Lawnmowers are expensive devices, and no one is looking forward to having to replace them. Therefore, it is essential to keep the oil to the correct level to keep the engine in good working condition and enhance engine life. If the oil is not at the right level, it can cause some severe problems to your engine, such as overheating, wear and tear due to increased friction and smoke. Keeping the lawnmower topped correctly is an essential part of engine maintenance, and we will help you understand in detail how you can keep the oil at correct levels and why you need to do so.
How Much Oil Does a Lawnmower Take:
- Oil capacity for walk-behind mowers is typically 15oz to 18oz. Some types need 20oz to 24oz. Oil must be changed every 50 hours of operation or annually, whichever comes first.
- Oil capacity for riding mowers is typically 48oz to 64oz. Oil must be changed every 100 hours of operation or annually, whichever comes first.
- The oil capacity is typically mentioned in the engine owner’s manual.
We further dive into why it’s essential to keep the oil at the right level, what your lawnmower’s oil capacity is, how much oil you need to add, and when to check for and change the oil.
- 1 Why is it Important to Keep the Oil at the Right Level:
- 2 Oil Capacity of a Lawn Mower:
- 3 How Much Oil Should You Add to a Lawnmower?
- 4 When to Check Oil of a Lawnmower?
- 5 When to Change Oil?
- 6 What Oil Type to Choose?
- 7 Related Questions:
- 8 Final Remarks:
Why is it Important to Keep the Oil at the Right Level:
Engine oil serves multiple functions to maintain the engine in good working order. It keeps the engine cool and prevents it from overheating. Oil also helps to lubricate the engine to avoid damages.
Overheating damages the engine material by causing warp, expansion, swell, and even crack. If the metal gets too hot, the piston can weld into the cylinder, destroying the engine. If your lawnmower engine does not have enough oil, it will surely overheat, which will cause damages that cannot be repaired.
If the engine has enough oil to perform lubrication, it will increase friction between the parts, causing wear and tear, ultimately reducing engine performance and life. In some terrible cases, the engine will break altogether due to the lack of lubrication.
Note: It is vital to know that the lack of enough oil is alarming. Too much oil is not any good either. If your engine has too much oil, it will have issues starting. Too much oil in the engine can become aerated, diminishing its lubricating and cooling ability, creating a scenario that is almost similar to if the engine does not have any oil.
Oil Capacity of a Lawn Mower:
What’s the oil capacity of a lawnmower engine?
A single answer can not accurately answer this question. All lawnmower engines are not the same, and therefore there are different oil capacities.
The precise figure of how much oil does your lawnmower engine needs can only come from the manufacturer. You can also search for an accurate figure on the internet with your engine’s make and model number.
Knowing the exact volume is not necessarily the most important thing. So we can give you a general guideline or rough estimate of how much oil does your lawnmower engine needs.
There are two main types of lawnmowers, and the oil capacities of their engines are different. The two types are walk-behind lawnmowers and riding lawnmowers. The oil capacity of most walk-behind lawnmowers is 15oz to 18oz. However, some models of walk-behind lawnmowers have an oil capacity of 20oz to 24oz.
Riding lawnmowers have higher oil capacity than walk-behind lawnmowers. Typically, the oil capacity of riding lawnmowers is in the range of 48oz to 64oz.
How Much Oil Should You Add to a Lawnmower?
As said earlier, knowing the exact volume is not the most important information. All you need to know is how to keep the engine topped up to the right level for smooth operation.
We’ll teach you how to do this.
Before you add oil to a lawnmower engine, you need to check how much oil there is in it already. This does not apply to when you are adding oil to a new engine for the first time. To check how much oil is already present in the engine, use a dipstick.
To check the level, remove the cap and clean the area around the cap so no dust falls into the oil, then pull the dipstick out. Wipe it clean with a cloth and then reinstall the dipstick. Make sure that the teeth on the cap match the grooves on the dipstick tube.
After a moment, take it out again. You’ll see the level of oil on the dipstick. The dipstick has two levels- a minimum level represented by the word “Low” or the letter “L,” and a maximum level represented by the word “High” or the letter “H.” The oil level in your lawnmower needs to be between those two levels. However, it must be noted that the oil level should be closer to the maximum level than the minimum level. Give enough time to the oil to settle before rechecking the level every time.
Once you have checked the level, the decision is yours to make. If the oil is already closer to the max level, it’s fine. However, if it is a little lower, add some oil until it reaches roughly the right level. To do this, add the oil slowly and keep checking with the dipstick like before until it reaches the correct level.
You can use a funnel to make the pouring process easier.
● What to do if you added too much oil?
If you added too much oil and it’s now above the max level, you can remove some using a suction pump or by tilting the mower sideways so that the excess oil goes to the drain pan.
When you add oil to a new engine for the first time, add oil slowly and keep checking with the dipstick until it reaches the right level.
When to Check Oil of a Lawnmower?
As we mentioned before, keeping the right oil level is one of the essential factors in engine maintenance. To make sure that your engine always runs smoothly, check the engine oil level regularly.
And if your next question is what exactly is the definition of regularly, it’s our advice that you get into the habit of checking the oil level every time you refuel.
Once you get into this habit, you will know that engine’s oil level is fine, and if it is lower than it should, you can top it up in time. Checking it regularly and seeing that it loses oil quickly is a good indicator that something is not ok with the engine.
When to Change Oil?
Not only do you need to check the oil level regularly and top up to the right level, but you also need to change the oil periodically.
Over time, the oil in your lawnmower engine gets contaminated with debris or become diluted. In any of these cases, the oil loses its abilities required for cooling and lubricating.
Like oil capacity, the period after which oil needs to be changed depends on the type of lawnmower. For walk-behind lawnmowers, the oil needs to be changed every 50 hours of operation or annually, whichever comes first. For riding lawnmowers, the oil needs to be changed every 100 hours of operation or annually, whichever comes first.
You can also adopt the habit of changing oil as part of your lawnmower’s annual spring service before the start of the growing season.
What Oil Type to Choose?
The choice of oil type depends on your engine’s requirements and the running temperature of your mower.
It would be best if you referred to the engine’s user manual for information about oil grades. Engine oil grades are denoted by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and a number that indicates the oil viscosity. For example, SAE 30 is the most common oil grade for small engines such as lawnmower engines.
You can find engine oils at oil shops, automotive repair shops, and service stations. If you know a place where mowers are sold, you can find engine oils there too.
● Is it ok if the oil level is above the maximum level on the dipstick?
Overfilling is not advised. Too much oil in the engine causes many problems. Overfilled engines have trouble starting and produce a lot of smoke. Overfilling also reduces the strength of the oil.
● Does the frequency of oil change depend on the usage environment?
Yes. How quickly the oil loses its quality depends on the environment in which the mower is used. Dustiness and temperature are some of the factors that affect oil qualities, such as viscosity.
An essential part of the lawnmower engine is keeping the oil at the right level and changing oil periodically. As far as the oil level is concerned, you need not worry too much about the exact volume. Instead, keep the level between the minimum and maximum levels but closer to the maximum level. For an oil change, it should be done after every 50 hours of operation for walk-behind mowers and 100 hours of operation for riding mowers or annually, whichever comes first.