in a mower different than sitting on a shelf in a bottle? My Amzoil had 20 hrs on it when I stored my mower. I checked the levels and they wer right on the money. I changed plugs,air filter, fuel filter, and hydro and she purrs like a kitten.
Well your engine does not seal nearly as well. Why not just wait and change it before you plan to use it?
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:09 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredmullegun View Post
Why would you change the oil before winter? Seems odd.
I would rather have the dirt in the oil in my dump can than in the engine. If the engine is sitting for a period of time, the dirt may tend to settle in the bottom on the engine, and not drain out in the Spring. If the engine has fresh oil before putting away for the Winter, there is no dirt to settle out.
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