Your petrol lawn mower needs oil in order to run, and most lawn mower manufacturers recommend changing this after every 20-50 hours of use (or annually). But which oil should you be using in your petrol lawn mower? Here’s what you need to know:
The Different Types of Petrol Lawn Mower Oil
Let’s start by talking about standard engine oil – the stuff made for cars. This is usually high quality and most lawn mowers will run just fine on this.
However, viscosity is really important with lawn mower oil, which is why standard engine oil can sometimes cause clogs in a petrol lawn mower. To avoid this, use one of the following:
- SAE 30 – best for older, air-cooled engines
- SAE 10W-30 – a popular multigrade oil
- SAE 5W-30 – another multigrade oil, but this one is better suited to low temperatures
What About Synthetic Oil?
Rather than being made from crude oil, synthetic oil consists of a man-made lubricant that has been mixed with specific chemical compounds. The result is a high-performance oil that’s actually far superior to natural oils.
The downside is that synthetic oils tend to be more expensive. However, if you would like to give a synthetic oil a try, two to consider are:
- Synthetic SAE 10W-30 – good for colder temperatures
- Synthetic SAE 15W-50 – best for engines that undergo heavy use, such as with commercial machines
Always Check the Instruction Manual
While oils that have a grade of SAE 30 are usually a safe bet, it’s always worth double checking the recommended oil for your lawn mower model. Using the wrong type of oil can cause some serious damage.
How Much Oil Will You Need for Your Petrol Lawn Mower?
When filling a petrol lawn mower with oil, you will likely need between 400-600ml, depending on the size of your mower. Fortunately, since most lawn mower oil comes in 1 litre bottles, you should have more than enough.
Whether you’re filling a new lawn mower with oil for the first time or you’re looking to make an oil change to improve your mower’s performance, it’s always worth spending some time exploring your different options. Although the better quality oils may cost a little more, don’t forget that each fill should last you for a full year, meaning that the extra investment is often easily justified.