Do You Need to Lubricate Your Lawnmower?

It’s no secret that a well-maintained lawnmower makes cutting your lawn an easy, enjoyable job. Keeping it clean and free of grass buildup are the main tasks to do after each use, but do you really need to lubricate your lawnmower all that often?

Without proper lubrication, your lawnmower is much more likely to break down due to the wear and tear of any moving parts. The motor is the most important part to keep lubricated along with the wheels, blade, and cables.

It’s not always easy to remember everything you need to do, particularly if you’ve lost the user manual! But once you know what to do it only takes a few minutes to check everything each time you use your lawnmower. 

Keep reading to quickly find out what the most important steps are to keep your machine running smoothly.

Why Is Lubrication Important For A Lawnmower?

Lawnmowers have many moving parts that rub against each other, causing friction and heat, which can eventually lead to wear and damage. 

Lubricants such as oil and grease reduce this friction by forming a barrier between the moving parts, which minimizes heat and wear and helps your mower last longer.

If you neglect to check oil levels and regularly lubricate your mower, not only will it become less efficient, but it can also end up damaged beyond economical repair. For instance, a lack of oil in the engine sump can cause it to quickly overheat when in use.

The heat buildup can cause the metal parts in the engine to warp or crack, eventually leading to complete engine failure and costly replacement. 

Regular lubrication is essential for maintaining the overall health and performance of your lawnmower. 

Benefits of Regular Lubrication 

  • Reduces friction and wear – As I mentioned above, lubrication helps to reduce friction and wear on the lawnmower’s moving parts, leading to increased lifespan and efficiency. 
  • Prevents corrosion – Many lubricants also have anti-corrosion properties, which can prevent rust and keep the machine looking and working like new.
  • Helps maintain engine performance – The engine is the heart of the lawnmower, and regular lubrication can help to ensure that it runs smoothly, quietly, and efficiently, leading to better overall performance. 
  • Identify problems early – Regular lubrication allows you to inspect the lawnmower’s parts and identify any potential problems early on. This allows for timely repairs and prevents more significant damage.

What Are The Lubrication Points on a Lawnmower?

Lawnmowers have several lubrication points that you need to pay attention to, which include the following: 

  1. Engine Oil – The engine oil is what lubricates the engine’s moving parts and ensures that they work correctly. Checking levels and regular oil changes are the best ways to ensure that the engine remains well-lubricated. I have also written about the dangers of running your mower without oil here.
  2. Blade – The lawnmower’s blade is another critical area that requires lubrication. The blade spins at high speed, cutting through the grass. Applying a thin film of oil to the blade ensures that it remains sharp and stops grass cuttings from sticking to it. 
  3. Wheels – The wheels of the lawn mower also require lubrication. The bearings and axles need to be lubricated to ensure that they rotate freely and that the machine moves smoothly over the grass. 
  4. Control Cable – Used to stop the engine when the bail lever is released, the control cable needs to be lubricated to make sure it doesn’t stick (which usually happens when you most need it!). 
  5. Transmission – Self-propelled mowers also have a transmission that will often need maintenance. If it’s a sealed unit it will most likely use the same oil as the engine but check to see if there are any external grease points.
  6. Drive Cable – Only found on a self-driven machine, the drive cable engages the transmission to drive it forward. Keep this well-oiled to prevent it from sticking which can be dangerous.

How To Check The Oil Level

Checking your lawn mower’s oil level is one of the most important jobs to do every time you use it. It’s an essential procedure that ensures your equipment is running safely and smoothly. To check the oil level correctly, just follow the following steps:

Step 1: Bring the lawnmower to a level surface

Step 2: Locate the oil dipstick.

Step 3: Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean.

Step 4: Insert the dipstick back into the engine and then remove it.

Step 5: Check the oil level. If the level is too low, top it up with the correct grade oil to the recommended level.

You can also check out this video below to see how it’s done: 

What Happens If You Don’t Lubricate Your Mower? 

Neglecting the lubrication needs of your lawnmower can result in several problems, as highlighted below: 

  • Oil sludge buildup – Changing the oil regularly prevents oil sludge buildup, which can reduce the engine’s efficiency and shorten the mower’s overall lifespan. 
  • Rough engine sounds or vibration – A lack of lubrication can lead to harsh engine sounds or vibration, indicating that the machine is not performing optimally. 
  • Blade damage – An unlubricated blade can clog up with grass clippings making it more likely to jam. This can also make it more difficult for the cut grass to eject properly into the collection bag.
  • Transmission issues – A failure to lubricate the transmission can result in significant damage that can result in costly repairs or replacements. 
  • Stickly cables – If you don’t oil the control and drive cable mechanisms regularly, this can cause them to stick and can be dangerous if you’re unable to stop the machine.


I hope you’ve found my article on why proper lubrication of your lawnmower is essential for it to work correctly and last longer helpful. 

Familiarize yourself with the lubrication points on your lawnmower to make the job easier and take note of the right oils and greases to use as this will help you save both time and money in the long run. 

Neglecting these tasks can result in significant problems, including reduced efficiency, increased wear and tear, and costly repairs or replacements. But regular lubrication will significantly extend your mower’s life, ensuring that it serves you well for years to come.

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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