Exmark engine oil substitute

Born2Mow

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***caution*** opinion ahead.

If you want to use synthetic oil go ahead but...... synthetic oils used in automobiles allow those engines to longer between oil changes before the base oil starts breaking down. Synthetics don't offer better lubrication than mineral oils. They take heat better and last longer. All that us not all that helpful in a small engine unless you want to go long periods between oil changes which may not be the best thing for small engines.
Oils designated for automotive use have little to no ZDDP in them per government rules. Oils not intended for automotive use can have higher levels of ZDDP. ZDDP is an anti wear additive added to oils to help with wear on flat tappet cams in automotive engines with high valve spring pressures. Small engines have much lower spring pressures. Most you can compress with fingers. ZDDP additive is not that important in a small engine vs. Something like a high revving V8 with a flat tappet cam. Use whatever oil you want and have confidence in but a non synthetic SJ rated 30wt or 10w30 without ZDDP package will work fine. The most important thing is not how expensive the oil you use is but how often do you change the oil? The stuff that turn the oil black is the same whether synthetic or non synthetic oil is used. The more often you get that out or the engine the longer the engine will last. You can leave oil in too long but you can't change it too often.

I've been studying engine oils for the last 15 years. This jives completely with my understanding. Thanks.
 

7394

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Does the Rotella T6 5w-40 not have the 1200 ppm of zinc like T4 has?

Cpurvis- I really don't know about the T6, other than it is not JASO rated on the label on back.
When I called Shell Rotella I told the tech what I had (solid lifter) air cooled Kawasaki mower. He immediately brought up the T4 & explained that it is not for anything with cat convertors. etc.. But ideal for solid lifter engines & rated for my engine as well.
 

slomo

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***caution*** opinion ahead.

If you want to use synthetic oil go ahead but...... synthetic oils used in automobiles allow those engines to longer between oil changes before the base oil starts breaking down. Synthetics don't offer better lubrication than mineral oils. They take heat better and last longer. All that us not all that helpful in a small engine unless you want to go long periods between oil changes which may not be the best thing for small engines.
Oils designated for automotive use have little to no ZDDP in them per government rules. Oils not intended for automotive use can have higher levels of ZDDP. ZDDP is an anti wear additive added to oils to help with wear on flat tappet cams in automotive engines with high valve spring pressures. Small engines have much lower spring pressures. Most you can compress with fingers. ZDDP additive is not that important in a small engine vs. Something like a high revving V8 with a flat tappet cam. Use whatever oil you want and have confidence in but a non synthetic SJ rated 30wt or 10w30 without ZDDP package will work fine. The most important thing is not how expensive the oil you use is but how often do you change the oil? The stuff that turn the oil black is the same whether synthetic or non synthetic oil is used. The more often you get that out or the engine the longer the engine will last. You can leave oil in too long but you can't change it too often.

***end of opinion***
Synthetic oils have nothing to do with longer drain intervals. Just saying. That is a marketing/sales gimmick.
 

slomo

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***caution*** opinion ahead.

If you want to use synthetic oil go ahead but...... synthetic oils used in automobiles allow those engines to longer between oil changes before the base oil starts breaking down. Synthetics don't offer better lubrication than mineral oils. They take heat better and last longer. All that us not all that helpful in a small engine unless you want to go long periods between oil changes which may not be the best thing for small engines.
Oils designated for automotive use have little to no ZDDP in them per government rules. Oils not intended for automotive use can have higher levels of ZDDP. ZDDP is an anti wear additive added to oils to help with wear on flat tappet cams in automotive engines with high valve spring pressures. Small engines have much lower spring pressures. Most you can compress with fingers. ZDDP additive is not that important in a small engine vs. Something like a high revving V8 with a flat tappet cam. Use whatever oil you want and have confidence in but a non synthetic SJ rated 30wt or 10w30 without ZDDP package will work fine. The most important thing is not how expensive the oil you use is but how often do you change the oil? The stuff that turn the oil black is the same whether synthetic or non synthetic oil is used. The more often you get that out or the engine the longer the engine will last. You can leave oil in too long but you can't change it too often.

