What type & how much lawn mower oil does my engine need?


Before you are able to change the lawn mower oil on your Briggs & Stratton® small engine, it’s important to understand the oil type and capacity required. The type of mower you use, the engine within, and the temperature outside determines what type of oil to use, how much you need and the cost of the oil. Use the Oil Finder tool below to find the right oil for you.

Oil Finder

What oil should I use?

Choose your equipment and the outside temperature that you will be using it in to find your recommended oil.

If you need help determining if your riding mower's engine is a single cylinder or twin cylinder (V-Twin), click here.

How much oil should I use?

Choose your equipment and engine name (usually found on your engine label) to find your oil capacity.

Equipment:

Engine Name:

Consult your engine operator's manual for information specific to your engine. Proper care and maintenance of your equipment is proven to be the key to long engine life. Prior to each engine start, always check the oil dipstick for proper oil level. If you have new equipment or a new engine, oil typically does not come already added.


Small engine oil type recommendations:

Different oil types can work best at certain temperatures. Learn which one to choose for your climate.

  • SAE 30- Warmer temperatures, most common oil for small engines.
  • SAE 10W-30- Varying temperature range, this grade of oil improves cold weather starting, but may increase oil consumption. 
  • Synthetic SAE 5W-30- Best protection at all temperatures as well as improved starting with less oil consumption.
  • SAE 5W-30- Very cold temperatures.
  • Vanguard 15W-50- Varying temperature range. For continuous-use, such as commercial lawn cutting or pressure washing. 

When choosing lawn mower oil, use a high quality detergent oil classified as "For Service SF, SG, SH, SJ" or higher. Do not use special additives.

Synthetic oils are an acceptable oil at all temperatures. Use of synthetic oil does not alter required oil change intervals.

Lawnmower Oil Recommendation Chart

*Below 40°F (4°C) the use of SAE 30 will result in hard starting.
**Above 80°F (27°C) the use of 10W30 may cause increased oil consumption. Check oil level more frequently.

 


Can you use synthetic lawn mower oil? Yes!

Synthetic Lawnmower Oil by Briggs & Stratton

We have modified our engine oil recommendations to state that you may now use a synthetic 5W30 (100074WEB) or 10W30 oil in all temperature ranges. We recommend the use of Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil. The use of this high quality detergent oil assures compliance with Briggs & Stratton warranty requirements regarding the use of appropriate oil.

Engine break-in procedures using synthetic oil remain the same. Keep in mind that the use of synthetic oil does not prevent you from performing your regularly scheduled lawn mower maintenance (i.e. check oil, change oil, etc.).


Maintenance schedule & approximate capacity:

Walk-behind mowers: 

  • Oil capacity is typically 15oz or 18oz*.
  • Change engine oil every 50 hours or annually, which ever comes first.

Riding mowers:

  • Oil capacity is typically 48oz or 64 oz*.
  • Change engine oil every 100 hours or annually, which ever comes first.

*Do not over fill your engine with oil. Use the Oil Finder tool above or check your operator's manual for the proper amount of oil recommended for your engine.


How to check your oil level:

How to Check Your Lawnmower Oil
  1. Remove the dipstick cap, apply some pressure and twist counter clockwise.
  2. Remove dipstick and wipe with a clean rag so reading will be accurate.
  3. Before reinstalling the dipstick, make sure the teeth on the cap match the grooves on the dipstick tube.
  4. Apply some pressure and twist clockwise to reinstall dipstick cap.
  5. Remove the cap again and view oil level towards the bottom of the dipstick blade.
  6. Oil level should be between the full and add marks.
  7. If oil level is low, pour a few ounces at a time to avoid overfilling.
  8. Allow enough time for the oil to settle before rechecking the oil level.

Outside of the basics regarding oil type & capacity, the best source of information regarding any small engine concern would be a Briggs & Stratton Dealer.


Shop Related Maintenance Parts


HOW-TO ARTICLES

Learn how to properly and safely use, troubleshoot, and maintain your lawn mower, tractor, snow blower and other lawn and garden equipment.

View How-To Articles

VIDEOS

Videos

Learn about the latest products by Briggs & Stratton, step-by-step instructions on how to locate your lawn mower engine model number and more!

Browse Videos