DIY,  House and Home

How to Change Oil in a Lawn Mower?

Like any other engine the performance of the engine of your lawn mower can be improved by maintaining it in routine. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is one of the important processes of its routine maintenance. When you change its oil then new oil is of golden color but after gradual use it becomes dark due to consistent heating and inclusion of dirt and dust from air. So you must the frequency of changing its oil.

When to change oil in lawn mower?

The change of oil of your lawn mower depends on various factors like:

  • You should change oil after using it for 5 hours if you have bought a new lawn mower
  • In routine its oil should be changed after every 50 hours of using it or the change of season
  • If you have not used your lawn mower much less than 50 hours, then you should check the quality and quantity of oil in your lawn mower every time before using it.
  • You should change its oil immediately if it is less than its minimum level or its condition or quality is not as required.
  • If the old oil contains heavy dust or wet grass or its temperature is high due to using it on high or rough terrains, then it should be changed as soon as possible.

Changing the oil lawn mower

Though it is easy to change the oil of the lawn mower yourself but if you do not know how to change oil in a lawn mower then you should consult the owner’s manual provided with your lawn mower. It contains complete information about changing the oil to improve its performance. You can follow the instructions provided in the user’s manual to change the oil of your lawn mower yourself.

If you find it difficult to follow the methods to change oil in your riding mower for rough terrain as provided in the manual, then you can follow some easy steps I have provided in this write-up to make it easier for you. You must change your lawn mower oil at least once in a year to tune it up for next season. The stepwise oil changing method for your lawn mower may include:

Get ready for changing oil

While changing the oil of your lawn mower you should first of all remove its old oil. But before removing its old oil you have to do certain things like:

  • Warming up the engine of the lawn mower as it can speed up the process of changing oil by making it to flow more easily. In this way you will be able to remove all the old oil from its engine.
  • Cleaning the area around the point of filling the oil by using a clean towel or air compressor
  • Keep a pan ready to hold old oil removed from the engine of lawn mower. The pan should be suitable to be placed by the side of the mower so that the old oil can be drained into it without spilling.

Removal of the old oil

Your next step after completing preparations for removing old oil from the engine should be to drain it out properly. You should remove the cap of oil filling point and tilt the lawn mower sideways to drain out its oil. You should allow the mower to rest on its side for at least one minute so that its entire oil can be dripped out.

Replacement of oil filter, if required

Though most lawn mowers available these days do not have oil filters but if your lawn mower has a filter in its engine then it should also be replaced while changing its oil. So if your lawn mower has filter then you should remove the oil of your oil filter by unscrewing it. But while unscrewing its oil filter you should arrange a container in which you can catch the oil removed for it.

After unscrewing and removing the old filter you should coat some oil on the seal of new filter with your finger, before installing it. The motor oil should be coated on the outer lip of the new filter to ensure its tight fitting when installed in the engine.

While installing new filter in the engine of your lawn mower you should put it at its place and screw it until it reaches the plate which it should seal with. Then you should tighten it by giving your filter a 1/4 or 1/2 turn more.

Refilling the oil in the mower

After replacing the old oil filter and installing the new one it is the time to refill new engine oil into your lawn mower. But if your lawn mower does not have an oil filter then you can refill it with new engine oil directly after removing its entire old oil.

While refilling the engine oil you should refill it up to its required level. It should neither be under filled nor over filled as both the conditions are not right for your lawn mower. In order to know the exact amount of oil required by your mower you can consult user’s manual. Normally 2/3 or 3/4-quart oil is required by most lawn mower engines.

While refilling the new oil into your lawn mower you should add it gradually until it is filled completely up to required level. While filling the oil you should use dipstick to check its level by stopping in between several times. You can reduce the chances of overfilling by reaching full line slowly and steadily.

After filling the oil up to Full line you should replace its cap as the process of changing oil of your lawn mower is complete.


Thus you can increase the potential and reliability of the engine of your lawn mower by changing its oil frequently, depending upon the frequency of its usage. You should check the quantity and quality if the oil in the engine of your mower frequently to know when you should change it to improve its performance. It will not only improve the performance of the engine of your lawn mower but also significantly increase the life of your equipment.


One Comment

  • Amanda Elrod

    It is important to drain the oil from the gearbox and the crankcase. This can be done in a similar fashion to draining out the fuel. As lawn mower oil is a hazardous waste, it is very important that you dispose of it properly (such as a waste dumping station) and never pour it into the sewer or on the ground.

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