Oil & Common Sense for Small Engines

Messages
9,797
Location
Ontario, Canada
What kind of monster would use 0w20 / 5w20 /0w16 in a small engine 😭
(No offense intended)
I've got syn 5W20 in my lawn tractor now, ran it all last summer. It was handy and I wasn't going to town for oil for that thing. It only smokes when I put in old chainsaw mix, lol. Its my old gas incinerator that also cuts the grass. Normally I'd use whatever HDEO I have left over from the tractor but I was fresh out.
 
Messages
1,402
Location
WV
My lawn mowers get whatever I have left over from changing cars, which is generally a full or semi-synthetic 5w-30 and I change my rider every couple years (80ish hrs) on my small stuff with 3.5hp - 8 I never change them once I put in some initial decent oil and just keep them topped off.. None of my stuff gets a ton of hrs and I'm very much in the "keeping it full is much more important than what its full of" camp when it comes to OPE. If I was going to pick a dedicated oil for all of them it'd be a full synthetic 10w-30. Probably supertech.
Why change the oil in you vehicle if the oil is still good?
 
Messages
1,525
Location
Warner Robins, GA
Why change the oil in you vehicle if the oil is still good?

I don't know about everyone else, but I have different levels of caring about stuff based on value and how much I use it. I've got an edger, push mowers, rototillers and a 3 wheeler that haven't had an oil change in years, some over 10 years and they aren't smoking or showing any signs of croaking. These all get less than 10hrs of run time per year. If I was using them more I would probably change the oil more, but for now not changing seems to be working just fine. I guess I should have added the disclaimer to "don't be like me I'm an idiot" haha

Actually I figure I change the oil on my truck every 6-7000 miles and that is probably something like 150hrs. So maybe I should say I'll change my small OPE every 15yrs based on hours and give them the same level of respect as my vehicles.
 
Messages
212
I don't know about everyone else, but I have different levels of caring about stuff based on value and how much I use it. I've got an edger, push mowers, rototillers and a 3 wheeler that haven't had an oil change in years, some over 10 years and they aren't smoking or showing any signs of croaking. These all get less than 10hrs of run time per year. If I was using them more I would probably change the oil more, but for now not changing seems to be working just fine. I guess I should have added the disclaimer to "don't be like me I'm an idiot" haha

Actually I figure I change the oil on my truck every 6-7000 miles and that is probably something like 150hrs. So maybe I should say I'll change my small OPE every 15yrs based on hours and give them the same level of respect as my vehicles.
The longest I can let oil go in my equipment is 1 year.
 
Messages
332
Location
Litchfield, Ohio
Depends on the engine. Our wheel horse tractor with the kohler engine only likes SAE 30. Ive tried 15w40 and 5W40 in it and it used oil. With SAE 30 oil consumption is way less. My snow blower gets 5W40. My pressure washer and push mower get Amsoil 10W30 OPE oil.
 
Messages
2,308
Location
Ottumwa, Iowa
It is all overkill. Make sure it gets changed once in a while and make sure the level is always full and it will run longer than you care to keep it.

Zinc was needed in old days with flat tappets and high pressure valve springs at high rpm and not as accurate machining processes.
 
Messages
5,455
Location
Ohio
Depends on the engine. Our wheel horse tractor with the kohler engine only likes SAE 30. Ive tried 15w40 and 5W40 in it and it used oil. With SAE 30 oil consumption is way less. My snow blower gets 5W40. My pressure washer and push mower get Amsoil 10W30 OPE oil.
I hate an engine with an attitude...
 
Messages
5,455
Location
Ohio
I wouldn’t over think this one...
I have a 1985 Honda lawn mover, which I still mow my lawn with today, and have used whatever oil I had around for my cars...which was Dino oil at first.
My thoughts and practices too. Important thing is to change the oil when you are supposed to and use what is recommended. The brand used or adding additives isn't going to make it last any longer.
 
Messages
265
Location
South La
I either use Delo 15/40 or any 10/30 FS I have on hand, Tractor, 4 wheeler and Zero turn 15/40. The 3 generators, push lawn mower, push weedeater, pressure washer and tiller get the 10/30.
 
Messages
394
Location
Oklahoma
Its either I use a straight 30, 15w-40, 10w-40, 10w30, or 20w50.

