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When To Change Lawn Mower Oil? 20 Things You Should Know

When it comes to the maintenance of your lawn mower, one of the essential things you must pay attention to is the frequency of the oil changes, and how to change the mower’s oil. Motor oil is basically an essential requirement for all motor engines. The oil has several benefits which include lubrication of metal parts in contact and ultimately reducing friction, keeping surfaces clean, cooling effect, and inhibition of corrosion or rust. The oil inside your lawn mower equipment gets dirty with time and if it doesn’t have an oil filter to remove particles and dirt, then these contaminants can gradually build up over time and cause engine wear. This is why it is essential to employ a maintenance schedule to give your engine an oil change from time to time.

When To Change Lawn Mower Oil?

There are several ways to know when to change lawn mower oil. You can check the level with the dipstick, if your lawn mower has an hour meter it can show when to change the oil. This is usually after 30 to 50 hours, but check the user for the exact time. When there is not hour meter you can calculate the hours used or when you do not use your mower long enough refresh the oil during the yearly maintenance.

The proper maintenance and care of your lawn mower will help you get the best from your machine for a very long time. When it comes to changing the lawn mower oil, a lot of people tend to overlook this aspect of lawn mower maintenance. However, engine oil and oil filters should be replaced at least twice every spring or summer, or every 30 to 50 hours of use. Do you want to know when to change your lawn mower oil? Don’t look too far; in this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about lawn mower maintenance and when you should change your lawn mower oil.

When To Change your Lawn Mower Oil

The lifespan of oil in a small lawn mower or a hitch performance engine is very different from its lifespan underground. Repeated heating and cooling of your mower oil basically reduces its useful lifespan. The useful lifespan of mowers varies from one type to another; for small engines, this is around 50 hours of operation, although some range from 25 hours to 100 hours. If you’re using a new lawn mower engine, you’ll be required to change the oil after the first five hours of operation.

In addition, it is essential for you to check the oil every time you use it. Some rather harsh conditions such as high temperature, wet grass, heavy dust, and rough terrains, may affect the frequency of required oil changes, and you may be required to change it more frequently. Here are telltale signs of when to change the lawn mower oil:

● Dipstick:

After running your mower for a few minutes, take out the dipstick, and check the oil level. Then wipe it with a white paper. If it looks dirty or has some particles in it, then it’s time for an oil change.

● Hour Meter:

Riding lawn mowers and tractors often come with an hour meter. Simply follow the oil change schedule that comes with the hour meter of your lawn mower.

● Time used:

Most push mowers and some walk-behind mowers don’t come with hour meters, however, a rough estimate will do. If your lawn mower runs for four hours every week, then 50 hours should be about three months. So you know when to change your mower.

● Annual maintenance:

At the end of the mowing season, it is essential to carry out a general maintenance task on your lawn mower. While cleaning, servicing, or sharpening the blades, don’t forget to change the oil. This will keep it ready for the next mowing season.

Tools Required for Oil Change

  • Socket wrench set or a spanner to fit the drain plug
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Funnel
  • Any empty container or tin for collecting the drained oil.
  • Some rags for mopping the oil spillage
  • Some newspapers or plastic sheets for shielding the floor surface from spillage
  • Disposable gloves
  • Short pieces of 2″ wood or any object for raising the mower off the ground

How to Change Your Lawn Mower Oil

Lawnmowers may have small engines, but they also require oil to function properly. Usually, the oil in your lawnmower equipment needs to be changed from time to time, ranging from 30 to 50 weeks depending on how long you’ve had and use the mower. Basic tools needed for changing the oil include a drain pan or any container for the old oil, funnel, rags, and hand tools. You may also decide to use an oil extractor as this can save time and mess. When changing your lawn mower oil, it is critical that you maintain some safety instructions to prevent any accidents or mishaps. Always wear disposable gloves, keep the floor sheltered with a plastic cover to prevent spillage, never change oil indoor to prevent inhalation of chemicals, and avoid changing oil near a flammable source. Below are the steps for changing oil:

Step 1. Warm up the engine:

First, warm up the engine to get the oil moving and kick up any debris so you can get it out. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes before turning off the engine.

