If your lawnmower is low on oil, is it safe to use motorcycle oil to get you out of trouble? Will motorcycle oil damage the lawnmower engine?
Motorcycle oil is slightly different to lawnmower oils. Some oil is better than no oil, regardless of your engine. Motorcycle oil is more robust, but you can use it in a lawnmower as a short term fix.
Can I use motorcycle oil for a lawnmower?
Yes, it’s not ideal, but if you want to mow the lawn, it will do an excellent job of lubricating the lawnmower engine.
Many motorcycle oil is fully synthetic and capable of withstanding a lot of punishment, much more than your lawnmower can dish out.
Motorcycle oil is probably overkilled for a lawnmower where cheaper mineral oil is all that is required. Lawnmowers typically use SAE 30, which is more akin to car engine oil than motorcycle oil.
A 10W 30 or 10W 40 would do an excellent job in a lawnmower. If you have used synthetic motorcycle oil, then your mower will be in good shape and will not require an oil change for some time to come.
Can you use 4 stroke oil in a lawnmower?
Yes, with the proviso, your lawn mower engine is not 2 stroke. Lawnmower engine oil is very similar to car engine oil in its viscosity, so 4 stroke oil will work well to lubricate the engine.
Always refer to the owner’s manual before using an out-of-spec specification oil. Indeed, some mowers will not tolerate car engine oils very well, and the viscosity could cause the engine to seize.
Lower viscosity oils are typically specified for lawn mowers by the engine manufacturer. Having said that, we all know someone with a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine that just keeps on running regardless of what engine oil is used.
With the average mower only seeing around 50 hours of use each season, it’s worth finding the correct oil and changing the oil at the start of each mowing season.
Can you use 2 stroke motorcycle oil in a lawnmower?
Two-stroke engines mix the fuel and oil, so using a two-stroke motorcycle engine oil in a two-stroke lawnmower would be fine.
However, if you consider using two-stroke oil in a lawnmower oil sump for lubrication, you could find yourself in trouble.
Two-stroke oil is intended to mix with fuel and not as a straight lubricant. If it’s mixed with other oil, it will hopefully just burn off as the oil will not take the temperature.
If you have inadvertently used two-stroke oil in your lawnmower, drain it off and start again with a SAE30 or the oil specified for the engine.
Can you use synthetic motor oil in a lawnmower?
Yes, your lawnmower engine will run perfectly with synthetic oil. The synthetic oil will lubricate fantastically and is possibly a better oil to use than what has been specified by the manufacturer.