How to Know if Mower Needs Oil

A lawn mower needs oil to function correctly; therefore, it’s essential to understand when the mower needs oil. That’s because engine oil is among the vital items to check on a lawn mower frequently.

There is nothing that will kill the engine quicker than a low oil level. Also, adding too much oil is bad for the motor engine.

The moment oil level falls below the recommended level on the dipstick – low-level oil mark – top-up. A dipstick will have two oil levels, where the upper mark represents the full level and the other mark, the low oil level.

In this post, you will learn how to know if mower needs oil and other related topics.

Let’s get started:

How to Know if Mower Needs Oil

The first step of knowing whether the mower needs oil is checking the oil level. That should be done before every use because it takes a few minutes, which could, in turn, save you money.

The other thing is determining an old, worn-out engine oil worth replacing. You can know an old engine oil through its viscosity and change of color.

Oil is essential in the engine of a lawn mower. It cools and lubricates the engine while mowing. After the engine runs out of oil, it builds up more heat fusing internal components together. The condition will seize the terminals and the engine.

While checking the oil level, the engine must be off and parked on level ground.

Here are steps to follow:

1. Locate Dipstick / Oil Filler

Check at the side of your lawn mower engine for the dipstick. You will find a cap marked with an oil symbol or written “oil.” It has a contrasting color – yellow.

How to Know if Mower Needs Oil

2. Read the Dipstick

A dipstick has two marks; the upper mark represents the full oil level while the lower mark represents the low oil levels. These could be stamped lines, holes, words, or letters. The distance between the low mark and upper mark represents the hatched area.

That is an area denoting an acceptable oil level zone but recommended to reach the upper dipstick mark.

3. Removing Oil

If the oil is too old or worn out, you must remove and add new oil. The process is simple. You start by pulling the spark plug to avoid accidental starting.

It is a little messy – particularly when the engine has too much oil. For most lawn mowers, the oil tilts through the dipstick tube.

If you have an older mower, it regularly drains the oil near the blade, which turns out messy. In such a mower, it’s preferred you use a siphon because the task is simple.

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4. Adding Oil

Once the oil level is below the upper level on the dipstick or after emptying the tank, you must add it. Take a funnel or dipstick tube and add the oil.

While adding oil, remember to add a little at a time and keep rechecking. Fill the oil until it reaches the upper mark of the dipstick.

Avoid adding too much oil at once because it will make the dipstick read more than the full mark. Remember that overfilling is usually an error, and it can hurt your lawn mower engine.

However, too much oil is better than having too low oil – although it will lead to some problems.

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Symptoms for too much oil:

  • Oil leaking from the muffler
  • No start
  • Starts and stalls
  • Pull cord hard to pull
  • General oil leaks
  • It runs with much white smoke

Lawn Mower Oil Types

There are different grades of motor oil, which depend on the viscosity and their behavior at different temperatures. Most lawn mowers are four-stroke engines, thus burning straight gasoline from the service station pump.

However, it requires motor oil addition to the crankcase. The highly recommended motor oil grade for lawn mowers is 10W30, but the manual will tell the exact grade required.

All brands of oils suitable for use in cars or trucks can work fine with the lawn mower. But these oils have a service rating which is included in viscosity. So, pick an oil designated as SG, SF, SJ, SH, or higher.

Also read: Can I use 10w30 car oil in my lawn mower

Here are the types of oils:

1. Single Grade Oil

This is a type of oil without additives that change its viscosity. The oil is used for higher temperatures (100 degrees).

2. Multi-Grade Oil

This type of oil has additives for better viscosity. It’s also suitable for different temperature ranges.

3. Synthetic Blend Oil

This is a mixture of synthetic and regular oil with additives. It can help in performing at colder temperatures rather than the cost of synthetic oil.

4. Full Synthetic Oil

Full synthetic oil refers to an artificial type of oil created for lubrication and other range of benefits. It’s recommended for use in commercial and high-performing engines.

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FAQ: How to Know If Mower Needs Oil

What happens when the lawn mower has low oil?

Oil is like the lifeblood of a lawn mower engine. When the engine runs without oil, high friction is created inside the engine, leading to overheating and fusion of the pistons.

That causes the engine to seize, which is irreversible damage.
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How often should I put oil in my lawn mower?

If the lawn mower is new, you should replace or change the oil after the first use – after five hours of running.

With an existing push mower, it’s recommended you change after 50 hours or end of each season.

What happens when I don’t change the oil in my mower?

Generally, while working with a lawn mower, the oil becomes dirty and breaks down. It loses its cooling effect and detergents leading to significant damage to the mower engine.

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Fresh engine oil allows the mower to reach the peak of its performance. An engine has many parts moving at high speed; they tend to cause friction, thus producing more heat.

It is recommended to change your engine mower oil regularly for proper lubrication and heat reduction.

If you’re looking at how to know if mower needs oil, check above for ways of checking your oil level and quality. So, you will change your oil at the right time to improve the efficiency of the engine.  

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