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What Kind of Oil Is Used in a Garden Tractor?

It may just have two cylinders, a fuel tank which holds 4 gallons and horsepower measured in dozens instead of hundreds, however your lawn and garden tractor needs the same attention to routine upkeep as your family car. Although individual manufacturers may have specific recommendations for their lawn and garden tractors and generators, the machines that you depend on to maintain your lawn neat typically use generally available motor oil.

Lawn Tractor History

Following the World War II, new American suburbs created a massive market for lawn mowers — and bigger lawns encouraged the growth of riding mowers for homeowners. From the early 1960s, agricultural machinery firms were building smaller versions of the tractors. Called variously lawn, lawn and garden, utility or garden tractors, in accordance with their size and operate, they have been snapped up by homeowners having more than half an acre of lawn and garden. Many homeowners locate these machines simple to maintain independently although lots of lawn mower repair centers exist.

Tractor Basics

Although a title is on the hood of your lawn and garden tractor, the little motor inside is probably made by one of a few manufacturers of engines. Engines are usually one- or – two-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled internal combustion engines. Some bigger utility tractors feature water-cooled or diesel engines, but these engines are finicky when it comes to dust and dirt and are more commonly used for commercial purposes. Gas-driven engines use regular unleaded gas, but the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute cautions against using gas containing more than 10 percent ethanol to prevent damage to the little engine.

Oil Viscosity

Equipment and motor manufacturers promote oil for their products, but also advocate regular motor oil. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) rates viscosity or thickness of oil — and which oil is utilized depends on air temperature. For most of the year at a Mediterranean-type climate, SAE 30 petroleum motor oil is sufficient to maintain modest engines running smoothly. In areas where temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a multi-viscosity oil using a thinner winter mix, 10W-30 or 5W-30, depending upon owner’s manual recommendations, is utilized.

Other Considerations

Little engines may be sensitive to impurities, so choose reputable brands of motor oil. The American Petroleum Institute classifies oil grade, and one big manufacturer recommends using API service classification SG or better, a premium grade suited to engines which burn off or low-lead gas. Many lawn and garden tractor engines may also use synthetic oil, which extends the temperature range in the ends for 10W-30 oil — provided that the motor has been broken in. Oil change intervals are often as short as after every 25 hours of use in small engines, so check the manual for specific recommendations for yours.

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