I wouldn't use 5w20,0w20,0w16,5w30,0w30, 5w40, and 0w40.

The ones i wouldn't use is through testing each one using briggs engines with very high rpms adjusted on my pressure washer and push mower,

the 5w20 after 20 minutes started burning like CRAZY, the 0w20 started burning at startup and created blue smoke you can see everywhere, 0w16 fouled up my plugs, 5w30 ran for 1 hour and then started burning alot, 0w30 fouled up my plug after 4 minutes of runtime, 5w40 seemed promising at the 2 hour mark, but after shutoff was as thin as water, 0w40 started burning alot at startup but then stopped after a minute.
Not discrediting your observations, but I personally think if your observations are correct then this is a Briggs problem...not the oil.

I've ran a name brand 5W-30 full synthetic in the same small Kawasaki V-twin engine for well over 1,000 hours without any oil usage or engine repairs. It still (no exaggeration) runs like brand new, never a single puff of smoke. I change the oil and filter roughly every 100 hours. We do see temps in the 100s here also. Kawasaki specs a 10W-40 along with other grades including 50s in the manual, but it says "SAE 10W-30" physically on the dipstick.

I'm using the exact same oil on my newly acquired zero turn also. I'm already seeing an improvement over the garbage that was used prior.

Those are just my observations...along with the observation of your (assumed) agenda running 20W-50 in your 2020 Toyota Camry in your sig. I spy a thickie.
 
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Messages
225
Not discrediting your observations, but I personally think if your observations are correct then this is a Briggs problem...not the oil.

I've ran a name brand 5W-30 full synthetic in the same small Kawasaki V-twin engine for well over 1,000 hours without any oil usage or engine repairs. It still (no exaggeration) runs like brand new, never a single puff of smoke. I change the oil and filter roughly every 100 hours. We do see temps in the 100s here also. Kawasaki specs a 10W-40 along with other grades including 50s in the manual, but it says "SAE 10W-30" physically on the dipstick.

I'm using the exact same oil on my newly acquired zero turn also. I'm already seeing an improvement over the garbage that was used prior.

Those are just my observations...along with the observation of your (assumed) agenda running 20W-50 in your 2020 Toyota Camry in your sig. I spy a thickie.
Could be a briggs problem, the 20w50 is just an experiment in how confident i am with thick oils.
not bias, never used kawasaki or any other small engine.
 
Messages
1,503
Location
Maryland
No need for additives such as zinc. I use 5-30 syn in my snow blower, generator, pressure washer and two push mowers. My 25hp John Deere gets 0-40 because I only change it once a year and use it all 12 months of the year. None of these engines use any oil at all. My one push mower is 25 years old and still runs strong. Change as necessary and you will not have any oil related problem.
 
Messages
1,552
Like a lot of you I have a "Small Fleet" of "Small Engine, 3.5 to 23 HP". What Oil to use? I want something that will keep these engines running until the rest of the machine falls apart. I have read a lot on here and other places. There are lots of opinions about Oil. Here is what I am planning to do: I am going to pick a Automotive 10W-40 or 10W30 Full Synthetic, Add a liberal dose of ZINC like Roslone Hyperlube. And run it in all my fleet. My Reasoning Full synthetics are not supposed to break down under high heat of a Turbocharger so they should do perfectly well with the temps of a 19 Hp Kohler mower on a 100 degree Ky day. Todays Synthetics appear to eliminate most to almost all internal engine wear these days. The "liberal addition" of of the Zinc should protect against any "flat surface" wear in these engines. So Simple, Common Sense, and relatively cheap. Would really like to hear what ya got to say about this. I have had some really Dumb ideas in my time. If this is one of them please tell me it is dumb.

I've been using RP 5w30 HMX with no issues. I saw Amsoil 4 stroke 0w40 at Farm and Fleet so I figured I'd run something different for the summer. 😉
 
Messages
1,953
Location
Muncie, Indiana
Any type of 10w-30 or 15w40 HDEO or Straight 30. Right now you can get Mobil Full synthetic Delvac 15w40 for 17.48 from Wal-Mart and then there's a $9 mail in you can get up to 4 gallons, a pretty good deal for some great oil for OPE.
 
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