Step 2. Disconnect the spark plugs:

Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove it out of the way.

Step 3. Lift the lawn mower:

You can decide to tip the mower to have easy access to the drain plug: this is to prevent fuel spillage. Simply remove the fuel tank, empty it, or seal the fuel cap with a plastic bag. However, if you have an oil extractor, simply skip this stage. Remember to clean around the dipstick port and the neck to prevent contamination. Then extract the oil and skip to Step 6.

Step 4. Locate the drain plug:

If you do not have an oil extractor, locate the drain plug and clean around it. For push mowers, you’ll find the drain plug under the mower deck, usually caked with grass clippings. Clean it to prevent contamination and wear.

Step 5. Drain the oil:

Next, remove the drain plug and carefully drain the old oil into your drain container or pan. Once you’ve drained it completely, clean and reinstall the drain plug. Then move the drain pan under the filter, and replace it.

Step 6. Refill with new oil:

Refill the tank with new oil. If your mower doesn’t have a pouring nozzle, use the funnel, pouring little oil at a time, and constantly checking the dipstick. Make sure you don’t overfill the engine.

Step 7: Test the engine:

Once done, remove the funnel and reconnect the spark plugs. Then run the engine for a couple of minutes before shutting it off. Carefully inspect the equipment for leaks, and if everything is fine, then you should be good to go.

Once you make it a habit of changing your lawn mower oil regularly, you’re simply taking care of your precious investment which will pay back with years of reliable service.

How to Keep Your Lawn Mower Running

Here are basic procedures that will help you maintain your lawn mower for a long time.

● User manual:

Always read the user manual – you should take some time out to study the user manual that comes with your mower. This is the best way to use your mower correctly and avoid unnecessary issues.

● Drain the gas at the end of the season:

Remember to drain the gas at the end of every mowing season- Typically, old gasoline left for a long time will become gummy or viscous and will harm your mower engine. Old gas is usually the reason why your mower won’t work at the beginning of a new season. Always drain the old gas and use a fresh one for a new season.

● Check the oil level:

You should make a habit of monitoring the oil level in your unit regularly. It is also important to check for any floating debris in it.  Once your oil becomes dark brown or black, then it is probably too old or contaminated and would need replacement.

● Check the air filter:

If the air filter is dirty, it won’t burn gasoline efficiently. It is a wise idea to change the air filter once a year to prevent inefficiency. The procedure is actually not too expensive so you don’t need to worry about the cost.

● Change the spark plugs

The spark plug should also be replaced as it is inexpensive. Being a crucial part of any mower’s system, it should be changed at least once a year.

● Clean out the mower’s undercarriage

Your mowers undercarriage can easily get caked with wet grass, and this can clog the discharge chute of your mower. So you should scrape grass clippings off and clean the undercarriage from time to time.

● Sharpen the blades

If your mower blades are dull, you won’t be able to make precise cuts. Instead, it will rip and tear the grass, making your lawn unhealthy and less appealing. So you should sharpen your mower blades regularly. If you can’t do it yourself, visit a mower repair shop for help.

● Employ professional tuning services

You should also consider going to a professional to carry out necessary diagnostic tests and tuning-up on your mower.

Final remarks

When using a lawn mower, expect two or more moving parts in the engine to come into contact with each other. To keep these parts running smoothly, lubrication is necessary, and can only be possible with fresh and good oil. Change the oil in your new lawn mower after the first 5 hours of use and after every 25 to 50 hours of operation also. We hope this has been helpful. Good luck!

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  1. Ron Butler says:

    Thank you for providing step-by-step instructions for changing the oil, very helpful!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ron! I’m glad you found the step-by-step instructions helpful. Don’t forget to check your oil regularly to keep your lawn mower running smoothly for years to come.

  2. Krin Edwards says:

    I had no idea the oil in a lawn mower needed to be changed so frequently, good to know!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Krin! Regular oil changes are indeed crucial for a well-maintained lawn mower. I’m glad you found the information helpful.

  3. Sonia Hansen says:

    Great tips for maintaining the lawn mower, I will definitely follow these steps!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Sonia! Regular oil changes are key to a healthy lawn mower. Happy mowing!

  4. Anna Matthews says:

    I never considered the importance of sharpening the blades regularly, will do that now!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Anna! Regularly sharpening the blades will definitely help prolong the life of your mower. Keeping up with maintenance is key to ensuring your equipment runs smoothly.

  5. Georgia Bowman says:

    What is the average cost of changing the oil in a lawn mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      The average cost of changing the oil in a lawn mower can range from $20 to $50 depending on the type of oil used and any additional services needed.

  6. Dwayne Cooper says:

    How do you properly dispose of the old oil after changing it?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To properly dispose of old oil after changing it, take it to a recycling center or an auto parts store. They can ensure it is disposed of safely and responsibly.

  7. Eileen Allen says:

    Great information provided about the importance of changing the oil in a lawn mower, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Eileen. I’m glad you found the information on changing lawn mower oil helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!

  8. Tim Bryant says:

    Can you provide more details on the specific brands of oil to use?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for your question, Tim. Specific oil brand recommendations can vary but generally, any high-quality motor oil designed for small engines will work well for your lawn mower.

  9. Darrell Rodriguez says:

    Is it possible to change the oil myself or is it better to take it to a professional?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It’s definitely possible to change the oil yourself. Just remember to do it regularly as per the guidelines shared in the article. Hope this helps!

  10. Rita Jones says:

    The tip about draining the gas at the end of the season is really good advice, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad you found the tip helpful. Remember to check the oil regularly as well for optimal performance. Happy mowing!

  11. Sergio Palmer says:

    I feel more confident in maintaining my lawn mower after reading this article, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Sergio! I’m glad you found the article helpful in maintaining your lawn mower. Happy mowing!

  12. Virgil Robinson says:

    The video tutorials linked in the article were very helpful, thank you for including them!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for the positive feedback, Virgil! I’m glad you found the video tutorials helpful. If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out anytime.

  13. Eduardo Walters says:

    How do I know if my lawn mower has an oil filter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      When it comes to checking for an oil filter in your lawn mower, it’s best to refer to the user manual. If it’s not listed, your mower may not have one.

  14. Steve Bowman says:

    Can I use synthetic oil in my lawn mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can use synthetic oil in your lawn mower. Remember to change the oil every 30 to 50 hours of use or twice a season, whichever comes first.

  15. Caleb Walker says:

    Is it okay to use any type of oil for the lawn mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it’s essential to use the recommended oil type for your lawn mower to maintain its performance and longevity. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for best results.

  16. Alyssa Griffin says:

    I appreciate the reminder to check the air filter regularly, it’s easy to forget about it!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Alyssa! Regular air filter checks are key. Remember, a well-maintained lawn mower is a long-lasting one. Happy mowing!

  17. Luis Douglas says:

    Is there a specific time of year that is best to change the oil?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      The best time to change your oil is after 30-50 hours of use or at least twice per spring/summer. Use the dipstick, hour meter, or time used as a guide. Hope this helps.

  18. Gabriel Cunningham says:

    What happens if I don’t change the oil at the recommended intervals?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Gabriel, changing the oil at recommended intervals is crucial. Not doing so can lead to engine wear due to contaminants building up over time. It’s best to follow the maintenance schedule to keep your mower in top condition.

  19. Robert Daniels says:

    This article made me realize I need to be more diligent in maintaining my lawn mower, thanks!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for reading, Robert! Regular maintenance is key to keeping your lawn mower running smoothly. Best of luck with your lawn care routine!

  20. Derek Douglas says:

    Does the type of terrain I mow affect the frequency of oil changes?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      The type of terrain you mow can indeed affect the frequency of oil changes due to varying conditions. Keep an eye on the oil level and quality for optimal performance.