How to Drain Oil Out of a Lawn Mower

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Things You'll Need

  • Container

  • Adjustable wrench

Drain old oil from a lawn mower as part of routine maintenance. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the drain plug.

Motor oil is essential to the operation of a lawn mower. Oil lubricates the moving parts of a mower engine so that it functions properly. An engine without sufficient oil will overheat from friction and lock up, ruining the lawn mower engine. Changing the lawn mower engine's oil at regular intervals is part of the basic routine maintenance of a mower. An oil change involves draining used oil from the mower so new oil can be added. Take the time to properly drain the oil from a lawn mower engine to hep prolong the useful life of the mower.

Riding Mower

Step 1

Park the riding lawn mower on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake securely and place the mower in gear to prevent rolling.

Step 2

Locate the oil drain pipe on the side of the riding mower near the bottom of the mower engine. Position a container on the ground to collect the old oil from the mower.

Step 3

Loosen the cap on the oil drain pipe with an adjustable wrench. Remove the cap to allow the old oil to drain from the mower engine and into the container on the ground. Or, on certain types of mowers, turn a valve cap on the end of the drain pipe to allow oil to drain from the mower engine.

Step 4

Allow sufficient time for as much of the old engine oil as possible to drain from the mower. Place the cap back on the oil drain pipe and secure it with an adjustable wrench, or turn the drain valve, to close the drain pipe.

Walk-Behind Mower

Step 1

Position a walk-behind mower on a level surface.

Step 2

Place a container to collect oil on the ground beside the mower. Position the container so that it is on the same side as the oil fill tube.

Step 3

Remove the dipstick from the oil fill tube.

Step 4

Tilt the mower toward the container until oil begins to drain from the top of the oil fill tube into the container. Tipping the mower so that the carburetor is on the bottom will cause the carburetor to flood, potentially damaging the engine.

Step 5

Hold the mower and allow as much of the old oil as possible to drain from the mower. Lower the mower back to the ground when the old oil has drained.


Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.