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How to Change the Oil on a MTD Riding Lawnmower

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Like any internal combustion engine that uses separate oil and fuel reservoirs, MTD riding mower engines require occasional oil changes. MTD manufactures several lines of lawn equipment in conjunction with several different engine manufacturers, but the design of the engines is similar. Knowing where to locate the mower's various oil system parts is essential to the process. Whatever MTD subsidiary manufactured your riding mower, you can change the oil using a few tools and the proper technique.

Remove the key from the mower's ignition to ensure the mower is off before maintenance.

Locate the engine oil drain plug. The oil drain plug on MTD riding mowers is generally located on the right side of the engine just below the engine cover. The plug will be colored gold and has two small stems extending from its sides.

Lift up the engine cover and tilt it forward on its hinges to access the engine.

Place the oil pan on the ground beneath the oil drain plug.

Place one end of the PVC pipe in the oil pan and place the opposite end beneath the oil drain plug to catch the oil.

Open the oil drain plug by turning it counterclockwise. Continue until the oil drains out, down the PVC pipe and into the oil pan.

Replace the oil drain plug once the oil has finished draining by turning the plug clockwise.

Locate the engine oil filter. It is a rounded cylinder approximately the size of a spray-paint cap on the opposite side of the engine from the oil drain plug.

Remove the replacement oil filter from its packaging and spread a small amount of oil from the oil pan onto the gasket of the replacement oil filter with your fingers.

Remove the old oil filter by turning it counterclockwise by hand.

Install the replacement oil filter by turning it clockwise by hand.

Remove the dipstick from the oil reservoir. The dipstick is located on the top of the engine, directly above the oil drain plug.

Insert a funnel into the mouth of the oil reservoir and fill the reservoir with 10W-30 engine oil. Older models may require 30 weight engine oil. Refer to the manufacturer's specifications for your specific model of riding mower.

Replace the dipstick in the oil reservoir.


Do not attempt to start the MTD riding mower's engine after draining the oil without first refilling the oil reservoir.

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