Can You Use Car Oil in Lawn Mower? (Explained)

Oil is an essential part of a lawnmower in order to function properly. Similar to car and motorcycle, lawn mower oil also needs to be changed regularly, especially when you’re using it often. However, many people are still confused in determining the best oil for their lawnmower. Does a lawnmower require a special kind of oil? Or can you put car oil in the lawnmower?

In this article, we’re going to delve into the basics of lawn mower oil, how to change it, and the best time to change it. Changing your lawn mower might be a perilous task at first, but it’ll benefit you and your bank account in the long run. You won’t need to worry much about engine malfunction, and no need to break your bank just to change your oil in the service center—yes, because now you can change it by yourself!

Can you put car oil in the lawnmower?

The answer is yes, you can use car oil to revamp your lawn mower engine.

However, you can’t simply pour the car oil into your lawn mower without any preparation beforehand. Each car has its own oil, and it is important to check the suitability of the car oil with your lawn mower. A low-quality oil might worsen the condition of your lawn mower, or worse, it might even cause severe damage.

Here are some considerations to note before you start changing your lawn mower oil.

Considerations before choosing the oil for your lawn mower

In order to function properly, high-quality oil is essential for your lawn mower. Choosing the best oil for your lawn mower is quite tricky, as you need to put in mind some factors such as its viscosity, additives, and the type of engine.

If you’re a beginner, rest assured. Simply use this guide before you purchase your oil and you’ll get by.

Oil viscosity

Viscosity refers to how easily oil pours during certain temperatures. Generally, a lawn mower engine uses SAE 10W-30 during cold weather and SAE 30 during warm or hot weather.

SAE itself stands for Society of Automotive Engineers and it decides on oil grading that is suitable for each individual engine. Lawn mowers use SAE 30, one of the most commonly used oils on the market, and they can be used for both car and lawn mowers.

Additives in the oil

Whenever you arrive at an automotive store, they will serve you with a wide range of additives that you can add to your oil. However, don’t fall into the trap easily. Lawn mower is a relatively small engine, and you won’t need any additives in the oil.

Additives are commonly used for a larger engine to improve the viscosity of the oil and optimize its performance.

Types of engine you have

Lawn mower possesses a different type of engine based on its factory, so you might want to check the manual first before purchasing the oil.

Generally, a lawn mower operates on a two-stroke engine, meaning that you need to find an oil that matches a two-stroke engine for maximum performance.

When should you change the oil in your lawn mower?

Different engines require a different type of maintenance, but usually, you can find the best time to change your oil in the lawn mower manual.

While 25 hours is the optimal period before you need to change the oil, the environment where you’re using the lawnmower also plays a big role. For example, if you’re operating it in a place with a high-dust level, you might want to change the oil more often to avoid engine issues.

How do you change the oil in your lawn mower?

Now that you know the best time to change your oil and what kind of oil suits your lawn mower, it’s time to dive into the technical part: changing the oil in your lawn mower. At a glance, it may look challenging and almost impossible. But with the steps we’ve provided below, you’ll find that changing the oil in your lawn mower is a piece of cake task.

1. Prepare your lawn mower

The first step to change the oil in your lawn mower is by taking it outside, preferably into a flat surface, and enabling its parking mode. This step is necessary to avoid sudden movements of the engine that might hinder the process.

2. Disconnect the spark plug

Remove the power cable from the lawn mower to avoid any electric activities when you’re changing the oil.

3. Drain the fuel tank

If your lawn mower has a drain plug, you can automatically open it and drain the preexisting oil into a bowl or pan.

On the other hand, if you need to drain the oil manually, try tilting your lawn mower to its side and ensure the carburetor is raised upward. Afterward, drain the oil into a bowl or pan. Using a funnel is recommended so that the oil won’t spill everywhere.

4. Refill with new oil

Now that your lawn mower oil tank is empty, you can directly refill the tank with new oil.

5. Reconnect the spark plug

And you’re done! Try connecting the power cable, disable the parking mode, and you can start using the lawn mower as usual.


The next time someone asks you, “can you put car oil in your lawn mower?”, you can answer their question with a confident yes.

However, make sure that the car oil is high-quality and suitable for your lawn mower engine. This way, not only that you’ll save more time by not having to go to the service center every month, but you’ll also save a lot of money by buying separate oil for two engines.

Changing your own oil might be a challenging task at a glance, but with the right instruction, you’ll realize that it won’t take much of your energy, time, and money.

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