Liquid Cooled Vs Air Cooled Engine Mower: Which Mower Is Better?

Have you started scratching your head by thinking of what is the difference between liquid-cooled and air-cooled? Well, the most noticeable difference between these two engines is their design. The air-cooled mower is comparatively compact and lightweight, while the liquid-cooled one tends to be heavier and a bit larger in size.

So, both the lawnmower engines can serve you benefits based on your budget, lawn size, longevity, and temperature needs. So today, we will be exploring the liquid cooled vs air cooled lawn mower comparison to help you understand which one can be your better lawn buddy!

Liquid Cooled Vs Air Cooled Lawn Mower: Quick Comparison Chart

Key FeaturesLiquid CooledAir Cooled
DesignHeavyweight and largerLightweight and compact
Riding PerformanceHeavy dutyLight duty
MaintenanceHeavy maintenanceAlmost maintenance-free
PriceExpensiveComparatively affordable

The liquid-cooled lawn mower engines have been in the industry for more than a hundred years. In contrast, the air-cooled engines are newer. So, they definitely are different in a few areas. Here are the detailed differences between the air-cooled and  liquid cooled engine.

Differences In Design

If you do a design comparison, there is not much significant difference in their designs. The manufacturers aim to make the air-cooled engines more compact than the liquid cooling system ones. So, the air-cooled system-based lawn mowers look smaller than the liquid-cooled engines. 

Because of this compact design, you can easily store the air-cooled lawn mower in a congested place. But the other one will require more space to store.

However, the design quality of their valves is the same. Most of their engine series have OHV (Overhead Valve) designed valves. The manufacturers place these valves in the cylinder head combustion chamber. Such designs help the engines to produce more power.

Comparing Riding Performance

You can expect to get heavy-duty riding performance with the liquid-cooled mower engine. For industrial use, such a liquid system-based engine is most reliable. It can provide more than 1500 hours of riding performance.

On the other hand, air-cooled ones tend to provide 1000 to 1200 hours of riding performance with proper maintenance. While riding the liquid-cooled mower engine, it might be a bit difficult to slide the wheels because of the heavy weight and larger size. But with the compact air-cooled ones, you do not have to struggle sliding or turning it on uneven terrains.  

Additional Features

Both types of engines feature a fuel-efficient system so that they do not burn a lot of fuel or oil. It prevents fuel wastage.

Also, their OHV valve features make it possible to reduce oil consumption and cylinder distortion. However, as the liquid-cooled engines feature 10 or 12 cc pumps, they operate faster and cooler.

So, their engine temperature is 350 degrees F usually. But the air-cooled engines overheat, and their temperatures can sometimes get beyond 400 degrees F. Because they mostly feature less than 10 cc pumps.

The air-cooled ones will warm up or start faster than the liquid-based ones. And for less coolant leakage issues, the air-cooled ones are ideal because they have fewer parts and a compact design. Plus,  you get a quick warm-up feature and almost zero coolant leakage.

Maintenance Differences

As the liquid-cooled lawn mower is heavier and more technologically advanced, it may need regular maintenance at times. You may consider this as one of the drawbacks of liquid cooled engine problems. If you check the Kawasaki liquid-cooled engine problems, you will have enough idea.

However, you do not need to clean or go for maintenance services for the air-cooled engine as often as the liquid ones.

The water pump, rubber hoses, coolant, and water jackets of the liquid-cooled mower must be free from any dirt or clog. Also, you need to sharpen the blades at least three times a year for a better result.  But with the air-cooled engines, you can change the blades once a year. 


When it comes to the liquid cooled engine vs air cooled engine longevity comparison, you can undoubtedly rely on the liquid-cooled engine to last longer than the other. The mower does not produce much heat due to the liquid or water cooling system.

Even if it does, the liquid-cooled engine will cool the mower more effectively than any other engine. 

As the engine temperature or heat is not greater in the liquid ones, it does not produce much friction either while operating. And it is a plus to prevent the mower engine and parts from wearing out quickly.

So, liquid cooling system-based lawnmowers tend to last and operate for longer times than those air-cooled ones. 

The fans used in the air-cooled lawnmowers flywheels are not effective enough to cool down the system or engine temperature. So, such engines will overheat often.

Furthermore, the fans consume a lot of power from the system. As a result, the engines do not last long. It will need replacement sooner than you have expected.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is air cooled better than liquid?

Whether air-cooled is better or liquid totally depends on your requirements. If you do not like to go for frequent maintenance for a mower engine, air-cooled is better for you. But if you work at a professional level and mow frequently, then the liquid-cooled engine is better. As the air-cooled is budget-friendly, it is ideal saving some bucks.

Which is best air cooled or liquid cooled?

There is no strict rule to choosing a single one between them. For a few people, the air-cooled is best, while for others, the liquid ones seem to be the best. Because everyone has different needs for their lawn. If you want a lawnmower engine to operate perfectly for years after years, then the liquid ones are the best. But for light-duty performance and compact size, go for the air-cooled ones.


It can get really stressful to choose the best type of lawnmower engine from the plethora of options. But we suggest keeping this liquid cooled vs air cooled lawn mower engine comparison in your mind while going for a purchase. It will help you to make your decision wisely and faster. 

Lastly, we can say that there is no one specific type of lawnmower engine that can be the best for every lawn owner or manager. In this case, if you want a light-duty engine that is more compact, and easier to carry and store, then the air-cooled ones are a good fit. On the flip side, for a heavy-duty performance for your larger lawns, the liquid ones can be your cup of tea!