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John Deere Maintenance Monday: Lawn mower – best oil

What motor oil does your riding mower need?

Radio interview source: Greg Weekes, Marketing Manager, John Deere

 
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Joe in Texas. He wonders what kind of motor oil he should use in his riding mower – a multi-grade or straight grade, and what viscosity? He mows when the temperature is between 70-and-95-degrees.
 
John Deere Product Marketing Manager Greg Weekes says most riding mower engines are air-cooled, so they can use both multi- and single-viscosity oils. However, refer to the owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations.
 
"With these air-cooled small gas engines, most of them recommend a 10w30 multi-viscosity oil, or a straight 30-weight motor oil," he says. "And if you look at most of those manufacturers, whether it's Briggs, Tecumseh, even Kawasaki, that's a pretty universal recommendation."
 
Motor oil viscosity refers to how thick it is at a given temperature. A multi-viscosity oil will work in a broad ambient air temperature range. The straight viscosity oil has a more defined range. In Joe's narrow temperature climate, Weekes says he could use either. However, not everyone has that option.
 
"Obviously when you're in a much more northern climate where it gets pretty cold, you probably want to use a multi viscosity because the temperature range is so vast from very very cold, to very very hot," says Weekes.
 
If you use your mower in the winter for chores such as snow removal, use the multi-viscosity oil. If the machine is parked all winter until spring, a standard single-viscosity will be fine. 

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