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How to Change Oil in a Lawnmower. 15 Things You Should Know

One fine day you plan to give your grass a nice trim. It’s been a while since you purchased your Lawn Mower, and you realize it is the right time to perform some routine maintenance. The first thing that comes to mind after hearing the word maintenance is an oil change. You haven’t changed your oil before and aren’t sure if you should do it yourself or take your mower to a mechanic who might charge extra bucks. If you’re a DIY kind of guy who is looking online for how to change the oil in a lawnmower, you’ve come to the right place.

Lubricant oil is often used for reducing wear and tear between engine parts. This process enhances the engine service life. During constant operation, the oil quality reduces. Therefore, changing your oil must be changed after 50 hours of operation (or once every season). You might need to change the oil after 25 hours of operation (twice every season) in case of frequent use. To change the lawnmower oil, you should follow these steps:

How to Change Oil in a Lawnmower:

  1. Warm up your engine and get the things you need for the job
  2. Drain the used oil by choosing the appropriate drainage method and following the safety precautions
  3. Fill the oil tank with the right kind of lubricant for your lawnmower to the desired level
  4. Allow the oil to settle and clean your worksite

Suppose you’re looking for an in-depth guide to the above steps. In that case, you should stay tuned to this article as we provide you with the information you are searching for in a user-friendly and straightforward language.

Steps to Change Lawnmower Oil:

You should follow the steps below that provide you with a detailed procedure and the precautionary measures to be taken care of while making an oil change.

1) Preparation for an oil change:

Before carrying out the oil change, you should ensure that you take the necessary precautionary measures:

● Step 1: Run your engine for a while:

Start your engine and keep running for a while (preferably for 15 minutes). This engine warming up will, in turn, warm up the oil. The oil moves more freely, and the draining process becomes easier.

● Step 2: Clean the oil fill area:

The oil cap often gets a lot of debris from the outside. Also, the area around it, being oily, often attracts dirt from the atmosphere. It would be best if you gently used a towel to clean that area and the fuel cap to remove the debris.

● Step 3: Keep your kit ready:

Depending on the process of your oil drainage, you should keep your equipment ready. If you want to remove the oil using the Siphon method, you should keep the siphon pump ready. In most cases, the oil is drained using the tilt method, so you should keep a pan for pouring the drained oil. You should also purchase the requisite oil grade for your machine by thoroughly undergoing your user’s manual. Most lawnmowers use SAE 30 detergent oils. However, you should only use the one recommended by your manufacturer.

You can watch this video to get a better understanding of the above steps:

2) Drainage of the used oil:

The oil drainage can be carried out either by using the siphon or tilt method. However, before you drain the oil, you should first follow the safety precautions as given below:

● Step 1: Remove your spark plug:

The spark plug needs to be disengaged during this process. This step ensures that your safety isn’t compromised since the spark plug connected might result in the engine accidentally starting up (most probably when the blades are rotated). Hence, disconnecting the spark plug provides you with an additional safety layer.

● Step 2: Secure the fuel cap:

You must thoroughly drain your gasoline before the oil change, especially during the tilt method. If that is not possible, it is also good to use a sandwich bag underneath your cap and then tighten it so there isn’t any chance of the oil leaking from the cap.

● Step 3: Perform oil drainage:

– Tilt method:

In this method, you tilt your lawnmower towards the side so that your air filter points upward (this prevents the fuel from entering the air filter). Afterward, you open the oil cap and allow all the oil to be drained into the pan. Make sure you do not make contact with the hot oil that can be damaging to your skin.

– Using the oil drain plug:

Not all lawnmowers are equipped with an oil drain plug. You should consult your user’s manual to identify the oil drain plug’s location in your machine. Generally, it is located below the deck of the lawnmowers. Again, it would help if you tilted the mower to its side to see the plug and remove any debris present around it. Then, use a hand tool to open the cap (with your mower placed upright) and allow the oil to be drained into a pan.

– Siphon method:

During this method, a siphon pump is put into use. These pumps drain the oil into an in-built tank from where it can later be drained off. You should manually suck the oil out by pushing/pulling the piston. It is a much cleaner and more efficient way of oil drainage, resulting in no oil spills in the work area.

