Oil Questions (Mower)

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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Info on the mower - Yard Man riding mower, 12.5hp Briggs single cylinder, no oil filter, 1.5 quart capacity. If I remember correctly it's about 4-7 years old. I bought it about 3.5 years ago used. No idea what was in the sump the first year, but for the last two I've been using Valvoline Synpower 5W-30 with stellar results. The oil has been in there since November and is still clear. It's absolutely spotless under the valve cover. I'm considering Valvoline Maxlife Full Synthetic 5W-30 due to its better additive package. Between those two, what would be the better choice? Would one of them hold up better to the heat? Not considering other brands, and definitely not considering 30W. Also, in your opinion, is a yearly fall oil change (after final mow, before winter storage) a reasonable OCI? Thanks in advance.
 
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753
Location
Phoenix
Any good quality oil will work. B&S recommends synthetic 5W30, so I would stick with that. I shop based on price and change the oil every 25 hrs. I have been using Shell and QS 5W30 synthetics for years without issue. Cost is <$4/qt. I do not think this type of motor can take advantage of advanced additives.
 
Last edited:

tony1679

Thread starter
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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: knerml
B&S recommends 50 hrs OCI.
I'm not criticizing, but some auto manufacturers have 5k-7.5k ocis. People go way past that with a good synthetic and proper care. Could this be applied here too (going longer)? And is the 50hr recommendation for synthetic 5W-30 or 30W?
 
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2,011
Location
War Eagle
Well since you have had it for 4 years or so and have done good maintenance(atta boy) and you are using a quality synthetic oil and under the valve cover is spotless, I would not change anything you are doing. I think the engine will outlast the rest of your mower as you are taking great care with it. Keep up the good work.
 
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2,061
Location
America's Dairyland
As others have said, it doesn't matter. You've made the decision on these two oils only so pick which is cheaper, or lets you sleep better. Changing before storage is a great idea since fresh oil can neutralize any acids formed. It will still be fresh in the spring to run all year...or less...if it makes you sleep better sleep
 

pbm

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8,889
Location
New York
I think a 50 hour OCI is plenty long enough on a mower. Air cooled, no filter and smallish sump makes it tough on oil, IMO. I mow about once a week for about an hour from April until Oct. (sometimes every 10 days late in the season) so I probably do a 25-30 hour OCI.....when I change the oil/filter it's always thin and appears spent. Last year I used a longer filter (PL195 in place of the PL241) so I left it on for a second season....I plan on doing an autopsy in Oct. to see if it held up. PS: 17HP B&S with filter which takes 1 1/2 qts. (48 oz.) of oil.
 
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17,236
Location
Upper Midwest
What? Air-cooled OPE is a poster child for a quality synthetic, as Briggs demonstrates with their recommendation.
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Without an oil filter you really can't take advantage of synthetics benefits. I'd use Rotella T5 10w30
 
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3,870
Location
NEUS
Being air cooled, and more importantly without a filter, 50 hours is as far as I'd ever take an engine like this. SAE30 or 10w-30 would be less prone to shearing than 5w-30. If you're insistent on Valvoline, then Synpower 10w-30 is what I'd use.
Originally Posted By: kschachn
What? Air-cooled OPE is a poster child for a quality synthetic, as Briggs demonstrates with their recommendation.
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Without an oil filter you really can't take advantage of synthetics benefits. I'd use Rotella T5 10w30
I think he's just saying that extended intervals without an oil filter are not a good idea. I agree. Any of the Rotella T Triple/T5/T6 oils would be great here too.
 
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6,638
Location
South Florida
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Without an oil filter you really can't take advantage of synthetics benefits.
Synthetics sheer less, consume less, handle high heat better, stay cleaner, keep the rings and valves cleaner, and do a better job with carbon deposits. He "can't take advantage" of any of those benefits?
 
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6,638
Location
South Florida
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Being air cooled, and more importantly without a filter, 50 hours is as far as I'd ever take an engine like this.
I agree. The engine lacks an oil filter. If you extend past the recommended 50 hours, all that grit and dirt is just putting extra wear and tear on your engine. With your average yearly hours of 80-100 hours, I would just change the oil twice per year if I was in your shoes. What's $5 in oil in the grand scheme of things?
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
SAE30 or 10w-30 would be less prone to shearing than 5w-30.
The OP is running syn 5W30, which won't shear to a 20 weight in the short span of 50-100 hours. It is the recommended weight by the manufacturer.
 
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524
Location
sc/fl
Given the two choices I would opt for the maxlife. If you're stuck on Valvoline I would take a serious look at VR1 10w-30; nice add pack and great flash point and shear resistance. If you're not stuck on valvoline I would go with a HDEO, SRT 10w-30 would probably be my choice.
 
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6,170
Location
North Coast
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Without an oil filter you really can't take advantage of synthetics benefits. I'd use Rotella T5 10w30
+1 ^^^ this...its what I use. approved
 
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