Do You Need to Lubricate Your Lawnmower?


After getting a classy lawnmower, you will want it to function effectively. And big part of having your mower perform at its peak is lubricating its various moving parts. There is a lot of confusion out there regarding whether or not certain parts need to be lubricated. 

Some people even question if lubricating a lawnmower is necessary at all (“Never did it, still works fine!”). But what’s the truth? 

Yes, a lawnmower needs to be lubricated. Like all machines with joints, it also needs oil and grease to work smoothly. Apart from that, oil plays a significant role in preventing friction within the engine. 

Read on to learn more about why lubricating your mower is essential, choosing the best type of oil, and how often you should do it. 

Why Lubricating Your Mower is Important

A lot of homeowners deliberately avoid lubricating their lawnmowers. Said lawnmowers often malfunction because of this. 

So what does a lubricant do? A lubricant:

Prevents Friction

Joints of moving parts are designed to run correctly when greased with oil. Whenever the metals contact other metals, they cause friction. Over time, this friction will damage your mower, significantly reducing the lifespan of its various parts. 

Repairing damaged parts is usually expensive. This is why lubrication can go a long way in increasing the performance and longevity of a mower. 

Protects the Machine

When you take the lawnmower for servicing, you will notice that one of the first thing they check is whether it gets adequate lubrication. 

The oil/grease acts as a protective layer to safeguard the mower from rust, corrosive effects, water, etc. It also serves as a conduit that stops contaminants from reaching the mower’s system. 

Improves Lifespan and the Efficiency of the Machine

Lubrication majorly reduces the potential factors that could lead to failures and breakdowns. After a lubricant has performed everything mentioned above, the lawnmower becomes strong and works as if it is new. It becomes fast, effective, and consistent (unless it has other issues). 

Reduces Costs Associated with Maintenance

After lubrication, a lawnmower becomes more reliable and runs even longer. It will not be affected as much by heat, contaminants, corrosive substances, and normal wear and tear will also be reduced. Because of this, it’s easy to see how you can cut down on maintenance costs just by keeping your mower lubricated. 

How Do I Know If My Lawnmower Needs Oil?

Like with your car, you should always (in theory…) check the oil level of your lawnmower before you start operating it. However, you might forget to confirm the oil level from time to time. When this happens, you should know how to determine if your mower needs oil. 

Here a number of telltale signs showing that your lawnmower needs oil:

  • The lawnmower produces a lot of smoke: If your lawnmower has a low oil level it causes a lot of friction within the engine, resulting in smoke.
  • Noise: When your mower has low or no oil, it will produce knocking or rough sounds when you start it. The best course of action is to switch it off and inspect it to determine what the issue is.  

Running a lawnmower without oil can cause damage to your mower’s engine and internal parts. Therefore, always check the oil dipstick before you start mowing and add oil if the level is low. 

How Often Should You Lubricate Your Mower?

The frequency should depend on how often you use your lawnmower. For instance, commercial mowers that cut large areas need to be lubricated at least once a day. 

For a normal lawnmower, the wheels should be greased every month or so and also at the start of each mowing season. 

Oil should be changed before each mowing season, or after 40-50 hours of usage.

Choosing the Best Oil for Your Mower

Selecting the proper lubricant for a particular mower can be challenging and requires a lot of research if you are new to lawnmowers. Nobody wants to purchase substandard oil. However, there are different grades of oils available in today’s market and each of them is suited for a particular machine. 

While people believe that car engine oils work fine in mowers, this isn’t always the case. Always go for oil that is specifically designed for lawnmowers. Personally, I usually go for the oil sold by the mower’s manufacturer (if they have such a product), even if it is more expensive. 

Other than that, it is best to follow the directions in the user’s manual. If you no longer have it, you can always check the recommendations on the manufacturer’s website, or ask an employee in your local lawnmower shop for advice. 

Greasing Your Lawnmower 

Mowers come in different types, and they do not necessarily have the same features. Regardless, all of their wheels need to be greased.

To lubricate your mower’s wheels, detach the wheels from the mower. According to Advanced Engine Tech, using a grease gun make the process simpler. Make sure that you have disconnected the power supply (or spark plug) before proceeding. 

The detailed process is beyond the scope of this article, but if you are curious you can check out the article I linked above. 

A lawnmower can be a significant investment – you need to be careful with anything that gets onto its surface. Most lawnmower owners make the mistake of going for a particular grease because it is “high quality”. That should not be the case. Some have lithium with molybdenum disulfide, while some contain plain lithium.

Hence, it is crucial to always check the manufacturer’s recommendation before buying. Lubricated wheels increase speed and also make the wheel’s lifespan a lot longer. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, lubricating a mower is a fast and straightforward process. You need to regularly lubricate your lawnmower to prevent it from any potential damage. In addition to other standard lawn maintenance practices, doing this regularly will keep the mower in an optimal working condition. 

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!

Recent Posts