How to Change Oil in a Cub Cadet Lawn Mower?

The sweet smell of freshly cut grass is a sign of summer, but the joy of a manicured lawn can quickly turn sour if your trusty Cub Cadet lawn mower starts to sputter and cough. One of the most common culprits behind a sluggish lawn mower is dirty or low engine oil. Luckily, changing the oil in your Cub Cadet is a simple maintenance task that any homeowner can handle. This article will guide you step-by-step through the process, providing you with all the information you need to keep your mower running smoothly and efficiently.

Essentially, changing the oil in a Cub Cadet lawn mower involves draining the old oil, replacing the oil filter (if applicable), and adding fresh oil. The steps might vary slightly depending on your specific mower model, but the general process remains the same.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials. This will make the process much smoother and prevent any last-minute scrambling.

Essential Materials:

  • New engine oil: Choose the correct type and viscosity of oil for your Cub Cadet model. Consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.
  • Oil drain pan: This is essential for catching the old oil as you drain it.
  • Oil filter wrench (if applicable): Some Cub Cadet models use oil filters that require a wrench for removal.
  • Wrench or socket set: You might need a wrench to remove the oil drain plug.
  • Rag or paper towels: These are handy for cleaning up any spills.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from oil and dirt.
  • Safety glasses: Protect your eyes from potential splashes.

Preparing Your Cub Cadet for an Oil Change

Now that you have your materials gathered, it’s time to prepare your lawn mower for the oil change. This includes finding a suitable work area and preparing the mower for draining.

1. Find a Suitable Work Area:

  • Choose a flat and stable surface: A concrete driveway or garage floor works best.
  • Ensure good ventilation: Work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to prevent inhaling oil fumes.

2. Allow the Engine to Cool Down:

  • Never attempt to change oil on a hot engine: The oil will be very hot and could cause burns. Let your Cub Cadet run for a few minutes, then shut it off and allow the engine to cool completely.

Draining the Old Oil

With the engine cool and your work area prepared, you can start draining the old oil. This step involves locating the oil drain plug and carefully removing it.

1. Locate the Oil Drain Plug:

  • Consult your owner’s manual: The location of the oil drain plug varies slightly depending on the model.
  • Look for a bolt or plug near the bottom of the engine block: It’s usually located in a recessed area, making it easier to catch the draining oil.

2. Place the Drain Pan Underneath:

  • Position the drain pan directly beneath the oil drain plug: Make sure the pan is large enough to catch all the oil.

3. Remove the Drain Plug:

  • Use a wrench or socket set to loosen the oil drain plug: Turn it counter-clockwise until it’s fully removed.
  • Be careful not to drop the drain plug into the drain pan: If you do, you’ll need to fish it out before proceeding.

4. Allow the Oil to Drain Completely:

  • Let the oil drain completely into the pan: This may take a few minutes.
  • Once the oil flow stops, you can safely remove the drain pan.

Replacing the Oil Filter (If Applicable)

Now that the old oil is drained, it’s time to replace the oil filter if your Cub Cadet model has one.

1. Locate the Oil Filter:

  • Consult your owner’s manual for the location of the oil filter: It’s usually located near the top of the engine, sometimes under a plastic cover.

2. Remove the Old Oil Filter:

  • If your model has an oil filter wrench, use it to loosen and remove the old filter: Turn it counter-clockwise.
  • If your model doesn’t require a wrench, you may be able to unscrew the filter by hand.

3. Clean the Oil Filter Housing:

  • Use a rag or paper towel to clean the area around the oil filter housing: This will help prevent dirt from getting into the new filter.

4. Install the New Oil Filter:

  • Apply a light coating of fresh oil to the rubber gasket of the new oil filter: This helps create a better seal.
  • Screw the new oil filter into place by hand: Do not overtighten.

Adding Fresh Engine Oil

After draining the old oil and replacing the oil filter, the final step is to add fresh engine oil.

1. Refer to Your Owner’s Manual:

  • Check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and capacity: This information is crucial for ensuring the correct oil is used.

