Woman checking for excess oil in a lawn mower.

How To Remove Excess Oil From Lawn Mower

4 minutes

Excess oil in a lawn mower can damage the engine if not maintained properly. Depending on how severe the damage is, it can cost a lot of money and time. So, knowing how to remove excess oil from a lawn mower can help you to avoid this.

How Can There Be Excess Oil In A Lawn Mower?

A closeup of a lawn mower being filled with oil.
Overfilling is the main way to end up with excess oil in a lawn mower.

Most lawn mowers will use oil to keep the engine and parts lubricated. The only exception will be electric lawn mowers, but even some of them use oil. How does excess oil end up in a lawn mower though?

The main way for excess oil to end up in a lawn mower is by accidentally overfilling the crankcase. You only want to fill a lawn mower’s crankcase to a certain level. Going over can cause serious problems for your lawn mower.

How will you know if your lawn mower has excess oil though?

Symptoms Of Excess Oil In A Lawn Mower

If you have overfilled your lawn mower, you may face some performance drops in your lawn mower. By observing these situations, you can ensure whether you have overfilling issues or not.

Here are some possible symptoms of excess oil in a lawn mower:

  1. The engine can overheat.
  2. The engine can blow smoke and it may stop running.
  3. There may be oil leaking in the lawn mower.
  4. White smoke may be coming from the muffler.
  5. Performing an oil level check with the dipstick shows an oil level that’s too high.

Please note that the above list is not every possible problem though. Every lawn mower is a little different, so excess oil can cause different problems for different lawn mowers. In general, if your lawn mower is acting differently than normal, it’s time to figure out what it is, whether that’s excess oil or something else.

If the problem is excess oil though, what can you do about it?

How To Remove Excess Oil From A Lawn Mower

This may seem obvious, but draining the oil is the best way to solve your excess oil problem. This will only work though if significant harm hasn’t already been caused because of the excess oil. Even if harm has been caused, it’s still important to drain the excess oil, but it may not be the only thing you need to do.

Below you’ll find the steps needed to remove excess oil from a lawn mower. Let’s start with cleaning the crankcase.

1. Clean The Crankcase

Cleaning the crankcase with a rag of some kind helps prevent dirt or other things from getting into the oil. Clean oil is important for a well-performing lawn mower.

2. Remove The Excess Oil

Depending on the type of lawn mower you have, removing the excess oil can be done in different ways. One way is to use an extraction tool. These are also called oil pumps. They can be expensive, but may end up being less expensive than a lawn mower ruined with excess oil.

Another way is to tilt your lawn mower on its side with the carburetor facing up. In some lawn mower types, this will allow the excess oil to safely flow out into a drain pan.

One more way is that some lawn mowers, especially bigger ones, will have plugs that you can remove to let the oil drain out.

Whatever method you choose or have to use, it’s important to do this process safely. Your owner’s manual should have some instructions you can follow, if you’re unsure as to how to proceed.

It’s also worth noting that it might be easier to simply drain all the oil and replace it with new oil. Although you don’t have to do this, doing so might be helpful if the oil is older.

Is There A Way To Avoid Excess Oil In A Lawn Mower?

In the end, the best way to avoid excess oil in a lawn mower is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Thankfully, lawn mowers come with dipsticks that help make this super easy to do.

After you’re done filling up the crankcase, use the dipstick to check the oil level. A good oil level should be between the full and add markers on the dipstick. If it’s anywhere else, then there’s either not enough oil or too much.

In Conclusion

Thankfully, when it comes to how to remove excess oil from a lawn mower, it’s not a complicated job. Even preventing excess oil is an easy job.

What about you though? What are some lawn mower maintenance jobs you thought were going to be super tough but ended up being incredibly easy? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!