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How to change oil in your riding mower

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Changing the oil in your riding lawn mower will help maximize its lifespan and performance.  Just as you should regularly change the oil in your car, you should change your mower oil after every 50 hours of use.

Before you change the oil in your lawn mower, refer to you operator's manual to find out what type and amount of oil you need to refill your engine.  If your engine has an oil filter, also check your lawn mower's manual to see which replacement is right for your machine.  With many riding lawn mowers, a plastic oil-drain sleeve is packed with the engine's manual.  You can use this sleeve to drain the oil from the engine's crankcase.

Keep in mind that the instructions for changing the oil in your lawn mower model may be slightly different.

Step 1: Put the machine on a flat surface

Begin by placing the riding lawn mower on a flat, level surface.  If it's been running, let it cool down before you change the mower oil.

Step 2: Disconnect the spark plug wire

Disconnect the spark plug wire(s) to prevent unintentional starting.

Step 3: Wipe off the area around the oil drain

Clean any debris around the oil fill and drain area.

Step 4: Drain the oil from your riding lawn mower

To drain the oil, you can use the Arnold Siphon Pump.

Step 5: Remove the dipstick

Remove the dipstick from the oil fill tube, and use a cloth to wipe it clean.  This will allow the oil to drain.

Step 6: Position a basin to catch the draining oil

Place a container with a capacity of no less than 64 ounces, under the oil-drain sleeve, or position it to catch the oil from the Arnold Siphon Pump.

Step 7: Drain the mower oil

Remove the drain plug, and drain the oil into the container.  When the oil stops dripping, replace the drain plug.  Remove the drain sleeve or Arnold Siphon Pump.

Step 8: Remove the oil filter

If the unit is equipped with an oil filter, remove and dispose of it properly.  Check your operator's manual to find out which oil filter is right for your riding lawn mower's engine.  For best results, purchase a genuine factory filter.

Step 9: Install a new oil filter

To provide the proper seal, lightly coat the new oil filter's gasket with fresh clean engine oil before installing it. Install the oil filter by hand until the gasket touches the oil filter adapter.  Then, tighten the filter.  Check your owner's manual for further instructions on tightening the filter properly.

Step 10: Complete your lawn mower oil change

With the oil drained and the new filter in place, it's time to fill your riding lawn mower with oil.  Make sure to use the exact type and amount specified in your owner's manual.  Do not overfill, as this can cause excessive smoking, as well as harm to the engine.

Step 11: Let your riding lawn mower sit for a couple minutes

Let your riding lawn mower sit for one to two minutes.  Make sure oil is not leaking from around the filter.

Step 12: Check the oil level with the dipstick

Replace and tighten the dipstick.  Then, remove the dipstick and check the oil level.  It should be at the top of the "full" indicator on the dipstick.

Step 13:  Replace the dipstick

Replace and tighten the dipstick. 

Step 14: Clean up

After you change your mower oil, wipe up any spilled oil on the machine or floor.

Step 15: Replace the spark plug wire

When you've finished changing the oil in your lawn mower, reconnect the spark plug wire(s). If  you need to replace any other riding mower parts, Arnold has you covered.


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