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Can I Use My 10w30 Car Oil In My Lawn Mower? Should I?

Written by William
Last Updated on January 24, 2023

Will 10w30 Car Oil Work In My Lawnmower? Find Out Here!

Choosing the right engine oil for your lawnmower is very important, if you don't you could risk damaging your mower's engine. Most commonly, SAE-30 is used in a lawnmowers engine, however, you can use the 10W30 motor oil too.

10w30 car oil will have no issues working in your lawnmower as long as it has a modern engine, SAE-30 is more suitable for mowers that have an older engine inside. This oil is also great for working at variable temperatures, ensuring your engine will work no matter the weather.

We have put together a short article below that will explain to you the difference between 10w30 oil and SAE-30 oil, as well as how to use motor oil in the best way possible in your mower.

What Is 10w30 Oil?

10w30 oil is a multi-grade oil that is slightly more expensive because of its viscosity, the 10W rating allows this mower to work in more variable winter temperatures than just warm temperatures like SAE-30.

This oil is also known to be very stable and does not lose its film under stress, allowing it to keep your mower running at optimal performance.

Is 10w30 Oil Better Than SAE-30 Oil For My Lawnmower?

Since 10w30 motor oil and SAE-30 oil are both highly recommended for your lawnmower, you might be wondering which one is better.

To help you decide which oil you want to use in the engine of your mower, we have compared them both below.

10w30 Motor Oil

10w30 oil has a viscosity rating of 10 and 30 which gives it a great range of variable temperatures, it is mainly used for cars but works great in mowers too. The oil is also quite affordable now compared to how it used to be.

The drawbacks of this oil are that it is not suitable for smaller and older engines and it is quite thick. It is also said to have a higher consumption rate.


  • Great for variable temperatures.
  • Can be used in cars and mowers.
  • Affordable.


  • Thickness means it is not suitable for use in old mowers.

SAE-30 Oil

SAE-30 oil on the other hand can be used in old and new mowers, this oil is the best to be used in high temperatures thanks to its 30 ratings and has a stable oil consumption.

The downfalls of this oil are that unlike 10w30 oil it is not the best for being used in cold temperatures.


  • Can be used in old and new mowers.
  • Great for warm temperatures.
  • Stable oil consumption.


  • Only works well in warm temperatures.

Can I Use 10w30 Oil In a Two-Stroke Mower?

We recommend not using 10w30 oil in a two-stroke motor, as two-stroke mowers need to have oil that is designed specifically to be mixed with fuel, using this oil could potentially damage the engine and lead to smoking as it is not meant for this use.

Can You Put 10w40 Oil In a Lawmower?

10w40 motor oil is similar to 10w30 oil and can be used in a lawnmower with no issues, this type of oil works best in variable temperatures just like 10w30 and will work in modern engines rather than older ones.

Tips For Using Motor Oil In a Lawnmower

  • Change & check your oil - You should be changing your oil after 20-50 hours of use or once a year if you don't reach this usage, never let your oil levels get too low either.
  • Use multi-blended oils - Multigrade oils are much more versatile than single grade ones meaning you won't have to switch your oil out according to the season as it can work in all kinds of temperatures.
  • Check your manual - If your unsure about how much you should be filling your oil or you want to be using the correct type, the manufacturer should indicate which type of oil is best for its mower in the manual.
  • Don't use low-quality oil - Low-quality oil will not do the engine of your lawnmower any good and can result in repairs being needed for your mower.
  • Be mindful of the climate - In places where it's cold all year round, go for a multi-grade oil, however, if you have a warmer climate, go for oil which works well at warmer temperatures.

How To Check & Change The Oil In Your Lawnmower

Having dirty oil in your mower's engine can lead to start-up issues and other problems, letting the oil reach a low level could also result in the mower overheating. This means both checking and changing the oil in your mower is vital for it to be working efficently.

We have put together some short steps below that will explain how you can check and change the oil in your mower.

Checking Oil

  • Find the oil fill cap and clean the crankcase before removing the cap to prevent debris or dirt from getting inside.
  • Remove the dipstick, clean it with a cloth, reinsert then remove it again to get a clear reading of the oil level.
  • If it's below or over the full or adds line then adjust the oil level accordingly.

Changing Oil

  • Disconnect the spark plug of the mower and tilt the mower deck over a container with the air filter facing up.
  • Loosen the plug with a socket wrench and allow oil to drain.
  • Change the filter if needed by screwing in a new one.
  • Add the correct amount of oil back into the mower according to its capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using 10w30 Oil In a Lawnmower

Can I use 10w40 oil in my lawnmower?

Yes, there is no issue using 10w40 oil in your lawn mower but it is mainly used for engines that have to be used in cold temperatures.

What happens if I put too much oil in my mower?

If you overfill your mower with oil you will need to drain the excess, this can be done with the same steps above as changing the oil.

Does every mower require you to change the oil?

No, there are some new modern Briggs & Stratton mowers that do not require you to change the oil, they only need you to check and add oil instead, saving you from doing the messy part.

Last Words

Overall, there is no reason why you cannot use 10w30 oil in your lawnmower as long as it is a modern four-stroke petrol model, as a matter of fact, 10w30 oil is great due to that it works in variable temperatures not just warm temperatures like SAE-30.

Always ensure that you never let your oil level get too low on a mower and change it when it becomes dirty too, which is typically after 20-50 hours of use or annually.

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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