This is pretty funny. Think about this for a second – back in the day, purchasing a ride on mower was huge. In the morning, you’d pull your trousers up as high as they’d go, hop in your Buick and take a ride out to the closest hardware store (or wherever they sold these things) to kick a few tires. Back in the day, lawn mowers where made out of iron. Iron that weighed about two tons and that still sits in fields across America today. You used to mortgage a mower. It was meaningful.
Today, you go on the internet, look at a few pictures, real some semi-real reviews and order a lawnmower. A week later, someone brings it to you. Oh how far we’ve come. Oh yeah, it’s also made of plastic.
All kidding aside, today’s lawnmowers kick the butts of yesterday’s. I swear, if I had the mower I used to use as a kid today, I’d probably let it roll down a very high embankment. Talk about the damn belt that ran the blades popping off. That probably happened about 10 times during one lawn mowing session. And the reality is, I never figured out why. I used brand new belts, nothing was bent or mis-aligned – it would just pop off.
I never had that happen with my John Deere. Not even once and I used that for almost 5 years. Granted, the John Deere was brand new and the one I used as a kid was no where near brand new.
After I assembled the Cub Cadet I just bought a few days ago, I started it up and mowed some grass. I made sure to read that the engine was shipped with oil already in it, but I never actually checked it. As a matter of fact, I had no idea how to check the oil. If you look at the photos in my previous post, you’ll see that the unit was shipped with half of the hood missing. I had to pop that on. After thinking about things overnight, I began to wonder where the oil dipstick was located. It wasn’t until I saw a video of someone with the hood open that I knew I needed to explore some more.
The hood does actually open. All you have to do is lift it from the steering wheel side.
There are no catches or clips. It’s merely friction fit.
Now, once the hood is open, it’s obvious where the oil dipstick is located. It’s the big yellow thing that looks like a handle. I took a picture of it fully installed.
And then I took another one where it’s kind of just resting on the edge of the tube after I pulled it out.
Just as an FYI – it’s always good to mess with these things when you have a shop rag in your hand. There’s almost always dust and debris floating around on the filler tube and the dipstick handle itself. It’s best to not let that stuff fall into the engine.
To check the oil, you’ll need to let the engine rest for a while. The oil needs to be settled. I pulled the dipstick out, wiped both sides on the rag I have and then pushed it back into the tube. When I pulled it out again, I checked the level.
The oil line should be in between the F and the L. That’s Full and Low. It should also look clean.
Here are a few rules to follow when using a ride on mower such as this. Always check the oil before you use the mower. You never know when something could go wrong and it’s nice to know you’re starting an engine that actually has oil in it. Also, Cub Cadet recommends that you change the oil and filter every 50 hours. The hours are recorded in a gauge on the instrument panel. Also, I swear I read someplace that the first oil change should occur after 5 hours of operation. I’m still looking for where I read that.
Since the first oil change is right around the corner, I’ll be sure to document that. It’s then when I’ll have a chance to use the nifty oil drain hose. Check out this valve at the bottom of the engine.
Anyway, I thought I’d share my thoughts on this topic. Until next time!