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mower engine oil?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeKle, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    This has probably been posted before, but I thought Id give it another try. Im curious what everyone uses in their mowers. Ive always used Pennzoil 10W30 just because that is what my dealer puts in all his mowers and Ive always thought it best to keep using the same brand name. Ive tried full synthetic before but I thought the engine ran "different" so I went back to regular, but I would like to use full synthetic for its benefits. Someone once told me that if you have to add engine oil, you have to add the same brand name oil, not just the same weight!, I always thought as long as it was the same weight, the brand name didnt matter, but I was way wrong!
  2. Heintooga

    Heintooga LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    I've always used Castrol HD30 and never had any probs.
  3. tjlco

    tjlco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I have used supertech (yes walmart brand) 30w oil for 5 years. Along with changing oil at the right time and keeping the air filter clean, I have 3900 hours on a 23 horse air cooled kawasaki, (scag 52 tiger cub)
  4. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Penzoil HD30. If I can find it.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    Valvoline HD 30 also use Valvoline in my truck
  6. ferris09

    ferris09 LawnSite Member
    from Ms
    Messages: 75

    MikeKle, you were not way wrong. In the past there were some confusion as to the compatibility of oils that went as far as the warranty being covered. Brand oil does not matter at all but the composition of that brand does. Used to the word was never add synthetic oil to normal oil, the misconception was that the earlier synthetic oils did not have the same additives as the normal oil and would create leaks, NOW the synthetic oils are better engineered as well as the engine components are better to accept the synthetic oils. As far as warranty is concerned now warranty can be denied due to changing brands of oil from that the manufacturer recommends as long as it meets the required composition. There is a reason why there is such a variance in the prices of oils from different manufacturers (composition). Synthetic oils have a great advantage over dino (normal) in normal wear on an engine. The real key is to ensure your oil is clean (by regular changes), think of the oil as the blood of the engine, just like your blood it needs to be maintained properly for you to be healthy.
  7. DaddyRabbit

    DaddyRabbit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 937

    Royal Purple 15w40 synthetic in my diesels. In my gassers I prefer Royal Purple 10w30 or 40 but have wandered into the Amsoil camp occasionally.
  8. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    Synthetic oil only has one advantage that really applies to the engines in most mowers and that is it's ability to withstand the effects of heat.

    What causes abnormal wear in enignes is contamination which is a by-product of combustion and failure to change the oil at the proper interval. Synthetics do nothing to prevent or even cope with contamination. The oil filter (on engines so equipped) lessens the problem by trapping many of the particles.

    If you live in a very high temperature region or are "forgetfull" about changing the oil when it should be then a syn might be beneficial.

    Under ordinary use with regular oil changes dino oil is just fine and syn oil is a waste of money.

    Engines without oil filters should NOT run synthetic crankcase oil. To my knwledge there are no sythetics that do not contain detergents. Those engines should be run with non detergent oil as there's no filter to trap the particles that the detergents break down in the engine and those particles end up being splashed all over the bearings causing pre-mature engine failure.

    Detergent oils = good in filtered systems, BAD in non filtered systems. We own a lot of small equipment with Honda commercial engines... the manual for everyone of them specify NON detergent oil.
  9. ferris09

    ferris09 LawnSite Member
    from Ms
    Messages: 75

    Good points kaferhaus, but one point that neither us pointed out is that synthetics have a molecular structure which helps with early break down of the oil and to lessen the shear effects on the oil. So the benefits are not just towards the carbon contamination but also the actual break down of the oil's ability to cushion and it's lubricity. So the synthetic oil is a little more forgiving for those who "forget" to change their oil regularly.
  10. scagman52

    scagman52 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 402

    I use Pennzoil 30 weight for 4 cycle air cooled small engines. I get it at Advance Auto. 1000 hrs on my tiger cub and no problems so far!

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