Changing Your Lawn Mower Oil: 3 Common Questions Answered

When it comes to push mowers, our Answer Center gets a lot of inquiries about how to change oil and what type of lawn mower oil to use. As we near the end of the season, questions about when to change your oil start to pop up so I thought it would be a good time to address them here.

When to Change the Oil in Your Lawn Mower

When should I change the oil in my lawn mower: before spring or at the end of the season? 

We recommend changing your oil at the end of the season. Doing so will lubricate and coat the engine with fresh oil that contains rust inhibitors, which will help extend the life of the engine and your mower. You should also change the oil filter in your small engine, if necessary.

What are the risks of not changing the oil in my lawn mower before storage? 

Not changing the oil at the end of the season allows deposits to settle during the offseason. If you forget to change the oil in the fall and realize it in the spring, don’t lose too much sleep as the effects of used oil sitting in your crankcase off season are very minor.  Just proceed with the oil change according to the instructions in your operators manual before first use, and you should be fine.

I’ve read that some people change oil at both the end and beginning of the season. Is this necessary?

This comes down to personal preference, however oil is stable enough to last through the off-season storage and any  minor condensation will be burned off quickly during the first use. Changing the oil as part of your winter lawn mower storage preparation at the end of the season is enough to have you ready to go for spring.

Check out our FAQs regarding checking and changing small engine oil, find lawn mower oil recommendations and locate a dealer where you can recycle oil.