Changing oil is one of the key requirements for maintaining a lawn mower. The dirty worn out oil has to be drained from the lawn mower before a brand new oil is added. This will give your engine more power and protection from premature wear and tear. This guide explains how to drain oil from lawn mower the right way.
According to Briggs and Stratton, the leader in manufacture of small engines and lawnmower parts, three methods can be used for draining oil from a lawn mower. You can drain oil through the dipstick tube, through the drain plug or by use of an oil extractor tool.
How to Drain Oil from Lawn Mower
Before you start draining oil from your lawn mower, there are few things you need to do. First of all, take your lawn mower in a well-ventilated area and run the engine for 15 minutes then turn it off. This will suspend all internal debris and impurities into the oil and they will drain along with it.
Next, disconnect the spark plug wire and drain the fuel from your lawn mower engine into a clean container. Alternatively, remove the fuel cap and place a plastic bag over the opening down the tank neck and threads and cork back the seal. You may use one of the methods below depending on your engine model.
Draining Oil through Dipstick Tube
This method requires tipping of the lawn mower so that the dipstick drain is facing down to the ground. Ensure you tip the lawn mower the right way so that air filter and/or spark plug are on the upper side. Without doing this, you will end up with lawn mower air filter soaked in oil.
Once you have correctly tilted your lawn mower so that the dipstick is close to the ground, place a drain pan on the floor under the dipstick tube and drain the oil. Use a rug to clean any excess oil on the muffler and other parts of the engine. When restarting the engine, any oil spill left will burn off as smoke.
Draining Oil through the drain plug
Although not available on all lawn mower models, drain plug can be opened to allow oil to drain from the lawn mower engine. On a lawn mower, drain plug is usually located under the lawn mower deck. Sometime it gets hidden from the view by debris of grass, mower blades or belt guard.
Once you have located the drain plug on your mower, tilt the lawn mower deck and place a drain pan beneath it. Then use a socket wrench to turn the plug counterclockwise allowing the oil to drain. The tool to use for unscrewing the plug may vary depending on your lawn mower model.
Using oil extracting tool
Oil extractor work by sucking oil from the crankcase through a thin tube inserted in the dipstick opening. The next thing is to pump it repeatedly to create a vacuum that pulls the warm oil into an attached container. When almost all the oil is extracted, you will see air bubbles in the tube or container.
This method of draining oil from a lawn mower is not messy and there are almost no chances of oil spilling on other parts of the engine. However, pumping the device to extract the oil requires a muscle and can be time consuming. Fortunately, there are now electric powered oil extractors that are fast and effortless to use.
Changing Lawn Mower Oil
After draining the oil from your lawn mower, it’s time to refill the oil tank with a brand new oil. How often to change lawn mower oil depends on the engine runtime and the conditions in which you are cutting the grass. Ideally change oil after 50 hours of operation and 5 hours for a new lawn mower.
If you removed the drain plug, reinstall and tighten it and add the required amount of oil. Do it slowly as you insert the dipstick to check and ensure that oil is not moving beyond the “Fill” mark. Once done, replace the dipstick, add fuel or remove the plastic seal from the gas tank and start your lawn mower engine.
Remember to take the old oil you have drained to nearby dealer for recycling. This is will help in protecting our environment from pollutions as well as conserving the valuable resource.