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How to Change Oil in Lawn Mower and How much Oil Does it take

changing oil in lawn mower

Ensuring that the oil is constantly filled up to the correct level is important to keep the engine in good condition and prolong its life. Before changing the lawn mower oil, it is essential to know the oil type and capacity required. This article will know when and how to change the oil in a lawnmower.

changing oil in lawn mower

Lawnmower oil is the lubricant that allows the moving parts in an engine to perform their actions without wearing out, degrading or overheating. Hence the importance of permanently maintaining a sufficient level of oil, clean and in good condition.

To Obtain The Best Performance From Your Lawnmower: Use the required type of oil. Therefore be sure you know what oil is ideal for your lawnmower. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about how to change the oil in a lawnmower, as well as basic maintenance, to guarantee that it continues to cut your grass.

Factors To Consider For Changing The Oil In A Lawnmower

Your geographic region and climate are the key determinants of changing frequency of lawn mower oil. Hotter weather might be harder on equipment, necessitating increased maintenance sessions.

It is golden or amber in colour when new lubrication is put into the crankcase. It burns and breaks down over time, turning to a dark brown or black. Check the dipstick on your lawn mower before each use. If the dipstick is brown or black, it’s time to change the lubrication in the lawnmower.

You should change the oil after the fifth hour of use on the brand new lawnmowers. The new motor will leave metal filings in the oil as they move about. If you leave it, your engine will have to suffer extra and unwanted wear and tear.

Why do you need to check the oil in the lawnmower?

Let’s take a look at why lawnmowers want oil. This can help you understand what happens if you don’t include enough or include too much. Even a simple engine has many moving parts designed to operate at extreme temperatures and high speeds. This is where the lubricating and cooling action of the oil is essential to prevent it from overheating.

When an engine doesn’t have enough oil, it can overheat, which can cause huge damage. Not having enough oil can also lead to higher friction and premature wear due to lack of lubrication, and in the worst case, the engine could simply fail to work. If any of these occur, the motor may be so damaged that a complete replacement is required.

On the other hand, too much oil can cause the engine to smoke or make it hard to start. The oil can become aerated, which will reduce its ability to lubricate and cool the engine.

What kind of oil to use in lawn mowers?

These 4 types of oils you can use in your lawnmower.

1. Single grade oil (SAE 30)

A score of SAE 30 is a monograde oil. An air-cooled lawn mower engine operates slightly higher oil temperatures than automotive engines. This is due to the larger cooling system used in these engines. However, the recommended oil viscosity is the same for seekers and gasoline engines. Manufacturers recommend SAE 30 for many small engines used in mild environments ranging from 4 C to 38 C. Using SAE 30 below 4 C on a lawnmower engine can cause hard starting.

2. Multi-grade oils (SAE 5W-30)

AW at a viscosity value means that the oil’s viscosity was also analysed at colder temperatures. The numbers following the W (SAE 10W-30) are tested at 99°C, which is considered roughly the operating temperature of an engine. As a result, at 99 C, SAE 30 engine oil has the same viscosity as 10w-30. It performs like SAE 10 motor oil in cold weather but has SAE 30 viscosity at 99°C.

Multi-grade oils such as SAE 5W-30 and SAE 10W-40 are widely available and used in automobiles and industrial vehicles. Some smaller engine manufacturers recommend SAE 5W-30 synthetic oils for lawnmowers. Thin enough to diffuse in air temperatures of -1°C and thick enough to work satisfactorily around 30°C. The viscosity you select depends on where you live. SAE 30 is too thick for the cold region but ideal for hot climates. If the oil is too thick, it will not flow well enough, and the elements will also dry out. This cause to overheat and wear prematurely.

3. Full Synthetic Oil

The full synthetic oil is ideal for high-performance lawnmowers, such as commercial-grade mowers, that need to cut thick and strong grass. The engine should produce a lot of power and require oil. There are numerous advantages to using full synthetic oil. It gives the engine a high viscosity and improved lubrication and resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown. It increases fuel efficiency while reducing oil sludge.

However, it is usually more expensive than conventional oil and is only recommended if you reside in a very hot or cold climate. If cost isn’t a problem, you can also use it in older engines because it minimises sludge buildup.

4. Blended Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic oil is expensive. Therefore, synthetic blend oil protects your engine. Because it’s a mixture of full synthetic and conventional base oils with oxidant resistance compounds, it’s known as blend oil. It’s suitable for engines that run at low temperatures. Gardeners who desire the great performance and engine protection of synthetic oil without spending a lot of money on a complete synthetic lawn mower oil will like it.

When to Change Lawn Mower Oil?

You should change the oil from time to time. In case you don’t, it gets infected with dried debris. You have to change your oil once a year or every 50 hours of use, whichever comes first. However, you will need to change the lawn mower oil after the first 5 hours of use for a brand new lawnmower.

