Every machine should have its engine oil changed regularly so that the engine life can be well kept. The same applies to the mower for better engine life to change lawn mower oil. It would be very wrong of you to be using your mower for years without changing the oil but keep adding oil to it. Maybe you are wondering how frequently you should do this for a mower. Well, this frequency depends on several factors. For instance, if you work with your mower in a dusty environment, you will have to be replacing the oil more frequently than when you are using it in a less dusty environment.
Factors you should consider to change lawn mower oil
The temperature to which you choose to work will determine how frequently you need to change lawn mower oil. Very cold temperatures expose your push mower to heavy-duty and so once you decide to work with it in such an environment; you can be prepared to be changing the oil more frequently. Working on wet grass also wears out the oil very fast, and so you will have to replace it regularly. However, if you choose favorable temperature and grass for the mower, which is not easy, then you will replace the oil after some time. Whatever the plan you go for, ensure that you are willing to do what can serve the mower lest it gets damaged regularly, calling for repair.
Additionally, the quantity of grass that you work on determines the frequency of changing the oil. If you are using the machine on much grass daily, you might have to be changing the engine oil more frequently than any other time when the mower is just idle somewhere. These two factors tell you that the frequency of changing the oil varies from one mower to another. You should therefore not depend on anyone to know when you should exchange your machine oil. The bottom line is that you should change lawn mower oil once after five hours of continuous use.
How to change lawn mower oil – step by step
Step one: gather all the supplies needed
Preparation meets expectations. You don’t just stop and say you want to change lawn mower oil. First, we all know that engine oil is flammable. This means that the changing of the oil should be done in a more ventilated area to avoid unnecessary fire accidents. Once you have set the right room, you got to set aside your mower operation manual. And a bottle of 4-stroke oil compatible with your model, drain bucket, funnel, towels, and tin for placing the old oil. From there, you can continue as follows:
Step two: prepare the mower
At this step, you got to empty the fuel tank of the mower by running the engine. So that the fuel tank can be empty. This tells you that you should not start the process of changing the engine oil when the fuel level in the tank is still high. It will be a waste of oil to run an engine full of oil to empty it. You will bear with me that at such a time, you will not even get the grass to cut. So that it is entirely drained. I don’t think you need to expose your finances to such a level of wastage. Therefore, ensure that there is a little oil as possible. So that you just run the engine to ensure that you work with the lowest level possible.
You then have to turn off the engine completely and even disconnect the spark plug. Ensure that you minimize all the possible factors that can cause the wire to connect back to the spark plug as this would cause electric shock hence resulting in unnecessary accidents. You can go ahead to use the towel to remove all the debris around the oil cap as well as the filler spout. Go ahead and remove the oil cap and place it on a clean surface.
Step three: Drain the old oil
To set up the mower on some cardboard to tap the oil that might spill down as you drain the oil. In most cases, the oil you drain comes directly from the filler spout. This means that you have to raise the mower directly to let the oil to be drained. Therefore, you got to tip the mower on its side so that it can drain the oil slowly into an empty drain bucket. If the oil is much, you might have to tip it for such a long time to have all the oil drained. Do not be in a rush in making this happen. Once the oil is not coming out steadily anymore, you can consider to carefully rock the push mower back and forth so that all the oil that would otherwise be trapped inside can be removed.
When there is no more oil coming out, steady have the mower placed on the surface so that you can wipe any oil that might have been spilled on from the outside of the mower. Remember you are dealing with flammable oil. Therefore, ensure that all the oil spillage is wiped away. You can even go ahead and use some oil-absorbing powder so that all the oil spillage on the floor is soaked up. With such measures, you will be free from any accidents. You can choose you to keep the drained oil in any way as you wish but ensure that the container you use is sealed and kept away from children and flames. The best way is, however, to take it to a gas station to have it disposed of properly.
Step four: Refill the engine with fresh oil
At this point, the mower is now ready to receive new oil. You have now to check the user’s guide of your mower so that you can know the oil capacity that your mower can work with. In most cases, however, you will need 15 to 18 ounces of oil for your push mower. Even when you have bought your oil, it is not a condition that you use the whole of it.
Go ahead and place the funnel in the filler spout. This is basically to help you maintain focus to reduce oil spillage on the surfaces. Once the funnel is set correctly, slowly fill the spout through the funnel with oil in bits as you check the level with a dipstick. Every time you remove the rod, ensure that you wipe it well before the next dipping to give you an accurate result. Repeat the refilling steps until the level hits the full mark on the dipstick. Wait! You are not yet done. Allow the oil to settle before you can check again if its level is ideal. If it is at the full mark, stop it there. However, if there is a need for adding more oil, do not hesitate.
