Lawnmower oil is made of petroleum, which contains sulfur that has the potential to go bad. If you ever mix up your lawn mower oil with engine oil, be aware that lawn mower oil generally has a shorter life than engine oil.

There are significant differences between the two, and if you mix them up, you should expect problems. 

Can lawnmower oil go bad, Zazzy Home

Significantly thicker viscosity. This can result in poor circulation, which will affect your grass cutting abilities. Engine oil is so thin that it would not provide the lubrication you need for your lawnmower engine to run smoothly. In addition, engine oil contains detergent additives designed to break down sludge and carbon deposits over time. Lawnmower oil does not have any of these additives, which can lead to sludge buildup within your engine.



Engine oil has a higher flash point than lawnmower oils do. If you try to start the engine after mixing the two together, this could result in an explosion under the hood.

Lawnmower oil is generally more expensive than engine oil. Therefore, you may be tempted to buy cheaper lawn mower oil (below), but you must know that there are significant differences between the two kinds of fluid!

If you think you’ve made this mistake before, here’s what you need to do:

Both are petroleum products, but engine oil contains additives, so it doesn’t break down as fast, whereas lawnmower oil does not contain any additives, which will cause it to go bad within a couple of months depending on how often you use it.

The two also have different flash points (the temperature at which the vapors above the liquid will ignite). Generally speaking, engine oils have a high flash point, while lawnmower oils have a lower flashpoint. So if ignited, they will burn differently, too.

Lawn Mower Oil vs. Engine Oil Comparison Chart (source: http://alturl.com/qhjo )

As we can see from this comparison chart above, when mixed together in your lawnmower, engine oil and lawnmower oil will cause problems such as

Can lawnmower oil go bad, Zazzy Home

1) Sludge build up within your engines

2) The two fluids have different flash points and will ignite differently when burned

3) Lawnmower oils go bad much faster than engine oils do

4) Lawnmower oils generally cost more than engine oils do.



Engine oil has a higher viscosity because it contains additives to improve its lubrication properties. Unfortunately, these additives make engine oils more expensive than other petroleum products, such as lawnmower oil.

The longer life of engine oil is also due to these additives improving oxidation resistance and corrosion protection. Engine oil must have a balanced additive system that can cope with cool-start issues in cold weather while providing good antiwear performance at high operating temperatures, along with the capability for controlling levels of air pollutants under all conditions.

Lawnmower manufacturers recommend using fresh motor oil for optimal performance and maximum warranty coverage. However, when used in equipment designed for older types of motor oils or mixed with other types of oils, the results can range from an increase in air pollution to poorer engine protection – to even complete engine failure!



Can Lawn Mower Oil Go Bad?

Lawnmower oil is made of petroleum, which contains sulfur that has the potential to go bad. If you ever mix up your lawn mower oil with engine oil, be aware that lawn mower oil generally has a shorter life than engine oil.

Lawnmower manufacturers recommend using fresh motor oil for optimal performance and maximum warranty coverage. When used in equipment designed for older types of motor oils or mixed with other types of oils, the results can range from an increase in air pollution to poorer engine protection – to even complete engine failure! Lawnmower manufacturers require motor oil meeting API service classification SG or better. This is not the same as SAE30 or SAE 40 automotive motor oils, which are not designed for outdoor power equipment applications.

Lawn Mower Oil If you have a lawnmower that takes SAE 50, SAE 60, or another oil viscosity not listed here, don’t take chances! Use fresh motor oil. There are also several other good reasons to use fresh motor oil in your lawnmower, including 1) You won’t be diluting your engine’s lubricant 2) It will provide the best protection against wear 3) Fresh motor oil is specifically designed for your lawnmower 4) Your warranty may be invalidated if you put in old/weaker/otherwise mixed-in oils 5) Motor oils with lower viscosities cannot provide adequate lubrication in cold weather and may even cause damage to your engine.

Can lawnmower oil go bad, Zazzy Home



How long is lawn mower oil good for?

Most mowers require the owner to add fresh oil every season. Mower oil does not “go bad,” but it can get dirty and therefore become less effective. This is especially true if the lawnmower has been sitting outside where debris such as leaves and dirt can accumulate in the machine’s crankcase.

The oil also gets dirtier over time, even when it’s only been a few months since the last change. When changing the mower oil, be sure to remove any sediment (gunk) from above and below the oil level indicator and screen before adding new oil. Clean debris from these areas also helps prevent damage caused by the pinching of moving parts. If possible, drain some used oil from the unit and store it for use if you have a later model mower that does not require SAE 30 weight or heavier oil.

If your owner’s manual suggests an API service classification other than the cold weather grades, such as SE or SF, consider using those oils during warmer months. However, never mix different types of motor oils in a gasoline engine. For small engines, look for “non-detergent” (and non-API) oil at the auto parts store and use regular (SAE 30) weight motor oil which is often labeled “for air-cooled engines” or “riding lawn mowers.” Cleaning debris from above and below the screen before draining will protect moving parts by removing dirt that otherwise could cause pinching.

How can you tell if mower oil is bad?

Start by checking if the color of the oil is dark brown or black. If it is almost solid brown, then it’s definitely time to change it. Old oil loses its lubricating abilities and will not protect your engine as well as fresh oil. You can also tell if mower oil isn’t good anymore if there are metal flakes in the tank with the oil- these flakes come from parts wearing down off of your engine and mixing into the watery mix that forms when you cool an engine down.

Another sign that mower oil needs changing is rusting around or near where you put fuel into. This could be a sign that the oil and fuel mixture was either too hot or not mixed well enough. You can also check your oil dipstick to see if it has gone down, which would mean you’ve been burning off more of the oil than usual by running the engine under higher RPMs for longer periods of time (such as when mowing).

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to change your lawnmower’s mower oil.

Note: It is important to remember that different types and brands of mowers handle their oils differently; some recommend taking out the old oil immediately, while others say waiting until after a few hours after use. If you keep up with how your brand recommends changing your engine oils, then you should be fine.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this article about the comparison of lawnmower oil vs. engine oil. Hopefully, you have learned something new here today, and keep it in mind when going out to purchase a type of lubricant for your lawnmower. If you have any questions, feel free to leave your comment in the section below. Also, if this article has helped you in any way, please remember to share it by clicking on one of the social media links at the bottom of this page.

Author

Gardening doesn't have to be hard. Even if you don't have a lot of space, there are ways to make the most of it. My name is Brian and I'm a garden design and maintenance blogger. I've been gardening for years, and I'm an expert at getting the most out of a garden of any size. If you're just starting out, the first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of gardener you are. Are you the type who likes to get their hands dirty? Or do you prefer to sit back and let things grow on their own? Once you know that, it's easier to decide what kind of garden to create.

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