This is our review of the best motor oil for snowblowers in 2022.
Did you know your snowblower can last longer than your car? It is true. Inexpensive small engines can last ten years, while most snow blowers can reach the ripe old age of 15 to 25 years; with the right synthetic oils.
It is all dependent on maintenance, though. The most important maintenance step? Ensuring you have the right snowblower oil, no oil leaks, and the correct viscosity grade.
After a lot of research and even more trial and error, Castrol EDGE SAE 5W-30 is the best specially formulated oil for your snowblower engine…and your back! It is not only great for engine performance, but it is also good for cold weather use.
While Castrol is my overall favorite synthetic blend snow blower oil for 2022, there are a few situations where I would choose alternative synthetic oils. For example, if I was using an older model I’d look at a different make.
Follow along below for more details on my top pick, alternative options, plus everything you need to know about picking out snowblower oil.
The Best Oils For Snowblower Maintenance Compared
Castrol EDGE- Best Overall Engine Oil For Snowblowers
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Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Easy Mix Motor Oil- Best For 2-Cycle Snowblowers
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Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil Best For Heavily Used Snowblowers
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Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil- Best Budget Oil For Snowblowers
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Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil- Best For Older Snowblowers
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Top Snow Blower Engine Oils Reviewed
My first choice is the Castrol Edge. An SAE 5W-30 oil is designed to perform under freezing temperatures. As a fully synthetic oil, it gives you optimized energy performance without putting strain on the motor. It keeps your blower running strong for longer.
Castrol oil keeps metal from contacting metal to a minimum. It reduces friction plus wears and tear. You will also see a reduction of deposits which lessens clogs.
Made with “fluid titanium technology”, it keeps viscosity breakdown to a minimum. Overall, it performs better under strain than any other lubricate due to the oil viscosity.
With its reasonable price tag, this is my top pick for a 4-cycle snow thrower.
- Fluid titanium technology
- Reduces friction
- Minimizes clogs
- Fully synthetic motor oil
Many smaller snow blowers are 2-cycle rather than 4-cycle engines. The 2-cycle motor requires less maintenance, but you have to mix the gas and oil. Both are burned in the engine – which makes it a bit less environmentally friendly.
If you have a 2-stroke snow blower instead of a 4-cycle engine, I recommend the Briggs & Stratton 2-stroke oil. This engine oil performs well in cold weather while also protecting the integrity of the machine.
The bottle makes mixing the oil with fuel simple, and it is a synthetic oil
Briggs & Stratton is a fuel stabilizer with ashless additives that keep the smoke and black soot from accumulating everywhere.
The anti-friction properties are also important, especially in a 2-stroke engine. Keep in mind, you cannot use this type of oil in a 4-cycle snowblower.
- 2-cycle motor
- Ashless additives
- Fuel stabilizer
- Easy mix bottle
- Not for 4-cycle
- Has to be mixed with fuel
The Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic motor oil is great if you live in a colder climate. Like any machine, the more you use your snowblower the more maintenance it will need.
Extra protection such as anti-wear additives and antioxidants keep the viscosity where it should be and the mechanisms within your engine from breaking down.
Valvoline oil is 100% synthetic and works great in colder temperatures. Not only that, but the extra detergents keep your motor clean and less likely to clog. It reduces the likelihood of costly repairs plus the antioxidants reduce viscosity growth.
The only downside to this option is you don’t want to mix it with conventional oil or other brands. I don’t recommend it for a top-off solution.
- Reduces wear
- Fewer clogs
- Minimizes viscosity growth
- Friction protection
- Cannot mix with other oils
Briggs & Stratton is my favorite engine oil if you are on a budget. It is 100% synthetic so it has few impurities to clog your engine. This SAE 5W30 is perfect for cold weather climates. Prices are always changing – especially with supply chains out of whack – but it has traditionally been a good product at a fair price. That said, make sure to compare prices.
This synthetic oil is thin enough to run in below-freezing temperatures, and it also keeps the engine cool during consistent use. A quality detergent oil, Briggs & Straton lets your engine perform under the harshest conditions.
This brand of engine oil allows you to use your snowblower for longer periods without the customary wear and tear. It can also extend the life of your machine.
One thing of note, Briggs & Stratton does not work well with other oils. You also don’t want to add any oil additives as they can disrupt the function of the oil.
- Performs well in cold temperatures
- 100% synthetic
- Longer run time without damage
- Extends the life of your snow blower
- Can not be used with other oils
- Avoid using additives
Like my other picks, Pennzoil is a great SAE 5W-30 cold-weather option. If you have an older 4-stroke snow thrower this oil is the best way to go. It is made from natural gas instead of crude making it a synthetic oil that is cleaner for your machine.
