4 Signs that Indicate Your Lawn Mower Is Low on Oil

By Alice Jane

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Lawn mowers are necessary equipment for many homeowners to maintain their yards. Like any machine with moving parts, lawn mowers require oil to function correctly. If a lawn mower is low on oil, it can cause the engine to seize up, which can be costly to repair. Homeowners should regularly check their lawn mower’s oil level and top it off if necessary.

Here are the 4 signs that indicate your lawn mower is low on oil.

  1. The engine is making a lot of noise
  2. The engine overheating
  3. Lawn mowers start smoking
  4. Mower stop running

Let’s dive into this.

Sign #1: The Engine is Making Unusual Noises

When the lawn mower oil level is low, it makes a knocking noise or other bad sounds. If the noise was caused by inadequate or no oil, check the dipstick and refill it. To prevent damage, you may shut down your lawn mower immediately.

Expert tip: Not every time lawn mower makes noise for the no oil or low oil. Sometimes it is caused by dirty air filters and other things. And if you don’t find the exact solution get an expert helps.

Sign #2: The Lawn Mower is Overheating

Oil helps to reduce the friction between engine moving parts and makes the engine cool.

But if the oil level is low, the engine doesn’t get enough lubricant to reduce the fraction that causes overheating issues. Remember that if your machine runs on low oil for a long time, it will destroy the engine inside.

Expert tips: Overheating the engine melts the plastics and other seals that decrease engine longevity.

Sign #3: Lawn Mowers Start Black Smoking

A lawn mower starts black smoking means the oil level is low. Why?

Low lawn mower oil level means internal parts of the engine heated up, which causes back smoke. And it can reduce the friction between the piston.

Expert tip: Lawn mowers start smoking not only for the low oil but also if the lawn mower has too much oil, it starts burning, which causes some. And the smoke color is usually bright or white.

However, if you are oil coming from the lawn mower exhaust, it’s another symptom of too much oil in a lawn mower.

It can quickly destroy your lawn mower, so if you see something like this, shut the mower asap.

Sign #4: Mower Stop Running

If your lawn mower has a damaged engine or other issues, it causes a sudden shut-off. You might start checking the lawn mower oil level. But if the oil level is low, refill it. Conversely, if the oil level is perfect, there may be another engine problem, and hopefully, it might not be a serious issue.

Why it is Important to Add Oil if You Spot These Signs in Your Lawn Mower

If you have started your mower without checking the dipstick and notice any signs it needs oil, it would be best to turn it off as soon as possible. If you continue to run your lawn mower with low or no oil, you risk damaging the engine. In some cases, you may even void your warranty. So, if you’re unsure whether your lawn mower needs an oil, it’s always best to err on caution and shut it down.

The Engine Seizes Up

It can be a bad thing to occur after you run your lawn mower with too little oil. The heat produced within the engine would cause the metal pistons to warp, causing them not to move quickly within the engine. You may want to start looking for a new machine if this occurs.

Internal Seals Have Been Destroyed

Fuel from the oil burning in an engine helps produce heat without adversely affecting the engine. If there are any cracks in the machine, this heat may damage the engine’s internal components. When that happens, the engine will stop working correctly, and no energy will be produced. The seals of the machine, in many cases, can be replaced.

Broken Internal Parts

The oil in your engine serves several purposes, but its primary goal is to reduce friction. When metal parts rub together at high speeds, they create friction, which can cause the parts to break down. The oil helps to lubricate the elements and reduce this friction.

Without the oil, these metal parts would grind against each other and eventually break down. This would cause your engine to stop working properly and could even lead to a complete breakdown.

Overheating or Fire

It is the worst possible scenario and may spell the mower’s demise. It can also be hazardous. If you run the mower longer than you need to overheat it deeply, there is a chance that the mower could catch fire. Always remember that it’s better to be risk-free and shut off the mower as soon as any symptoms are observed, such as loud noise, smoke, or excess heat.

Advise on Adding Oil to Your Mower

If you’re in the habit of mowing your lawn constantly, your mower may currently be short on oil. You may want to check with your manufacturer to learn the best kind of oil to make use of, but in a pinch, you may have the ability to resort to oil you’ve already stockpiled. Since oil is required to maintain your mower in good working order, you might want to pay attention to the signs of low oil in your mower.

Lawn Mower Oil Type

SAE-30 oil is generally the recommended type of oil for operating a mower. Low sulfur 5w-30 oil is also acceptable if your mower already has something similar to SAE-30 oil, but if you only have a 5w-30 oil on hand, use it in warmer times. 10w-30 oil can help the mower get going more efficiently in colder months. Can you use motor oil in a lawn mower? The rating should go over 30, so you can use any oil as long as its rating is 30 or higher.

Lawn Mower Oil Ratings Explained

Lawn mower oil is essential for running your engine smoothly and preventing wear and tear. But with so many different types and brands on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose.

Here’s a quick guide to lawn mower oil ratings. The first number is the flow rate outside the engine’s ambient temperature. The lower the number, the thinner it will be. A lighter oil can make it easier for the engine to start in cold weather, but it may not provide as much protection at higher temperatures.

The second number is the viscosity index (VI). This measures how well the oil thickens or thins in response to changes in temperature. A higher VI means the oil will maintain its viscosity better in hot and cold conditions.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, if your lawn mower is giving off any of these four signs, it is likely low on oil and needs a change. Be sure to check its oil level regularly and top it off as needed to keep your lawn mower running smoothly and avoid any damage to the engine.

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Written By
Alice Jane
Alice is a gardening expert with 4 years of experience writing about horticulture and over 2 years of experience working in landscaping firms.

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