2. Slowly Pour Fresh Oil into the Engine:

  • Pour the fresh oil into the oil fill opening, which is typically located near the top of the engine.
  • Check the oil dipstick frequently as you pour: Stop when the dipstick reads the appropriate level, usually marked with “Full” or “Add.”

3. Reinstall the Oil Fill Cap:

  • Tighten the oil fill cap securely after adding the oil.

Finishing Up:

Once you’ve added the fresh oil, your oil change is complete. But before you start the engine, there are a few more things to do.

1. Double-Check for Leaks:

  • Inspect the oil drain plug and oil filter for leaks: Tighten any loose connections.

2. Dispose of Old Oil and Materials Properly:

  • Dispose of the old oil responsibly: Check with your local waste management facility for proper disposal methods.
  • Clean up your work area: Discard any used rags or paper towels.

Starting Your Cub Cadet:

You’re almost ready to fire up your lawn mower. Take a moment to double-check all your work, and then start the engine.

1. Start the Engine and Let it Idle for a Few Minutes:

  • Listen for any unusual noises or leaks: If you hear anything concerning, shut down the engine immediately and check for problems.

2. Check the Oil Level:

  • Once the engine has cooled down, check the oil level with the dipstick: If necessary, add more oil until the dipstick reaches the “Full” mark.

Maintaining Your Cub Cadet’s Oil:

Changing your Cub Cadet’s oil regularly is vital for keeping your lawn mower running efficiently and extending its lifespan.

1. Follow Your Owner’s Manual:

  • Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change intervals: These intervals will vary depending on the model and usage.

2. Consider Frequent Oil Changes:

  • If you use your lawn mower frequently, especially in hot weather, you may need to change the oil more often: This will help prevent the oil from breaking down and becoming contaminated.


Changing the oil in your Cub Cadet lawn mower is a simple yet important maintenance task that can significantly improve its performance and longevity. By following these detailed steps, you can ensure your mower runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come. Remember to refer to your owner’s manual for model-specific instructions and to dispose of used oil and materials responsibly. Enjoy a healthy and happy lawnmowing season!


Why should I change the oil in my Cub Cadet lawn mower?

The oil in your Cub Cadet lawn mower lubricates the engine’s moving parts, reducing friction and wear. Over time, the oil breaks down and loses its effectiveness, becoming contaminated with dirt and debris. Changing the oil regularly ensures your engine runs smoothly and efficiently, preventing damage and extending its lifespan.

How often should I change the oil in my Cub Cadet lawn mower?

The recommended oil change interval for Cub Cadet lawn mowers is typically 25 hours of operation or once per season, whichever comes first. However, it’s always a good idea to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions for your model.

What type of oil should I use in my Cub Cadet lawn mower?

The type of oil recommended for your Cub Cadet lawn mower will be specified in the owner’s manual. It’s important to use the correct type of oil to ensure proper lubrication and engine performance. Generally, SAE 30 oil is a common choice for lawn mower engines.

What tools will I need to change the oil in my Cub Cadet lawn mower?

To change the oil in your Cub Cadet lawn mower, you’ll need a few basic tools, including:

  • Oil drain pan
  • Wrench or socket that fits the oil drain plug
  • New oil filter (if applicable)
  • Funnel
  • New oil (appropriate type and quantity)
  • Rags or paper towels

How do I drain the old oil from my Cub Cadet lawn mower?

To drain the old oil from your Cub Cadet lawn mower, first, allow the engine to cool completely. Then, place the oil drain pan under the engine, then locate the oil drain plug, which is usually found on the bottom of the engine block. Using a wrench or socket, carefully loosen the oil drain plug, allowing the oil to drain into the pan.

How do I replace the oil filter (if applicable)?

If your Cub Cadet lawn mower has an oil filter, it will be located near the engine. To replace the oil filter, first, loosen the filter using an oil filter wrench. Once the filter is removed, wipe the area clean and thread on the new oil filter by hand, tightening it until it’s snug. Don’t overtighten the filter.

What should I do with the old oil?

The old oil should be disposed of properly and not poured down the drain. It can be taken to a local recycling center or auto parts store for proper disposal. It’s important to dispose of used oil responsibly to protect the environment.

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