Riding Lawn Mower Oil Type – What Type Is Safe to Use?

By Alice Jane

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Proper riding lawn mower oil enhances your lawn mower life span and durability. After buying a riding lawn mower most users are getting confused about which types of oil are safe to use in riding a lawn mower.

A riding lawn mower requires higher-quality oil with a 30- or 30-1 rating. SAE 10W-30 is a multigrade oil and a good option for riding a lawn mower heavy-duty engine. It’s a high-velocity oil and ideal for cooler climates to higher temperature regions (- 18 to 30-degree Celsius).

Riding Lawn Mower Engine Type

There are different types of riding lawn mower engines, and each type is made for a specific type of engine. Such as,

  1. Two-cylinder engine oil
  2. Four-cylinder engine oil

Two-cylinder engine oil is designed to lubricate the pistons and cylinders in a two-cylinder engine. It is also formulated to reduce wear on the moving parts and to help keep the engine clean. The type of oil you use in your riding lawn mower engine is important, as it can affect the performance and life of your engine. Using the proper type of oil will help ensure that your engine runs smoothly and lasts longer.

Four-cylinder engine oil: is a type of lubricant that is used in four-stroke engines. This type of oil is designed to provide optimal performance and protection for these engines. It is important to use the correct type of oil in four-stroke engines, as using the wrong type can lead to damage and performance issues.

One of the benefits of using four-cylinder engine oil is that it helps to protect the engine from wear and tear. This oil forms a protective barrier between moving parts, which can help to extend the life of the engine. Additionally, this type of oil can help to reduce noise and vibration in the engine.

It is important to note that not all oils are created equal. There are many different types of engine oil on the market, so it is important to select one that is specifically designed for four-stroke engines.

Types of Riding Lawn Mower Engine Oil

Briggs & Stratton

Briggs & Stratton is a well-known brand for small engines. The company recommends using SAE 10W-30 oil in all of its engines. However, there are other oils that can also be used in Briggs & Stratton engines as long as they meet the American Petroleum Institute (API) service classification SJ or higher.


When using a Vanguard engine, it is important to use the recommended oil type. The oil type that is recommended for Vanguard engines is SAE 10W-30 motor oil. This oil viscosity will help lubricate the moving parts in the engine and keep them cool. Using a different weight or type of oil may not provide the same level of protection for the engine, which could lead to damage.


When it comes to Kohler engines, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind when it comes to oil. The first is that Kohler recommends using 10W-30 motor oil in all of its engines. This is a standard weight oil that can be used in most climates, and it provides good protection for your engine. You should also avoid using oils with a higher viscosity rating, as they can cause engine performance problems. Additionally, you should make sure to use quality motor oil that meets or exceeds the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) standards. Using inferior oil can lead to decreased engine performance and even damage your engine.


Kawasaki engines are a popular choice for lawn mowers. They are known for their durability and power. When it comes to oil, Kawasaki recommends using 10W-30 motor oil. This type of oil will help keep your engine running smoothly. It is also important to keep your engine well-lubricated, so be sure to change the oil regularly.


If you have a Yanmar-powered lawn mower, you’ll want to use 10W-30 engine oil. This will help keep your engine running smoothly and prevent costly repairs. Be sure to change your oil regularly, and don’t forget to dispose of it properly.


One of the most important things you can do to keep your lawn mower running well is to use the right oil. Caterpillar recommends using SAE 10W-30 motor oil in its engines. This type of oil is designed for high-temperature applications and will help keep your engine running smoothly. Using the wrong type of oil can lead to engine damage and reduced performance.

Honda Engine

If you have a Honda lawn mower, you should use 10W-30 motor oil. This is the recommended oil type for Honda lawn mowers. Using the wrong type of oil can damage your engine. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure you are using the right type of oil.

How To Choose The Best Oil For Riding Lawn Mower Engine?

When looking for the best oil to use in a riding lawn mower engine, there are a few factors to keep in mind. First of all, the type of oil needed will depend on the make and model of the mower. Secondly, it is important to find an oil that is specifically designed for lawn mower engines. Finally, it is necessary to choose an oil that is appropriate for the climate where you live.

Hot Temperature

Summertime is hot, and that means your lawn mower is working hard. You need to make sure you are using the correct oil to ensure it is running properly. The best oil for a riding mower during hot weather is 10W-30 motor oil. This type of oil will help keep your engine cool and running smoothly. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what type of oil your lawn mower requires, and always use the recommended oil for your machine.

Cold Weather

When the temperature begins to drop, it is essential to use heavier-weight oil. Heavier oils will help protect your engine against wear and tear in cold weather. In general, a synthetic SAE 5W-30-weight oil is recommended for colder temperatures, but you should always consult your owner’s manual to be sure. Using the wrong weight of oil can actually cause damage to your engine, so be sure to do your research before making a switch.

Small Engine

For most small engines, using an SAE – 10W30 weight oil is recommended. This means the oil has a thickness or weight of 10 when it is cold and 30 when it is hot. The oil should also be an “API” certified oil. API stands for American Petroleum Institute and is a certification for oils that meet certain standards.

Commercial Engine

Commercial engines are often used in lawn mowers, weed eaters, and other outdoor equipment. When it’s time to change the oil in these machines, which oil should you use?

The right oil can make a big difference in how your commercial engine performs. Many experts recommend using SAE 5W-30 motor oil in commercial engines. This type of oil is designed for high-temperature operation and can help keep your engine running smoothly.

If you’re looking for an alternative to SAE 5W-30, consider using 10W-30 instead. This oil is also a good choice for high-temperature range applications and will provide your engine with some extra protection against wear and tear.

