How to Change Lawn Mower Oil

Learn how to change the oil with this quick & detailed video from Briggs & Stratton for critical small engine maintenance to keep cutting the grass all summer!

1:57 – Tipping to Drain the Oil
3:03 – Using the Oil Drain Plug
4:17 – Clean-Up During Oil Change
5:00 – Find a Dealer for More Support

Either after the first five hours of use or once each season, it will be necessary to change the oil on your lawn mower. Luckily, Briggs & Stratton makes small engine maintenance easy and fun. First start with the basics, you will need to identify how to drain the oil on your lawn mower which can be done through the dipstick tube, drain plug or with an oil extractor tool.

From there, it’s time to drain the oil:
-Run the lawn mower engine for 15 minutes to warm up the oil (imperative to remove all dirty debris from engine)
-Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire
-Drain the gas from the mower OR place a plastic sandwich bag over the gas tank and screw the cap on to prevent leaks
-Tilt the engine with air filter & spark plug side up and dipstick tube towards the pan to drain the oil

It’s important to note that some engines are manufactured with an oil drain enabling you to use just an oil drain pan underneath the mower. Make sure the drain is clear from debris, the belt guard or mower blades before draining by removing the oil drain plug.

Filling the oil tank is easy and can be done by using the operator’s manual to choose the best oil for your engine and then filling and checking the oil level. Refer to the links below for resources on how to use the dipstick to check the oil level, buy mower oil and/or locate the lawnmower manual.

Talk to a Briggs & Stratton Dealer ( in your area if your engine leaks oil or smokes excessively.

For more information, check out this FAQ:

Lawn Mower Oil – 48 FL. OZ. –
Synthetic Oil – 32 FL. OZ. –
Oil Removal Kit –

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21 thoughts on “How to Change Lawn Mower Oil

  1. Need also tips on how to drain the gas tank if need be, plus what to use to raise the mower for safe access to the drain plug.

  2. Bought a $800 briggs and Stratton generator that was broken out of the box. Called customer service and they all but laughed at me, kept me on the hook for 3 hours. All to find out I would need to buy the part to fix it. IT WAS BROKEN OUT OF THE BOX, they sell 3 year warrantys that don’t cover anything also

  3. Is there a such thing as putting to much oil in the lawnmower? Mines will not start. I did use carb spray it did start after, but immediately shut off. but it's oil leaking the red body. please help!!

  4. If your going to disconnect the spark plug immediately after use…. please use common sense and use a rag or gloves while disconnecting it….. don't be an idiot

  5. I remember a customer brought his lawn tractor with an 18hp twin B&S engine to my shop for a tune-up and repairs. I pulled the dipstick to check the crankcase oil level and condition of the oil. It was thick and black. So I asked him if he wanted the oil changed, too. He said, "What, you mean you're supposed to change the oil in these things?" And I said, "yeah, they're just like car engines. They need the oil changed regularly with fresh oil." Anyway, when I had the tractor on my repair table, I removed the oil drain plug, and nothing came out. I ran a long screwdriver in the drain hole, and it had thick, sludgy oil on it. So I removed the engine from the tractor and removed oil sump from the engine, and had to use a putty knife to literally scrape the "sludgy tar" from the oil sump! I've never seen oil this thick before, and I don't know how the engine kept internally lubricated when it ran! I tell ya, some people know absolutely NOTHING about engines!

  6. Most owner's today never change their oil, heck they never maintain their mower to begin with.  They will buy a new lawnmower every year though LOL.

  7. I found this on your site -> PLEASE NOTE: Vertical shaft engines, Series 300 to 550, may not feature a bottom oil drain as shown above. If this is the case, oil must be poured out of the oil fill tube as outlined in your engine Operator's Manual.

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