Before you are able to replace the oil in the lawn mower that is powered by your Briggs & Stratton® small engine, it is vital to have a solid understanding of the required capacity as well as the type of oil that should be used. What kind of oil to use, how much of it you need, and the price of the oil are all determined by the type of equipment you operate, the engine that it contains, and the temperature that is outside. You can find the ideal oil for your needs by using the Oil Finder tool that may be seen below.

Why Lawn Mower Oil Matters

Lawn mower engines, like those of other internal combustion vehicles, require oil to function properly. Even the most basic of engines consist of a great number of moving parts, most of which are created specifically for operation at extremely high speeds and temperatures. Because of this, the lubricating and cooling effects that oil provides are absolutely necessary. If you didn't have it, the motor of your lawn mower would quickly overheat, freeze up, and be rendered useless.


Lawn mower 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. The 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.



Lawn mower oil capacity

Walk-behind mowers: 

  • Oil capacity is typically 15oz or 18oz*.

  • Check oil level during the season and add when necessary

  • Change engine oil every 50 hours or annually, whichever comes first.

Riding mowers:

  • Oil capacity is typically 48oz or 64 oz*.

  • Change engine oil every 100 hours or annually, which ever comes first.



Can you use synthetic lawn mower oil?


Yes! Our recommendations for engine oil have been updated to reflect this change, and they now specify that you may use a synthetic 5W30 or 15W50 oil in any temperature range. We strongly suggest that you use Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil in your machine. When you use this high-quality detergent oil, you can be assured that you will be in compliance with the criteria of the Briggs & Stratton guarantee that pertain to the use of proper oil.

The processes for breaking in an engine with synthetic oil are the same as before. Keep in mind that using synthetic oil does not preclude you from conducting the maintenance on your lawn mower as per the manufacturer's recommendations (i.e. check oil, change oil, etc.).



How to check your oil level before use of product or engine?


  1. Park on level surface and remove the dipstick cap.

  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. 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.

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Find the best oil for your engine


Make use of the Oil Finder tool in order to get assistance in determining which oil is ideal for your tiny engine. Find the suggested amount of oil to use by considering the equipment you have, the name of the engine (which can typically be found on the label of your engine), and the temperature of the environment in which you will be using it.

If you are having trouble establishing whether the engine on your riding mower has one cylinder or two, you can get some assistance here (V-Twin).

If you need information that is specific to your engine, the operator's manual should be consulted. It has been demonstrated that providing your equipment with the appropriate care and maintenance will result in a longer engine life. Always check the oil dipstick to ensure that the engine has the appropriate amount of oil before starting it. In most cases, the oil will not already be present in brand-new pieces of machinery or in a brand-new engine.

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