How To Change Hydraulic Fluid In A Zero Turn Mower?

Do you have a vast lawn that requires the use of a zero-turn mower? A zero-turn mower makes mowing such loans near-effortless but do you know how to change hydraulic fluid in a residential or commercial-grade zero turn mower.

If your zero-turn mower is to serve you well, you need to keep n tiptop condition. That means ensuring virtually all is components are in excellent working condition.

One of the things you need to ensure is in good condition is the hydraulic fluid.

How do you go about it, though?

Changing Hydraulic Fluid in Zero Turn Mower

how to change hydraulic fluid in zero turn mower

What You Need

  • Get a proper understanding of hydraulic systems work. Attempting to change the oil with little or no knowledge might lead to you damaging the machine.
  • You need to have read the user manual. Manufacturers often include steps that help in changing the oil. It will be best if you acquaint yourself with the machine.
  • Ensure you wear gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from any effects the il might have on you.

Now that you are fully prepared, follow these steps:

Time needed: 30 minutes

  1. Prepare The Mower

    Turn off the mower, place it on level ground, and then use a jack to heave it off the ground. Turning off the engine will allow the mower to cool before you can start.

  2. Get A Bucket Under Drain Plug

    After raising the mower off the ground, get underneath it and put a container under the drain plug. A bucket or basin will come in handy here. You will find the drain plug under the hydraulic fluid reservoir.

  3. Release The Oil

    Remove the reservoir’s lid to let the oil flow freely into the container because of air escaping from the vacuum inside the reservoir. Removing the cap will have the oil move out faster.

    Before doing all this, you should have cleaned the area around the drain plug. That ensures no contamination happens.

  4. Completely Dry off Oil

    For this step, you will need an adjustable wrench or a deep well socket. The tools will help you to remove the drain plug so as the oil can dry off completely.

    The deep well socket might be instrumental when if the plug is too tight or hard to remove. After removing it, clean out any oil on the cap with clean water and a clean rag.

    You will now be ready to remove the hydraulic filter.

  5. Reinstalling Filter

    Once you have completely drained the oil, you can now replace the drain plug. You then use an adjustable wrench to reinstall the filter. Put a little oil around the gasket to help form a good seal for the installation of the filter.

  6. Refill The Tank With New Oil

    Now pour in new oil into the reservoir. The tank has a tube that you should ensure you fill with oil using a funnel. Remember to also clean spillages from the area around the reservoir after adding the new oil.

  7. Finishing Touch

    Replace the cap on the reservoir, then turn the engine to expel any air inside the lines or the oil filter.

    Finally, switch off the engine, then check if the oil level is okay. If the level is too low, you can add in new oil

You can follow these steps also when changing the hydraulic fluid in Husqvarna zero turn mower or whatever brand you got.

Why Should You Change Hydraulic Fluid in a Zero Turn Mower?

change hydraulic oil in zero turn

Hydraulic oil is responsible in a significant way for the excellent running of a zero-turn mower. It doesn’t only act as a lubricant, but it’s also responsible for the running of the hydraulic system of the mower.

Hydraulic oil powers the whole system, and that is why it should be in good condition. Therefore, not changing the hydraulic oil after periods of use might affect how the mower functions.

Imagine wanting to use your mower only to find it isn’t in the best condition to tidy up your lawn. That is why you need to know how to change hydraulic oil. You don’t want to be hiring help every time the oil needs changing while you can do it yourself.

How often Should You Change Hydraulic Oil in a Zero Turn Mower?

We have already established the importance of hydraulic oil to the running of the mower’s hydraulic system. The question on most people’s minds will be how often to change hydraulic oil in zero-turn.

How often you do that will largely depend on how much you use your mower. It will also depend on the quality of the oil you have or the conditions you operate it in.

For the typical mower, it is advisable to check the hydraulic oil after 100 hours of operation. If the oil is still in excellent condition, you can be changing it after 1000 hours of operating the mower.

It will take about six months for a lawnmower to have gotten to 1000 hours of service. The six months are okay if you don’t use the mower zero turn mower too much. If you use it more often, then a lower period should be sufficient.

Most of the time, the manufacturer will recommend the suitable interval of time you need to change the oil. You will find these instructions in the user’s manual.

What Kind of Hydraulic Fluid Does A Zero Turn Mower Use?

If you own any machine and not just a zero-turn mower, you know that you can’t use any oil for any product. The oil needs to be specific to the machine you are using.

If not, you risk damaging the machine, which is something we wouldn’t want for you.

The Zero turn mower is a hydro-gear transmitter and will therefore use 20W- 50 motor oil. If you are using synthetic oil, 15W-50 will be okay for the mower. Remember to always check the oil level first before deciding to change it.

The mower will most likely have a vent by which to pour in the oil. A dipstick will help you determine the level of oil before deciding whether to change it or add some more.

Does Temperature Affect A Zero-turn Mower’s Hydraulic Oil?

Temperature does affect the hydraulic oil’s functioning. You already know that oil isn’t just for running the systems but also for lubricating the inner parts. If the oil becomes too cold, then it means the oil will be less viscous.

Oil with less viscosity will not be as efficient in maintaining any machine’s running leave alone a Zero turn mower. On the other hand, highly viscous oil isn’t desirable as well.

High viscosity oil doesn’t spread or distribute itself evenly in the machine’s parts. Consequently, it won’t reach all the parts fast enough to prevent damage. Exposure to high temperatures is responsible for the increase in viscosity.

Before starting your mower, use the dipstick to check for the viscosity of the oil. If it’s almost getting congealed, turn on the mower and give it some time to warm up and make the oil viscous.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do zero turn mowers use hydraulic fluid?

As zero turn mowers are equipped with Hydro-Gear hydrostatic transmissions, they require transmission oil. You can either use 20W-50 motor oil or 15W-50 synthetic motor oil.

How often do you change hydraulic fluid in a zero turn mower?

Once the zero turn mower completed the 1,200 service hours, you should change it’s hydraulic fluid.

Is hydrostatic oil the same as hydraulic fluid?

No, they are not the same. The hydraulic fluid is a rust and oxidation inhibited oil and is ideal for industrial and equipment applications whereas hydrostatic oil is ideal for severe service conditions like outdoors in the cold.

Can you use hydraulic fluid for hydrostatic transmission?

Yes, the hydrostatic transmission works using hydraulic fluid.

What is a good substitute for hydraulic fluid?

Any lightweight motor oil or machine oil of 10/20W instead of hydraulic fluid. Apart from that, certain vegetable seed oils and automatic transmission fluid can work as a great substitute.

Can you use motor oil in place of hydraulic fluid?

You can but should not because of the additives they use with motor oil to improve the viscosity index.

Final Thoughts

We hope by now you know how to change hydraulic fluid in a zero-turn mower.  As you can see, it isn’t that complicated when you have this definitive guide with you. Remember to do it in hygienic conditions to avoid contaminating the oil.

All the best.

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