This snowblower oil helps reduce friction which cuts back on wear and tear. It also extends your gas mileage making it cost-effective.
One thing to note about this oil is you do not want to mix it with other oils. You also need to stay away from adding additives.
On the other hand, Pennzoil has a great track record with cold start-ups so you are not wasting energy trying to start your machine.
As a general rule of thumb, I prefer to use this motor oil in older models and blowers that have not been taken care of properly.
- Cleaner oil protects your snow blower
- Makes gas last longer
- Protects engine
- Reduces wear and tear
- Not able to mix with other oils
- No additives can be used
Now that you have my top recommendations, there are some additional factors you should know. This will help you find a good snow blower engine oil regardless of what is available. Let’s start with the type of blower you have and what fresh oil you need.
Types of Oils: Synthetic Oil Vs. Conventional Oil
I’m going to make this easy for you. You want synthetic oil in your 4-cycle engine snowblower.
There are no downsides to using it, and it’s made to provide lubrication to your engine better than conventional oil in freezing conditions. It’ll last at least 50% longer than conventional oil as well.
Seriously – you paid a lot of money to save time removing snow when you bought your snowblower. Don’t cheap out here – it’ll cost you time and money down the road.
Types Of Snow Blowers
There are three types of snow blowers available.
- Battery Operated
Only gas-powered blowers need oil for small engines. In my opinion, if you need to use your snow blower more than twice for ten inches or more, you will benefit from one that needs gas (and oil!) to run.
Gas-operated blowers also come in different sizes.
These stages are indicative of the amount of power and snow plowing ability.
Snow Thrower Engine Type
You also have the option of a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine. This is most important. The different engine types need different engine oil. Keep in mind, 2-cycle (or stroke) motors are not manufactured any longer.
Any thrower manufactured after 2006 is a 4-cycle engine, but older models are still available through buy/sell/trade sites and yard sales. If you have an older model, be careful of the motor oils you use.
To determine which one you have, check the gas cap. A 2-stroke engine will have the proportions for both gas and engine oil.
Tis is why it is important to know what type of motor your snowblower uses. A 2-cycle requires the gas and oil to be mixed. The modern version has two separate compartments. One for gas, one for oil.
I have seen the effects of using the wrong oil. It is something you do not want to do. Before the snow starts flying, make sure you know which oil is right for you.
What To Look For When Buying Motor Oil For A Snowblower
Before I get into what to look for in a synthetic snowblower oil, I want to talk about what to stay away from. First, as mentioned above, there are two different types of thrower engines, a 2-stroke, and a 4-stroke. Do NOT MIX THEM UP!
Which motor the oil is made for will be on the bottle. Besides that, always check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you do not have it, you can typically look it up online; plus how much oil you need.
Filling your snowblower with the wrong oil, or performing an incorrect oil change, can cause serious issues such as seizing the engine. If this happens, your thrower is as good as scrap metal.
How The Oil Works
In a 2-stroke engine, the oil is mixed with the gas. Both liquids move through the various parts of the engine together powering it and lubricating it simultaneously.
Today, however, we are going to concentrate on the 4-cycle as it’s more common.
In a quad motor, the oil and gas are added separately. The gas is compressed and ignited while the oil fills the chambers keeping everything cool and lubricated. The oil has to perform while the engine is both hot and cold, though.
You should always use a 4-cycle oil in your snowblower.
When it comes to snowblower oil, many people are often confused by all the numbers and letters on the bottle. When you understand the meaning, though, it is simple. I will start with SAE.
SAE is typically found before the first number. It stands for the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is they who determine the rating for car oil, motor oils, etc. Snowblower oils are rated by the quality and thickness (or viscosity) of the oil.
While quality is always important, viscosity is where you want to pay attention. After SAE is a number followed (most of the time) by a letter, and then another number.
The first number indicated the thickness of the oil at cold temperatures. The lower the number is the cold the weather can be while you use your snowblower.
In our case, we want to aim for 5; which means it can operate at -25 degrees.
The following letter for a snow thrower should be a W. It simply means winter.
The last numbers are the viscosity while the engine is at its hottest. You want to strive for 30.
As you may have noticed from my recommendations above, the ideal viscosity, otherwise known as oil weight, is 5W-30.
My overall favorite pick for a snowblower engine oil is the Castrol EDGE. It has a great performance rating for operating under freezing conditions. Plus, at the hottest engine capacity, too.
Not only that, it helps keep your snow thrower running longer than other conventional oils.
If you want to save some coin on my favorite engine oils (a higher viscosity oil) you can find the Castrol EDGE here. Give it a try and never get stuck shoveling again.