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Changing Oil

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wagner17, May 30, 2005.

  1. wagner17

    wagner17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    After working with someone for 5 years I have gone out on my own. I am doing well so far, but I am a little in the dark as far as maintenance issues. The man that I worked for always did the equipment maintenance. To be honest, I am not the "handiest" person in the world, but once I do something it comes easy to me. Is there a place where I could find a step-by-step guide to changing my own oil in my mower - or could someone provide it for me? I have an ExMark TT 52" - no problems so far, and my dealer did the initial oil change.

    I know that this may seem like a stupid request on this board, but I just want to everything myself. I searched for a similar topic, but could not find one. Oh, and by the way, I don't change the oil in my car!

    Thanks, and Happy Memorial Day!
  2. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    Spend some quality time with the owners manual. If you don't have one download it from www.exmark.com and if there isn't enough info there I am sure that several people will give you plenty of good advice.

    If your dealer doesn't sell them, go to a boating supply store and purchase hand pump vacuum oil extractor. There is still the issue of the used oil filter and used oil but if you are purchasing all your supplies from you dealer he will gladly dispose of them for you.
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Actually, there should be an owners manual on the Exmark site that you can download. I have a 52" LazerHP. Change the oil every 40 hrs. I also change the filter though I think the manual says every other time on the filter. Anyway, I use Kawasaki Synthetic and it seems to work fine.
    -Run the motor for about five minutes and shut down.
    -Drain oil
    -Remove and replace filter. When you install new filter, put a thin film of fresh oil on the filter gasket and spin the filter on and tighten...but only with your hand. DON'T tighten with wrench.
    -Close drain and pour in new oil
    -Check oil level.
    -Start engine and let idle for a few minutes and shut down.
    -Check for leaks
    -Check oil level again.

    I think i just about covered it all but you should look at the owners manual for the complete procedure.
  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    How much does Kawasaki synthetic oil sell for?
  5. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Good instruction from Highgrass.

    Wagner, IMO you are smart to get started on your own equipment maintenance. For one thing, the shop hourly rate for most lawn equipment shops is probably higher than the rate most LCO's get. For another, the maintenance gets done at YOUR convenience, not at the convenience of the shop schedule.

    If you are doing equipment maint. another thing you should be looking at is air cleaner maintenance. A lot of people don't realize that a super dirty air cleaner not only causes the equipment to run poorly, if the dirt starts to get past the air cleaner, the cylinder walls and rings will wear at at very fast rate. Then you have loss of compression and oil burning. Can you see spending money on replacement engines because something simple like the air cleaner got neglected?

    Under some very dirty conditions, you might have to check an air cleaner a couple of times a day. The guy who thinks once a season is enough will be learning expensive lessons.
  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    this is how I learned to change the oil

    1. run engine for 5 minutes to get the oil warm.

    2. drain oil from engine into container.

    3. after most of the oil has drained out, change the oil filter MAKE SURE YOU PUT SOME OIL ON THE SEAL OF THE OIL FILTER, hand tighten, do not use a wrench.
    note: I change the filter every time I change the oil. 40 hours using syn oil, and 25 using regular.

    4. put the oil plug back in, and add the approximate amount that it says in the manual (a kohler V twin takes about 1.3-1.7 quarts) LET IT SIT FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES.
    5. check oil again, add if needed, let sit for five minutes.
    6. check oil again, add if needed, if not, start er up and run it for about 5 minutes, check the oil again, add if needed.

    just a couple of things to remember,
    make sure that the drain plug, the dipstick cover, and the area around the oil filter is sparkling clean when you change the oil. each time you check the oil (at least once a day) go around the dipstick cap with a paper towel to take away any dirt that may have stuck there.

    the whole thing that this is leading to, is keeping dirt out of the sump. the filter does you no good if you get it in there when your changing it.

    although I made it sound complicated, the whole process is very simple and takes about 15 minutes. you can get it down to ten for each machine if you do them all at the same time.

    I would recomend mobil 1 10w-30 oil if your engine is broken in (at least 50 hours on the engine) and regular 30w NON synthetic oil if it is under 50.

    if it is a new engine, change the oil after the first 5 hours, and every 25 hours until you hit 50. then switch to syn, and do the 40 hour intervals. I would recomend every 30 hours if it's a kawasaki engine.
  7. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    $$$$46.00 a six pack!$$$$
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    This is good advice. One thing I would change is to close the drain plug first then pour oil directly into the filter (about 1/3 capacity of the filter) and let the oil wick into the filter. Then apply the film of oil to the filter gasket and install.

    This will help to decrease false full initial readings and stop the engine from running without oil as the filter gets filled upon fire up.

    The most important thing is early and often for oil changes and change that filter too.

    The guy who mentioned the air filters is absolutely right. Also make sure you are greasing the grease joints, transmission, whatever needs it.
  9. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 365

    Our local waste facility has a collection area for paper. aluminum, etc. They also collect used motor oil and filters. I personally think this is great for the environment and they use the used oil to heat the collection building during the winter months.

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