Outdoor Equipment Advice

How Much Oil Does a Lawn Mower Take?

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Aside from gasoline, another essential liquid you must use in your mower is engine or motor oil. This helps keep the various parts of the mower functioning properly.

Failure to add adequate oil to your mower’s engine will cause overheating. In some cases, the engine’s gears grind against each other, which causes irreparable damage.

On the other hand, too much oil will cause some of it to overflow to the crankcase. This results in white smoke coming out of the exhaust and difficulty starting your mower’s engine.

To avoid this, you need to learn how much oil does a lawn mower take. Don’t worry. We’ll help you out on this one.

How Much Oil Does a Lawn Mower Take?

There are various kinds of lawnmowers, which means the size of their engines also differs. However, most of them generally fall under two categories. Here are the two common types of lawnmowers and how much oil you need for them.

Walk-Behind Lawnmowers

This type of lawnmower is commonly used in smaller yards. It has four wheels connected to the chassis on which the engine sits. A handle runs upward from the chassis, and the user needs to push the equipment when cutting grass, hence the name “walk-behind” lawnmower.

The engines in walk-behind lawnmowers are smaller than riding lawnmowers. This means you only need about 15 to 18 ounces of an engine or motor oil. This is around 440 to 530 in milliliters.

Make sure that you replace the oil every 50 hours of mowing. If you don’t use the equipment often, replace it after a year.

Riding Lawnmowers

Riding lawnmowers are exactly what the name suggests. Instead of pushing the mower with the handle, this equipment requires you to drive it like a car. This means it needs larger amounts of gasoline compared to walk-behind lawnmowers.

Additionally, riding lawnmowers have bigger engines. That’s why you need to prepare about 48 to 64 ounces of an engine or motor oil, which is equivalent to 1.4 to 1.8 milliliters.

Replacing the oil every 100 hours of use keeps the engine in great condition. On the other hand, not using your mower regularly still requires you to change the oil annually.

How to Change Your Lawn Mower’s Engine Oil

Now that you know how much oil you need for your lawnmower, allow us to teach you how to apply it to your equipment.

Replacing your mower’s engine oil is rather easy. You just need to follow these steps.


The first thing you want to do is ensure that everything you need for this task is ready. Before you remove or replace anything in your mower, prepare these things first.

  • Engine Warm Up

The oil inside your engine will most likely harden if you haven’t used it for a while. This makes it harder to drain the mower because the oil is not flowing freely. Warm up the engine by letting it run for a few minutes for the oil to circulate.

  • Cleaning

Once the oil has circulated the different parts of your mower’s engine, let it cool down for 10 minutes. While waiting, grab a clean cloth and wipe it over the area you will be working on.

  • Oil Pan

After warming up and cleaning your mower, grab an oil pan and place it beside your mower. This is where you will drain the old oil sitting inside your mower.

Drain Old Oil

After finishing the first few steps, it’s time to remove the old oil. Look for the oil fill cap in your mower’s engine and remove it. Tilt the mower to its side to draw the oil out of the engine and into the oil pan you prepared earlier.

It’s best to keep the mower in this position for a few minutes to guarantee that all oil flows out of the engine. The more oil you drain out of your mower, the better it’ll run.

how much oil does a lawn mower take

Replace Filter

While most lawnmowers do not have oil filters, those that have them need replacement. The oil filter keeps dust, debris, and other large particles from mixing with the oil. If your mower has this, here’s what you need to do.

  • Unscrew

Before you unscrew the oil filter, keep in mind that a small amount of oil is still resting on it. Grab a small container that can fit under the oil filter to prevent it from spilling.

Rotate the filter counter-clockwise once the container is in place to unscrew it and let the remaining oil drip.

  • Coating

Grab your replacement filter and coat the outer lip with oil. This ensures that it doesn’t grind against the other parts of the engine, and it seals tightly.

  • New Filter Installation

After applying the coating, screw the filter into place until you reach the plate of the seal. Give it a little additional twist to ensure that it’s tightly in place.


After replacing the filter, or if your mower doesn’t have this, you may proceed with refilling the engine oil. Every mower includes a dipstick which is sometimes connected to the oil cap. This indicates the level of oil inside the engine.

You will need this dipstick to ensure that you apply the right amount of oil to your mower. Here’s how you can do that.

  • Gradual Pouring

Check the amount of oil your mower needs using the manual or the quick guide we made above. Pour the oil into the engine gradually.

Regularly check the dipstick to know how much oil you’ve already poured onto the engine. Keep adding the oil until you’ve reached the “full” indicator.

  • Wipe the Engine and Mower

Since you’re already down there, take the extra measure of giving your mower and its engine a general wipe down. Make sure that you wipe away oil that might have spilled while you’re refilling the engine.

Final Thoughts

Your mower is one of your best companions in maintaining your home. However, you need to ensure that you know how to take care of it too.

Learning how much oil does a lawn mower take is just one of the many tasks you need to do to extend this equipment’s life span.

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