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Can You Use Synthetic Oil in a Lawn Mower?

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Modern lawn mowers contain an oil chamber that needs to be topped off with oil regularly. With so many options today, how do you choose an oil? Using the wrong oil may damage your engine. "Can synthetic oil be used in a lawn mower?" Here's some guidance:

Can You Use Synthetic Oil in a Lawn Mower?

Yes, synthetic oil can be used in a lawn mower. It lasts longer than mineral oil, so you don't have to change it as often. 

What Is Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil is created from petroleum products, usually crude oil, that have been chemically synthesized. The maker of each oil brand considers the additives and synthesis process trade secrets.

Characteristics of Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is designed to perform in a certain environment and does not require any additives. It is thick at high temperatures and thin at high temperatures. Additives that thin the oil at cold temperatures and thicken it at hot temperatures are added to make it work at all temperatures. 5W-30 oil distilled from crude oil acts like this. However, additives degrade as they become dirty, hot, and aged. The crude oil then returns to being thick at hot temperatures and thin at high temperatures. Synthetic 5W-30 has no such issue. It just needs to be replaced when dirty.

How Often Should I Change the Synthetic Oil in My Mower?

Oil changes in cars depend on mileage. Mowers make changes dependent on operating hours. After five hours, new push mowers should have their oil changed. Mold and metal fragments fall off after a few hours of use and pollute the oil. After that, change the oil every 50 hours or in the spring before you mow for the first time. Every 50 hours or in the spring before the first use, oil changes are changed for riding mowers. Mowing in dusty conditions necessitates more frequent oil changes. So, check the oil frequently and change it when dirty.

How to Choose Synthetic Oil

Synthetics oil in lawn mower use the same weight of oil as mineral oil. Check your mower's owner's manual for recommended oil weight. However, lawn mower oil is classified in various ways. The Society of Automotive Engineers devised the most prevalent classification scheme (SAE). This committee created the first US automotive standards. During WWII, these standards spread globally.

The number indicates viscosity, or flowability. For example, molasses is substantially thicker than water. The number indicates the thickness of the oil. This thickness is around 100 °C (210 °F). That's an operating engine's temperature.

Except when it isn't. The "W" on the oil label indicates how thick the oil is before starting the engine. Winter is the W. When the engine starts cold, it is unlubricated until the oil heats up and flows. The longer it takes, the faster the engine wears. Over time, it burns.

So, a common 10W-40 oil runs like an SAE 10 oil when cold and like an SAE 40 oil when hot. If you just use SAE10 oil, the oil will be too thin to protect the engine when hot. That also overworks the engine.


In conclusion, you can use synthetic oil in your mower engine. Read the owner's manual and get the synthetic oil recommended. You will need to change your oil less frequently, and the oil will better protect your engine.