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Hi
Just wondering what type of oil should I use for my Ariens Deluxe 24 snowblower. The manual says 5W-30 but does not specify if Synthetic oil is preferred or not. I have some new Gastrol non synthetic 5W-30 oil for my car left over in a 4 liter jug , would this oil be ok to use? I see that MTD has an oil out now that comes in a plastic bag and states that it is for 4 stroke air cooled engines such as snow blowers and such, has anyone used this before or should I just stay with conventional or synthetic car motor oil?
Thanks
 

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Everyone has different ideas. Most of us recommend using Synthetic. I run Mobil 0-40 Synthetic in everything except my tillers since they only work in warm weather and usually have a pretty heavy load.
My Walmart stocks it and has the best price.
 

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You would be fine to run the non-synthetic oil. My wife's car uses 4 quarts of oil (5w30) and normally the quart left over gets dumped into an empty single quart either for future use in one of my four stroke engines (power washer, Honda lawnmower or snowblower) Normally use either Mobil 1, or havoline/valvoline in a semi-synthetic. Never have had an engine issue related to oil....I change annually....and any 5w30 oil is better than no oil.


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if it is a brand new snowblower or a brand new engine, run regular oil in it for the first 3-5 break in hours, and then change it out to whatever type of oil you like(i personally like to use penzoil platinum synthetic 5w-30 or 5w-20 or mobil 1, but its your choice). if the engine has been run on regular oil its entire life however, then keep using regular oil
 

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I'm running Mobil 1 extended performance 5w30 in everything because it's what I use in both of our cars.

As has been said, you'll get tons of opinions on this, even many carrying on very old rumors about synthetic causing leaks etc. It's not true and synthetics these days can be mixed with conventional oils. You can even mix 5w30 and 10w30. 0w30 is fine as well and I would feel is preferred in a snowblower, especially if it's stored where it's cold or chilly.

There's no reason at all not to use synthetic in something, no matter what it used and for how long. My Ariens is a late 90s model and was run enough that it ended up with exhaust valve clearance issues that needed to be addressed. I still switched it over to Mobil 1 and the Tecumseh has no complaints about it.

I personally feel synthetic oils handle moisture better, which our engines have a big problem with due to short run times, being air cooled and where they're stored etc. However overall, all these simple, low power engines want is fairly clean oil and enough of it. Practically any detergent oil out there will keep them happy if you change it from time to time and don't run them low.
 

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The only thing I would add to this is if it's still under warranty use 5w30 like the manual states. I would hate to give them an accuse to void the warranty. I have always used dino in my old MTD but I decided I was going to use a synthetic blend in my new one.

As mentioned the more important thing is to keep it full and change it annually.
 

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I use 5-30 full synthetic in all my small engines, mowers and blowers. Here is a passage taken from B&S site:

"We all grew up on conventional oil which at its heart is crude oil which has been refined and then blended with additives. Most synthetic oils also start as crude but go through more complex processing down to the molecular level, resulting in a lubricant which offers a variety of benefits including:

  • Better wear control
  • Better viscosity
  • Better low temperature fluidity
  • Better deposit control
End result? By using a synthetic oil you are putting a better lubricant in your engine which helps reduce the risk of equipment failure and can extend its service life. The only downside is that extra protection comes at a higher price. Depending on the brand, synthetic oil can run almost double the price of conventional oils."
 

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My local honda dealer uses Honda 10w-30 because the temps do not go below zero very often.

Many years ago a mechanic friend told me the best thing you can do for a motor is to change the oil and filters regularly. Good advice as we have 3 cars still going strong after 330,000 , 297,000 , and 281,000 miles on them. all subarus.
 

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The manual says 5W-30 but does not specify if Synthetic oil is preferred or not.

Builder, how old is your Ariens?


(My Ariens Owner's Manuals all show synthetic or dino 5W30 are fine.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi uberT

It is my second season with the blower which I bought new late last fall. I did the 5 hour break in oil change and used conventional oil, but was wondering if I should switch over to synthetic oil.
 

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So, your Owner's Manual says the same as mine do: It's OK to use syn oil if you wish to.


As the others mention above, I did the first brief change intervals on a quality dino oil and have transitioned to a Mobil 1 5W30 product.


If you're going to be changing oil all the time, probably a reasonable decision to stick with dino since it's so cheap. I tend to keep the oil in my machines a bit longer since the oil still appears completely clean at the end of a season.
 

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For a 4 stroke snow blower or a generator that you might need to use in winter, I'd use syn 5w/30 just for the ease of starting alone. I use it in all my 4 stroke power equipment. It does pull start more easily, as syn oil does not thicken as much as conventional at low temps. I tried testing syn and conventional 5w30 oils in the freezer at 0 degrees F and there is a huge difference in the ability of it to flow, and lubricate.
 

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This post was very interesting.

When I had the old H-70 on our 1971 Ariens it was the hardest engine to pull start. Having the pull the rope up off the engine and me being on the short side, it was just a royal pain to say the least. My dad always used what ever conventional oil it called for.

But now when I repowered with the Briggs And Stratton, I always thought that having the bigger mitten handle and having the rope pull off to the side like a lumber jacks sawing motion, I thought that was one of the reasons why she is so... easy to pull start with one pull.

