What Type of Oil Should I Use for my Lawn Mower?

Woman pouring oil into Toro lawnmower

What Type of Oil is Best for My Lawn Mower?

Regularly changing or adding to your mower’s oil is crucial to its performance and longevity. The exception is cordless electric mowers, which don’t require any oil. If you have an engine-powered mower and it’s time for you to address your oil, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the best lawn mower oil type?” The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The safest bet is to always follow the manufacturer recommendations, found in the operator or engine manual for your particular mower. While SAE 30 motor oil is a common type of oil for lawn mowers, each engine manufacturer has unique recommendations — with some factoring in considerations such as local climate. Because of this, it’s best to follow the advice as specified in your manual.

Can I Use Standard Motor Oil in My Lawn Mower?

If the engine manufacturer’s operator manual recommends 10W-30 or 10W-40, the same motor oil types used in vehicles, then yes — use this type of oil for your lawn mower. Otherwise, it is not recommended to deviate from the suggested engine oil.

Do You Mix Oil with Gas in a Mower?

Modern residential walk-behind lawn mowers typically have four-cycle (or four-stroke) engines. These engines have separate reservoirs for gas and oil. DO NOT mix them together! If you’re unsure of whether you have a two or four-cycle engine, please consult an authorized service dealer in your area.

How Do I Check the Oil Level?

Each engine manufacturer has unique instructions for checking the lawn mower’s oil level. Toro provides a variety of engine options that each require specific procedures. For example, one engine manufacturer may instruct you to screw in and tighten the dipstick, while another may tell you to set the dipstick into the reservoir without tightening it. Since there is no standard for inserting the dipstick, it’s best to refer to your engine’s service manual for the proper procedure.

When Should I Change My Mower’s Oil?

The frequency of recommended oil changes will vary by engine manufacturer. Some manufacturers even have “no-oil change” engines, which means you Just Check and Add™ as needed. Other manufacturers put specific instructions in their operator manual for how often to change the oil for lawn mowers. Generally, it’s recommended to change your engine oil following the first five hours of operation in new mowers, and then at least once every spring or summer — or every 50 hours of operation, whichever comes first.

 How Do I Change My Mower’s Oil?

Don’t Forget to Read the Manual

If you’re wondering exactly what type of oil to use for your lawn mower, or how to properly and safely change your lawn mower’s oil, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in your operator or engine manual. It’s the only way to be sure you’re avoiding mistakes and over-generalizations. For Toro owners, head to the official Toro Help Center to find useful videos, tutorials, and information to help you maintain your lawn mower.

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