Can you Use 10W30 Oil For A Lawn Mower? Difference Between 10w30 and SAE30

Can you Use 10W30 Oil For A Lawn Mower

It’s the perfect day, and you have finally found the time to mow the time. Keeping everything aside, you start your mower and start mowing your lawn. Halfway through the work, your mower breaks down. When you inspect the mower, you see everything in perfect order and in working condition. But despite everything in order, your mower still doesn’t start. However, when you take her down to the service station, you find out that you accidentally used the wrong oil to fill up the tank. 

Just like our car, we need to pay utmost care to the lawnmower as well. All this starts with ensuring that you have selected the right motor oil for your machine. There are different types of mower oils present in the market. This article will walk through the key differences between them and help you make the right choice. 

What is 10w30 Grade Motor Oil?

When you look at the name, the numbers and the syllables are bound to confuse you to a great extent. The 10W30 designation indicates that the engine oil’s viscosity is rated at 10W when the engine is cold and at 30W when the engine is hot. To give you a quick Physics recap, viscosity refers to how much the oil itself can resist the flow. So when you turn the mower upside down, viscosity is the speed and the time taken by the oil to flow down from the tank. The slower the oil flows, the higher the viscosity.

The 10w30 lawn mower oil is completely different from the 5w30 lawn mower oil as the 5w30 lawnmower is thinner than the 10w30 lawn mower oil. The 10w30 lawn mower oil is widely preferred as it gives you a better fuel economy while significantly reducing the oil consumption for older mower engines. Similarly, the 10w30 lawn mower responds positively to a wide array of temperatures. 

What is SAE30 Motor Grade Oil?

This is a single-grade oil having an overall viscosity of 30. Unlike the 10w30 motor grade oil, the SAE30 has only a single viscosity grade. These oils are perfect to be used in older engines. The SAE30 motor grade oil is typically used for smaller air-cooled engines such as the ones found in small tractors, lawnmowers, and chain saws. These oils generally come with a 5-year shelf life. Note that once this period is due, the synthetic additives present within the oil are no longer efficient.

The SAE30 is only rated for hot viscosity. Although the majority of the modern engines opt for multi-grade oil, many of the four-stroke gasoline engines used in powerboats, motorcycles, or older cars still run on the SAE30. 

What Is The Difference Between 10w30 and SAE30? Which is Better?

Difference Between 10w30 and SAE30

As we mentioned earlier, the W refers to the overall viscosity of that particular motor-grade oil. Before moving on to discussing the differences in detail, here are some of the differences in a tabular format for you to understand. 

The key difference between the SAE30 and the 10w30 lawn mower oil is visibility in the viscosity. The 10w30 lawn mower is a multi-grade oil type with a viscosity of 10 at lower temperatures and 30 when operating at higher temperatures. Meanwhile, the overall viscosity of SAE30 is a straight 30. Meanwhile, the SAE30 sports an average thickness, whereas the 10w30 only tends to get thicker with the temperature flow. Also, the 10w30 lawn mower oil has a greater density than the SAE30 since its applications in heavy-duty 4 cycle engines. Unlike the 10w30 lawn mower oil, the SAE30 doesn’t have excellent cold stream properties can only be used in spring, summer, and pre-winter. 

Meanwhile, the SAE30 comes with better wear security and overall protection. It offers maximum safety against LPSI, is ecofriendly, and provides maximum security for vehicle exhaust emanations gear.

In contrast, the 10w30 lawn mower oil is perfect for motors with more than 70,000 miles and offers the utmost protection from warm breakdowns, in turn helping reduce exhaust emissions. 

Can you Put 10w30 in A Lawn Mower instead of SAE30?

Yes, you can use the 10w30 lawn mower oil in your lawnmower instead of the SAE30. However, ensure that you go through the oil recommendations for your mower before implementing this step.

 Furthermore, you have to consider different factors here, such as the temperature and the engine make and model. If you have an older engine, it is better off with the SAE30, whereas a newer engine ultimately calls for the multi-grad 10w30 lawn mower oil. 

