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How to Change the Engine Oil in Your Lawn Tractor
Engine oil cools and lubricates the engine of your lawn tractor. Knowing how to change the engine oil in your lawn tractor can save you time, money and increase performance for the life of your tractor. It only takes a few minutes, so don’t put it off.
Engine oil cools and lubricates the engine of your lawn tractor. Changing the oil is one of the best things you can do to ensure a long life for your lawn tractor. It only takes a few minutes, so don’t put it off.
Under normal conditions, change the oil after every 25 hours of use if your lawn tractor (or riding lawn mower) doesn’t have an oil filter. If it does have one, do an oil change after 50 hours. You might need to change the oil more often in some environments. At a minimum, change it once a year. Inspect the oil when you check the level before each use; if the oil is black, it’s time to change it.
1. Check your owner’s manual for the oil capacity of the engine and then choose the appropriate API oil for the season. For most models, use SAE 30 if temperatures until the next oil change will be above freezing, and SW-30 if temperatures will be below freezing.
2. Oil drains fastest and most completely when warm, so either mow the lawn first or run the lawn tractor for a few minutes. Then park the lawn tractor on a level, paved surface, preferably away from trees or other sources of debris that could fall into the engine. Don’t park it where spilled oil could seep into the soil or drain into sewers. Shut off the engine and remove the key.
3. Wipe the tractor hood clean, and then open the hood and wipe dirt and grass off the engine cover and screen.
4. Place a collection pan large enough to hold 3 quarts of oil under the drain valve. Put a sheet of cardboard or large rag under the pan to catch any drips.
5. Uncap the drain valve. If your lawn tractor has a drain tube, push it onto the opening. Put the opposite end of the drain tube into the collection pan.
6. Push in the valve and turn it counterclockwise to unlock it, then pull it out about 1/4 inch. The oil will start draining through the tube.
7. Wait for the oil to drain completely — about 5 to 10 minutes, if the oil is warm. Push in the drain valve to close it and then turn it clockwise to lock it. Remove the drain tube and put the cap on the valve.
8. If your engine has an oil filter, remove it after the oil has drained. Pour the oil from the filter into the collection container and discard the old filter. Scratch the date and hours of tractor use on the new filter and then lubricate the filter’s gasket with clean oil. Attach the oil filter, taking care not to cross-thread it. When the gasket meets the casing, turn the filter another half turn by hand. Don’t overtighten and don’t use a wrench to tighten it.
9. Remove the dipstick and carefully pour the specified engine oil through the dipstick tube. To check whether you’ve added enough, remove and wipe off the dipstick, reinsert it and push it firmly into place. Remove the dipstick and check the oil line; it should be at, but not over, the Full line.
10. Take the used oil to a service station or other approved disposal site. Don’t pour it down the drain or put it in the trash. Ever.