Another Oil Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by timber132007, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. timber132007

    timber132007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    I have two Exmark mowers with Briggs Vanguard 35hp engines. I am trying to get as much life out of the engines as possible and was wondering if I could use a fully synthetic 10W30 oil. One engine has 416 hours on it and the other has 200 hours on it. Briggs recommends SAE30 oil for them and I've been using Shell SAE30 dino oil with 50 hour interval changes. My concern is that in this part of the country in the summer it is really hot and humid. My mowers are run hard seven to eight hours a day in the heat so I'm looking the most protection for these air cooled engines. My main question is will 10W30 synthetic be okay when SAE30 is recommended? Is 10W30 thinner than SAE30 and is there such a thing as straight thirty weight synthetic? I don't know a lot about the difference in viscosities so any help would be appreciated. Also do you think running synthetic will prolong the life of the engine? If I go synthetic can I increase my current 50 hour change interval to 60 or 75?.
  2. mjealey

    mjealey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 475

    Couple Things:

    1. One of the biggest mistakes I think people make is they think that because they are running synthetic or oil that advertises longer intervals before changing oil they can run 100 hrs. between oil changes. Big mistake and if you talk to mechanics they run into a lot of problems because of this theory. I don't care if I am running synthetic or conventional I am still changing my oil at the recommended intervals.

    2. Dealers and engine makers can be very picky when it comes to warranty work. Not happened to me, but I have heard of people taking their mowers into their dealers for waranty work, and the engine manufacturer won't waranty the work because they are running 10w-40 or other weight of oil not recommended. Just to cover my rear, I run whatever weight the engine manufacturer suggests.

    All of the above is just my pesonal opinion.

    As for sythetic verse conventional. I have tried both and I am impartial. I don't notice a difference in performance with either, and when I change my oil at 50 hrs. they both look, fell, and smell the same. Just my opinion, and you put in your machine what you feel most comfortable with.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    This webpage contains a whole lot of info about oil including a easy to understand explanation of why 10w30 is 10w30.

    More than likely it should tell you in your Briggs manual that use of oils other than straight 30 such as 10w30 or synthetic oil will lead to increased consumption. I would only use an alternative weighted oil if it's approved and then I would keep a close eye on the oil level.
  4. timber132007

    timber132007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    Richard Martin, Thanks for the link and info!
  5. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    I run AMSOIL AME 15w-40 12TBN HD Marine diesel & gasoline synthetic oil in all my air cooled Kohler V-Twin engines with a 120% improvement in: engine life, operating temp, extend oil change intervals to, only once a season: with UOA.

    Here's some history on SAE 10w-30; specifically the air cooled engines. A air cooled engine has only one means of cooling engine oil. As the air moves across the cooling fins on the air cooled engine,it draws the heat off the metal; which the engine oil has conducted throughout the engine cycle.

    10w-30 OEM engine oils will only meet the minimal SAE requirements for that engine. Conventional SAE 30 weight oil is only a "lateral" move in overall quality; because you loss the multi-viscosity rating, and that is crucial for cold starts.

    I would recommend a 10w-40 the best of both worlds; furthermore minus a Dealer UOA to determine the SAE oil your using you will be fine in what ever engine oil you choose. I call dealer bluff 100% of the time, and they have always backed down on these "viscosity ranges" 10w-40 is the far superior than 10w-30 in these air cooled engines.

    No engine manufacturer can void your warranty for switching oils; unless that manufacturer has supplied said oil for the life of the engine. This is Per Magnuson-Moss Act. Dealers rely on these "fear" tactics to force you to purchase their Proprietary OEM engine oils or products. I have a copy of the Magnuson -Moss Act in my truck for those dealers or vendors who "bully" my Amsoil customers, Stand up for your rights guys, their are so many good Synthetic oils on the market. These companies have so much money to loss when you extend your engine life, and oil changes. You win they loss
  6. djchiodo3

    djchiodo3 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    nosparkplugs could you please indicate how many hours you run on your mowers during your season? Thanks.
  7. joslawn33

    joslawn33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    As long as you keep your oil changed at every 50 hrs u shouldnt have any problems. I got almost 1900 on 31tt service it every 40 hrs and it doesnt use a drop of oil.I average between 500 to 600 hrs a year.
  8. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    350 to 500 hrs between oil changes, depending on the ZTR's use that season. I always draw a UOA sample during the season to check on the engine oil quality. I just cannot see the justification in "changing" oil because it looks dirty or some tells you it's time; because they said it was, I will always call 100% BS! Extending oil change intervals will save hundreds or thousands of dollars in 12 months time. Almost every industry has been effected by this economy, and has looked for ways to improve cost savings, yet conventional oil change intervals remain conventional, in these unconventional times. Think about what the oil companies have to loose if you extend your oil change intervals, their profit margins are reduced. You must realize the large companies have the most at risk when your stray from their "strong arm" scare tactics on their "recommended Proprietary OEM engine oil or OEM oil change intervals.

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