How to Change Lawn Mower Oil & Oil Filters

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Learn how to change the oil and the oil filter on a Toro TimeCutter Zero Turn riding lawn mower with this instructional video from Toro. Regular lawn mower maintenance is important to keep your lawn mower performing at its best.

This video provides step by step instructions that will teach you how to change the oil, check the oil and maintain the oil filter on the line of a Toro TimeCutter Zero-Turn mower.

Video Transcript:

What’s the single most important thing you can do for your Zero Turn Mower? Change your engine oil.

Change Your Engine Oil

The truth is engine oil doesn’t last forever. The heat, dirt and agitated air in your engines crankcase gradually make the oil dark and dirty. Over time, oil loses the ability to coat and protect vital engine parts. That’s why Toro recommends changing the engine oil in your Zero Turn Mower after 100 hours of operation and after the first five hours for new mowers. The procedure varies from mower to mower so check your owner’s manual for all the details including important safety information. Here are the basics:

  1. Run your engine for five minutes or more. This warms the oil so that it drains easier and stirs up any debris from the bottom of the engine so it comes out with the old oil.
  2. Park the machine so that the drain side is slightly lower than the other side. This will help make sure the oil drains completely.
  3. Shut off the engine and verify that the blade control switch is off.
  4. Then, drain the oil. To do this you’ll need an oil pan and you might want to lay down cardboard to catch any spills.
  5. Locate the drain plug on the side of the engine. If necessary, attach a short length of the hose for drainage.
  6. Open the plug and drain the oil.

Change Your Engine Oil Filter

This is also the time to change your engine oil filter. The filter traps a lot of impurities so it’s a good idea to replace it whenever you change your oil.

  1. Remove the old filter either by hand or with a filter wrench. That old filter holds a fair amount of oil so use your drain pan and try not to spill.
  2. Once the old filter is off, wipe any excess oil off the engine opening with a clean cloth.
  3. Then apply a thin layer of clean oil to the new filters gasket and carefully screw it on.
  4. Turn the filter clockwise till the gasket contacts the engine.
  5. Then tighten it an additional three-quarters of a turn but don’t over tighten it.
  6. Wipe around the dipstick to get rid of any dirt that might fall in the filler hole.
  7. Then take it out and add oil. The viscosity of the oil you use depends on the outdoor temperature range.
  8. Check your manual or the My Toro App for details. Toro recommends using Toro engine oil for all our mowers. This oil has been tested and approved by Toro’s engineers and it meets or exceeds the engine manufacturer specifications.
  9. Slowly pour about 80% of the oil into the filler tube. Then check the oil level with the dipstick and carefully add more oil as necessary to bring it to the full mark.

That’s all there is to it. If you keep your engine oil clean, your mower will thank you.