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Best time to check the oil???

3731 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  oldyellr
I have read the manual cover to cover and I can't find the best time to check oil level.

Should I :

Check it prior to starting

Check it with engine running

Check it after mower cools down after use... 1/2 hour or so after shutdown.

I want to run SAE 30 oil in it...should I wait til after initial break in period and 1st oil change?

Please help me start off on the right foot as my new honda HRR216vya only has 2 hours on it.

With other mowers:
I always changed my oil at the start of the season. I always used SAE 30 oil without a problem.
Checked oil after cool down.
Topped off if required.
Replaced air filter/sparkplug every year with the oil change.

I am hoping to keep the same habits if they will work.

I usually run the Mower 1-2 hours a week.

The smart drive is also getting easier to get used to.....

Thanks for your help!
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Good job on keeping up on the maintenance!

When you check the oil, the engine must be off.

Regarding how often you should check it, well, more often the better. It's good practice to do it once every two or three times of use in my opinion. It's a bit of a touchy subject and the hardcore guys will tell you "everytime you use it, it must be checked" but in reality if it's a machine that you know is not buring oil (Not going to be your brand new Honda!), then you can relax a little. A lot of it really depends on how often and how long it's used each time. For example, if it's used daily say 2 hours a day then you'll want to be checking it frequently throughout the week. If it's only used say once a week for an hour each time, then check it maybe once every two or three weeks. Use your discretion.

During break-in time, in my opinion the sooner the better. Sometimes during the break-in period there can be small metal particles that get into the oil simply from the process of it breaking in and you don't want those shavings getting transferred around in your engine.

After break-in, follow the manufacture's recommondation for oil change intervals and if anything or in doubt, it never hurts always change it a little on the soon side of things. :cool:
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I've always checked mine when adding fuel be it a cold or warm engine. Old habit mainly as the mowers we used to have on the farm were all oil burners. You added fuel and added oil at the same time without fail. :D To this day I still feel a twinge about adding fuel and not checking the oil even on the Deere. At 300 hrs I still only add a little oil maybe once at most to it over a summer season which averages about 40 hrs for it.
I'd suggest checking the oil level as part of the preflight you'll do before every mowing. Add fuel, check cutting height, inspect blades and grass bag, wiggle the handlebars and make sure no nuts/bolts/fasteners have come loose or are missing.

When checking the oil, make sure the mower is on a flat, level surface. Unscrew the dipstick, wipe it, then insert it back into the filler neck. Don't screw it back in (yet). As long as the meshed area on the tip of the dipstick is wet with oil, then the level is good. Now screw the dipstick back in place.

FYI, SAE 10W-30 petroleum-based oil is recommended for almost all mowing environments. It's the exact oil the engineers at Honda specify, and it's also the oil used when the engine is EPA certified. For these reasons, Honda doesn't endorse synthetic oils for use in mower engines.
Thanks for the responses...

In the manual it states to top off the gas when finished mowing,
I believe it is because the drop in gas level after mowing introduces more air into the tank that may lead to formation of varnish and I have had carb related issues that still have my head spinning.
I check mine every morning before I start working for the day. Running 10w30 Pennzoil, I find I need to add a little oil every day. I sent you a PM Robert on another forum by the way.
As far as seasonal maintenance I have always done that before putting it away for the season.
I always check the oil before starting, when I top up the gas. That way I can see the exact oil level and can add oil if necessary. You really don't need to top up the gas each time after running the mower if you're using it once a week.
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