How Often Should You Change Lawn Mower Oil?

Oil helps in lubricating the moving components in an engine. Overtime, it gets dirty and lose its protective effectiveness. Changing oil as required typically leads to high performance and an extended engine life. Let’s find out how often to change lawn mower oil and how it’s done correctly.

Servicing an engine without knowledge can lead to personal injury or damage to the equipment. You should therefore read and follow user instructions provided in the manufacturer’s manual or contact a professional dealer to help in servicing or fixing any problem with your lawn mower engine.

How often to Change Lawn Mower Oil

For a new lawn mower engine, change the oil after the first five hours of operation. For your existing push lawn mower, you’ll want to do it after every 40 to 50 hours of run time. Riding lawn mowers or tractors have large engines, change oil 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 change. Make it a habit to check the level of oil and its appearance every time you are about to run your engine. Do this using the provided dipstick or dab with a clean tip of the cloth. The oil should appear clean and at the fill line.

Always use a recommended oil for your lawn mower. There are also some types of motor oil to use in your lawn mower with great engine protection abilities. A low quality oil can hurt your engine leading to costly repairs or total breakdown of your machine.

How to Drain Oil from Lawn Mower

Before adding new oil into your lawn mower, the old used oil need to be drained out. For most people, tripping the mower on its side becomes a way of draining oil from the crankcase through the fill hole. Here is how to do it the right way.

  1. Start you lawn mower engine and let it run for up to 2 minutes. This is to warm up the oil for easier removal.
  2. Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire to ensure your lawn mower engine doesn’t accidentally start while you’re working
  3. With clean piece of towel or rag, clean old oil and dirt from the dip stick shaft and area around the drain plug.
  4. Prop your push lawn mower deck so that the spark plug is facing up and place an oil pan or container underneath it.
  5. Locate 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.
  6. Once all the oil is drained, replace the drain plug by twisting clockwise and tightening with a box wrench.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 which is sometimes damaging.
  9. Run your lawn mower idle and check for leaks. Lawn mower smoking white or blue may follow as any spills of oil on the engine are burnt.
  10. 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 more than 30 days without running. This is done by adding 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 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 leads 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 on 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 problem.

Final Thought

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.

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