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Main Content

How to Change Oil in a Lawnmower

Lawnmower maintenance

changing mower oil

Lawnmower maintenance is important to extend the life of your push mower or lawn tractor, and one of the most critical engine maintenance items is regular oil change. For best lawnmower engine performance, you should change oil after the first 5 hours of use for a new mower, then at least once every spring or summer mowing season or every 50 hours of operation, which ever comes first.

Follow these steps to change your lawnmower engine oil:

Step 1: Geting Started
Make sure you have the right supplies before you begin. You will need:

  • Owner's manual for your lawnmower
  • SAE 30 motor oil
  • Oil drain pan
  • Shop towels or rags
  • Funnel
  • Old newspapers or cardboard

Tractor Supply Co. has all of the equipment you need to change the oil in your lawn tractor or push mower. To make it more easy, Tractor Supply Co. also carries several oil extractor tools to help avoid oil spills or work with inconveniently placed drain plugs. Check out the video for the LiquiVac Oil Extractor, a useful tool that makes changing oil easy. These types of tools also come with an oil-safe storage container. Bring your old oil to your local Tractor Supply for oil recycling drop-off.

If you have a larger riding mower or lawn tractor, use the MoJack EZ Lawn Mower Lift or ">MoJack Workbench Attachment to lift and secure your mower so you can easily change the oil, sharpen mower blades, replace belts or remove debris.

  • Start your lawn mower's engine and let it warm up for about 60 seconds.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire so your lawnmower engine does not accidentally start while you are working.
  • Using a shop towel or rag, clean old oil and dirt from the dip stick shaft and drain plug areas.
  • Remove the dip stick.

Step 2: Drain the Oil

  • If you have a push mower, begin by propping the mower deck up so that the spark plug is facing up.
  • Place the oil-safe container under the mower.
  • Using a socket wrench, unscrew the oil plug counter clockwise until oil can escape. Empty oil from mower into an oil-safe container, such as an oil drain pan.
  • Never use a container that is not intended to contain motor oil to store old oil. Containers not intended for this use could leak and cause oil to spill in your garage or barn.
  • Never dump used oil on the ground or down the drain. Take your used oil back to your local Tractor Supply Co. store or to a designated oil recycling facility to be properly disposed of.

Step 3: Replace Oil Filter
Oil filters in mowers help keep the oil clear of large particles of dirt and other debris. If your lawnmower is equipped with an oil filter, it is a good idea to change the oil filter at least once per year, or as often as is recommended by the manufacturer.

Contact your local Tractor Supply Co. store to get help locating your oil filter and finding the right replacement unit for your lawn mower's make and model.

  • Locate the oil filter on your push mower or lawn tractor.
  • Twist the oil filter counter clockwise until the oil filter can be removed. You can use your hands if the oil filter is loose enough, or you can use a pipe wrench or filter wrench if the oil filter is too tight.
  • Look at the seal of the oil filter. If there is dirt or other debris on the seal (in our around the rubber gasket of the mower oil filter), clean it off.
  • Using new engine oil, rub the clean sealing gasket with oil so that it appears clean and well-lubricated.
  • Place the new oil filter into the filter adapter and screw it back into place by hand.
  • Tighten the oil filter using a filter wrench or pipe wrench.

Step 4: Refill Engine Oil
Now it is time to put new oil back into your lawnmower. Clean oil should appear translucent with a slight golden brown tint. Dirty oil will appear opaque and dark brown or black in color. Consider using an oil funnel to help prevent spills.

  • Locate the oil fill plug of your lawn tractor or push mower. This is where you will pour the oil.
  • Pour the recommended amount of oil directly into the hole where the oil fill plug goes. If you have two oil fill plugs, either one can be used to refill oil.
  • Never overfill. Only put in as much oil as is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Once all of your new oil is inside the lawnmower engine, replace the oil fill plug or dip stick. Wipe the dip stick clean before inserting it back into the dip stick shaft.
  • Finally, pull the dip stick back out of the mower and make sure the oil level is correct. The proper oil level marker can be seen on the dip stick.
  • Put the dip stick back into the dip stick shaft and wipe away any excess oil that may have dripped or spilled onto other parts of the lawnmower.

You are now ready to cut some grass.

TSC Lawn MowerSupplies:

  • Engine Oil
  • Oil Filter
  • Oil Drain Pan
  • Funnel