What Do I Mix With Gas For Lawn Mower? Oil & Gas Ratio

Photo of author

By Kirsi Jansa

Two-stroke lawn mowers require a mix of oil and gasoline because they lack a dedicated lubrication system. The oil in the mix lubricates the internal components while the gasoline serves as fuel. This mixture is essential to prevent engine damage and ensure the efficient operation of the mower. Unlike four-stroke engines, two-stroke engines complete a power cycle in only two strokes, hence the need for mixed fuel.

What Do I Mix With Gas For Lawn Mower

Mixing Ratios for 2-Stroke Lawn Mowers


32:1 ratio means 32 parts of gasoline to 1 part of oil. This mix provides relatively more oil, ensuring better lubrication and cooling, which is suitable for engines that experience higher temperatures or have larger fuel consumption.


40:1 ratio signifies 40 parts of gasoline to 1 part of oil, which is a common mix for many two-stroke engines. It provides balanced lubrication and is often used in general-purpose engines like chainsaws and leaf blowers.


50:1 ratio involves 50 parts of gasoline to 1 part of oil, offering less oil and thus less lubrication, but with the advantage of less smoke and emissions. It is commonly used in newer, more efficient two-stroke engines designed to operate with lower oil consumption.

Ratio Oil Required for 1 Gallon of Gasoline (128 oz) Oil Required for 1 Liter of Gasoline (1000 ml)
32:1 4 oz 31.25 ml
40:1 3.2 oz 25 ml
50:1 2.56 oz 20 ml

To find the amount of oil needed, you divide the total volume of gasoline by the ratio number, so for a 32:1 ratio and 1 gallon of gasoline (128 oz), you would need 4 oz of oil (128 oz / 32 = 4 oz). Similarly, for 1 liter of gasoline (1000 ml) and a 40:1 ratio, you would need 25 ml of oil (1000 ml / 40 = 25 ml).

Oil to Gas Ratio According to Engine Age

  • Engines Manufactured Before 2003: Use 32:1 Ratio. If you’re in California, it’s recommended to use a 40:1 mixture of gasoline to oil due to state guidelines.
  • Engines Manufactured After 2002: Use 40:1 ratio.
  • Not sure about Age: Use 40:1. It works fine for all engines.

Type of Oil and Gas for 2-stroke Lawn Mowers

Oil: Two-stroke engines require two-stroke oil, which is specifically formulated to mix with gasoline and lubricate the internal components as it burns. It’s crucial to use two-stroke oil, as using standard motor oil can lead to engine damage.

Gas: Use fresh, clean, unleaded gasoline with a minimum of 87 octane. Avoid using gasoline with high levels of ethanol, as it can harm the engine’s components over time. Ideally, the gasoline should be less than 30 days old for optimal performance.

Type of Oil and Gas for 2-stroke Lawn Mowers

Drawbacks of Using Incorrect Oil-Gas Ratio

Engine Damage: Using too little oil in the mixture can lead to insufficient lubrication, causing increased friction, overheating, and, ultimately, damage to the engine components.

Reduced Performance: An incorrect oil-gas ratio can result in suboptimal combustion, affecting engine power, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency, leading to poor overall performance.

Increased Emissions and Smoke: Too much oil in the mix can result in excessive smoke and harmful emissions, contributing to environmental pollution and potentially violating emission regulations.

Spark Plug Fouling: An overly rich oil mixture can lead to spark plug fouling, causing starting difficulties, misfires, and uneven running.

Carbon Deposits: Incorrect ratios, especially those with excess oil, can lead to the accumulation of carbon deposits within the engine, affecting its efficiency and lifespan.

Fuel Inefficiency: An imbalance in the oil-gas ratio can make the engine run leaner or richer, affecting fuel consumption and resulting in increased operational costs.

How do I measure Oil and Gas for my Lawn Mower?

Use a measuring cup or a special oil mixing container to measure the correct amount of oil, and combine it with the appropriate amount of gasoline as per the recommended ratio, typically found in the user manual.

How to safely add Oil and Gas to a Two-Stroke Engine?

Ensure the engine is off and cooled, use a funnel to avoid spills, and pour the pre-mixed oil and gas into the fuel tank. Always mix the oil and gas in a separate container, not directly in the fuel tank.

Can I add Oil and Gas directly to the Tank?

No, you should not mix oil and gas directly in the tank. Always mix them in a separate container to ensure the correct ratio and thorough mixing before adding them to the fuel tank.

How do I store prepared Gas so I don’t accidentally use it in other machines?

Label the container clearly with the type and ratio of the mix and store it away from other fuel containers to avoid confusion and accidental use of inappropriate equipment.

What happens if you don’t add Oil to a 2-stroke Lawn Mower?

Running a 2-stroke lawn mower without adding oil will cause a lack of lubrication, leading to increased friction, overheating, and eventually severe damage to the engine components.

What happens if you add Oil and Gas to a 4-stroke Engine?

Adding a mix of oil and gas to a 4-stroke engine can cause spark plug fouling, smoke, reduced performance, and potential engine damage since 4-stroke engines have a separate lubrication system.

What is the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke Engine Oil?

2-stroke engine oil is designed to mix with gasoline and burn in the combustion chamber, providing lubrication during the combustion cycle. In contrast, 4-stroke engine oil is not intended to burn and lubricate the engine components from a separate oil sump.

How to check if my Lawn Mower is 2-stroke or 4-stroke?

You can often determine the engine type from the fuel cap or nearby labeling. Moreover, 4-stroke engines have a separate compartment for oil, whereas 2-stroke machines don’t. Additionally, consult the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s label for engine specifications.

Leave a Comment