What kind of oil should you use for a craftsman lawnmower?


Craftsman lawnmowers are one of the more popular lawnmower brands. There are both riding lawnmowers and the push mowers from Craftsman. They are famous for their high cutting power. They owe much of this to their strong engines, further enhanced by the best motor oil. Using a suitable engine oil with the required specs and in the right amount is essential for any lawnmower. In the market, there are a variety of oils available for a variety of working parameters. You will have to consider your environmental circumstances, workload, and engine type to decide on your situation’s most suitable oil. This article describes the details you have to check when buying engine oil for your Craftsman lawnmower.

What kind of oil should you use for a craftsman lawnmower?

For craftsman lawnmowers, the most recommended oil grade is SAE 10W-30 with a capacity of around 18-20 Oz for climates where the temperature stays typically above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For colder climates, SAE 5W-30 is preferred as it improves cold starting due to its low viscosity. Synthetic grade oils can be used when high-end performance is needed, targeting commercial use as it is more expensive.

To keep the engine in excellent condition, engine oil is crucial. Motor Oil is the lubricant that keeps the engine running and minimizes wear and tear. As time passes, small particles from the engine make the oil dirty and need to be replaced. Part of regular maintenance is to check the oil level and quality. Usually, it is advised to change the oil at least once per mowing season.

What kind of oil does your craftsman lawnmower use:

A Craftsman lawnmower is specific about its oil requirements. When you plan to replace the engine oil it is a good time to check the best type of oil for your situation. Use the following points to decide what the best oil type is for your situation.

● 1. Check the oil tank

To find the oil type that is best for your Craftsman lawnmower, you should first consult your user’s manual. It will have some of the details. If you don’t have one, check your engine oil tank. Some models have some of the oil details noted on a small plate. This can give you some idea about the particular viscosity and working temperature range of the oil you should use. At the same time, you can check the tank’s condition and see if it needs some anti-rust treatment.

● 2. The company recommended engine oil

If you can not find the user manual for the company’s recommendation, the information can be found online as well if you use the type and year of your Craftsman lawnmower. Important are the exact amount and type of oil for your particular mower engine. Mostly, the oil type suggested for daily use is SAE 10W-30. For a craftsman lawnmower the capacity is around 18 to 20 Oz. If your mower is older, you should use a grade higher than the one recommended. But it is good to check with a professional for your specific situation.

● 3. Dependence on the environmental circumstances

The Craftsman 550 Series lawnmower manual specifies using detergent-type engine oil. The grades of viscosity normally depend on the air temperature. If you operate your mower mostly at a temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, use SAE 30 weight oil. If you want to use the mower at a location where the temperature also gets below 32 degrees, use SAE 5W-30 multi-weight oil. Suppose your craftsman mower is used at a location that sees temperatures between 32 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a 10W30 multi-viscosity oil.

The oil numbers represent the oil’s viscosity at different temperature ranges. Multi-weight oil can be used at warmer temperature ranges. But in that case, check the mower’s oil level more often than normal, as it often uses more oil. If you have a more recent Craftsman mower, you can use the recommended oil type. You should use multi-grade thicker oil for older mower engines, as the engine has seen more wear and tear.

● 4. Different oils and environmental conditions

If the incorrect oil type is used in a lawnmower, worse case it can damage the engine and lead to costly problems. Although car engines work by the same combustion principles, car oil should not be used in lawnmowers. Oils come in different viscosity levels, which describes the oil thickness. SAE 30 is a more viscous oil than an SAE 20 oil. Check the Craftsman’s manual for the best engine’s oil viscosity level.

Colder engines require lower viscosity ratings for an optimum start. Hence, engine parts need less time wearing on each other without oil. Low-viscosity oils are thinner for that reason. While operating your mower in warmer temperatures, most high-viscosity oils benefit greatly because they can resist the heat without burning out.

When you need to add oil in an emergency, but you do not have the correct lawnmower oil, you can use similar grade automobile oil. But generally, only use specific lawnmower oil as it has a different set of additives targeting small engines like a lawnmower.

● 5.  Some synthetic oil recommendations

Craftsman lawnmowers can use synthetic oils as well. It is suitable for modern craftsman mower engines. Synthetic oil can cost three times more than conventional engine oil. However, it lasts longer than conventional oil because it can withstand higher temperatures and does not burn up quickly. Synthetic oil in your mower can be left in the oil tank during storage because they are less prone to deposits and sediments, unlike conventional oils. One disadvantage of synthetic oil is that it does not lubricate new or rebuilt engine parts as well as conventional oil.

Synthetic SAE 5W-30 starts with low oil consumption and is typically used for all temperature ranges. Nowadays, synthetic oils for your Craftsman lawnmowers are highly suggested, as they can be used in both cold and hot environments.

Step 6. Other parts where motor oil is used for greasing

The engine’s oil flows through several small parts of the engine. This helps to reduce friction and lower the temperature inside. It is mostly used in the cylinders for lubrication and smoothens the working of shafts and valves. When the oil gets crude over time it can cause damage to the cylinders and worn-out the cylinder rings and the oil filter. The engine parts like cylinder walls, piston rings, lifters, and camshaft utilize this oil reservoir to work correctly.

The following video is about oil change on a craftsman lawnmower. It also includes the engine specifications and recommended oil details.

Additional Craftsman tips:

To increase the lifetime of your craftsman lawnmower and ensure that the machine will start without problems you can use the following sugestions:

  1. Change the oil after 30-40 hours: Replace engine oil at the end or start of each mowing season.
  2. Never use a non-detergent engine oil: A non-detergent engine oil can reduce the engine’s service life and hinder the machine’s functionality. 

Frequently asked questions:

1. How does lawnmower engine oil work, and can it be used to grease other parts?

The motor oil serves the purpose of reducing friction, wear and tear on moving parts. It helps in cleaning the engine from sludge and sediments. It also helps to neutralize the acids that originate from fuel and the oxidation of the lubricants. It improves the sealing of piston o-rings and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. So if you are using the right type of oil recommended by your operator’s manual, you can grease the other moving parts of the engine with it, like piston rings and oil the filter.

2. How often should I change my engine oil?

It depends on the type of lawnmower you are using. The average recommended time for the three major lawnmower types are:

  1. Push Mowers: It is recommended to change your oil after 25-hours of usage.
  2. Walk-Behind Lawnmower: Its oil capacity is around 15 to 18 Oz (0.47 quarts to 0.56 quarts). You have to replace the motor oil every 50 hours or yearly.
  3. Riding Lawnmower: It holds 48 to 64 Oz (1.5 quarts to 2 quarts) and changes oil every 100 hours or annually.

3. What will you suggest: conventional organic oil or synthetic ones?

It depends much on your mower’s condition and your requirement. Synthetic oil is suitable for your modern lawnmower engines, and it can handle a wide temperature range. It is more expensive than conventional organic engine oil and generally lasts longer.

On the other hand, conventional oils are cheaper, readily available. They can be used for new and rebuilt engines. They also have better lubrication functionality.

Final remarks:

Changing your engine oil can enhance the lifespan and durability of your Craftsman lawnmower. It is suggested to check the motor oil regularly. Old and dirty oil will increase your engine’s wear and tear and eventually can cause damage to the engine. Changing the oil in a lawnmower is not a complicated job. But make sure you use the correct kind of engine oil. The best type will depend on your mower’s age, condition, and the kind of climate where you are located. This blog tried to give you some guidelines for choosing the most suitable oil type for your craftsman lawnmower.

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