When it comes to operating a lawnmower, engine oil is an absolutely necessary component. It doesn’t matter if you’re mowing your lawn with a push mower or a riding mower; the oil needs to be changed on a regular basis. Having said that, you might be wondering if your brand-new lawnmower will come with everything you require to get started using it right away.
Lawn mowers typically come pre-oiled, enabling you to immediately begin cutting grass after purchasing one. The majority of models come equipped with a bottle that connects to the oil storage compartment. Be sure to adhere to the recommendations provided by the manufacturer regarding the appropriate type of oil. The functions of engine oil include cooling, lubrication, and protection, among others.
Will Your Mower Arrive Pre-Oiled?
The engine of a recently purchased lawnmower does not have any oil in it. On the other hand, the vast majority of mowers include a bottle of oil to get you going. Running a lawnmower engine without oil will result in irreparable damage to the component parts of the engine.
In light of the aforementioned, certain mowers come equipped with a low-level indicator that prevents the mower from starting. The lawn mower will not start if there is insufficient oil in the engine. Find out if your mower has a two-stroke or a four-stroke engine by consulting the owner’s manual.
It is simple to check the level of the oil. Before starting the mower, use a dipstick to check the level of oil in the engine. If the oil level is getting low, you should top it off and make sure the tank is completely full. Mowers with two cylinders require an oil and fuel mixture to operate.
Before you use the oil and fuel, you need to pre-mix them in the appropriate proportions. Always refer to the manual to determine the required mix ratio, as well as the oil type, quantity, and mix ratio. While you are checking the oil level, you need to make sure the mower is in the horizontal position.
Why Do Lawn Mowers Need Oil?
In order for the engine of a lawnmower to function properly, it is necessary to supply it with clean oil that is of the appropriate type and quantity. Because moving parts in an engine operate at high speeds and temperatures, the engine oil has the dual function of lubricating and cooling those parts. The following is a list of the functions that are performed by the engine oil in lawnmowers:
Engine oil as a lubricant provides a thin, slippery layer between the moving parts of the engine. It helps to reduce the constant friction. Lubrication increases the longevity of the mower by reducing metal-on-metal problems, heat generation, and wear and tear. If you want to lubricate your mower’s wheels, review my short guide.
Energy loss arises due to combustion and friction between the mechanical parts of the engine. It also increases in temperature as the oil flows over the hot engine parts. It carries the heat away to cool areas like the sump and crankcase, where the heat goes out. Mower engines usually feature fins around the cylinder that aid in the cooling process. Weed eaters overheat without adequate oil, too.
Form a Seal
The engine oil provides a seal between the cylinder walls and piston rings. This seal prevents leakage of an air-fuel mixture or combustion gasses between the cylinder oil and piston rings. The sealing occurs when a protective layer of oil occurs between various parts protecting the engine against any clearances that may appear.
It Prevents Engine Corrosion
Corrosive acid that can damage the metal parts of the engine occurs as a by-product of combustion. However, the additives contained in engine oils slow down the corrosion. Nevertheless, the engine oil should be changed regularly because, after a while, it tends to oxidize and can no longer protect the engine.
Engine oil also helps in keeping the engine parts clean. The oil maintains internal engine cleanliness by suspending contaminants such as metal particles, dust, and carbon within the fluid and preventing them from adhering to engine components.
These contaminants break away from the engine components to the outside during mower operations. The detergents in engine oil are additives. They prevent contaminants from clinging to the engine components like pistons and piston rings.
Dampen the Shock
Another function of engine oil is to caution against the blow of mechanical shock. A strong lubricant film from the oil resists rapture by absorbing and dispersing the energy spike over a broad contact area. Wear and forces that damage the engine that results in mechanical shock to engine components reduces.
What Kind of Oil Can You Put in a Mower?
It is essential that you have a good understanding of the required capacity and oil type for your lawn equipment. There are two distinct kinds of oil that are required for the operation of your lawnmower: motor oil and small engine oil. The kind of engine you are using will determine the type of oil, how much of it you need, and how much it will cost.
Additionally, it takes into account the current air temperature. Before you buy engine oil, you should always check with the manufacturer to see what kind of oil they recommend using in the engine because the engine may be sensitive to certain additives. The following is a list of the various kinds of oil that Briggs and Stratton suggests using in various climates, as compiled by the company.
- SAE 5W-30 – This oil is well suited for cold temperatures.
- SAE 30 – This type of oil is convenient for warmer temperatures. Often used oil for small engines.
- Synthetic SAE 5W-5o – This oil is suited for all temperatures. It offers the best protection all-year-round. The oil has improved starting, and it consumes less.
- SAE 10W-30 – This oil is suitable for varied temperature ranges; it also improves cold-weather starting. However, it will increase oil consumption.
- Vanguard 15W-50 – This one works best at different temperatures. The oil is suited for continuous use like pressure washing and commercial lawn cutting.
The majority of lawnmower engines can function properly when lubricated with motor oil. The gasoline that is pumped into the engine from the pump at the gas station is burned directly. It is included in the vast majority of riding mowers and in some walk-behind mowers as well. The various grades of engine oil are differentiated from one another based on the oil’s viscosity as well as how it reacts to changes in temperature.
The two-stroke engines that are typically found in more compact and older push mowers are the best candidates for the use of small engine oil. Two-stroke engines are fueled by a mixture of oil and gasoline, which is then burned. Before it is put into the tank, the oil and gas are combined and mixed together. You should refer to your manual for specifics on the ratios of the mixture.
When you buy an oil from a reputable brand, the container will tell you both the service rating and the viscosity rating. When shopping for lawnmower oil, you should never settle for anything less than a high-quality detergent oil with a designation of SF, SG, SH, or SJ. Riding mowers typically have an oil capacity requirement of either 48 ounces or 64 ounces*.
According to the owner’s manual for your mower, the oil should be changed every 100 hours or once a year, whichever comes first. The oil capacity for walk-behind mowers ranges from 15 to 18 ounces, and the mower’s oil should be changed every 50 hours of use or once per year, whichever comes first. Bob Vila suggests a shorter changing cycle, somewhere between 20 and 50 hours.
The use of synthetic oil is not only acceptable for any temperature, but it also does not interfere with the required time intervals between oil changes. In comparison to lubricants that are made from crude oil, synthetic oil is superior. It’s possible that using it will make your mower last longer.
The next time you mow your grass, keep in mind the importance of using high-quality motor oil. After an off-season (such as winter or fall if you don’t mow during those months), don’t forget to change the oil since it binds and overheats.
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