New B&S lifetime oil

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Mar 15, 2015
I was at Walmart last night and saw the staff unpacking new Snapper mowers. For 12 years I owned a fairly large farm and power equipment dealership which I sold about 5 years ago. When I see mowers I usually pay attention. So while the wife was buying her Wally junk I went to check out the new Snappers. What I noticed is Briggs and Stratton is heavily marketing a new engine that says lifetime oil, never change just check and top off. I think this will be more than adequate for a residential walk-behind to be honest. A huge percentage of people never change their lawn mower oil anyway. A larger percentage of failures and problems I saw in my dealership were from not maintaining the air filter. I'm sure whatever oil B&S is factory filling is robust and has a nice additive package. I wasn't able from the box to determine if Briggs mandates a top off with a proprietary brand of oil...maybe w higher additives? I hope at some point we will get to 10yr 100k oil change intervals in auto engines as well. Just change the filter and top off. I have (2) self propelled mowers one is a 1976 model and the other is a 1982 model I use weekly. I have never once change the oil ever in either mower since brand new. Of course, both are lawnboy 2 strokes. grin wink I can't seem to find the fill port or oil drain. Lol
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Personally, I just can't see it (no oil change) for any engine without a oil filter. I do agree that the air filter probably is more important than new oil, but I would still like more new oil than top off. But then the car thing, back in mid 60's my uncle had a 59 ford 6 cylinder that he drove80 miles one way to work 5 days a week, and he never changed the oil, just the filter, and it would go to about 100k and then he would pop in a new long block and go again. And that was with 60's oil and 50's engines. So, who knows, maybe it is possible today to go100k+ with no oil change. Anybody wanna try?
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I think that's just a feature looking to be. I mean, 12 ounces of Supertech once every year or two isn't gonna break the bank, and it takes five minutes to change the oil. Personally, I like changing oil, so I don't mind doing it in the mowers/snowblower. If I did buy one of these mowers, I would still change the oil. Not that I don't trust them. However, how many $99 walmart mowers are there that make it 5-10+ hard years, living outside, never getting a new air filter, spark plug or oil change? So if it's engineered for it, it'd probably be fine. But, I'd do it anyway...
These were $300-$450 dollar mowers. There is no oil drain plug. I don't know where the fill is. I couldn't get a good look. I think it will be just fine and not effect reliability or longevity in this application. When I owned the dealership walk-behind 21" self propelled mowers according to the manufacturers data they shared with us were used on average 25 times per year for less than 1hr. I think the number came up to around 20hrs of actual run time per year. Over 20 years that's 400hrs which doesn't seem excessive on oil. Many oils are seeing 400 plus hrs of use now with no ill effects.
Anyone know how to change the oil in my lawnboy 2 strokes? I just can't find the drain or fill. It's the oddest
Lucky if the engine is rated for 150hr or lower life expectancy not tough to do without ever changing the oil.
There are going to be lots of shiny floating in that oil. My Honda self porpelled that I bought three years ago took two oil changes before the shiny was gone. First oil change the oil was loaded with shiny.
Originally Posted By: ToadU
Anyone know how to change the oil in my lawnboy 2 strokes? I just can't find the drain or fill. It's the oddest
oil level on two strokes is tricky to measure. the mower makers need to use the BMW ultrasonic /no dip stick technology
If it was easy to make the engine burn like 1/3 of the oil in 25 hrs in a controlled way, then the top off ide would even sound good. But, I like changing oil and to everything else that makes my old stuff run better and longer than the neighbours new stuff. Doing great so far. They keep borrowing my 17 yr residential pushmower (B&S Sprint 40, starts at first pull) when the 2 yr olds seem to implode! wink And the 30 yr old husky 254 chainsaw. And the 1991 Bolens snowblower... wink
First it's lawnmowers. Then automobiles. Soon I think that goal of 100K/10 year oil changes is coming. I can remember 2K oil changes called a "lube job" where all those zerks had to be greased along with a lot of other detail stuff. It went along with those hoses and "ding-ding" when you pulled in for gas. Remember cranking the amount pumped back to zero before filling the tank.
Just another sad example of the throw-away society we've become. Most people will never maintain something as lowly as a lawn mower anyway. Why get your hands all icky and have to stuff...when you can just put it on the curb and get a new one from Walmart for $150.
After seeing what the oil looks like after a few hours of break-in, I doubt a "life-time" oil in these engines will lead to a long life. The customers will never need to change the oil, because after the metal shavings score up the bore, the thing will burn so much oil you will have to fill it every mow.
Originally Posted By: ToadU
I hope at some point we will get to 10yr 100k oil change intervals in auto engines as well. Just change the filter and top off.
Most people (who don't take frequent short trips where it doesn't get the oil hot) can probably do exactly that in their auto right now using the MicroGreen oil filters and Amsoil Signature Series oil.
From the B&S webpage......obviously I bored this morning haha How does Just Check & Add™ Work? There are two major reasons consumers usually need to change their oil: Debris has gotten into the oil, causing it to get dirty, and dirty oil causes wear on the engine And through regular running of the engine, the oil heats up, causing it to breakdown and create sludge. The Briggs & Stratton EXi engine uses an automotive style paper air cleaner element that features a press-fit element design to keep dirt out of the engine. And an improved oil fill tube with extended flange protects the tube from debris during routine oil checks. Additionally, the Overhead Valve Design of the EXi engine, and its innovative scroll design and cooling package, means the engine runs cooler, reducing the oil temperature. And cooler oil means slower decay and breakdown of the oil. Briggs & Stratton EXi Series Engines. Engines made easy. Just Check & Add™. Never Change the Oil.
Are they coating the engine parts with something that reduces the shiny metal particles? Might be some type of new age polymer parts engine!
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
First it's lawnmowers. Then automobiles. Soon I think that goal of 100K/10 year oil changes is coming.
My niece tried to do that with her new vehicle. She just had her mom pay off a $6500 bill at the Ford dealership.
I see such mowers at our "transfer station" -which replaced the dump- all the time. The owners buy them. run them for a year of two if lucky, and then dump them. No need to change the oil. Sells a lot of new mowers in this town.
Interesting topic. We're on this site because we're a lot more interested in maintaining our equipment (cars, trucks, OPE, toys, etc), but I've never met ANYONE that believes they can run any sort of 4 stroke engine and never change the oil. That is aside from someone just wanting to run a torture test.... Actually, one of my favorite things to do around the house is to maintain my gas powered equipment. Every year the walk behind gets fresh oil, a blade sharpen/balance, cleaning, and inspection of the air filter and spark plug. If you can't find a couple of hours a year to maintain your mower, you should just pay someone else to mow your yard.
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