When you buy a new mower, one of the essential questions is how often you need to change the oil. In general, every model comes with a manual where you can check the best timing for this action, but I can tell you that most of them need the oil changed after every twenty to fifty hours of work in average.
Let’s find out whether this rule applies to your lawnmower and what are the essential seasonal tune-up maintenance you should occasionally perform to keep your unit functioned impeccably.
How to Keep Your Lawn Mower Running
To allow your lawn mower to work longer, you need to maintain it properly. Don’t neglect it until something goes wrong. It may be too late then, and you have to buy a new unit. I will list here the most basic procedures that will allow you to use your riding lawn mower for a long time.
- Read the user manual – Always try to study user manual carefully. That is the only way to use your mower correctly and avoid unexpected inconvenience.
- Drain the gas at the end of the mowing season – Old gasoline is often a reason why your mower won’t work at the beginning of the new season. Always drain the remaining gas and use the fresh one in the spring.
- Check the oil level – You need to monitor the level of oil in your unit regularly. Also, it is essential to find any possible floating debris in it. When your oil becomes dark black, it is probably old or contaminated, and you need to drain it and replace it with a fresh one.
- Clean out the mower’s undercarriage – You don’t want grass get caked in the undercarriage and to clog the discharge chute of your mower. Therefore, you need to clean debris and scrape grass clippings from the undercarriage from time to time.
- Check the air filter – If the air filter of your mower is dirty, it won’t burn gasoline efficiently. Changing the air filter once a year is an excellent preventive method. Plus, this procedure is not too expensive because the filter is usually made of paper or foam.
- Change the spark plug – The spark plug is inexpensive, and you can replace it quickly. Since it is a crucial part of a mower’s functioning, you should change it at least once a year.
- Sharpen the blades – When blades are dull, they can’t make precise cuts. It will rip and tear the grass and make your lawn less attractive. Sharpening blades is not a job for inexperienced people. It would be better to let professionals from a mower repair shop do that serious job.
- Look for a professional tune-up – You should consider performing necessary diagnostic tests and tuning-up along with sharpening blades in the same mower repair shop. That means that you will get a mower in the top working order for a small fee.
How Often to Change Oil in Your Lawn Mower
As I have already mentioned, you need to check the level of oil in your machine. Do it while the mower’s engine is cold. It is the only moment when the oil is in the crankcase yields, and you can get the most accurate reading.
When you notice that the amount of oil is under the required level, you should change it. In general, if you want your mower to work without unwanted problems, you should replace engine oil at least once a year. The best period is in spring, at the beginning of the mowing season.
There is also the other possibility. According to a professional opinion, you need to change your oil after approximately fifty hours of use. Basically, it doesn’t matter which of those two rules you will adhere to.
One more thing! Don’t forget to change the oil in a new lawn mower engine after the first five hours of working. From my experience, it is also a wise decision to check the oil level from time to time during the season.
It is especially important if you use your unit to mow wet grass or when the working conditions are particularly challenging. Heavy dust, rough terrain, and high temperatures may increase the necessity of oil changes more often.
How to Change Lawn Mower Oil
Most owners change the oil in their mowers by themselves. In general, it is not so hard to do that, and you will probably need about five minutes for the whole action. Let me explain the procedure in detail.
Step 1. Prepare for the oil change
Before removing the old oil from your unit, you need to do the following:
- Warm up the engine – Start the engine for a minute. It will allow the oil flows freely and consequently speed up the procedure of its changing.
- Clean around the oil fill area – Do it by using a clean towel or a special air compressor.
- Prepare a pan to catch the oil – You will need a pan or any other container for catching the old oil removed from your mower.
Step 2. Draining the oil
If your mower has a drain plug, you just need to move and drain it. Otherwise, tilt the mower on one side carefully and drain the oil through the hole for filling.
- Removing a cap – You should start the procedure with removing the plastic oil fill cap.
- Tilt the mower – The most practical way is to tilt the mower a little bit and let the oil drips out into the container completely.
Step3. Replace the oil filter
The most of walk behind string trimmers don’t have oil filters at all. If your model is one of those with this filter, you should change it while replacing the oil.
Step 4. Refill the oil
Always keep in mind that both over-filling and under-filling the oil is an inadequate solution for your mower. Before starting the process of refilling, you should check the exact quantity of oil your model takes, but you probably need from 2/3 to 3/4 a quart (0.6 – 0.7 l) of it.
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