Changing oil is one of the key requirements for maintaining a lawn mower engine. The dirty, worn-out oil must be drained from the lawn mower before adding a fresh one. This gives the engine more power and protection from premature wear and tear.
According to Briggs and Stratton, the leader in manufacturing small engines and lawnmower parts, three methods can be used for draining oil from a lawnmower: 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 a few things you need to do. First, take your lawn mower in a well-ventilated area, run the engine for 15 minutes, and 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 to prevent the lawn mower from starting accidentally while servicing it. Then use one of the following methods to drain oil from the lawn mower:
1. Draining oil through a dipstick tube
This method requires tipping the lawn mower, so the dipstick drain faces down to the ground. Ensure you tip the lawn mower the right way so that the air filter and/or spark plug are on the upper side. Without doing this, you will have a lawn mower air filter soaked in oil.
Once you have correctly tilted your lawn mower, so 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.
2. Draining oil through the drain plug
Although not available on all lawn mower models, the drain plug can be opened to allow oil to drain from the lawn mower engine. The drain plug is usually located under the lawn mower deck on a lawn mower. Sometimes it gets hidden from view by the 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 for unscrewing the plug may vary depending on your lawn mower model.
3. Using oil extracting pump
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 engine parts. However, pumping the device to extract the oil requires muscle. Fortunately, there are now electric-powered oil extractors that are fast and effortless.
Changing Lawn Mower Oil
After draining the oil from your lawn mower, refill the oil tank with 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 the 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 the oil is not moving beyond the “Fill” mark.
Carefully store the oil in tightly closed containers. Various counties and municipalities often operate hazardous-waste collection sites where you can take your old oil for recycling.
Regular oil change adds more life to an engine. It has to be done in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. You must drain the oil from a lawn mower crankcase before adding one. Be sure to take the old oil to a dealer for recycling.