In this blog post, we’ll discuss whether you can use synthetic oil in a lawn mower. There are a few technical issues to establish when answering the question “can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower?” so that an educated decision can be made on whether conventional or synthetic oil is better for a lawn mower. It is very easy to think that a small engine is a simple-running engine, but in fact, the complete opposite is often the case.
When comparing an air-cooled small lawn mower engine versus a liquid-cooled automotive engine, your air-cooled small lawn mower engine typically runs much hotter, is under constant load, most definitely creates more contaminants, and is forced to run in extreme conditions, forcing it to be exposed to rain, dirt, and mud.
What exasperates the situation even further is that many small lawn mower engines do not use a filter to help filter out contaminants, and in many cases, a preventive maintenance program is overlooked. When looking at the marketplace in regards to small engine oils, most oils being marketed as small engine oils are nothing more than re-labeled automotive oils, which are designed more for fuel economy rather than engine durability.
Differences between Conventional and Synthetic Lubricants
Let’s take a look at conventional oil. Conventional lubricants come from crude oil and are refined via a complex set of processes. These refining processes are required so that the many contaminating elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and metal components like vanadium and nickel, must be removed from the crude oil for them to be useful as a lubricating oil for machinery. Unfortunately, not all unwanted contaminating elements can be removed through these refining processes.
The refining processes that the crude oil is put through will separate the various types of molecules found in the oil by weight, thus leaving molecules that are similar in weight. What is not similar in conventional oil, and this is a critical fact, is that the molecular structure of the conventional oil is dissimilar. This dissimilar molecular structure, unfortunately, has a negative impact on how conventional oil performs. Due to the molecules having different sizes, this tends to cause the oil to flow with some friction, and this friction leads to an increase in heat and temperature.
Because the oil still contains a certain percentage of unwanted contaminating elements, this will ultimately lead to performance-hindering deposits forming. If you’re wondering “can I use car oil in a lawn mower?”, you could, but car oil was not designed to be used in a lawn mower. Your lawn mower engine will wear out faster and will lose a lot of its power and performance due to the formation of unwanted deposits inside the engine. The better option is to seek out a 100% pure synthetic lawn mower oil specifically designed for small engines.
What exactly is synthetic engine oil? Synthetic oils are chemically engineered in the laboratory so that they can perform at the highest possible performance levels without having any of the negative aspects of conventional/petroleum-based lubricants. These manmade synthetic oils contain no contaminating elements. They are pure and most importantly, they are engineered with a uniform molecular structure.
Having molecules of the same size allows the oil to flow easily and without any fluid friction. By simply switching from a conventional lubricant to a 100% pure synthetic lubricant, there will be an immediate performance benefit due to the fact that synthetic oils will reduce friction due to this uniform molecular structure. Additionally, synthetic base oils offer superior film strength and enhanced extreme temperature capabilities. Across the board, synthetic lubricants outperform conventional oils in all categories.
Benefits of AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil
There is one synthetic oil manufacturer in the USA that stands out from the rest of the lubricant manufacturing industry. AMSOIL is considered the leader in synthetic lubricants. In 1972, AMSOIL became the first lubricant manufacturer in the world to create pure synthetic motor oil that met API service requirements.
It took years of research via inspiration from aerospace technology for this breakthrough to occur. Then and now, it outperformed conventional oils in all categories. Today, almost all motor oil manufacturers consider and understand the superiority of synthetic lubricants and have followed in the footsteps of AMSOIL.
Can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower? Is synthetic oil better for a lawn mower? AMSOIL has taken synthetic lubricants one step further in terms of small engine lubrication. AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil is not a re-labeled automotive oil. Much research and development went into formulating this industry-specific engine oil. It was engineered to help better protect the tough demands placed on small engines.
AMSOIL chemists added a robust volume of zinc anti-wear additives to help protect critical small engine components from wear, thus contributing to longer engine life and maintaining maximum performance and power. In addition, it utilizes a proprietary detergency formula that helps to control and minimize any harmful deposits from forming.
Please look at the two images seen in this blog post. As an example of what can happen if you use a low-quality or improperly formulated oil for a small engine, then listen and look carefully. If you’re a Honda lawn mower oil you may be asking “can I use synthetic oil in my Honda lawn mower?” See the following: the bottom image is a Honda 5-HP engine that was tested in AMSOIL’s mechanical laboratory. Check out the valve guide area. This image shows the heavy deposits that caused the valve to stick through the use of engine oil from another lubricant manufacturer.
The laboratory technician who took the engine apart stated that it was not possible to remove the valve due to excessive deposits. If the engine had continued operating in this condition out in the field, most likely a catastrophic failure would have occurred, causing unwanted and costly downtime and repair costs.
Let’s now compare the image that shows minimal deposits. In this case, the AMSOIL 10W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Oil was run. This is a perfect example of why it is critical to only use small engine oil that is specifically formulated and engineered for small lawn mower engines. Automotive oils cannot handle the extreme running conditions that occur inside a small engine.
With almost 50 years of know-how in the synthetic oil formulating and manufacturing arena, AMSOIL is the number one choice for small engine lubrication. AMSOIL’s unique and proprietary chemistry that is specifically engineered for use in small engines, such as those found in lawn mowers, will keep them running cooler, cleaner, and at the same time maintaining peak efficiency and performance over a long period of use.
Synthetic oils are thermally stable, meaning they can withstand tremendous heat. This thermal stability means that the critical oil film will be maintained in the hottest and extreme operating conditions possible. The oil will not thin down when exposed to tremendous heat. Also, because there’s no wax found in synthetic oil, it flows quickly and easily during cold, dry starts.
Statistically, engine manufacturers have stated that 80% of engine wear occurs during cold, dry starts. This is due to the use of conventional lubricants lacking the ability to flow quickly when temperatures are cold. By switching to synthetic oil for air cooled engines, unwanted wear will be greatly reduced during cold, dry starts.
AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil is the best synthetic oil for small engines and was engineered from the ground-up specifically for small engines. If you’re a professional that has invested in a large fleet of small engine equipment, you can be confident in the fact that your engines will be protected even during long periods of use when there’s no time for your equipment to be in the shop for maintenance.
For your fleet of small engine equipment, AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil comes with an abundant amount of zinc anti-wear additives, plus it is shear-stable and delivers a high film strength. This oil is designed to reduce wear, oil consumption, power loss, harmful carbon deposits, and stuck valves and rings. This oil saves you time and money.
AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil was specifically formulated to provide safe and longer drain intervals beyond those specified by original equipment manufacturers. Testing has found this oil provides up to 200 hours of service life or you can follow your OEM’s longest drain recommendation, whichever comes first.
Can You Use Synthetic Oil in a Lawn Mower Engine? YES!
Now that we’ve presented some basic information when comparing conventional lubricants to synthetic lubricants, this information should make it easier to answer the question “can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower?” If you decide to try a synthetic oil in a lawn mower, it is important to choose a synthetic engine oil that was specifically designed and formulated for lawn mower engines. Stay away from lawn mower engine oils that are nothing more than re-labeled automotive oils. Such engine oils do not have the necessary chemistry, such as a robust volume of zinc additives, in them.
The safe and correct choice would be to choose AMSOIL Synthetic Small Engine Oil. It offers:
- Superior wear protection
- Reduces oil consumption
- Maintains power and efficiency
- Superior extreme-temperature performance
- Outstanding rust and corrosion protection
- Extends engine life
- Provides extended oil drain intervals
Make the switch to AMSOIL Small Engine Oil and your fleet of small engines will stay working in the field for you earning money and helping you have a profitable operation.