How to Change the Oil in Your Lawn Mower: A Step-by-Step Guide?

The sweet scent of freshly cut grass. The satisfying roar of the engine. Your lawn mower is a trusty companion, helping you maintain your green oasis. But like any machine, it requires regular maintenance to keep running smoothly. One of the most crucial tasks is changing the oil.

While it might seem daunting at first, changing your lawn mower oil is a simple process that can be done by anyone with basic mechanical skills. This article will guide you through the steps, providing tips and tricks to ensure a successful oil change.

A Quick Overview of Lawn Mower Oil Changes

Changing your lawn mower oil is vital for its longevity and performance. Old oil breaks down, loses its lubricating properties, and can cause damage to internal components. A fresh oil change lubricates the engine, protects it from wear and tear, and ensures optimal performance.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, gather all the necessary supplies:

  • New oil: Choose the correct oil type and viscosity for your lawn mower. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.
  • Oil filter: Your lawn mower may have an oil filter, which also needs to be replaced during the oil change. Again, consult your manual to see if your model has one.
  • Oil drain pan: This will catch the old oil as you drain it.
  • Wrench: You’ll need a wrench that fits the oil drain plug.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from dirty oil.
  • Rag: For cleaning up spills and wiping down parts.
  • Funnel: To pour the new oil into the engine.
  • Old container: For safely disposing of the used oil.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Lawn Mower Oil

Now that you have everything you need, let’s begin!

1. Prepare Your Work Area

Choose a level and well-ventilated area to work on your lawn mower. It’s a good idea to lay down some cardboard or a tarp to protect the ground from spills.

2. Warm Up Your Lawn Mower

Before you start draining the oil, it’s a good idea to warm up the engine for a few minutes. This will make the oil less viscous and easier to drain.

3. Locate the Oil Drain Plug

The oil drain plug is usually located at the bottom of the engine. It might be a bolt or a cap with a square or hexagonal head.

4. Drain the Old Oil

Important: Make sure you’re working on a level surface!

Safety First: Wear gloves!

  • Place the oil drain pan directly beneath the drain plug.
  • Use your wrench to loosen and remove the oil drain plug. Be careful not to over-tighten it when you replace it.
  • Let the oil drain completely into the pan. It may take a few minutes.

5. Remove the Oil Filter (If Applicable)

If your lawn mower has an oil filter, locate it and remove it.

  • Safety First: Use gloves to protect your hands from oil and grime!
  • Locate the Filter: Usually found at the top of the engine or near the oil drain plug.
  • Unscrew: Use an oil filter wrench to unscrew the filter. Some filters can be removed by hand.
  • Dispose of the filter properly: Do not throw it in the trash. It needs to be recycled or disposed of according to local regulations.

6. Install the New Oil Filter (If Applicable)

If your mower has a filter, install the new one.

  • Lubricate the gasket: Put a thin coat of clean oil on the new filter’s gasket before installing it.
  • Hand-tighten: Gently screw the new filter on by hand. It should be snug, but do not over-tighten.

7. Add New Oil

Now it’s time to add the new oil.

  • Refer to your owner’s manual: The manual will specify the type and quantity of oil your lawn mower requires.
  • Use a funnel: Pour the new oil into the engine through the oil fill cap using a funnel to avoid spills.
  • Check the oil level: After adding the recommended amount of oil, check the oil dipstick to ensure the level is correct.

8. Replace the Oil Drain Plug

  • Wipe the drain plug: Make sure the plug is clean before reinstalling it.
  • Tighten: Tighten the oil drain plug securely, but avoid over-tightening.

9. Start and Run Your Lawn Mower

Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. This allows the new oil to circulate throughout the engine.

10. Recheck the Oil Level

Once the engine has warmed up, shut it off and check the oil level again. If needed, top off the oil level to the correct mark on the dipstick.

11. Dispose of the Used Oil

Don’t pour used oil down the drain or into the trash. Take it to a local recycling facility or automotive shop that accepts used oil.

12. Clean Up

Wipe down any spills and dispose of the used oil and filter properly.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Oil Change

  • Read Your Owner’s Manual: The manual is your best guide for understanding your specific lawn mower model and its oil requirements.
  • Regular Maintenance: Changing your oil regularly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, is crucial for maintaining optimal engine performance.
  • Quality Oil: Don’t cut corners with oil. Use a high-quality oil that meets the specifications for your lawn mower.
  • Safety First: Always wear gloves and safety glasses when handling oil.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Dispose of used oil responsibly to protect the environment.


Changing your lawn mower oil may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a simple and essential maintenance procedure. By following this step-by-step guide and adhering to the tips and tricks provided, you can easily perform an oil change and keep your lawn mower running smoothly for years to come. Remember, regular oil changes are essential for optimal engine performance and longevity. So get out there and give your lawn mower the TLC it deserves!


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

The type of oil you should use in your lawn mower depends on the engine. Most lawn mowers use standard 10W-30 motor oil, which is suitable for a wide range of temperatures. However, some engines may require a different type of oil, such as synthetic oil or a higher viscosity oil. You can check your owner’s manual for the specific oil requirements for your mower. It’s important to use the correct type of oil to ensure your engine runs smoothly and efficiently.

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

The frequency of oil changes in a lawn mower depends on factors like usage, engine size, and oil type. Generally, it’s recommended to change the oil every 25 hours of operation or at the beginning of each season. If you use your mower frequently or in dusty conditions, you may need to change the oil more often. It’s also important to monitor the oil level and color regularly. If the oil appears dark or dirty, it’s a sign that it needs to be changed.

What tools do I need to change the oil in my lawn mower?

To change the oil in your lawn mower, you’ll need a few basic tools. These include a wrench or socket to remove the drain plug, a drain pan to catch the old oil, a funnel to pour in the new oil, and a new oil filter if your mower has one. You may also need a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the oil. Make sure to have these tools ready before starting the oil change.

Can I change the oil in my lawn mower while it’s hot?

It’s not recommended to change the oil in your lawn mower while it’s hot. Allow the engine to cool down completely before draining the oil. This is because hot oil can be extremely dangerous, and you risk burns or spills. Let the engine cool down for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the oil change.

How do I know if the oil filter needs replacing?

The frequency of oil filter replacement depends on the type of filter and the usage of the mower. Generally, it’s recommended to replace the oil filter every second or third oil change. You can also check the filter for signs of wear, such as dirt, grime, or cracks. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace the filter.

What should I do with the old oil?

Used motor oil should never be poured down the drain or into the ground. It’s harmful to the environment and can contaminate water sources. Instead, you should properly dispose of the old oil at a designated recycling center or collection site. Many automotive parts stores and local governments offer oil recycling programs.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when changing the oil in a lawn mower?

One common mistake is failing to use the correct type of oil for your mower. Another is overfilling the engine with oil, which can lead to problems like oil leaks or damage to the engine. It’s also important to avoid spilling oil on the ground, which can contaminate the environment. Finally, be sure to tighten the drain plug securely after draining the oil to prevent leaks.

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