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Check Oil Video

By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2020/09/26 at 1:33 pm

This video walks you through the process step by step, including checking your oil level, adding oil, and removing excess oil.

You’ll find useful resources on this page, tips, and links to tools, parts, and supplies required to complete your repair. Engine oil for any engine is important, the quality and the quantity. Oil is critical because it cools and lubricates the internal components.

Less oil means higher internal temperatures and when the temperatures get too high, the components fuse together. This is known as seizing and for an engine that’s as bad as the story gets.

But too much oil is bad also, most mower engines use a splash method of coating the internal components. A paddle strikes the surface of the oil and splashes it about. If the oil is too full, the paddle no longer splashes as it’s submerged in oil. To make matters worse, the submerged paddle aerates the oil which reduces its effectiveness.

It’s easy to overfill the oil, most mower engines only take (from empty) .65 quart (.61 lt.). Common symptoms of too much oil include oil leaks; no starts; white smoke, and stiff pull cord. Too much oil needs to be removed and you’ll find an oil siphon on this page that makes removing oil look almost pleasurable.

Briggs & Stratton – Most models take from empty .65 US quarts (.6 lt.) 5W30 engine oil.
Honda engines – Most take from empty .58 US quarts (.55 lt.) of 10W30 engine oil.
Kawasaki engines – Most take from empty .6 US quarts (.6 lt.) 10W30 engine oil.
Kohler engines – Most take from empty .6 US quarts (.6 lt.) 10W30 engine oil.

For exact specs, see:

Briggs and Stratton push mower engines

Briggs and Stratton tractor mower engines

Honda specification

Kohler specification

Kawasaki specification

Tools & Parts

To nail this procedure you may need the following tools, parts, and supplies.

Briggs & Stratton Engine Oil

Briggs & Stratton oil SAE30 is suitable for most Briggs & Stratton walk-behind mower engines. One container is plenty for an oil change (walk-behind mowers). Picture links to

Honda Engine Oil

Genuine Honda 10W30 motor oil, specially formulated for Honda engines. Picture links to

Gas & Oil Syphon

You’ll find this tool really useful if you need to drain the gas tank, and you will if the gas is stale. The siphon will remove it without fuss or mess, and it can be used for extracting the oil, too. Picture links to


This is the first tool on the list for good reason: Wd solves a ton of problems. I won’t work without it, because I can’t. Picture links to

Ratchet Tool Set

Before we can do anything, we’ll need tools. I’ve selected this set as I own some Craftsman tools, and while I have worn some out, they did do a lot of work.

So, I expect this set will last the occasional user quite a long time. This set carries both metric and standard sockets, and that’s important because some mowers will have both types of fastener sizes. The set includes spark plug sockets. Picture links to

Gas Stabilizer

Mix this with the gas when winterizing your small engine. Gas isn’t what it used to be; it goes stale, in some cases after just one month. Bad gas causes gumming, and that’s a carburetor killer. A stabilizer will save you money and stress in the long run. Picture links to

Gas Can

Briggs and Stratton refuel can. These guys got it right; I like it a lot; it offers press button control, no fuss, no mess, and no funnel required. Picture links to

Drill/Screw Gun

I use a DeWalt screw gun (also a drill) in the workshop to speed up the process of removing engine covers, carburetor bolts, Armature bolts, etc. It’s a brushless motor and as tough as nails; I drove over it a few times – still works great! Batteries are interchangeable and so if you have a DeWalt product already, you won’t need the battery. Picture links to