***end of opinion***
Synthetics do/can offer better lubrication. Trouble is in America, there is NO governing board that requires an oil company to actually put real synthetic anything oil related IN the bottle. European countries DO require this. If their oil says synthetic, you have it inside. In the USA, a company could put 1% of an additive pack only and label it synthetic on the bottle. And the base stock is nothing but petroleum grade slime. If you want a real FULL synthetic, look at Redline. This also falls in line with pricing. Notice how the synthetic labeled Mobile 1 is so cheap at walmart? Go price Redline and see the difference.

Zinc and cat converters is a no-no as Hammer said. STP Oil Treatment is full of zinc if you need it.

I would use the engine manufactures recommended oil and not lose sleep. LIke Hammer said, change it offen. These only hold mere ounces of oil guys. Not like you are filling up a V-12 generator with 27 gallons. Plain old 30w has been used in millions of mowers with zero issues.

slomo
 

7394

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Since Kawasaki never made any oil, their K Tech is made by outsourcing to their specs.

So just saying.. It may say Kaw on the label. But it's where they get best deal & to their requirements.
 

bertsmobile1

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Way back in the dim dark ages, I studied Lubricants , cooling & cutting solutions for a 13 week term a part of a diploma course .
So while I do not consider myself to be expert in any way shape or form I am always amazed at how passionately people whose only knowledge is what is written on the bottle will argue about oils .
Engines are designed for oils with specific characterists at particular temperatures and using an oil that superceeds these specifications is generally a waste of time money & effort and in some cases can cause considerable damage where oil passageways are sized for a particular viscosity to pass a specific volume of oil over a specific amount of time under a specific pressure.
Putting a fuly synthetic oil in such engine can cause a drastic drop in oil pressure because the oil holes and running clearances are too big which causes a pressure drop sufficent to prevent proper boundry lubrication to occur .

Fully synthetic oils are of course are not made from oil that are made from gas .
But what is the gas made out of ?
the exact same bacteria as oil is made from the only difference is the time of the deposition & the pressure the deposit has been under .

So if you are making a jet engine or an F1 engine where running clearences are down to hundreths of a thou, they make a massive difference because standard oil is too thick to get between the metal surfaces
However mower engines have clearances in full thous so definately not needed

In a hydro box where the oil has to pass between the flow holes at a greater rae than between the cylinder & valve chest then the tighter specifications of fully synthetics is important .

Even then many of the fully synthetics are actually made from waste refinery gas so they started life as an oil, got gassified then returned to an oil again.

Engine oils are the most complicated liquids in common use second only to printers ink.
Any ameteur ( mself included ) who thiks they know it all about oil is playing with parts of their anatomy that mummy told them would send them blind if they did not leave it alone.

So if any one wants to put a fully synthetic, semi-synthetic oil into their engines and it makes them feel great doing it then please go ahead an do it .'
Happy people are a lot more fun to live around but please don't delude yourselve s that it will make a tinkers cures of a difference to the life or performance of your mower engine .
Mower engines are the cheapest most basic underpowered engine that it is possible to make.

ZDDP is not a particular problem to catalytic converters in the volumes used in engine oils .
The volume that sticks onto the cylinder wall then is passed into the exhaust and expelled by the engine is so miniscule you could measure it in individual molocules and has been found to have little effect on the converter
The problem is EPA regulations that consider it a "Heavy Metal Pollutant which may cause cancer in the state of California"
And yes it has been found deposited on the surface of the cat but in such small volumes that it makes no effective effect on the operation of the cat.
However under lab conditions where 100+ times the volumes that could ever be deposited by an mower engine running 24/7 for 100 years was passed over a cat it did diminish it's efficiency
 
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7394

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