Air cooled Oil for mowers?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Green Pastures, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Listen I know this has been gone over a million times.

    I went into my local shop where BTW I've purchased every one of my mowers, and I negatively commented on somebody who came in and bought a quart of "Honda" oil.

    Both the General Manager and the Lead salesman told me I should also be buying the "Kohler" oil for use in my Toro's. They both stated that the air cooled engines run considerably hotter than a water cooled engine. Blah, blah, blah. Said I could be doing some considerable damage to my engines.

    I've never seen anything in any manual that suggested I was required to use anything other than regular motor oil. I change oil and filter every 50 hours or sooner. Every time I've ever changed oil it's always been fairly clean and sludge free and with no offensive odor....

    What's the general consensus?
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    keep doing what youare doing and think about finding a new dealer who isnt trying to sell you high dollar oil that you dont need.
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    * CAUTION: Air cooled engines run hotter than automotive engines. The use of non-synthetic multi-viscosity oils (such as 5W-30 or 10W-30) in temperatures above 40°F (4°C) will result in higher than normal oil consumption. When using a multi-viscosity oil, check oil level more frequently.

    That is from the Briggs customer service site.

    Think of it like this..

    You're out on a nice dry summer day jogging, you have no water or Gatorade or anything else with you.. How hot are you?

    You're out on a dreary raining summer day jogging, you have a camel back cooler with a straw going straight to your mouth that you are sucking on almost non stop... How hot are you?

    Or for the tech. savvy guys....

    You have two computer systems with overclocked processors. Both systems are identical save one difference.

    One is cooled with fans relying on room temperature air.

    The other has a sophisticated water cooling system set up in it.

    Which processor is getting hotter?

    The hotter an engine is running, the faster the lubrication is going to break down. In an air cooled engine, it would be highly recommended that you run an oil formulated (with additives) for use in air cooled engines because they DO run hotter than an engine that is liquid cooled.

    But hey.. it's your $7000 machine.. use what you THINK it needs instead of what the engineers that designed the engine KNOW it needs.. You're bank account..
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    If the OEM's feel you should use air cooled oil why don't they recommend it ?
  5. Jman

    Jman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    The Kohler manual doesn't specify their own brand of oil, however they do make a statement that it should meet API service ratings of SG,SH, SJ or higher. The S ratings on oils are for spark ignition engines (gasoline). Oils can also have an API C rating as well, compression ignition (diesel). The Kohler oil has both the S & C ratings which means it is blended with additives to be used in either type of engine. Since the air cooled engines run hotter, and use a governor system, they put more load requirements on the oils like a diesel engine would, yet they have to be blended to mix with the by-products left behind from the gasoline. All oils are not equal. Check the ratings, compare them from one to another. Try different oils till you find one you like. Do consider what the manufacturer not only recommends, but puts their name on as well. Check what other petroleum based oils have a S and C rating BOTH. Very few, but there are some out there. You can find it on synthetics, at a much higher price.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I've been using Castrol GTX 10W30 for abuot 6 years now and have yet to have any problems....
  7. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Good Choice, 26+ Here.
  8. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    my koller has run 12 commercial years on regular automotive oil (10-30w as the book says too) and i live in florida. as long as its good quality oil your ok.castrol is certianly good oil . actyually the top rated non synh oil is havoline according to this oil web site
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Never knew their was an oil for "air cooled engines". I would RUN not walk away from that dealer as they are trying to play you for a CONSUMER!

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