Best Oil For All Riding Lawn Mower Brands

Above I mentioned oil types depend on the mower model and climates. Here are some lawn mower brands and oil types I said now.

Honda – Honda lawn mower take SAE 10W-30 engine oil.

John Deere – John Deere lawn mower takes SAE 10W-30 engine oil.

Toro – Toro highly recommends SAE 30 for their 4-cycle engine.

Craftsman – Craftsman recommends using conventional engine oil for 2-cycle engines and full synthetic SAE 5W-30 engine oil for 4-cycle engines.

Cub Cadet – Based on the temperate cud cadet recommends SAE 30 and conventional SAE 10W-30 engine oil.

Husqvarna – Based on the temperate Husqvarna SAE 30 and conventional SAE 5W-30 engine oil.

When Should You Change Your Riding Lawn Mower Oil?

As a general rule, most riding lawn mowers need their oil changed every 25 hours of use. However, this varies depending on the make and model of the lawn mower. It is important to consult your owner’s manual to find out the exact recommended service interval.

Failing to change your riding lawn mower oil can lead to engine failure and costly repairs. The oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts and helps keep it cool. If it is not replaced regularly, this can cause the parts to wear down prematurely and lead to engine failure.

It is also important to use the correct type of oil in your lawn mower. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct viscosity and weight of oil. Using incorrect oil can also cause damage to the engine.

How To Change The Riding Lawn Mower Oil

Riding lawn mowers are a great way to save time on yard work, but they need proper maintenance just like any other piece of equipment. One important task that should be done regularly is changing the oil. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

  1. Make sure the engine is cool before starting.
  2. Lift up the mower deck and remove the blade shield.
  3. Find the oil drain plug and use a wrench to loosen it. Be careful not to drop the plug into the oil reservoir!
  4. Let the oil drain out completely, then replace the plug and tighten it securely.
  5. Open up the hood of the mower and locate the oil filter. Use a filter wrench to unscrew it, then dispose of the old filter properly.
  6. Use a new filter, mix the oil and petroleum jelly and pour it into the reservoir.
  7. Turn on the mower and let it run for about five minutes with no cutting to allow the oil to circulate through the system.
  8. Turn off the mower, remove the blade shield and replace it.
  9. Pull the plug out of the oil reservoir and dispose of it properly.
  10. Replace the filter and screw it in securely.

How Much Oil Should I Add to The Riding Lawn Mower?

Riding lawn mower oil capacity depends on different brands and models. But primarily depend on the engine size and type. For the small-sized engine, it can hold up to 16 to 24 fluid ounces and up to 48 to 64 fluid ounces for bigger engines. And oil consumption depends on the oil grade. Typically, thicker oils are consumed less than thinner oil. So before pouring the engine oil always find the best quality oil for your mower and we recommend read the manufacture’s manual first.

Almost all riding lawn mowers come equipped with a small oil reservoir located near the blade. The reservoir is designed to hold enough oil to lubricate the blade and keep it cool while in use. If the oil level falls below a certain point, the engine will cease to operate. To avoid this, it’s important to add oil to the riding lawn mower before each use.

The amount of oil you’ll need to add will vary depending on the make and model of your lawn mower. However, most reservoirs hold between 1 and 2 quarts of oil. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions.

Can I Use Synthetic Oil for My Riding Lawn Mower?

Yes. You can. Synthetic oil is a type of lubricant made from man-made chemicals rather than natural oils. Synthetic oil has a number of advantages over traditional motor oils. It resists high temperatures and also does not break down as quickly as traditional oils, making it an excellent choice for engines that are subject to heavy use.

Synthetic oil is also less prone to forming harmful deposits on engine parts, which can lead to decreased performance and increased wear and tear. Some people argue that synthetic oil is not necessary in most cases, as most modern engines do not require it to run properly.

However, for those who do choose to use it, synthetic oil can be a great way to protect their investment and keep their engine running smoothly.


Can You Put Regular Oil in A Riding Lawn Mower?

In general, no – you should not put regular oil in a riding lawn mower. Instead, you should use the oil specifically designed for lawn mowers. This oil is made to handle the intense heat and stress that comes with running a lawn mower engine. Using regular oil can lead to engine damage and decreased performance.

Is John Deere Oil Better than Regular Oil?

John Deere oil is a high-quality oil that is designed for use in John Deere equipment. It is formulated to provide superior protection against wear and corrosion. John Deere oil meets or exceeds the requirements of the manufacturer’s specifications.

Can I Use 10 W30 Instead of Sae 30 in My Lawn Mower

In most cases, 10W30 can be used in place of SAE 30 in lawn mowers. However, it is always best to check the owner’s manual to be sure. Using a heavier weight oil than is recommended could cause damage to the engine.

What Kind of Oil Does John Deere Use?

John Deere doesn’t reveal what kind of oil they use, but it is likely a type of synthetic oil. This oil is designed to withstand high temperatures and pressures, as well as be resistant to corrosion. It is also important that the oil can lubricate moving parts without causing excessive wear.

Can You Use 15 W40 Oil in A Lawn Mower?

Yes, 15W40 oil can be used in a lawn mower. It is important to use the correct weight oil in a lawn mower, as using too heavy or too light of oil can lead to damage. 15W40 oil is the recommended weight for most lawn mowers.


Getting the right motor oil is important for maintaining the life of your riding lawnmower. Using the wrong motor oil can lead to damage and decreased lifespan for your machine. Check your owner’s manual to determine what oil is right for your machine.

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Written By
Alice Jane
Alice is a gardening expert with 4 years of experience writing about horticulture and over 2 years of experience working in landscaping firms.

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