Note that under-filling the oil is as dangerous as overfilling. Therefore, always ensure that it fills to the exact needed amount.
Step five: clean your working surface
While you were refilling the machine, c some oil spilling on the surface and also on the walls of the mower. Take time and wipe all the oil that is spilt. You should use oil absorption powder so that you can be sure that the surface is thoroughly clean. By doing this, you are simply trying to avoid the accidents like sliding or flames in case of any contact with heat. Well, it could be interesting to feel that you are almost done with the whole process, but then your safety is the priority. Until you are sure of your safety, you can hold on a bit of the joy of finishing.
Step six: Restart the mower
This is the last step before you take your mower out in the field for work.
At this step, you all start by having the oil cap tightened. This helps you to keep the oil from spilling when using the mower. When this is done, reconnect the spark plug. You can use unleaded gasoline to refuel the mower. Once you have done all this, take the mower in an open place and restart it. When it is immediately re-oiled, it tends to produce some smoke at times due to the excess oil. This is why you got to restart it on an open-air place so that the smoke cannot choke you.
Frequently Asked Question
The major question that most users of push mowers ask is how to choose the best oil. We got a comprehensive response for this question.
Which oil is best for my push mower?
Having known what it all entails changing your push mower oil, you could be left wondering how to choose the right oil. Not every oil option is suitable for your mower. This is why every push mower comes with a guide. Sometimes, however, it is possible to lose touch with the manual completely, or some guides do not give an exact oil option for the mower. The world is as well advancing, and so you do not expect to use just one type of oil. We thought it would be nice to help you when it comes to choosing push mower engine oil. Here are the oil types that are available and so you can choose what works well with you.
1. SAE 30
This is a suitable type of oil for small push mowers especially for those used in warmer temperatures. If you have that small push mower which you rarely use but for domestic purposes, you can go for this option since it is relatively cheap, last long and is not too heavy for small push mowers.
2. SAE 10W-30
This can work on varied temperatures but more relevant for cold weather as it gives the mower a smooth start. Its consumption is generally higher than most of the oil options. This option is considered a universal oil option since it can serve nearly all types of mower. The difference it the frequency at which it will be changed depends on how busy you make the mower to work. It can be used both for commercial purposes and domestic purposes.
3. SAE 5W-50
This option is recommended for extremely high temperatures. The oil is not heavy, and so it is just used to run the mower on favorable temperatures like he high temperatures. Starting mowers on elevated temperature is generally cheaper than on cold temperature. This makes this option favorable and would not be changed regularly.
4. Vanguard 15W-50
This option can be used in varied weather conditions but is more relevant for the mowers which are frequently sued like the commercial ones. Its advantage is that it can run heavy mowers for a long time before it can be changed. It is as well cheaper than most of the options.
You generally have multiple options to choose from and so that should never be an issue with your mower. You only got to understand how you will be using the mower and the temperature you want to expose it to. If you choose the wrong oil category, you will be risking the life of your mower. Well, if you are not able to make the right decision on what to go for, you can consult an expert to advise you. The bottom line should be that you end up making the right decision.
1. What should I do if I mistakenly put petrol in the oil tank?
This has been a common problem with people who do the changing of oil by themselves. However, this is not the end of your mower if it happens. You need to drain the petrol from the tank using the procedure of removing the old oil given in the initial steps above. Once you have done so, you can leave the tank in the open air and ensure that no dirt and debris enters the tank. Allowing it to stay in the open air for about 24 hours guarantees you your safety.
2. Why should I remove the spark plug when changing the oil?
You realize it was a strong emphasis that one needs to detach the plug wire when draining the oil. So you could be wondering why this has to be. You remove the spark plug to prevent the mower from starting when you are changing the oil. If this happens, it would be dangerous for you for the blade to start running as it can splash the oil on you, which is hazardous and also wastage.
3. Why is my push mower smoking?
Whenever you see smoke coming from the mower, what comes to your mind is the condition of the oil. If this happens, it could be because the engine needs servicing or you need to change lawn mower oil. First, change lawn mower oil carefully. If it continues smoking, have the engine serviced.
The above six steps are necessary when it comes to changing the engine oil for your mower. Well, you can ask for assistance from an expert to help you follow up all the procedure if you do not trust yourself with the whole process. If you have to hire personnel, however, ensure that you higher an expert. As simple as the procedure looks, if it is done in the wrong way, you will end up interfering with the lifespan of your machine. Do not just allow anybody to have a try on it. Be sure about what you do with your machine. Your push mower is now ready to go work in the field.