Can you use car oil in a lawn mower? Are you new to lawn keeping and have just bought your first-ever lawn mower? This guide will be your one-stop guide to all things related to oil your new lawn machinery.

All About Engine Oils for a Lawn Mower

Read this guide to find out about several lawn mower oil types that you can use safely and efficiently on a cost-effective basis.

Can You Use Car Oil In a Lawn Mower?

Yes, car oil can be used for lawnmowers with a four-stroke engine type. We are talking about premium-quality car oils such as SAE-30 or 10W-30 here. As for the older mowers with two-stroke engines, you cannot use car oil and rely on specialized natural or synthetic mower oil.

– Best Car Oil 

When we say car oil, we are talking about a specially formulated mixture of only 70 to 90 percent oil. This composition consists of additives that help the engine run smoothly and prevent wear and tear. Which means that these ingredients include antioxidants, anti-corrosives, detergents, and friction modifiers that are important for the engine’s health.

SAE-30 is the most high-quality car oil formulated these days, and it can be used safely for both cars and mowers. When you buy one for your mower, you will see many types of this care oil available. Each of these types comes in handy for different types of engines and environmental conditions, and has the range to do with the car oil’s significance.

For example, the standard SAE-30 engine works the most efficiently for smaller engines in warm weather conditions. SAE 10W 30 is a lot less efficient because it consumes the car oil quickly. However, it can be used in an engine in a wide range of temperatures. 

If you live in a place that is colder; then this one is better than the standard SAE-30 because of its higher viscosity.

In very cold temperatures, even the SAE 10W 30 will freeze over and might harm the engine. That is why the SAE 5W 30 was formulated, which can withstand extreme temperatures and does not get used quickly.

Lastly, the best option is going to be the most expensive. A synthetic car oil SAE 5W 30 works well at both extremes of temperatures and is not consumed so rapidly. It is also highly anti-corrosive and protects the metallic surfaces of your mower.

– Oil for Small Engine Mowers

Your engine size greatly matters when using car oil for a lawn mower. You need to be aware of the size of your engine, plus the viscosity of the synthetic oil used in it. 

This is very important because only some lawn mower engines can tolerate oil types of various viscosities. Typically, the engines fitted in ordinary lawnmowers are best suited for synthetic SAE-30 types of synthetic soil.

Pouring Oil in Grass Mower

The various functions of oil for your mower engine include lubricating, cleaning, and protecting the engine. It also reduces the friction between various engine parts, enabling it to run smoother than ever, which is why it works great. 

Synthetic types of oils have been manufactured with additives that allow them to last much longer than non-synthetic ones. This is good news for lawn maintainers because you will have to change synthetic oil much less frequently.

On the other hand, you must consider that all oil, whether natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic, does break down gradually over time. It must be changed regularly by the lawn mower owner as needed, plus as per mower use.

– Oil For Two-Stroke Engine

Two-stroke engines mix lubricating oils with fuel in their engines. They are known for pumping out more power than their four strokes counterparts. However, they could be more environmentally friendly and specific about their oil needs. 

Such engines do not do well with ordinary car oils. Earlier, oils like castor oil and pure petroleum were used in mowers with two-stroke types of engines. These days you will find several synthetic and semi-synthetic ones designed specifically for them. 

We want to recommend Valvoline SynPower 2T motor oil for your mower as an established industry leader. It has the best oils and additives, such as antioxidants, fuel stabilizers, and biodegradability components as well.

As you are using synthetic oil over petroleum is better for the function because they produce fewer emissions and prevent grease from covering the spark plug. They have lower ash content and are manufactured.

Take care to mix your chosen engine oil with the fuel in the right ratio. Car oil can damage a two strokes type of mower engine because it combines with the fuel to make unwanted by-products. This greatly reduces the overall efficiency and power of the engine. Note that you can safely make do with good-quality car oil for a four-stroke engine.

