Will Low Oil Cause A Lawn Mower Not To Start? How To Fix It?

Have a Great day!

Lawn mowers are a great invention that makes lawn maintenance simple and less time-consuming. Yet, they require regular maintenance to run smoothly. 

One of the most critical aspects of lawn mower maintenance is ensuring enough oil in the engine. Will low oil cause a lawn mower not to start? 

The article will discuss this question and provide the exact answer.  

Will Low Oil Cause A Lawn Mower Not To Start? 

The answer is yes! If the oil is low, your machine won’t start. Moreover, the engine may get damaged and need replacing or servicing.

Keep reading to discover the in-depth explanations!  

Why Does A Lawn Mower Need Oil?

Oil is an essential component of a mower’s engine. Here are the reasons your machine needs oil!

Protection against Friction

One of the important reasons your device needs oil is to protect against friction.

The engine in your mower has many moving parts. They all rub against each other at high speeds. 

Without oil to lubricate these components, they may quickly wear down and become damaged. Consequently, it can cause the engine to seize up.

Cooling The Engine

Another critical reason your machine needs oil is to help cool the engine. The friction caused by the moving parts generates a lot of heat. It can cause the engine to overheat and become damaged. 

Oil helps to carry the heat away from the moving parts and distribute it throughout the engine. It helps the engine run smoothly and prevents it from overheating.

Removing Contaminants

Oil also helps to remove contaminants from the engine. Over time, dirt and dust can accumulate in the engine. So it may get clogged and reduce its performance. 

Oil helps to trap these particles and carry them away from the engine. So it helps to keep the engine clean and running smoothly.

The fuel/oil issues

How Long Can A Lawn Mower Run Without Oil?

The amount of time a lawn mower can run without oil varies depending on its model and engine type. However, most mower engines run for about five minutes before running out of oil. 

Once the oil runs out, your engine may overheat. Besides, the parts will grind against each other, causing permanent damage.

So, ensuring that your machine has enough oil is critical before starting it.

Common Signs Your Lawn Mower Needs Oil

If you notice the following signs, you should add more oil to your machine!


Without enough oil, the engine’s moving parts can rub together, causing friction and creating a loud, grinding noise. This noise can be especially noticeable when starting the machine or when it’s running at high speeds. 

If you hear an increase in engine noise, it’s essential to check your device’s oil level and add more if necessary.


The oil in your mower’s engine helps to dissipate heat and keep it running at a safe temperature. The engine can quickly overheat without enough oil, causing it to shut down or seize. 


If your mower produces smoke, it is a sign that it needs oil. The smoke can be white or blue, indicating that your machine is burning oil. 

This issue happens when the oil is low. If you don’t lubricate the engine properly, it may get overheated. 

Detergent Or Non-Detergent Oil In Lawn Mowers

What To Do When Your Lawn Mower Is Low On Oil? 

What if your lawn mower ran out of oil and won’t start? How to fix this issue? Look no further than our tips and tricks below!

Find The Fuel Tank

Before you start adding oil to your device, you need to locate the fuel tank. It is usually on the side of the machine and is marked with a gas cap. 

Once you have located this component, check the oil level to determine how much fuel you need to add. It’s worth noting that overfilling the oil can damage the engine, so ensure to add the correct amount. 

Choose The Oil Type

Investing in the correct oil can save you time and money in the long run by increasing your mower’s lifespan and preventing costly repairs.

Also, refer to your device’s manual to determine the correct oil type for your model. After that, visit a local hardware store to purchase it.

Read the labels carefully and select an oil that is high-quality and appropriate for your machine. 

Turn Off Your Engine

Before adding oil to your machine, turn off the engine. This step ensures it has enough time to cool down. It is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring the oil is adequately distributed throughout the engine. 

Check The Dipstick

Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a cloth. After cleaning, insert the dipstick back into the machine and remove it. This time, take note of the oil level on the dipstick. If it is below the recommended level, add oil to the engine. 

Drain Old Oil

You must replace the old oil with new oil to make sure optimal engine performance. Before adding the new oil, drain the old oil from the engine to prevent contamination of the new oil. 

This process involves locating the oil drain plug on the underside of the engine and removing it. It is essential to let the old oil drain entirely into a container until it stops flowing. So you can remove the old oil, and your engine is ready for fresh oil. 

Add New Oil

Once the old oil has drained, replace the oil drain plug and add new oil to the engine. Pour the new oil slowly, checking the oil level regularly until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick. Ensure not to overfill the engine with oil.

Final Thoughts

Low oil levels can cause a lawn mower not to start. The engine requires oil to lubricate its moving parts. So, if the oil level is low, the engine may fail to start. 

Therefore, you must regularly maintain your machine to avoid starting problems. If you notice issues, apply our guides!

5/5 - (1 vote)