Here’s a quick guide in this video:

3) Addition of fresh oil:

After purchasing the right oil for your lawnmower, the next step is adding fresh oil to the oil tank. Place your mower into an upright position and keep adding oil in small quantities. It would be best to keep checking your dipstick every time to visualize the oil level. Keep adding the oil until the desired level is achieved.

4) Cleaning up the work area:

After you’ve added the fresh oil, it is recommended to keep your mower upright for 5 minutes and let the oil settle. Recheck the oil level and replace your oil dipstick. Afterward, reconnect your spark plug and remove the sandwich bag around the fuel cap. Clean the oil spilled on your floor. It is advisable to take your drained oil to a recycling dealer.

You can refer to this video below to watch a practical demonstration of the whole process:

Related Questions:

1) What happens if you do not change the oil in a lawnmower?

If an oil change is not done for some time, the engine’s wear rate increases. Also, most lawnmowers do not have an oil filter. As a result, the quality of the oil deteriorates very quickly. Moreover, the oil is responsible for cooling the engine apart from the air-cooling. The engine’s life fall’s short of its manufacturer’s predicted lifespan. Hence, neglecting the oil changes in lawnmowers is not recommended.

2) Can you use car oil in a lawnmower?

SAE 30 motor oil is commonly used in a lawnmower. Some machines may use 10W-30 or 10W-40 oils as their user manual recommends. These oil types are often used in vehicles. Hence, they can be used in lawnmowers.

3) What is an SAE 30 oil?

SAE 30 is a motor oil with a viscosity value of 30, as rated by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). These ratings are generally from 0 to 50. The viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil or its ability to flow. Thinner oils (with low viscosity) give better performance in cold weather.

In contrast, thick oils are used when the temperatures are high. SAE 30 is a single-grade oil that is thicker than lower grades. It is typically used in small air-cooled engines such as lawnmowers and chainsaws. Most motor oils are multi-grade, i.e., they can perform in all seasons.

4) Is SAE 30 the same as 10W-30?

10W-30 indicates that the oil has a viscosity of 10W when the engine is cold and 30 when it is hot. It would help if you considered factors such as temperature while making this choice. SAE-30 is a single-grade oil suitable in conditions where its high temperature and the variation aren’t significant.

Whereas, if your weather keeps varying, you may use 10W-30. It also improves cold-starting at lower temperatures as compared to SAE-30. Hence, if you’re living in moderate or milder climates, using SAE 30 or 10W-30 won’t make much difference regarding engine performance.

5) Is a lawnmower engine 2-stroke or 4-stroke?

Lawnmower engines come with both designs, i.e., 2-stroke and 4-stroke. In a 2-stroke design, the entire cycle of combustion and power is completed in the crankshaft revolution. A 4-stroke takes two revolutions of the crankshaft for the whole cycle to complete.

In the case of 2-stroke engines, oil is mixed with gas as there is no separate reservoir. In comparison, 4-stroke engines require an oil reservoir to thoroughly lubricate the connecting rods and crankshafts.

Final Remarks:

Oil changes are significant at the right time as they ensure that your engine components undergo minimum wear and tear. Also, the overuse of low-quality oil for a long time can result in engine servicing that might be costly. Hence, you should always keep a check on the working pattern of your lawnmower. It is better to replace oil at the beginning of every season.

In the case of overuse, you might need an oil change in the middle of the season. Ensure that you use the right oil type and always follow the safety precautions while replacing the oil. “Prevention is always better than the cure” is the principle you should use, whether it’s maintaining yourself, your car, or your lawnmower.

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  1. Clifton Shelton says:

    I appreciate the safety tips provided, very important to consider before starting the oil change process.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you Clifton! Safety is crucial when performing maintenance tasks like oil changes. I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Stay safe and enjoy your lawnmower maintenance journey!

  2. Beverly Robertson says:

    I’ll make sure to warm up my lawnmower engine before changing the oil, didn’t know that was necessary.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Great job on planning to warm up your lawnmower engine before changing the oil! It’s a necessary step for optimal maintenance. Keep up the good work!

