carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
11/12/16 1:08 p.m.

I have a John Deere Zero Turn mower and once we finish mowing today I was going to prep it for winter.

It appears that the factory oil is a 30W non detergent oil. It seems a multiweight oil such as 0-30 or 5-30 would work best especially upon cold start up. Also it is cheaper.

Why don't I want a detergent oil?

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
11/12/16 2:28 p.m.

In reply to carguy123:

Because detergent oils suspend trash in the oil so the filter can remove them. Non detergent oils allow the debris to fall to the bottom of the sump and stay there. Usually pressure oil systems with a filter use a detergent oil, splash lubed systems use non detergent.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
11/12/16 2:50 p.m.

Use non detergent

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
11/12/16 3:39 p.m.

Now I understand. Mine has a filter so that means detergent would actually be better then.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
11/12/16 4:58 p.m.

I have been using detergent oil in my non filter lawn mower and snow blower for years.

Still running fine.

Non detergent oil is harder to find than non ethanol gas.

I worked for a John Deere dealer on lawn and garden stuff. Don't recall having to use non detergent.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
11/12/16 5:43 p.m.

I use what ever I have hanging around from my last oil change. Means my power equipment gets mobile one or amesoil or something similar. I only change it every two years. Been doing this for decades with no issues. Just top it off as needed between changes.

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo UltimaDork
11/12/16 6:21 p.m.

Non detergent oil hasn't belonged in any engine since the 20s, and only then because that was all you could buy. You want a detergent oil, the owner's manual will specify a detergent oil, every small engine manufacturer specifies a detergent oil, the Briggs and Stratton brand oil you can buy is a detergent oil, Volkswagen built a car for decades without an oil filter that always called for detergent oil, I've got a Kohler K series overhaul manual in front of me from the 80s that specifically calls for API SF or SG (then current, now obsolete) detergent oil. Anything later than API SA or SB is detergent oil.

I like 15w40 diesel oil in place of the straight 30, it's tough enough to hold up in a hot running air cooled engine (a lot of multi grade conventional oils won't), makes starting easier in the spring and fall, and cheap. Shell Rotella is a good one, but anything will do. A synthetic 5w30 or 0w30 would also work well, probably better than a Xw40 if the engine is fairly new and tight.

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
11/12/16 11:31 p.m.

I'd heard of people running Shell Rotella in their gas cars, but never knew why.

I've got "some" non detergent oil, but probably only a quart. I'm not exactly sure how much it holds, but since I've got a filter it seems I can't go wrong with a 5-30 type of oil.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UberDork
11/13/16 7:34 a.m.

My air compressor also specs "non-detergent" oil which has been a joy to find; each motor uses four quarts so I've had to order it through the local flaps. I've asked two different service reps why and neither could (or would) answer, it's an old machine 1998 or so but has filters. On a small engine I would have no problem running new style "detergent" oil.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 SuperDork
11/13/16 7:47 a.m.

In reply to chandlerGTi:

I put some synthetic blend Motorcraft in my compressor once, thinking, "oil was oil," it foamed like crazy and blew most of it out the breather.

Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. all carry compressor oil, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. I ran some CH oil from one of the box stores for a while. I've since gone to AMSOIL for my compressor.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
11/13/16 11:24 a.m.

I have been using full synthetic oil in my very old Craftsman and Tecumseh engines since the first oil change. Both start readily and no smoke.

Both service manuals recommend multi viscosity.

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo UltimaDork
11/13/16 11:24 a.m.

Even HF sells compressor oil, dunno about the quality, but non detergent oil is typically just mineral oil and some anti foaming agent (which is why it's no good in an engine, no pH control, no anti oxidants, zero of the fabled ZDDP, etc.), so it's kinda hard to screw up.

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
11/13/16 11:56 a.m.

I have no problems finding straight 30W oil. I know that Shell & QS both are sold at the local big box store in the lawn & garden section as well as the automotive section. They are detergent oils and it states on the bottle that they are intended for small gas engines. For the lawn mower which is the only 4 cycle engine I have, gets 30W. My snow blower is 2 cycle and it gets a 50:1 fuel/oil mix.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
11/13/16 12:01 p.m.

Amsoil has an excellent 30 weight or 5W-30 oil designed for small 4 cycle engines.

I have it in both of my small engines.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
11/13/16 3:52 p.m.

i can't be the only one that never changes oil in their mower.

i just make sure it's not empty, and cut away. the deck falls apart because of tree roots before the engine would ever give out because of dirty oil.

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo UltimaDork
11/13/16 5:53 p.m.

In reply to patgizz:

Push mowers and crappy riders? Unless it's a Honda or I'm inside the engine for a headgasket or whatever I don't think I've ever changed the oil on one, most burn enough they change it themselves.

Proper garden tractors (bolt on rear wheels) OTOH are usually worth doing the proper maintenance on since they tend to outlive even a well maintained engine, or four in the case of the one I'm putting a used engine in now, the original engine had been rebuilt enough times that it had been sleeved, then re ringed at some point and ran until it started burning oil ran low and broke the rod.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
11/13/16 5:55 p.m.

Well, changing the oil has kept my Craftsman mower alive for 29 years.

I have small lawn.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 SuperDork
11/13/16 6:25 p.m.

In reply to patgizz:

My little self propelled Huskee didn't have an easy life, but I kept oil and filters changed, blade sharp, and even kept some paint on the deck. I got 16 years out of the original engine, and am still using the original deck with a new more powerful engine.

I've got a tiller that's as old as I am, rescued from my grandparent's field. I've put piston rings in it, lapped the valves, and a new carb on it. Fresh coat of paint too. Only reason I could salvage it, was thanks to the annual maintenance that my grandpa and uncle gave it.

I try to not defer maintenance, though I've had the parts to do the timing belt on my Volvo since Spring, and haven't made room/time to do it yet.

Take care of your tools/equipment and they'll take care of you.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
11/13/16 6:51 p.m.

Crappy rider bottom end mtd with kohler engine is 8 years old. I do have a filter for it, havent bothered yet.

I do take care of the wheel horse. Honestly if the mtd pukes im getting a deck for the wheel horse. My push mowers come out of the trash so they stay topped off and thats it

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