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maybe a dumb question about oil

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ALBsun1, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. ALBsun1

    ALBsun1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    What is the difference between SAE-30 and 10w30 oil? And, which is better to use in my mowers. In the past i have used sae30 in my two 21" push mowers, and sometimes in my 36" walk behinds. I have also used the 10w30 in the walk behinds. Is there a difference?
  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    SAE-30 is a single weight oil, 10w30 is a multiweight oil. You can use either in your equipment, I use 10w30 in all my 4cycle stuff.
  3. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    10w30 is an all climate oil, works better in cooler weather.
  4. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    Same here, I use Quaker State 10W-30 oil in all of my 4-cycle lawn equipment.
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    If your 36" walk behinds have the Kohler Command engines use ONLY 10w30 as per Kohler Recommendations.
  6. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    How is it going to work better in cooler weather? A multiweight oil is designed to work just as well in 30 degree weather as it does in 90 degree weather....
  7. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I believe what riches was referring to is multi weight oil works better at cold start-ups. The thinner oil allows the engine to turn over easier in 30- degree weather especially if it's rope start. Thats something we don't have much problem with here in the Sunshine State.
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    As I understand, the multi-weight oils are intended to provide good flow, regardless of oil temperature. Having a lower weight at cold tempertures assures good oil flow, even at lower temperatures. As the oil heats, the molecular structure changes, and, in turn, changes the viscosity to provide good lubrication. A single weight oil will not flow well at engine startup (low temperatures), but will do well at operating temperatures.

    A 10W30 should preform the same at operating temperature as 30W oil. But the 10W30 will enable a better flow at startup temperatures. The key is a change in the structure of the product, so that it will perform slightly different at varying temperatures.

    Much information about oils, lubrication, etc can be found:

  9. gadfreak

    gadfreak LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Messages: 37

    Kohler recommended sae 30 in old K-series cast iron engines but alot of old K-series users say that 10w-30 will also work just fine. change oil as originally recommeded in your owners manual. kohler has free service and owners manuals on line at kohlerengines.com . the service manuals are big so make sure you need it BEFORE you print. I printed one for my kohler CV20S and its hundreds of pages long!
  10. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    until the last few years most air cooled engines called for straight 30 weight, except in snowblower applications, 5W20. but i would only use what the manufacturer calls for. oil is cheap. im not bashful about buying store brand oil, as long as it meets the api service rating. the clearances in the rotating assembly are designed for a certain oil, use it.

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