Oil/Filter suggestion for John Deere S240 w/Kawasaki 21.5 hp.


Site Donor 2023
May 31, 2009
Cleveland, OH
After 20 plus years of wanting a riding mower I finally treated myself to a John Deere S240 (first time rider owner) So now begins the circus in my head on what Oil to use, and realizing there are also different oil filter choices than JD or Kawasaki. I suppose I could keep it simple stupid and just buy the JD turfgaurd or Kawasaki oil and corresponding filter but if you are on this forum, you are probably overthinking it like I am. The JD Turfguard and Kawasaki oil is way overpriced, especially as the the JD is Conventional oil, that comes with a price tag of 8-10 dollars a qt., Id prefer to at least run a Syn Blend or Full syn anyway. Ive read so many conflicting info regarding these engines and what oil to use online. Some say use the JD Dino because its formulated with the proper additives for a lawn tractor. Some say to avoid Full syn in this mower, some say to use Full syn. I do know Kawasaki recommends 10-40, while JD recommends 10-30, neither company speaks to whether to use Dino, Semi-Syn, or Full Syn . I will be going with a 10w30 because it suits my situation with use and climate. I was perhaps considering using Rotella T5 if I can easily find it, otherwise I'm still considering, and open to suggestions. Any insight on this Oil/filter topic would be appreciated!
My riding mower has a Kohler 25 HP engine and it's not picky at all, I have run Valvoline VR1 10W30 (conventional), Valvoline 15W40 (conventional), Delo 15W40 (conventional), Rotella T4 10W30 and Rotella T4 15W40. It is perfectly happy with any of them and never needs any topping off between oil changes. I'm not sure about Kawasaki, but mine takes a standard Wix 51348 / Napa Gold 1348 / Purolator PL10241 / Fram PH 3614 / Motorcraft FL910S .
Change the tranny fluid often, they like fresh fluid. Hope this helps.
I use Rotella T5 15w40 in my 1998 Kawasaki liquid cooled 501V with a basic (can’t remember the number) Wix filter. 24 years old and still runs like new.
MC FL-910s filter or a 3614 fram or super tech. The deere filter 125424 filter is the same as the cheaper super tech filters, a champ E-core with nitrile adbv.

I've run 10w-30 and 5w-40 with no issues in my deere that has the updated kawasaki (same family of engine) as my mower. The deere turfgard is just API rated PCMO but is only like $4/qt around here.
If you are seeing $8-10/quart for JD, you must be shopping at Homer's.
I have purchased the JD oil at both dealers that I frequent at prices comparable to what I could purchase other name brand oils for at Wallys or just about anywhere else.
I have used a variety of oils in my X series with a Kawasaki. I have run the JD, Citgo Syn, and am presently running a Castrol blend (all in 10W30, that I picked up cheap.) All have been find.
I have the exact same mower new last year and had the same questions. Like many here have already recommended, I landed on Rotella T4 15w40 and a Fram Ultra 3614.
How are you liking Your JD S240? So far I'm really liking mine. I'm discharging, it cuts really nice imo. My only complaint is the entire hood, and maintenance access panel is make really chintzy. The latch on my maintenance door came delivered broken, and I didn't notice it until after it was dropped off. Rather than deal with who ever and have the mower hauled away for who knows how long, I was able to fix it with a well placed drilled hole, and small zip tie. I'm buying a utility cart soon for it to haul fire wood. I'm not sure what hitch pin to buy though, open to suggestions.