How to Drain Oil from a Lawn Mower?

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Refilling Mower Oil after Draining It

A well-maintained lawn mower is key to keeping your yard looking nice and tidy. And one of the best things you can do to keep the lawn mower running smoothly is to change the lawn mower oil regularly. 

Changing the oil not only improves engine performance but also expands the mower’s lifespan by protecting internal parts, reducing friction, and the engine from heat and dirt. 

As a new lawn mower owner, the task of changing the oil may seem a little confusing. You may not know where the fuel tank is or the right way to drain and refill the tank. So here is a detailed guide where I’ll walk you through the entire process and provide inside tips and tricks to keep your lawn mower running all seasons smoothly. Read on to discover.

Key Takeaways

  • Changing lawn mower oil regularly is essential in keeping the lawn mower in pristine condition. 
  • You must have appropriate tools like a drain tray, a funnel, an adjustable wrench, rags, a new oil filter, and of course, fresh fuel for the purpose. 
  • Follow proper safety measures like wearing gloves and protective glasses to prevent accidents. 
  • Disposing of used oil the right way is crucial for the environment.

List Of Tools & Materials You Need to Drain Oil from a Lawn Mower 

Since every lawn mower model is different, referring to the user manual is the best way to know the tools and materials you’ll need. However, here is a list of generic tools that helps with most lawn mower oil change: 

  • A new oil filter (if applicable) 
  • New engine oil (refer to the user manual to get the correct oil) 
  • A drain tray or container to catch the old oil 
  • A funnel 
  • An adjustable wrench 
  • Paper towels or rags

Related: Where Is the Carburetor on a Lawn Mower – Here’s the Answer

Steps to Prepare & Drain Oil From Your Lawn Mower

Draining Oil from Lawn Mower

You cannot simply drain the old oil, fill the new one in the tank, and expect the lawn mower to work smoothly. That’s not how it works. According to Daniel Parker from lawninside, proper preparation is required to ensure the safe and sound condition of the engine

Here is how you should prepare the lawn mower engine for an oil change: 

  • Choosing The Right Spot: First and foremost, choose an even and wider space to initiate the process. An even ground makes the process easier than the sloped or uneven ground. 
  • Run The Engine: Run the engine for about a minute or so. Doing so warms up the engine making it easier to drain the oil. But give it enough time to cool down before draining the oil. Also, disconnect the plug wire for added safety. 
  • Locate The Oil Drain Plug & Drain The Old Oil: You should find the oil drain plug on the left or right side or at the bottom of the motor. Some mowers have an oil valve that you can remove by hand twisting, while others need a wrench for the purpose. Remove it and drain the old oil. 

If your lawn mower does not have a drain plug, you should attach a funnel with the valve to drain the oil without spilling it all over. Not using a funnel can create a messy situation, and oil can penetrate the bottom of the engine compartment. 

Place some newspapers and the drain pan/container under the mower. Tilt the mower deck slightly to drain the oil. 

Tilted Mower to Drain Oil
  • Replace The Oil Filter (if the engine has one): You should replace the oil once every year, but for heavy use, replacement should be done at least twice a year. Use a filter wrench or pipe wrench and twist the oil filter anti-clockwise to replace it. 

After removing the old filter, oil the filter gasket with new oil and install the new filter. Secure it well to prevent any leakage. 

Related: Why Is My Lawn Mower Turning Over But Not Starting? Reasons & Solutions

How To Add New Oil In The Lawn Mower? 

Once you drain the old oil and replace the oil filter, you can proceed with filling the new oil. Here is how you should do it correctly: 

Oil Filter
  • Refer To The User Manual To Know The Oil Type: Different lawnmowers need different oil types and viscosity. Refer to the user manual to know which oil type best suits your lawn mower model. 
  • Fill The Oil Reservoir: Insert a funnel into the oil fill port and slowly pour the oil through it. Do not overfill the reservoir. You can use the dipstick to check oil levels and pour the correct amount. 
  • Start The Engine: Once you’re done filling the oil, replace the oil cap, reconnect the spark plug, and run the engine for a couple of minutes. Check for any leaks; if everything looks good, the lawn mower is ready for use again. 

Additional Note: Act responsibly while disposing of the used oil. Draining the oil in the ground or down the drain isn’t safe for the environment. The best way to dispose of it is by taking it to a recycling or auto parts center that accepts used oil. 

Follow These Safety Tips While Changing Lawn Mower Oil 

Following safety measures while changing lawn mower oil is of paramount importance to avoid accidents. Following are some crucial safety measures to consider while you’re doing the job: 

  • Always Wear Protective Gears: Don’t forget to wear protective gear like gloves, closed-toe shoes, and safety glasses. They will protect you from potential injuries. 
  • Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: There are specific guidelines from every manufacturer while performing the oil change. Follow it diligently to prevent damaging the engine. 
  • Keep Pets & Children Away: Pets and children should not be near the area. They can accidentally touch the oil or other parts of the mower, which is not at all safe. 
  • Allow The Engine To Cool Down: Don’t rush the process and allow the engine to cool down fully. This may take 15 to 20 minutes, but it’ll prevent any hot oil burns. 

Related: Why Is My Lawn Mower Smoking? 9 Reasons & Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Where Is The Oil Drain Plug Located In A Brigg & Stratton Lawn Mower? 

You can find the oil drain plug in a Brigg & Stratton lawn mower beneath the engine block near the crankshaft. 

2. How To Drain Oil From A Riding Lawn Mower? 

To drain oil from a riding mower, first, locate the oil drain pipe, keep a tray or jar beneath it to collect the oil, and loosen the drain pipe cap using a wrench. Remove the cap and drain the oil. You can use a funnel to prevent oil spillage. 

3. Do All Lawn Mowers Have Oil Drain Plugs? 

No, all lawnmowers don’t have an oil drain plug. Models that don’t have one require tilting the mower or using an oil extraction pump to drain the oil. 

4. How To Drain Oil From A Lawn Mower Without A Siphon? 

You have to tilt the lawn mower to get rid of the old oil. 

5. How Often Should I Change My Lawn Mower Oil? 

As a general rule, you should change the lawn mower oil every 50 hours of operation. However, if you use the mower in very dusty conditions or more frequently, changing the oil every 25 hours is recommended. Check the user manual to know what your manufacturer recommends. 

Related: Zero Turn vs Riding Mower – Choose the Right Mower for Your Yard


Changing the lawn mower oil is an important part of routine maintenance that should not be overlooked. As you learned, the task is easy and can be done following some simple steps. 

Make sure to follow the right order of steps mentioned in the article to do the job right. Also, don’t forget to wear protective gear before jumping onto it and dispose of the used oil properly! 

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