Do Lawn Mowers Need Oil?

by Raymond Archambault

The most critical item to check on your mower is the engine oil. A low oil level is deadly to an engine, but it’s also crucial to get it correct; there’s too much oil, which harms the motor as well. 

If the oil level on a mower engine is below the low-level oil mark on the dipstick, it requires oil. The higher oil level indication is shown by an arrow pointing upwards, while the lower oil level indication is shown by an arrow pointing downwards. Add oil until it reaches the dipstick’s upper oil level mark. 

In this article, you’ll find out how to check your mower’s oil level as well as additional oil, including the type and amount.

Lawnmower Oil Type Recommendations

The optimum temperature for each oil type varies. Find out which one is best for your area.

  • SAE 30- Temperatures are Warmer, the most popular oil for tiny engines.
  • SAE 30-10W- This oil delivers better cold-weather starting performance, but it may hike the consumption of oil. 
  • Synthetic SAE 5W-30- The most effective protection against cold and reduced consumption of oil, with improved starting and less oil usage.
  • SAE 30-5W- Extremely low temperatures.
  • Vanguard 50-15W- The temperature range varies. For repeated use applications, like pressure washing or commercially cutting lawn, such as in a swimming pool. 

Use the highest-quality detergent oil classified as “For Service SF, SG, SH, SJ” or higher when purchasing lawn mower oil. Do not use additives. Synthetic oils can be used at all temperatures and are acceptable oils. Synthetic oil has no effect on the necessity of regular oil changes.

When To Change Lawn Mower Oil

Oil in a tiny lawnmower or a V8 engine is quite different from a life beneath the ground. Its operational life is shortened by repeated heating and cooling. This is the case for small engines, with operating times ranging from 25 to 100 hours. When should you change your lawn mower’s oil?

  1. Dipstick – When the engine has been running a while, check the oil level and wipe it dry on a white paper towel. It’s time for an oil change if it looks filthy or has particles floating in it.
  2. Hour Meter – An hour meter may be found on lawn tractors and riding mowers. Your tractor’s oil change schedule should be adjusted to follow the hour meter.
  3. Estimate – Some walk-behind mowers and all push mowers do not have hour meters, but a guess is sufficient. If the lawn takes four hours to trim every week, it will take three months.
  4. Annual – After the grass has grown, clean it, tune it, sharpen the blades, and change the oil using these instructions. Then you may start again with a clean slate next season.

What Is The Best Way To Check Your Oil Level?

  1. Remove the dipstick cap and apply some pressure in a clockwise direction to twist it counter-clockwise.
  2. In the event that it is difficult to read, clean and dry out the dipstick.
  3. Before re-installing the dipstick, double-check to see that the cap’s teeth match the dipstick tube’s grooves.
  4. Twist clockwise and apply some pressure to reinstall the dipstick cap.
  5. Remove the cap and check the oil level on the dipstick blade’s underside.
  6. The level should be between the “FULL” and “ADD” marks.
  7. If the oil level is low, a few ounces at a time should be added.
  8. Allow enough time for the oil to settle before checking the oil level again.

How To Change Lawnmower Oil

The most basic equipment, such as a drain pan, rags, funnel, and hand tools, is required. An oil extractor may help you save time and avoid the hassle. Engine oil is a personal choice. Most small engines use straight SAE 30 oil, like this Champion 4 Cycle Lubricant (5W-30), while some require multi-grades such as 5W-30 or 15W-50 (15W). Oil filters are present on some lawnmower engines as well.

  1. Get the oil flowing by warming up the engine and kicking any trash out of the way. This might take 5 to 15 minutes.
  2. Turn off the engine. Remove the spark plug wire and place it in a safe location.
  3. If you need to access the drain plug to avoid fuel spilled, remove the fuel tank, empty the tank, or seal it with a plastic bag.
  4. Clean the dipstick port and any other residue from there, then replace it. Clean around the dipstick port to keep contaminants out. Remove the oil and continue with Step 6.
  5. Locate and wash around the drain plug on motorized mowers. It’s usually caked with grass clippings under the mower deck on push mowers. Cleaning keeps things clean and avoids injury from wear.
  6. Remove the drain plug and let the old oil drain into a catch pan. After the oil has run out, clean and replace the drain plug. If necessary, move the drain pan beneath the filter and replace it.
  7. Refill with fresh oil. Using the funnel, add a few drops of oil at a time and check the dipstick. Overfilling the engine is not OK.
  8. Remove the rocker cover and valve cover. Check for leaks, then check the oil level on the dipstick. Check for any leaks and adjust the oil if required.

By changing your lawn mower oil on a regular basis, you’re looking after your money and will get years of dependable lawn care in return.

What Is Synthetic Oil And Should You Use It In Your Lawn Mower?

Synthetic oil is better than crude-oil lubricants for your lawnmower engine, and if you use it, your lawnmower will last longer. It’s a manmade synthetic lubricant that combines chemical components to provide the ideal performance and protection for engines they’re used in, which natural oil may not be able to deliver.

Synthetic oil does not necessitate an extra oil change, according to Briggs and Stratton, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of small engines. Non-synthetic oil is also effective. For the past 30 years, I’ve used non-synthetic in some of my little engines, and they still start and run as if they were brand new.


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