Not only just the number of hours of usage but also check the oil every time before use. Dusty, dirty, and harsh conditions, such as heavy dust, wet grass, high temperatures, and rough terrain, can increase the oil change frequency. Many users change their oil as part of the lawn mower’s annual spring support, and that is just another great habit to develop.

How long does lawnmower oil last?

Generally, motor oil has a five-year shelf life. However, if you use your lawnmower regularly, you have to change the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The amount of oil lasting time depends on the additives in the oil and the oil’s storage environment. Oil should be changed once a year in most cases. Dispersants, oxidation inhibitors, detergents, and calcium additions are the common additives added to the oil in the lawnmower. The additives inside the oil usually turn bad, but not the oil.

The shelf life of these additives is determined by the oil’s storage condition and temperature. Operating at a high or low temperature can impact the efficiency and stability of the oil. The ideal temperature for storing lawn mower oil is between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, moisture should not be allowed to contaminate the lawnmower’s oil. These water particles combine with the oil to form sludge, an insoluble substance. If you have any unopened oil, keep it in a cold and dry place for a longer shelf life.

What happens if you don't change the lawnmower oil?

Many users don’t know how to change the oil in the lawnmower. If you don’t change the oil, it will get very dirty and break down. Oil loses its coolants, which can cause damage to your engine. Often people don’t want to spend money on their lawnmower until it won’t start or has some engine problem.

What is the oil capacity of a lawnmower?

There is no standard answer when you ask this question because all lawn mowers are distinct. We could only offer you a very general principle if you want to know how much oil a lawnmower engine needs. Here, we’ll give you a general idea.

  • walk-behind lawn mowers typically require 15 oz to 18 oz.
  • Some types of lawnmowers need 20 oz to 24 oz.
  • Oil capacity for riding mowers is 48 oz to 64 oz.

These mowers generally require a little over a quart of oil, but there is a lot of difference from version to version.

How to check the lawn mower oil levels and add oil?

Steps to check the lawn mower oil and add oil if required

  1. If your mower has already been running, give it five minutes to settle before checking the oil.
  2. Take the dipstick. You can find it on the side of the engine. The dipstick will be either marked with an oil symbol or brightly coloured.
  3. Dipsticks come in various styles, but they always perform the same function. A lower (L) and a higher (H), and a mark (F) can be seen. It’s fine if the oil level is in the hatched region. However, aim for a grade of F.
  4. If the oil level is far too low, the lower hole indicates below the low oil level mark.
  5. Oil should be added in small amounts to avoid overfilling. After each refuelling, let the oil settle first, then check the oil again.
  6. If the oil is way above the Full mark, it can damage the engine. You will see white smoke and oil leaks as well. The engine will stop working when the oil level is too high. You will have to get rid of some oil.

BONUS TIP:- Choosing electric lawn mowers is a good idea since they are quiet, fuel-free, cheaper, low maintenance and don’t require frequent oil changes.

Steps to change the oil in a lawnmower.

Check the instructions for the oil capacity before replacing the lawnmower oil. If you don’t have a handbook, you can use a dipstick to determine how much oil is required.

When changing the oil, take precautions and ensure that the lawnmower is turned off for at least a couple of hours to allow the engine to cool down.

Follow the instructions

Step 1

To begin, remove the spark plug and empty the fuel tank. This precaution is necessary to avoid a fire or a gasoline spill.

Step 2

Then drain the existing oil. Locate the engine oil cap by laying the lawnmower flat on the ground. After that, take the dipstick out of the engine and check the oil level.

Step 3

Bend the mower to one side and pour it onto a tray to drain the oil. If your lawnmower has an oil drain, remove the oil through it. Never pour oil down the water drain since it could harm the environment and be unlawful. As required by your local bylaws, follow the right disposal procedure. Draining the old oil on a large tray and then pouring it into an oil bottle. Disposing of it safely later is typically a good idea.

Step 4

Fill the oil tank using a funnel. When you know the maximum filling capacity of oil, you can measure the oil accordingly and fill the tank without waiting. If you’re unsure how much oil your lawnmower needs, use the dipstick to check the level while filling. There will be a higher mark (H) and a lower mark (L) on the dipstick. Fill it till the oil is halfway between those marks.

Step 5

Use a dipstick to recheck the oil level, and make sure you don’t overfill the engine since this could result in oil leaks or white smoke when you start it.

Step 6

Place the dipstick in its appropriate place and secure the lid or cover. Make sure the oil does not spill onto the lawnmower. To prepare for mowing, refill the gasoline and replace the spark plug.


Changing the lawn mower’s engine oil can extend its life and make it more durable. However, it is always advisable to check the engine oil before each use. And, of course, don’t use cheap oil. It can harm the engine. You should understand that the lawnmower will be rendered completely useless if the engine breaks down. Then you will have to replace the engine, which will be very costly. Hope this article has provided you with the necessary information.