I never thought that maybe the synthetic oil could possibly have something to do with it.

I thought with maybe using synthetic oil, it might help the engine work with less strain especially with storms that have the heavier type snow.

Maybe just foolish thinking...

For a 4 stroke snow blower or a generator that you might need to use in winter, I'd use syn 5w/30 just for the ease of starting alone. I use it in all my 4 stroke power equipment. It does pull start more easily, as syn oil does not thicken as much as conventional at low temps. I tried testing syn and conventional 5w30 oils in the freezer at 0 degrees F and there is a huge difference in the ability of it to flow, and lubricate.
 

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I have settled on two different types of oil:

For my mowers and garden tractors: Straight 30 weight Dino oil. Because that is what the engine manufacturers have recommended since forever, and all my engines are 30 to 50 years old, and they only run in spring, summer and fall. No winter running.

For the snowblowers: Synthetic 5W30, because its better in the cold. starts easier, flows better in the cold.

From all the reading I have done over the years, Synthetic is better for the cold weather engines, and it makes little difference for the warm-weather engines.

Scot
 

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I can not store my blower close to an AC receptacle and pull starting the 10hp Tecumseh was near impossible for me. Running an extention cord over the snow was a royal pain. Swapped to 5w30 Mobil 1 and I haven't used the electric starter since.
 
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Beyond the minor issue of cost, I can't think of a reason not to use synthetic in a 2-year old snow blower. It's best to go all-in, though, and not use a blend.
 

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my .02

I agree 100% with everyone stating there is no reason not to use synthetic. these engines hold what 1 quart possibly 1.5 quarts?? for $10-$13/qt I can afford to use synthetic.

What I haven't seen is anyone asking about motorcycle oil.. IMO this is a better choice than automobile oil, because they remove the friction modifiers from it. Now I know some you probably believe this to be snake oil, but hear me out.

Firstly motorycle/atv engines have alot of aluminum, magnesium and some high performance stuff has impregnated ceramic impregnated and titanium. That being said In a motorcycle/atv the "oil" is doing double duty. It lubricates all the engine pieces, rods, crank, valve train, camshafts but it also needs to lubricate the transmission gears and the wet clutch. The forces, heat and general abuse that motorcycle oil gets is not the same as an automobile engine, where it just to lubricate some moving parts and flow around. The motorcycle oil gets crushed between steel and fiber plates in the clutch which is 100's of pound of force. Then it flies over into the transmission and is ground in between the teeth of the gearset.. Then gets pumped back through the system and runs over the valve train. Nowlook that may not mean anything, But motorcycles that are used in places that use snowblowers are run for a few months and put away. Just like our snow blowers, ridden hard and put away wet.

I dunno maybe I'm talking thru my butt since I didn't have my 2nd coffee yet.. I also haven't researched small engine oil, and might be the same as motorcycle oil.
 

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I have an older snow blower and changed over to 0W30 synthetic a few years ago, it makes sense to have oil circulating quicker for lubrication and to prevent engine wear at startup. My original manual states to use regular dino oil (SAE 5W30) from -20F to 40F whereas on synthetic (SAE 0W30) I am good at -30F to 40F (maybe more, charts stops at -30F) due to it's viscosity at the lower temps. We only change oil once a season so might as well go full synthetic. I have encountered no excessive oil consumption at all in an older machine with a Tecumseh engine, I just run for the winter and change at the start to the next season.
 

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my .02

I agree 100% with everyone stating there is no reason not to use synthetic. these engines hold what 1 quart possibly 1.5 quarts?? for $10-$13/qt I can afford to use synthetic.

What I haven't seen is anyone asking about motorcycle oil.. IMO this is a better choice than automobile oil, because they remove the friction modifiers from it. Now I know some you probably believe this to be snake oil, but hear me out.

Firstly motorycle/atv engines have alot of aluminum, magnesium and some high performance stuff has impregnated ceramic impregnated and titanium. That being said In a motorcycle/atv the "oil" is doing double duty. It lubricates all the engine pieces, rods, crank, valve train, camshafts but it also needs to lubricate the transmission gears and the wet clutch. The forces, heat and general abuse that motorcycle oil gets is not the same as an automobile engine, where it just to lubricate some moving parts and flow around. The motorcycle oil gets crushed between steel and fiber plates in the clutch which is 100's of pound of force. Then it flies over into the transmission and is ground in between the teeth of the gearset.. Then gets pumped back through the system and runs over the valve train. Nowlook that may not mean anything, But motorcycles that are used in places that use snowblowers are run for a few months and put away. Just like our snow blowers, ridden hard and put away wet.

I dunno maybe I'm talking thru my butt since I didn't have my 2nd coffee yet.. I also haven't researched small engine oil, and might be the same as motorcycle oil.

I think that the real secret is that motorcycle oil isn't always that different than regular automotive oil. My Japanese motorcycles require a JASO-MA (or the newer MA2) specification for their wet clutches. I used oil made for diesel engines in my motorcycles (Shell Rotella T6 5W40 or T4 15W40). I wouldn't hesitate to use those in my snowblower or lawn mower. Also, most snowblowers don't have a wet clutch, so I would personally want my oil to be as slick as possible to lubricate as well as possible.
 
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