  3. Avery Moore says:

    How do I dispose of old lawnmower oil properly?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To dispose of old lawnmower oil properly, take it to a recycling dealer. It’s essential to follow the right disposal methods to protect the environment.

  4. Marion Reed says:

    What are the signs that indicate it’s time to change the oil in my lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Marion, it’s time to change your lawnmower oil after 50 hours of operation or once every season. Follow the steps in the article for a smooth DIY process. Happy mowing!

  5. Judy Lewis says:

    Can I use synthetic oil instead of conventional oil in my lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, synthetic oil can be used in lawnmowers as a substitute for conventional oil. It provides better lubrication, cleaner engine components, and longer service intervals. Just ensure compatibility with your mower.

  6. Rachel Flores says:

    I’ll be sure to keep track of the hours of operation to know when it’s time for an oil change.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your commitment to keeping your lawnmower well-maintained, Rachel! Knowing the hours of operation for an oil change is crucial for optimal performance. Happy mowing!

  7. Neil Byrd says:

    Safety precautions are crucial, thanks for emphasizing that throughout the guide.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Neil! Safety is our top priority when it comes to maintaining your lawnmower. Stay tuned for more helpful tips and guides.

  8. Edna Patterson says:

    I always wondered how to change the oil in my lawnmower, this article was super informative.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Edna! I’m glad you found the article informative. Happy mowing!

  9. Lynn Gardner says:

    Simple and easy to follow steps, appreciate the user-friendly language used.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Lynn! I’m glad you found the steps easy to follow. Stay tuned for more user-friendly guides in the future.

  10. Troy Hill says:

    I never knew about the importance of changing lawnmower oil, thanks for the information.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Troy! I’m glad you found the information helpful. Regular oil changes are essential to keep your lawnmower running smoothly. Happy mowing!

  11. Esther Watson says:

    The video demonstrations are a great addition, really helpful for visual learners.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Esther! I’m glad you found the video demonstrations helpful for visual learners like yourself. Stay tuned for more user-friendly guides in the future.

  12. Billy Allen says:

    Great video links, visuals always make it easier to understand.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Billy! I’m glad you found the visuals helpful in understanding the process of changing the oil in a lawnmower. Stay tuned for more informative content.

  13. Cherly Arnold says:

    Thanks for the detailed guide, I feel confident to change the oil in my lawnmower now.

  14. Deann Sutton says:

    What should I do if I accidentally overfill the oil tank?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Deann, if you accidentally overfill the oil tank in your lawnmower, you can use a siphon pump to remove the excess oil. Be careful not to spill any, and always follow safety precautions.

  15. Daisy Andrews says:

    Really helpful guide, thanks for breaking down the process step by step.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Daisy! I’m glad you found the guide helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions or need further clarification. Happy mowing!

  16. Candice Foster says:

    Changing the oil seems like a simple yet essential task, thanks for simplifying it.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Candice! I’m glad you found the information helpful. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions or need further assistance with oil changes.

  17. Sophie West says:

    Do I need to change the oil in my lawnmower every season, even if I haven’t used it much?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, changing the oil every season, even with minimal use, is crucial for maintaining engine health and longevity. Following these steps will help you do it yourself effectively.

  18. Tyrone Wade says:

    Is there a specific brand of oil that is recommended for lawnmowers?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, SAE 30 motor oil is commonly recommended for lawnmowers. Make sure to check your user manual for the specific oil grade recommended by the manufacturer. Happy gardening!

  19. Jackson Lopez says:

    I had no idea about the different methods of oil drainage, glad I read this article.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for reading, Jackson! I’m glad you found the article helpful in understanding the different methods of oil drainage for your lawnmower. Happy mowing!

  20. Gina Silva says:

    How often should the oil filter be changed?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Gina, for your lawnmower, change the oil filter every 50 hours of operation or once every season. If used frequently, change it every 25 hours or twice per season. Stay proactive for optimal engine health.

  21. Cecil Marshall says:

    Great tips, I feel more equipped to take care of my lawnmower now. Thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Cecil! I’m glad you found the tips helpful in maintaining your lawnmower. Happy mowing!