Thursday, June 09, 2005

How Do I Change The Oil?

A little home mantainence goes a long way with your Snapper. Knowing when and how to change the oil and air filter is MANDITORY ! Reading your owners manual should be too but here it is in the blogger nutshell....

If you buy a new mower you should change the oil sooner than normal the first time.... after about 5 hours of use. After that change it when ....

  • It is cloudy or darkened enough that the little hatch marks are not easily seen on the dipstick. This may be sooner than your owner's manual says to do it. If it never gets cloudy or darkened change it when the manual says to anyhow... It is a set amount of hours usually around 20. And if your mower is rarely used... change it at least one time a season. I have to change mine 2 times in a season and most mower owners should.

Use a good quality oil. Your owners manual gets technical with the SE, SC, etc codes on the oil bottles but the rule of thumb in small, air cooled engines like the Snapper riders and walk mowers goes like this........

  • BRIGGS & STRATTON Engines use 30WT oil - 10W-30 is acceptable in cold conditions.
  • KAWASAKI Engines use 30T oil - 10W-30 is aceptable just like it is for Briggs.
  • KOHLER Engines use either 30WT or 10W-30 depending on whether you have a newer style Kohler "Command", "Courage", or "Magnum" engine. Consult your manual.

Be carefull not overfill the engine with oil. If you fill it past the "F" of "FULL" you should drain a little before you start it. An overfilled, "out of level" engine will smoke like a freight train and scare the fire out of you! Riders usually take between one and two quarts of oil while walk mowers hold less than one quart.

Please use a good of quality of oil. Cheap oil isn't so cheap when your engine is worn out!

Changing the oil requires that you remove a drain plug or release a valve so that the old oil can run out.... or you can buy a Briggs & Stratton siphon "pump". They are worth their weight in gold !

Walk mowers have a drain plug under the mowing deck base. It may be square or have a a hex head sank into it. It will be near the center of the engine underneath.

Riding mower engines sometimes have a small square plug near the end of the dipstick housing. Newer models may have a "quick release" valve. It screws into the engine near the bottom of the dipstick. All you must do to operate one of these is to twist it and let the oil run through a tube.

Dispose of the old oil properly, will ya?

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