Oil helps lubricate the moving components in an engine. Over time, it gets dirty and loses its protective effect. Changing oil as required typically leads to high performance and extended engine life. So, how often should you change lawn mower oil?
Change the oil after running a new lawn mower for the first five hours. Then keep changing it after every 40 to 50 hours of run time. Riding lawnmowers or tractors need an oil change at least once every season, ideally at the start and/or end of the mowing season.
NOTE: Always refer to the owner’s manual for instructions regarding changing lawn mower engine oil.
How often to Change Lawn Mower Oil
Change the oil after running a new lawn mower for the first five hours. Next, you’ll want to do it after every 40 to 50 hours of run time.
Riding lawnmowers or tractors have large engines and need an oil change at least once every season, ideally at the start and/or end of the mowing season.
Operating in dirty or tough conditions may necessitate regular oil changes. Make it a habit to check the level of oil and its appearance every time you are about to run your engine.
Check the oil condition and level using the provided dipstick or dab with a clean cloth tip. The oil should appear clean and at the fill line.
Also read: Can you use car oil in a lawn mower?
How to Drain Oil from Lawn Mower
Before adding new oil to your lawn mower, the old used oil needs to be drained out. For most people, tripping the mower on its side becomes a simpler way of draining oil from the crankcase through the fill hole.
Here is how to do it the right way.
- Start your lawn mower engine and let it run for up to 2 minutes. This is to warm up the oil for easier removal.
- Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire to ensure your lawn mower engine doesn’t accidentally start while you’re working.
- With a clean towel or rag, clean old oil and dirt from the dipstick shaft and area around the drain plug.
- Prop your push lawn mower deck, so the spark plug faces up, and place an oil pan or container underneath it.
- Locate the oil drain plug underside of your mower beneath the engine block and use a socket wrench to twist the plug counterclockwise, allowing the old oil to drain.
- Once all the oil is drained, replace the drain plug by twisting clockwise and tightening it with a box wrench.
- This will also be the best time to replace the mower’s oil filter. In a counter-clockwise direction, unscrew the filter and install a new one.
- Now add your new oil to the capacity without exceeding the “fill” line on the dipstick. Overfilling the crankcase will lead to oil spills on the engine.
- Run your lawn mower idle and check for leaks. Lawn mower smoking white or blue may be noticed as any oil spills on the engine are burnt.
- Properly dispose of the drained oil, old oil filters, and any oil-soaked rugs. Oil can stain your driveways or damage nearby plants and grass if not carefully handled.
Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips
Apart from changing engine oil, additional maintenance tips for your lawn mower include the following:
- Clean or replace lawn mower air filters. Check the operator’s manual for the type of filter you are dealing with. Paper filters should be replaced, while plastic filters may be cleaned after every three months.
- Treat your lawn mower fuel if you intend to store it for more than 30 days without running. This is done by adding a fuel stabilizer to the fuel system. Alternatively, ensure all the fuel is used before storage for winter or drought.
- Keep the blades in good condition. Sharpen lawn mower blades at the start of the mowing season and adjust them accordingly.
- Change lawn mower spark plugs at least once annually. Spark plugs ignite the fuel to power the engine. Ineffective spark plugs lead to low power and more fuel consumption.
- Clean your lawn mower after every use to remove soil and class clippings on the blades, deck, and other parts. Storing your lawn mower without cleaning may lead to rust deposits in important areas.
- Winterize your lawn mower during cold seasons and store it in a clean, dry place, preferably in your garage or basement.
- Take your lawn mower to a nearby professional dealer for servicing and tune-up or when you suspect any mechanical or electrical problems.
Also read: SAE 30 vs. 5W30 – Differences and which to use in your lawn mower.
Taking good care of your lawn mower is a big part of maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn. Further, proper maintenance guarantees many years of service without any problems. Promptly change your lawn mower engine oil, spark plugs, and filters. You can do it as directed in the user manual or by contacting a nearby professional dealer.