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How Often Should You Change Lawn Mower Oil? Find Out Here!

Written by William
Last Updated on March 29, 2021

Ultimate Guide To Changing Your Lawn Mower Oil!

After many years of mowing lawns, I have come to learn the importance of changing your oil and also the best time to do so. 

Lawnmower oil should be changed at least once a year. Some people change it after fifty hours of use and that’s a good benchmark too. Whatever you settle on be sure to change your lawnmower oil!

Changing the oil in your mower is one way to ensure your lawnmower is being maintained well, there are other simple steps you can take that should extend the life of your mower. Want to know more?...keep reading! 

Steps To Keep A Lawn Mower Running

Lawnmowers can be expensive so ideally, you want yours to work for a long time, right? Thought so!

In order to get the best out of your mower then it’s going to require a spot of maintenance every now and again.

This is a great opportunity to spot potential issues before they become real issues and cost you a lot of money. 

Leaving issues also opens you up for the possibility that whatever is wrong could be fatal to the mower and you need a new one altogether so don’t be that person! 

Here are a few steps you can take that ought to mean your lawnmower will be usable for many years to come.

  1. Consult the manufacturer’s manual - There are always good tips to be found in the user manual - I promise! You can usually find some good troubleshooting tips too. Remember, the manual is made specifically for the model of lawn mower you have so it’s not general advice - it’s tailored.
  2. Empty the tank at the end of the mowing season - Using old fuel is a big reason for lawn mowers not starting up after a break. Save your future self some hassle and drain any excess fuel before you pack your mower away for the winter. It should be nice and easy to get things running again when spring arrives!
  3. Monitor the oil level - Just like you do with a car, you need to check the level of oil in your lawnmower. Also, check for any general debris within the oil as this can happen over time. Heads up - dark black oil suggests that it’s quite old and may need replacing. Time to treat your lawnmower with some new oil!
  4. Keep the undercarriage clean - From time to time, you will need to unclog the undercarriage of your lawnmower. It’s inevitable that grass clippings and general debris will get stuck there so a good clear out will keep things fresh and working well. 
  5. Inspect the air filters - There’s no getting away from it, air filters are important. They keep your lawnmower running efficiently. A dirty air filter will prevent your fuel from being burnt efficiently so essentially costing you more money. I’d recommend changing your air filter on an annual basis. They don’t cost a lot as they are basically paper or foam. 
  6. Replace the spark plug - Another inexpensive but important part of your lawnmower. Again, I’d recommend changing it once a year to keep it functioning well. A spark plug produces the spark to get your engine started so it really is crucial! 
  7. Keep the blades sharp - May seem like an obvious one but dull blades won’t cut your grass with much precision. A dull blade tends to rip and tear at the grass - it’s not a good look! Sharpening your lawnmower blades isn’t a job I’d recommend you take on yourself. Take it to a shop and let a professional look at it. 
  8. Take your mower for a service - As with a car or a bike, getting your lawnmower serviced every year can be a good thing to do. A service will give your mower a general tune-up and check out any issues before they start becoming problematic. A service isn’t usually too pricey and knowing a professional tuned-up your mower can bring you that peace of mind.

How Often Should I Change My Lawnmower Oil?

So as you now know, checking your oil should be done often. Check the oil levels when the engine is cold, otherwise, the reading may not be very accurate. 

At the point in which the oil is below the minimum level, it’s time to change it. 

I’d always be looking at changing the oil at least once a year anyway. Before spring is a great time to do it. Get your lawnmower working brilliantly before the season starts.

Some people recommend changing your oil after every 50 hours of use. That’s possibly not a bad principle to adhere to either so whichever you find works best for you.

If you’ve just picked up a brand new lawnmower then firstly, nice, enjoy! Secondly, it’s best to check the oil level after you’ve been using the mower for around 5 hours as it may need a top-up. 

With a new lawnmower, I’d check the oil level more frequently. It gives you a chance to understand how much oil the mower is getting through.

If you find yourself cutting grass in wet conditions or challenging conditions then check your oil more frequently. 

Anything that is challenging can result in the need to change your oil more frequently. The lawnmower is working harder so it makes sense that it burns through more oil.

How To Change Oil In A Lawnmower

The majority of people will choose to change the oil themselves and in all honesty, it’s not too difficult once you understand the method. 

The time needed to complete the job is about 5 minutes so it’s not a time-consuming task! 

Step One - Preparation 

You will need to remove the old oil from your lawnmower, this can be done by:

  • Warming up the engine - Fire up the engine as this gets the oil flowing. It will actually speed up the process of changing the oil too! 
  • Clean the oil fill area - I use a clean towel for this but you can also use a special air compressor if you’re feeling fancy 😉
  • Get a container to catch the oil - The old oil in your lawnmower will be running out so you’ll need something to catch it. An old container or pan works well for this! 

Step Two - Drain The Mower Oil

Some lawnmowers come with a dedicated drain plug, if yours does...you’re in for an easy job! All that you have to do is remove the plug and watch the oil drain away.

However, if yours doesn’t, that pop your lawnmower on one side and drain the oil this way. 

You will need to remove the pol fill cap to this. When you’re tilting your mower, you should do this slowly. You don’t want the risk of oil going everywhere...just in the container will do nicely!

Step Three - Change The Oil Filter

Your lawnmower may not have an oil filter so this step doesn’t apply. However, if yours does then I would always recommend changing the filter when you’re changing the oil. 

An oil filter is an inexpensive part of your mower, that can be changed easily but it does play an important part in keeping your mower running smoothly.

Step Four - Refilling The Oil

Now it’s time to put the new stuff in! 

One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overfill or underfill your mower with oil so it’s important to get the correct quantity of oil.

[If you do overfill your lawnmower, here’s how to fix it!]

Before pouring the oil, I’d recommend checking how much oil your lawnmower will take. From experience, it’s usually around 0.6/0.7 of a litre.

Then all that’s left to do is put it back together and get mowing!

Final Words

Changing the oil in your lawnmower is a quick job and a fairly simple one. It doesn’t need to be done often, most likely once a year.

Failing to change your oil can impact the life of your lawnmower and cost you more in the long run so it’s also a good skill to have up your sleeve.

When did you last change your lawnmower oil?

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 TheBestMowers.co.uk was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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