Can You Use Car Motor Oil In A Lawn Mower

Can You Use Car Motor Oil in a Lawn Mower?

Just like any other machine, your lawnmower needs oil for optimum functioning. Using the ideal oil in your mower ensures it runs smoothly and lasts longer without any oil-related engine problems. Are you wondering whether you can use car motor oil in your mower? Read on! This article has everything you need to know.

Car Motor Oil

You’ll need to change the oil in your mower regularly. Replacing the old oil with the new one is part of lawn mower maintenance, and it helps avoid malfunctioning of the mower. Furthermore, a well-maintained lawn mower will function best, keeping your turf in point.

Consider the Type of Oil to Use in Your Mower

Although recommendations are that you follow the manufacturer’s guide on the type of oil to use in your lawn mower, you can still use your car motor oil in your mower. Besides, most people prefer using car motor oil over those highly-priced brands.

The mower’s engine functions like that of a car, although it’s smaller in size. Your car motor high-quality oil will still do great for your mower. Lawn mowers need viscous oil with at least a 30-weight.

Car Motor Oil

If you don’t have a manual, you can consider logging in to the manufacturer’s website. Consult the manufacturer on the motor oil you want to buy for your mower. If the manufacturer holds nothing against this oil, then you can continue with your purchase.

Before choosing the ideal oil for your mower, be cautious on the following:

1. Quality of The Oil

Lawn mower engines require high-quality oil. As a rule of thumb, high-quality is always expensive. SAE 30, 10W-30, and 10W-40 are some of the motor oils you can opt to buy at affordable prices; some pocket change is worth it.

With car motor oils, you’ll have to measure the amount of oil your mower needs. SAE 30 is the most commonly used oil, and it comes with small containers, just the right amount for your mower, saving you the time needed to measure the oil.

It’s essential to read the manual after purchasing your mower. Through this, you get to know the oil type recommended by the mower’s manufacturer. It’s advisable to use this mower oil; however, SAE 30 will do great for your mower if you opt for motor oil.

Always keep in mind when buying oil for your lawn mower, high-quality oil is your best fit. If your car motor oil is of low quality, consider purchasing high-quality oil for your lawnmower. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to use different oil in your mower than in your car.

2. When You Should Change the Lawn Mower Oil

Most people who have mowers are unsure when to replace the old dirty oil with the new one. I’ll let you into a little secret, treat your lawn mower just like any other of your vehicles. It’s simple! Replace the oil in your mower just as often as you do for other cars.

Besides, most mower manuals have the oil changing interval stated in them. When using your mower for the first time, you’ll need to change the oil in the early few hours of use.

Whether after some hours of use, monthly or annually, whichever you adopt is excellent. Changing the lawn mower oil is care maintenance for every mower owner to adopt.

Factors That Determine When You Should Change Your Mower Oil

1. Lawn Mower Size

 Lawn Mower

What is the size of your mower? Large mowers will generally go for longer without the need for an oil change. However, if your mower is smaller in size, then the oil change process is done more often.

2. Climate Conditions

If your turf is at a hot, dusty, and too windy place, the mower oil is likely to get dirty within a short period; thus, you have to change it regularly. Mowing in muddy grass also requires frequent oil change.

These are some of the factors that determine the frequency you’ll need to change your mower oil. In such conditions, your mower engine works extra hard and consequently needs an oil change to put up its optimal operation level.

Climate Conditions

Pro Tips

It would help if you considered running your mower for a few minutes before changing the oil. That increases the temperature of the oil, making it less dense and easy to flow out.

Lawn mowers require care and maintenance, just like any other machine. To ensure your mower is at the point, consider regular oil change. Checking the oil level is another tip to caring for a lawnmower.

Use a dipstick to regularly check the oil level and determine when to add more oil in your lawn mower.


Regularly change your lawn mower oil to reduce the strain and better functioning of the mower.

Changing the oil depends on your lawnmower type and how many times you mow in a season.

If your mower starts to malfunction, for instance, emitting dirty smoke when on use, you should change the oil. Additionally, if you check the oil level and it’s below the required minimum as per the manual, consider tapping up the oil.  

How to Change the Oil in Your Lawnmower

It’s easy to read the manual and understand which oil types are convenient for use in your lawn and when to change the oil but how to change the oil is quite a complicated process.

With the step by step guide offered below, you can quickly go through the process and voila! There is your mower, efficient, and smooth running.

Before the guide, you’ll need to understand that Lawnmowers have different manufacturing designs. How you’ll change the oil depends on your mower; some have plugs to pour out the oil while others don’t.

You’ll have to open the plug and let the oil pour out. You’ll need to tilt the mower for those without plugs and allow the oil to flow out.

Ensure you use an oil pan to collect the oil and avoid it from spilling on the ground.

Step by Step Guide to Changing the Oil in Your Lawnmower

  1. Empty the gasoline. Depending on your preference, that is optional, but it’s advisable to siphon out the gasoline before the oil change process.
  2. Remove the spark wire as a precaution to prevent the mower from starting by accident when you are continuing with the oil change.
  3. Open the oil drain plug and ensure all the oil drains out. For lawnmowers without a drain plug, tilt the mower so that the oil flows out through the dipstick hole. Take caution of the carburetor as you tilt your mower.
  4.  Fill in the carburetor with new oil.

If your mower has no plug for draining out the oil and you have to tilt it, first siphon out all the gasoline from the fuel tank. It helps avoid gasoline spillage.


Lawnmowers need maintenance and care just like any other machine. Beyond this, Knowing the ideal oil type to use in your mower, when to change the oil and how exactly to change it is key to a smooth operating mower.

You can use car motor oil in your lawnmower but always consult the mower manufacturer before purchasing the oil.

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