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Ferris first (8-hour) oil change.......replace with synthetic?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 026TB4U, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. 026TB4U

    026TB4U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    I'm at my first oil change and as per the manual, I need an oil change. According to the temp chart I should probably be using SAE30. My question is should I use a synthetic oil or a regular oil. I've always heard you should break an engine in before switching. I'm assuming since the manufacturer wants you to change the oil, it must be broken in, right?

    Also, it doesn't say to change the oil filter. Is that right or should I change it if I go to synthetic?

    Yes, this is my first commercial mower, so be nice. :D I like to check with the pros before doing something that will harm my equipment. So is it a good idea to go synthetic now or not?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    Now, we know that conventional oil is okay. Synthetic might be better - but we don't know for sure. At least, not with these few hours. So if you want to make sure that you are doing good maintenance, change the oil and the filter and use good quality conventional oil. Later, if you want to, you can change to synthetic.

    The filter should be changed because there is a little extra wear from the break in period because it is a new engine and there is just a little dirt left over from the manufacturing process that you need to get rid of.
  3. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    I'd wait till 50 or so hours for the synthetic.
  4. timinkc

    timinkc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 217

    i changed my ferris to full synthetic at the first change... dealer said he thought it was a good idea... synthetic doesn't vvoid warranty or anything. i still change it at 60hr intervals though, imho the problem with mower oil isn't viscosity breakdown, but pollutants.
  5. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    dealer told me go synthetic after 8
  6. 026TB4U

    026TB4U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Wow, so far it's a tie (2-2). I thought everyone would more or less agree on this one but I guess not.
  7. ZH Turf Man

    ZH Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    My dealer recommended Cub Cadet oil, 10-30w., the manual clearly says 30w..He is also a Cub dealer. They also told me to change the oil and filter after five hours instead of eight.
  8. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    I honestly don't think it matters either way but if it was my machine I would wait until the next oil change before switching to synthetic .
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    No. the 8 hour mark is only to get out the engine grinding leftovers. metal bits, grit from the grinders and the like. The engine will take at least 20-30 hours to really be broken in. figure an hour at 60 miles. so 20 hours is only 1200 miles in a car.
    IMO that is just plain crazy. You are trying to get rid of microscopic (and not so microscopic bits of metal). where do you think most of it ends up. In the filter. If you change the oil change the filter. CHEAP insurance.

    At this point you are really only risking not seating your rings properly which will lead to oil blow by which will possibly lead to fouled plugs, increased gas consumption, worst case early engine death.

    Personally I spend the extra money you would spend on synthetics on more frequent changes of dino oil and a new filter with every change. The manual says 50 I change at 40 hours and new filter everytime. Costs about the same, but I have less sludge, less dirt, less metal shavings, less contaminants in general than anyone with similar usage and more hours on the oil. And I really doubt I ever get close to thermal breakdown either.
  10. 026TB4U

    026TB4U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Well, I figured the only harm that could possibly be done is going synthetic if the engine isn't broken in. Since I'm not 100% convinced, I went with conventional oil this time. I used SAE30 as per the manual (Florida temps) and did change the filter. The manual does say 50 miles but it also says more frequently in hot (above 85F) and dusty conditions and I have both. I'll change the oil again at 50 hours and go synthetic then.

    Thanks for all the help.

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