– Oil For Four-Stroke Engines

A four-stroke engine has separate compartments for engine oil and fuel combustion. At no point during the working of such an engine should oil and fuel ever mix. This means you can easily use any oil for such a lawn mower without inconvenience. This engine type is naturally more eco-friendly and efficient.

Engine life is also prolonged because the oil freely moves into all parts of the engine, lubricating, dispersing heat, and removing grease and impurities.

Pouring Oil in Four Stroke Engines

That is why you can technically go for any oil you would normally use for your car in a four-stroke lawn mower. 

As we mentioned above, you can opt for any synthetic oil for your mower from a reputed manufacturer of course, the one that suits the size of your mower’s engine and the weather condition of your area. The more you spend on the oil, the better the results that you can expect. 


What Are Aspects of Changing Oil?

The aspects of adding lawn mower by car oil is to first get rid of the previous oil fully, and then fill it up. You must be cautious with the period of time for renewing it, and also, the quality of the oil that you are adding to the mower.

– The Way To Add Oil

First, you must use a dipstick is a pretty accurate measure of whether a mower needs an oil change. Check the oil levels by unscrewing the cork, taking the dipstick out, and wiping it clean.

Then you must note that the little amount of old engine oil still presents in the oil tank needs to be removed first. Before you proceed forward, keep the engine running for five minutes to warm it up. This will reduce the viscosity of the old oil without making it too hot. You can remove oil from the mower through the dipstick or the drain plug. 

Proper Way to Add Oil on Mower

Proceed by removing the plug from the mower engine, just in case it starts up accidentally, so that it doesn’t cause any out of the blue misadventures. 

With a drain plug, turn the mower on its side and turn off the fuel tap, in order to be able to drain the oil without dripping it on the mower and making a mess. The easiest method is to purchase an oil extractor kit and insert its tube directly into the tank to suck the oil out.

Lastly, as the new oil is to be filled in through the fill plug. The inlet to the tank is quite narrow, so it is safe to use a funnel to prevent spilling out new oil during pouring. Keep inserting the dipstick in the tank at various intervals until you reach a suitable level. 

– Time to for Oil Change

When you need to change the oil in your mower depends on its model and manufacturer. Their oil needs to be changed at least once yearly for push mowers.

If the mower has completed 50 hours of use, its oil needs to be changed. However, most mowers will state clearly in their instruction manual when and how often they should its oil changed ideally.

For riding lawnmowers, you can wait for a run time of 100 hours before the oil is changed. Still, once yearly, an oil change is a must for all lawnmowers, preferably before wintertime when you put your mower to rest for the season.

All lawnmowers, especially four strokes ones, come with a dipstick that you can take out to see the oil level. It is time to refill it if it drops below acceptable levels. 

– Oil Quality

The last thing you need to take care of is choosing the best lawnmower oil for your lawnmowers. The reason to this is simple, as you place a quality oil, the machine will run smoothly, and it will not need manufacturing in the long run, because of the high quality oil is being run on.

Pouring Quality Oil in Engine

An old branded, well-established, and an industry standard is one that you need to invest in. Surely, established brands cost way more than cheaper alternatives, but you will see how this habit benefits your machine in the long run.


Overall, note that this article was about the right oil type for your turf and lawn mower.

The key points we hope to stay with you are given here.

  • Car oil of a high and premium quality can be used for lawnmowers with a four strokes type of engine built into it.
  • For both four and two strokes engines, it is better to go for synthetic oil with additives that help further with engine care.
  • Synthetic SAE-30 is a state-of-the-art oil type that we usually recommend all mower owners invest in.
  • Using synthetic oil over petroleum is better because they produce fewer emissions and prevent grease from covering the spark plug.

Technically, you can use regular motor oil for your car and lawn mower if it has a four strokes engine. Still, we recommend that you invest in a good-quality synthetic oil that will help your mower live a long and efficient life. 

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