The Cub Cadet LT 1050 lawn tractor uses a Kohler-made engine to operate the throttle controls, engine blade and other tractor accessories. The Kohler engine relies on oil to keep it clean and lubricate all the moving parts. It is important to choose the correct oil weight and type to keep your LT 1050 working.
The Cub Cadet LT1050 has a specific oil viscosity, or weight, that's allowed for use in its Kohler engine. Viscosity measures how fast oil will spread once it's heated up. Thinner oil heats up faster so it works well for cold temperature operation. Thicker oil is better for warm or hot temperature operation. The Kohler "Winter" brand oil, 5W-20 or 5W-30 weight oil, is recommended for using your LT 1050 at temperatures 32 degrees F. or below. Kohler "Command" oil brand, or 10W-30, is recommended for operation during zero degrees F. and above.
Synthetic oil of the equivalent weight is acceptable for your LT 1050 as well. Synthetic oil is significantly more expensive than conventional motor oil but it possesses qualities that may help your Kohler engine perform better. Synthetic oil can withstand a much larger temperature range of up to 600 degrees F. versus 450 degrees. Synthetic oil also doesn't possess natural contaminants such as wax that can't be filtered out when processing conventional, petroleum-based oil. These contaminants can contribute to producing sludge in your engine, especially if you don't change the oil according to the maintenance schedule. However, if your LT 1050 is a new purchase, it is recommended to use synthetic oil after 50 hours of use so that the engine has broken in its natural wear patterns.
Oil Maintenance Schedule
Maintain the oil's maintenance schedule for best operating results. Check the engine's oil level before using your LT 1050. You can check it by opening the oil filler cap and removing the dipstick. Wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then pull it out again to check the oil level. Add as necessary so that the oil meets the "full" line. The engine oil and oil filter should be changed after the first 24 hours of operation, every 100 hours after that and every season.
The LT 1050 also uses oil for the hydrostatic transmission system. The system has a 76 ounce capacity that takes SAE20W-50 weight motor oil. Many models do not allow you to change the oil in the transmission system. If your LT1050 has a drain plug on the transmission surface, it's possible to change the oil after the first 50 hours of operation and every 100 hours after that. Otherwise, consult a professional technician if your transmission oil is leaking.
Paul Bright has been writing online since 2006, specializing in topics related to military employment and mental health. He works for a mental health non-profit in Northern California. Bright holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in psychology-marriage and family therapy from Brandman University.