NOTE: The SAE30 is well suited for warmer temperatures, whereas the 10w30 lawn mower supports various temperature ranges. 

Why And How To Replace Oil In A Lawn Mower Engine?

Given that there are different types of lawnmower oils present in the market, the most important thing to know is you have to replace the oil in the lawn mower engine from time to time. Changing the oil in your lawn mower engine is bound to increase the overall efficiency and add to the machine’s longevity. 

1. Why Should You Check Your Engine Oil?

As we mentioned earlier, changing the engine oil is vital to ensure your lawnmower’s smooth and stable functioning. Having the correct quality and quantity of oil in your engine will only the mower last longer.

Meanwhile, having the incorrect oil quality and quantity can damage the mower beyond repair. When the oil level dips, it leads to excess heat friction and can cause partial to complete engine seizure. Contrarily, too much oil may cause –

2. When Should You Change The Engine Oil?

The best advice we have to offer is to check the engine oil every time you fill your fuel tank. This way, you have no idea whether you need to change the engine oil or not. On average, it is advisable to change the engine oil once per season or after having used the machine for 50 hours or more. This is because the oil tends to get contaminated and diluted by fuel and other particles associated with combustion and friction. 

3. How To Check And Change The Engine Oil?

Knowing why and when to change the engine oil is critical. However, what is equally critical is knowing HOW to check and change the engine oil. If you are going to be operating a lawnmower at regular intervals, you need to know the right way to check and change your lawn mower engine oil. 

NOTE: Always let the oil settle at the ground level before checking it. 

To check your mower engine oil

How To Check And Change The Engine Oil
  • Park your mower on the ground and allow the oil to settle down
  • Locate the dipstick and check for the oil symbol located on the dipstick itself. 
  • The dipstick will have two symbols: L (lower mark) and F (full mark).
  • The area between the two symbols is the hatch
  • When the oil level is within the hatch, it is okay
  • If the oil level reaches the L mark, you need to refill the oil tank
  • To refill the oil tank, add oil in SMALL AMOUNTS
  • Allow the oil to settle before rechecking the oil level
  • If the oil goes beyond the F mark, it can damage the engine
  • Here, you will need to remove the excess oil and recheck the oil level before starting the engine
  • To do so, you can siphon off the excess oil as the method is easy and controllable

Here’s a similar guide I put together earlier on changing oil in a Toro Lawn Mower.

4. Essential Engine And Oil Info

Just like fuel is required to run any fuel-injected engine, the oil is equally critical to the engine’s functioning. If you want your engine to last longer, you will need to pay due attention to both the engine and the oil. Here is some of the essential oil information you need to look after to ensure a smooth and stable engine performance at all times.

  • Always change the oil after having used the machine for 50 hours or more. On average, you should change the oil each year.
  • If you live in a region that experience different types of weather, then it is better to opt for a multi-grad oil. A multi-grade oil, such as the 10w30 lawn mower oil, is designed to support a wide range of temperatures and has the viscosity to support the same. 
  • Always check the cool quality before you purchase it. Do NOT use low-quality engine oils as they can severely damage your machine and make it weak. 
  • Schedule regular changing of the engine oil to ensure good engine health
  • Always check the make and model of your lawn mower before purchasing the oil. 
  • The majority of the modern-day mower engines are designed to run clean. This means you don’t have to replace the oil in these engines. All you need to do is refill the oil once it reaches the L mark. Therefore, check the machine you have to determine whether you need to change the oil from time to time or just refill it.
  • If you have a small mower, you will need to change the engine from time to time. This is because the majority of the smaller mowers do not have filters equipped to deal with the contaminants caused by fuel and metal friction.


And that’s everything we have to offer concerning the type of engine oil to use and the overall difference between the 10w30 lawn mower oil and the SAE 30. Always ensure that you consider your mower before opting for the oil. An older mower engine will do just fine with the SAE30, whereas a new mower engine works best with the help of the multi-grad 10w30 lawn mower oil. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *