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How to Remove Oil from Lawn Mower – Simple Steps for Draining Oil

The regularly used lawnmower in households works on the mechanism of an internal combustion engine. Like any other equipment that can suffer from friction, heating, and depreciation, the lawn mower is prone to these issues. Oil, therefore, helps maintain the speed, performance, and temperature through lubrication and cooling effect, which prevents overheating and breakdown. Therefore, it is important to choose the right kind of oil, understand the conditions under which it should be changed, and the processes involved. Read on to know how to drain oil from lawn mower easily and correctly.

What Type of Oil Should I Use for my Lawn Mower?

It is fascinating to understand that different types of motor oils are available in the market. They vary in their chemical composition, viscosity, and behavior when exposed to different kinds of temperatures. The choice of the oil depends on the following factors-

  • Type of lawnmower
  • Size and capacity
  • Climatic conditions where the lawnmower is used
  • The temperature range of oil and lawn mower

There are many options for lawn mower engine oil available in the market. Other than this, small engine oils also work well with lawnmowers. Some users also go for motor oil used in cars, tractors, and types of machinery alike. Different oil varieties based on viscosity and temperature are – single grade oil, multi-grade oil, synthetic blend oil, and full synthetic blend oil. These are some of the common oil varieties used in cars and motors. According to a study, 48 percent of users of lawn mowers use regular oil. But for better performance and to avoid clogging, it is recommended to use small engine oil rather than regular motor oil. It is imperative to know that motor oil can be used for four-stroke engines, and small engine oil is used for two-stroke engines.

The preferred varieties of oil which can be used are-

  • SAE 30– Viscosity rating is 30, single grade. Preferred for small engines, usually older motors. (5° C and higher).
  • SAE 10W-30– Low viscosity, multi-grade engine oil. It performs well in both hot and cold temperatures. (-18 to 38° C).
  • SAE 5W-30– Low viscosity, multi-grade engine oil. Works well at a colder temperature. (-30 to 40° C)
  • Synthetic SAW 5W-30 – Synthetic oil, used in both cold and hot weather. Synthetic oils are preferred for their stability. (5° C and below)
  • Vanguard 15W-50 – 100 percent synthetic engine oil. (temperatures from 20°F to 130°F).

When to Change the Lawnmower Oil?

One should be meticulous in taking care of the lawn mower. Changing the oil is necessary to prevent clogging, keep the machinery clean, and improve performance. After every 40-50 hours of usage, engine oils and oil filters should be changed and replaced. Some lawn mowers have hour meters on them as well. Another way to know if it’s time to change the oil is through a dipstick. Apart from these ways, it is vital to undertake an annual maintenance procedure for quality restoration of the lawnmower.

How to Drain Oil from Lawn Mower?

The tools required to change in the oil in lawn mower include a container to accumulate the old oil, a piece of cloth for cleaning, a funnel, hand gloves, a plastic sheet to cover the surface on which lawnmower will be placed, and if possible, an oil extractor to make the process faster. The following steps explain the process of changing the oil in the riding or other lawn mower type-

Step-by-Step Process on How to Empty Oil from Lawn Mower

  1. Warming up the engine for about 10-15 minutes to get the oil moving and prepping the lawnmower for changing the oil. Clean around the oil fill area using a towel.
  2. Then the spark plugs should be disconnected to avoid any electrical accident.
  3. Try locating the drain plug on the lawn mower. Turn the mower a little bit for easy access to the drain plug.
  4. Find the drain plug and then loosen it a bit. This can be done with the help of a socket-screw wrench.
  5. Remove the fuel tank and empty it. Seal the gas tank by covering it with a plastic bag after opening the cap. One can also replace the oil filter during this process if needed. The new filter can be installed using a pipe wrench or a filter wrench.
  6. Pour the used oil into a plastic container. Keep it ready to avoid any kind of spillage.
  7. Coat the new filter with oil before installing it into the lawnmower.
  8. Refill the tank with clean oil and insert the dipstick in the oil filler tube. Avoid overfilling or underfilling the tank. An optimum level should be maintained, usually 2/3 or 3/4 quarter of oil. The oil should be poured down slowly in batches, and one should keep checking the level using a dipstick.
  9. Replace the oil cap as the last step.

How to Change the Oil in Lawn Mower without Drain Plug?

Some users might face difficulty locating a drain plug in the push lawn mower, and there might be no drain plug at all in specific lawnmower models. If there is no drug plug available, one must use a vacuum oil pump to pump out the old oil from the dipstick tube. Alternatively, one can use an oil fill plug to drain the mower. Getting an oil extractor is another method to change the oil if one can’t locate a drain plug.


Taking care of a lawnmower is important to maintain the lawns for longer durations and manage the machinery well. Changing the oil or draining the gas from lawn mower on a timely basis is a necessary step in that regard. Apart from this, the oil filters should also be changed whenever required to prevent any depreciation. Annual maintenance and regular clean-up are unavoidable steps that should be followed. A well-maintained lawn mower is an asset, and the importance of oil in contributing to that can’t be ignored.