Can You Use 10W30 Instead of SAE30 in Lawn Mower?

Using a lawnmower also means taking care of it.

And one of the things you need to ensure is that the right engine oil is used in your lawnmower.

While most of the time people stick to the same brand, here is a common question I often gets – whether I can use 10W30 instead of SAE30 in a lawn-mower

Can You Use 10W30 Instead of SAE30 in Lawn Mower?

Yes, you can make use 10W30 engine oil instead of the SAE30 in your Lawn Mower.

Castrol 03093 GTX 10W-30 Conventional Motor Oil - 5 Quart

But there are other factors you need to consider. These include temperature and the engine.

Older engines can use the SAE30, while the 10W30 is for modern engines. Again, the SAE30 is better for warmer temperatures while the 10W30 is suitable for varying temperature ranges and also works well in cold weather.

Read to know more about the oil grades before taking a final decision on which to use on your lawnmower.

Meaning of the 10W30 Grade Motor Oil

The letter combination you will find on different motor oil battles may look a bit strange. But they are something not unusual.

But for you to understand and appreciate these letters like the “W” on the 10W30, you need to know what viscosity means.

Wait a minute, another term? Well, the viscosity is something every motor or mower owner needs to know.

However, viscosity means how much the oil itself can resist flow. In other words, if I decide to turn a motor oil battle upside down, how fast will the oil flow out of the battle? That’s the viscosity.

Now, the slower the oil flows out of the bottle, the more viscous it is said to be.

However, to make it simpler to indicate viscosity, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) came up with a standard scale.

The letter “W” stands for winter. So, here is what you will find when you look at the scale.

  • 0W
  • 5W
  • 10W
  • 15W
  • 20W
  • 25W
  • 20W
  • 30W
  • 40W
  • 50W
  • 60W

So, you can see that the last is the 60W which is considered to be the thickest of them all.

On the other hand, multi-viscosity 10W30 is considered ideal for good reasons. One of the reasons is its viscosity which makes it suitable to use all year round.

The thing is the 10W30 can respond positively to a range of temperatures.

Are low viscosity oils of any benefit?

First, know that the “W” which stands for winter means the oil in question can stand cold temperatures. So, the low viscosities oil which falls into this category is an ideal option for the cold winter periods.

The oil that is thinner flows faster and efficiently too.

The motor oil acts as lubricants for the engine. And like fuel, motor oil is also very vital for the smooth functioning of a vehicle or lawn-mower.

When you turn on a cold engine, for instance, the thinner motor oil flows or travels to the top of the engine with high speed before it starts coming to its original level.

But as soon as the engine of the vehicle starts heating up after working for a while, the higher viscosity means that the oil will likely not thin out too much. Hence, it will ensure at least a film of oil separates the parts of the engine.

However, it is very critical for your motor oil to continue to maintain this balance and ensure that the engine of the vehicle has proper lubrication to function optimally.

The oil should be able to flow adequately when the engine is still cold and also retain enough oil when it heats up to eliminate friction between the metal parts.

Things About Motor Oil And Engine You Need To Know

You will undoubtedly want your lawn-mower to last a while. That’s what every person would wish. But it won’t happen through magic. You have to work hard to make it happen.

Your lawn mower needs proper maintenance, quite alright. In other words, you need to wash the body after use and store it in a decent place.

But the internal part which is the engine also needs similar care. I have also highlighted some of the things you need to do to make your lawnmower or last a bit longer.

  • Change the oil of your lawnmower regularly. And by regularly, I mean at least after 50 hours of use or annually, whichever comes first. If you were not able to use it for 20 – 50 hours within the year, the oil would still require changing.
  • Multi-grade oil can offer better protection for engines with larger temperature swing ranges. Unlike before where car owners had to change their oil to a lighter one during the winter season, the multi-grade oil was developed for use in a range of temperatures.
  • The 10W30 multi-grade oil is called blended oil. The 10W part represents the grade of winter oil in the blend while the 30 part represents the part for hotter temperatures.
  • The modern blend oil is not only beneficial when used in different temperature ranges. There is a detergent component in the oil that helps to clean and clamp down contaminants that can initiate combustion. Black sludge as you know can eat away at the metal, and it can also clog up critical oil passageways. So, utilizing the modern blend can help to safeguard your engine to a large extent.
  • Do not use low-quality oils in your lawnmower. Choose high-quality ones and ensure the oil is the right grade for your machine. Poor quality oil can damage or make your engine weak, which will cause you to spend heavily on repairs.
  • Most of the latest Briggs and Stratton engines do not require changing of the oil. All you need to do is continue topping the oil after a while. These engines are designed to run clean. So, you don’t need to be afraid that the old oil might pose a problem.
  • One of the simple ways you can find out if your oil is top quality is via the authentication seal. So when buying, pay attention to the API (American Petroleum Institute) seal. The other one is the ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Europeens d’Automobiles.
  • It is crucial to change the engine of smaller mowers often because many of them don’t have filters that can screen out engine contaminants.

Reasons To Check And Change The Oil Of The Mower Occasionally

Checking and changing oil are two critical things that can determine the performance and lifespan of your mower’s engine. The quality and quantity of oil you have in the engine play a crucial role too.

However, when the oil level is low, the engine of the mower can start overheating. Wear or complete seizure of the engine can also occur. The bottom line does not have enough oil in your mower can damage it beyond repair.

And even if you finally find a mechanic that can repair the engine, you might end up spending more money.

But then, I have seen mowers that come with a safety switch, which prevents mowers that do not have enough oil from starting.

But not every mower has such a feature. So the best thing is to ensure that your mower has enough oil before use.

Excess oil in the engine can also cause a problem for your mower. It would make it difficult for the engine to start. In some cases, your engine might start smoking in a manner that will annoy you.

How To Check and Change The Oil In Your Mower

It is good to check the oil level in your mower regularly. You can check whenever you want to fill up the tank with fuel or whenever you want to use it.

Here are the steps to take;

  • Drive your mower to level ground. If the field is sloppy, it would be difficult to know the accurate level.
  • Reach for the dipstick. It sometimes comes in different colors and is at the side of the machine too.
  • Understand the various dipstick styles. The mark on the dipstick (upper or lower) can be indicated with anything. Some have words, holes, lines or even letters. Also, when pouring new oil into the engine, aim for the top mark.
  • Check the dipstick to know the actual oil level. But you have to wipe with a clean cloth and then place back since the machine is now on a leveled ground. But when you install the dipstick, try not to screw it in until you are through checking the oil gauge.

If you are a fan of video instructions, simply watch this video:

However, if the oil is way above the mark (a hole, letter, number) then try to remove some until it gets to the normal level.

Wrapping It Up

Can I use 10w30 instead of SAE 30 in my lawn-mower? The answer is yes. If you are looking for the reason, then you can read this article from the beginning.

Again, since you want your machine to function well, you need to be careful of the quality of oil you use on it. Do the right thing to keep your lawnmower in top performance consistently.

Other articles you may also like: