the best mowers logo

How To Drain Excess Oil From A Lawn Mower? Find Out Here!

Written by William
Last Updated on July 18, 2021

Removing Extra Oil From Your Lawn Mower

We’ve tried various methods to remove extra oil from a lawnmower and we believe we’ve come up with the ultimate method! 

Excess oil in a lawn mower can be removed by, cleaning the top of the crankcase, draining the excess oil, and then replacing the oil filter.

As with other machines, a lawn mower does require maintenance and some of that involves lubrication. When you get the level of oil required wrong and you put in too much, it can be difficult to know what to do.

You’re in luck! I’ll take you through the steps and give you a few tips on how to prevent this in the future.

What Happens When You Put Too Much Oil In A Lawn Mower?

One potential issue going to be that the oil may come into contact with parts of the lawn mower it shouldn’t. Whilst a bit of contact here and there isn’t bad – I don’t have the steadiest of hands and will spill so occasionally, who doesn’t?!

It’s when there is so much oil that it starts to damage other parts. 

The excess lubricant could end up in the crankcase, this is quite commonplace for it to end up when you overfill. What happens is the will cause leakage and oil splatter.

There is also the risk that the oil will end up in the exhaust muffler. The downside to this?

The engine will end up producing white smoke. So if you’re lawn mower is producing white smoke, it’s usually a sign you’re burning oil.

Bonus fact: If you don’t put enough oil in, your lawn mower engine will begin to overheat. Oil is a lubricant and without it, the parts a subject to high friction as they move against each other. As you can tell – it’s a fine balance!

How To Drain Excess Oil From A Lawn Mower

As I said in the introduction, you’ll want to take it in three steps;

  • Clean the crankcase. I use a piece of cloth for this.
  • Remove and drain any unwanted oil. You can drain the excess oil from the oil tube. I’d recommend having the mower on an angle while you’re doing this so as not to get oil further into the machine!
  • Change the oil filter. This is a good habit to get into as it helps to extend the life of your mower. 

Let’s look at each step in a little more detail!

The crankcase will need a clean, this is to prevent any dirt or unwanted substances from getting in. 

Dirt in a crankcase is bad news. It can actually clog up the carburetor, meaning that eventually, your lawn mower starts and then simply stall. 

So yeah, always clean the crankcase! 

Now it’s time to start the draining process. You need to unscrew the oil tube to do this. 

The best method I’ve found is to have the mower on the side with the carburetor facing upward. This keeps the oil from running into the carburetor or anywhere else! 

When you’re happy that you’ve got any excess oil out, you can replace the oil tube.

To be honest, I always try to replace the oil filter too. When there’s been too much oil in a lawn mower, you’ve asked a lot of the filter so change it – it’ll help your machines in the long run.

[Don’t forget about your air filter!]

If it isn’t obvious that you overfilled your lawn mower with oil, there can be a few telltale signs.

  • Leaking oil
  • Motor starting more slowly
  • White smoke coming from the mower

Should your mower display any of these signs, it’s best to stop immediately and investigate. Stopping straight away will help to prevent any damage and allow you to fix the issue.

If you are uncertain about doing any of this, I’d recommend calling a professional. Certainly, the first time and they will be able to walk you through the steps and what to do.

However, a professional is also able to spot things you may not. Things such as any damage running your lawn mower with too much oil in as resulted in. 

If your lawn mower has flooded – we can help!

How Not To Overfill My Lawn Mower With Oil – Preventive Steps

I probably don’t need to tell you that excess oil can lead to a damaged lawn mower. However, you need to know how much oil to put in to give the engine the right amount of lubrication and how not to put more oil in than needed.

Alright, so there isn’t a one size fits all answer for this!

The amount of oil you need will depend on the brand of lawn mower you have and the model. The best place to find out your answer is going to be the manufacturer’s guide or website. It should clearly lay out how much oil (and the type) you need.

Don’t just wait until your lawn mower starts kicking out white smoke! 

One way to ensure you have the correct amount of oil in is to use the dipstick. With the dipstick, you are able to check the level of oil that is in the mower, just like you would when you’re checking the oil level in a car. 

It’s a great way to monitor the oil level on an ongoing basis so the level never gets too lower either! 

On the majority of lawn mowers, you will find the dipstick on the cap so you can find it easily when you unscrew the lid. 

Again, just like I would when I’m checking my car oil, I use a cloth to get a clean stick and dip it in. 

On the dipstick, you should see a maximum and minimum level. Ideally, you want it between those two markers. I always aim to have it closer to the maximum than the minimum. 

When it comes to topping the engine up with oil, I have found that cold oil going into a cold engine is more likely to lead to an overfill. 


Cold oil moves slowly so it’s easy to keep pouring without realising how much has gone into the tank. One way to avoid this is to top it little and often. Add a bit of oil. Walk away. Add a bit more until you’re happy with the level. 

Final thoughts

There we have it! Hopefully, you’ll be feeling more confident about how to deal with an overfill lawn mower but also how you can prevent it?

A few steps will resolve any excess oil issue – which should be done straight away to prevent damage to your mower.

Remember, there are telltale signs that there’s too much oil in the system – be sure to look out for those! 

And finally, prevention is better than cure, so where possible take the steps to prevent an overfill from happening. 

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
View All Posts
You may also like
the best mowers logo is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to &
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram