Lawn mower flipped over. Can You Tip A Riding Lawn Mower On Its Side Or Back

Can You Tip A Riding Lawn Mower On Its Side Or Back?

Are you wondering which way to tilt your riding lawn mower to access the underside—whether it’s ok to tilt it to one of its sides or back? Wonder no more, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

The best way to tilt a lawn mower is backward. However, most people find it difficult to access the underside because of the slight angle most models use with the ground. Tilting it to the side can be done as long as you tilt it with the carburetor and air filter pointing upward.

If you’re also wondering how to safely tilt your riding lawnmower, read through the succeeding sections to find out. We’ll also teach you how to properly store your lawn mower. Read on!

How to tip a lawn mower?

There are unavoidable situations when you need to access the underside of your lawn mower. Inspections, installations, and repairs to the underside can only be done with the lawn mower tilted.

However, tilting your lawn mower needs to be done correctly, or you risk damaging it, especially the internal combustion parts.

Tilting A Riding Lawn Mower

A riding lawn mower, or ride-on mower, is a larger version where the operator can sit on top of the lawn mower and operate it from that seat. It is a larger and heavier version of the lawn mower that can cut wider areas—thus, speeding up the mowing time.

Children are often fascinated with riding lawn mowers. This is perhaps due to its similarity with cars. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child should be at least 16 years old before they are allowed to operate a riding lawn mower.

The best way to tilt a riding lawn mower is on its back with the front wheels up in the air. Because of the weight of a riding lawn mower, use jacks to raise it up safely, then use a jack stand to keep it stable at that position.

Tilting A Riding Lawn Mower On Its Side

Tilting a riding lawn mower on its side should only be done if you cannot tilt it on its rear wheels, you cannot support the weight of the riding lawn mower safely while on its rear wheels, or you cannot access what you need to access when it is tilted on its back.

If you tilt it on its side the wrong way, it can result in engine problems. Thus, you need to do this correctly to avoid engine problems.

Follow these steps to safely tilt your lawn mower on its side:

  • It is a best practice to ensure that your lawn mower is low on fuel before you tilt it on one side. Use your lawn mower first if it is still high on fuel. This reduces the possibility of fuel flowing out of the engine and into your carburetor or spark plug.
  • Turn off your lawn mower. Remove the key from the ignition. It is a good idea to check if the areas that you need to access are hot to the touch. If they are, let your lawn mower cool a bit.
  • Identify where the carburetor is on your riding lawn mower. You’d find it below or beside the air filter. The air filter normally has slits or holes on it where the air will pass through.
  • Slide a jack under the same side of the lawn mower where the carburetor is located. This will ensure that the carburetor will end up on top of the lawn mower after tilting it. You do not want the carburetor to end up at the bottom of your lawn mower because it will cause engine problems.
  • Once you get your riding lawn mower on one side, secure it with at least two jack stands. Never use a jack only to keep your lawn mower raised. A jack can have a hydraulic leak, and your lawn mower will fall, causing an accident. Jack stands do not have this limitation.

Tilting A Push Lawn Mower

Tilting a push lawn mower is similar to tilting a riding lawn mower. You can follow the same set of steps in the previous section to tilt your push lawn mower.

Which Way Should You Tip A Lawn Mower?

The only difference is that a push lawn mower is lighter than a riding lawn mower, and if you can tilt it without a jack, then you can do so. However, using a jack stand to maintain the position of a push lawn mower is still a good idea to prevent any possible accidents from a falling lawn mower.

Additionally, since a regular lawn mower is lighter, try to tilt it on its rear wheels with the front wheels raised. This is the best position for tilting lawn mowers whatever the type.

Can you store a lawn mower on its side?

You can only store your lawn mower on its side if it was made for storing on its side.

Storing a lawn mower on its side can cause fuel and oil to flow out of the engine and into parts where you don’t want it to go, like the carburetor, spark plug, and air filter.

lawn, mower, flipped, riding, side, back

Check the manufacturer’s website of your lawn mower or contact their support line for recommendations on how to store your lawn mower.

How to store your lawn mower for the winter?

It is best to store your lawn mower indoors when not in use. Lawn mowers rarely have weatherproofing features that will help protect them if left outdoors for extended periods.

Additionally, it is important to know how to store your lawn mower for the winter months the right way—and we have the steps below for you:

Cleaning Your Lawn Mower For Storage

  • Clear the engine of any debris, dirt, or gunk.
  • Wipe the surface of the engine and the exterior with a clean cloth.
  • Tilt the lawn mower on its side, following the steps above.
  • Spray the deck thoroughly with water from a garden hose to loosen any accumulated dirt.
  • Scrub the deck with soapy water and a coarse scrubber. Be careful not to cut your hands on the blades.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water from the garden hose.

Draining Lawn Mower Fuel

  • Insert a clean tube into the gas tank of your lawn mower.
  • Connect one end of the tube to a siphon pump.
  • Connect a second clean tube to the output port of the pump.
  • Place the other end of the second tube into a gasoline container.
  • Pump the siphon pump to drain the gasoline from your lawn mower into the fuel container. The ethanol in gasoline draws water vapor from the air and turns it into water that mixes with the gasoline in your lawn mower. This is why you need to empty your lawn mower of fuel before storing it. Fuel stabilizers do not work well to keep the fuel inside your lawn mower in good condition through winter. over, ethanol can corrode and damage the carburetor.
  • After you drain the fuel inside your lawn mower’s fuel tank, start it up until it stops running. Start it up a few times until it no longer starts. This will make the lawn mower consume all the remaining fuel inside the fuel tank and inside the engine.
  • If you’re using an electric lawn mower, charge the batteries to full. Disconnect them from the lawn mower after charging.

Scepter USA Duramax 14-gallon Flo-N-Go fuel caddy is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

Draining Your Lawn Mower Of Oil

Always wear gloves before doing anything that involves used engine oil. Draining the oil from your lawn mower is similar to draining it of fuel.

Keep in mind, however, that you need to use a different pump for the oil.

  • Once you’ve drained the lawn mower of oil, look for the drain plug.
  • Position a drain pan under the oil drain plug.
  • Remove the oil drain plug and let the oil drain into the drain pan.

Koehler Enterprises’ multi-use siphon fuel transfer pump kit is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

Checking The Spark Plug And The Air Filter

  • Check the spark plug. Clean the threads with a wire brush.
  • If the contacts are dirty, use high grit sandpaper to gently scrub the contacts.
  • Check the air filter.
  • If the air filter is not too dirty, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt that the air filter has trapped. However, if the air filter is too dirty, it is best to replace it with a new one before you store your lawn mower.

Lubricating Your Lawn Mower Before Storing It

Check the user manual of your lawn mower on how to properly lubricate it. The lubricant will prevent the movable parts of your lawn mower from building up corrosion during winter.

Part of this step is to check the manual for any additional winter storage recommendations from the manufacturer of your lawn mower.


Although it is not the recommended way of tilting your riding lawn mower, you can tilt it on its side. Just make sure that you are tilting it on the correct side to prevent damage to your lawn mower.

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Recent mowing incidents prompt mowing safety reminders

The following tips and resources can help make lawn mower operations safer for yourself and your workers.

Provided by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Mowing the grass is a task so common most don’t give it a second thought. Unfortunately, it presents significant hazards that can lead to serious injury, even death. These accidents are more common than you may think.

We have seen two serious injuries in Ohio recently. Earlier this month, a zero-turn riding lawn mower flipped, killing a 59-year-old county groundskeeper. In April, a 47-year-old school custodian was hospitalized after he lost control of a zero-turn mower and fell over an embankment into a canal.

Each of these incidents is a chilling reminder of the hazards that come with an activity so many of us find routine. As mowing season is in full swing, remember that employers are responsible for providing workers with proper training, safe equipment and the necessary personal protective equipment before they can operate any lawn mower.

The following tips and resources can help make lawn mower operations safer for yourself and your workers.

General tips

  • Train and retrain employees to maintain competency to operate a riding mower safely.
  • Inspect the terrain for hazards.
  • Always start a riding mower from the operator position and never mount or dismount when it is running.
  • Make sure every mower includes an operable auto shut-off when the rider is not in the seat.
  • Never carry passengers. Riding mowers are one-person machines.

Slope mowing tips

Slopes are a major factor related to loss of control and tip-over accidents, which can result in injury or death. Operation on slopes requires extra caution. If you cannot back up the slope or if you feel uneasy on it, do not mow it.

  • Mow on slopes in the direction recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Never start or stop a riding mower when it is going uphill or downhill. Avoid all sudden starts, stops or turns.
  • Examine all safety devices to ensure the Roll-Over Protection Structure, guards, seat belts and shields are in place and properly used.
  • To avoid injury or death from roll-over, use the seat belt and keep the ROPS fully raised and in the locked position.
  • Check carefully for overhead clearance and avoid contact with overhead objects.
  • Do not mow on slopes greater than 15 degrees, unless allowed by the manufacturer.

Find other important mowing tips regarding tire traction, making turns, and hazards in BWC’s mowing safety bulletin. Visit for additional information about keeping your workers safe this summer.

Lawn Mower: White Smoke then Dies

Is a mysterious white smoke emerging from your lawn mower? If so, you’re probably worried and wondering what on earth is going on. If your lawn mower blows white smoke then dies, there’s even more cause for concern. In this article, you will learn about the potential causes of white smoke in a lawn mower, and what you can do to address the issue.

Let’s get started with your first burning question – is this serious and/or dangerous?

White Smoke Isn’t Always a Serious Problem

A bit of white smoke coming from a lawnmower is a common occurrence with many mowers. If you’ve been a homeowner for a while, you have probably experienced this at least once.

In many cases it is not a serious issue and this problem is easy to resolve, but in some cases may be serious. I’ll tell you about the likely causes, other potential causes, and how to address them below.

Your Lawn Mower Blows White Smoke Then Dies – Why?

If your lawn mower blows white smoke then dies, this is likely a result of oil getting into the machine’s carburetor. This typically means that the gas feed jet is blocked. In many cases, you will be able to fix this problem by continuing to run your engine until the oil is cleared, but if it’s impossible for you to run the engine for a long enough time, the carburetor probably requires cleaning.

lawn, mower, flipped, riding, side, back

How you clean your mower’s carburetor will depend on the type of mower you have, but if you’re handy at all it’s usually something you can do yourself. I have an article which will help you locate your lawn mower’s carburetor, and that article also provides some tips and resources for cleaning your carb, or replacing it with a new one.

Remember to carefully consult the manual that came with your mower (find it online if you no longer have a hard copy).

You should remove the plug and then try turning over the engine three times. This will help to remove the oil from the cylinder. After you’ve done that, clean and replace the plug. Use some carb cleaner spray like this one on Amazon (you can find these locally as well). Spray it right into the carburetor, replace your air filter, and then try to start the engine again.

If this doesn’t work, you will need to take out the carburetor and clean it.

Other Common Causes of Lawn Mower with White Smoke

Two of the most common causes of white smoke coming from a lawnmower are:

There are other more serious causes, such as a faulty crankcase breather or a head gasket failure, which I’ll go over below.

It’s also possible that your mower’s engine is simply worn out. But in most cases, adding too much gas or tipping your mower and getting gas where it isn’t supposed to be is what causes mowers to emit white smoke.

White Smoke and Burning Oil

White smoke often points to the problem of burning oil. This can manifest in a few different ways in your mower, and burning oil can be caused by the following problems:

  • Using the wrong oil grades
  • Too much oil in crankcase or exceeding the oil capacity of your engine (you should be able to tell this from the dipstick)
  • Crankcase breather inoperative
  • Air leak from crankcase
  • Head gasket is blown
  • Cylinder and/or rings are worn
  • You turned or tilted the engine to the side for an oil change or storage (or another reason)
  • The breather tube is obstructed (the breather tube is found behind the air filter)

When figuring out engine oil capacity, remember that the capacity depends on the specific kind of engine your mower has.

Check your lawn mower manual for more information, and if you don’t have the original manual, you can typically look it up and download it online by searching your mower’s name and model number plus “manual”.

Why is there White Smoke After Tilting or Flipping My Mower?

Many people will tilt or flip their mower to clean the mowing deck. This is especially true for self propelled and push mowers.

lawn, mower, flipped, riding, side, back

After tipping your mower to clean it, you may notice white smoke coming out of the machine. This happens because oil is able to get into the cylinder. This oil will then burn when you restart the mower, and this leads to the white smoke.

It’s also possible that oil could have spilled and come out of the muffler on your mower, which causes the same type of smoke.

Tilting Lawn Mower

If white smoke comes out of your mower and you recently tilted or flipped it for service, it’s likely a minor issue and the smoke will stop after it burns off. You can check to see whether the oil has made its way where it shouldn’t.

I recommend giving the machine time to idle until there is no more smoke prior to operation. The smoke should clear within about 10 minutes.

Lawnmower Smoke Due to Too Much Oil

If you have a riding mower like a lawn tractor and there is white smoke, this is usually an indication of excessive oil being added to the reservoir, or you may have a fault with the carburetor. It could also be a sign of a blown head gasket, but that is more rare.

Adding too much oil is one of the most common causes of white smoke, so ensure that you only put in what you need when changing the oil in your mower.

Most mower engines need just a little over half a quart to operate smoothly, which is less than you’d think. Accidentally overfilling is easy to do, so be careful when servicing your mower.

While you may believe that too much oil will simply burn off, an excessive amount of oil can actually damage your mower’s engine. Most engines have splash lubrication systems. As a result, if you use too much oil, its level will exceed the splash paddle. You will have problems (such as white smoke) when this happens.

It’s wasteful, and it isn’t great for your machine.

When this is the cause of the white smoke coming from your mower, you are seeing the result of the excess oil being burned. In order to resolve this problem, remove the excess oil and let the engine idle for about five minutes to burn off any excess that remains in parts of your engine it shouldn’t be.

Draining excess oil can be quite difficult for some kinds of mowers, but on walk-behind mowers it’s typically easy (tilt the mower and it drains out of the hole where you added it). If you own a riding mower, investing in a special oil extractor isn’t a bad idea. This one on Amazon runs about 25.

Failed Carburetor Seal

If you have an overfilled oil level and there is a gas smell, your mower may have a failed carburetor seal.

If you think this could be the case, you shouldn’t run the engine. This is because the oil is too thin for it to give your machine the protection it needs. Once you’ve repaired the carburetor, change the oil.

Find information on carburetor cleaning for your type of mower. These should include removing the carburetor, stripping it, cleaning it, and rebuilding it.

YouTube is a great resource for this, because it’s helpful to see the job done before you attempt it yourself.

Failed Head Gasket

While the white smoke coming from your mower probably isn’t caused by a failed head gasket, it’s still a possibility. If your mower has a failed head gasket, there will be an especially large amount of smoke.

The head gasket is made of graphite and metal. It is situated between the cylinder head and cylinder block of the engine. It is there to keep the combustion chamber sealed.

When a head gasket has failed, it can show itself with high crankcase pressures or oil leaks. There could also be a quiet puffing noise. This will be compression escaping from the cylinder. In this case, you will need to replace your head gasket.

White smoke can be caused by a blocked crankcase breather. This situation will also mean there is oil in the cylinder. To deal with this, you should clean out the breather pipe. If you find that you actually have failed or worn piston rings in the end, you will probably need a new engine. A new engine is usually the less expensive option when rebuilding is necessary. A new engine will also come with a guarantee.

Oil Accidentally in the Gas Tank

If there is white smoke coming from your mower, you have possibly put oil into the gas tank. This is quite a common problem. If you’ve done this and need to fix it, drain the gas tank and then put in fresh gas. You can use a siphon or fluid extractor (again, here’s a cheap one on Amazon) to make it easier if you like.

After you’ve cleared the contaminated fuel run the engine until the mower dies from lack of fuel. This should clear out the system so you can replace it with fresh gas.

If the engine still won’t start, you probably need to clean the carburetor.

Best of luck – I hope this article has helped you identify and resolve your mower problem!

Augustus Clemont Harris, 82, of Mt. Airy was riding his mower along a hill with a steep incline prior to the accident, authorities said.

FREDERICK COUNTY, MD — An elderly man cutting grass has died after his mower flipped over on top of him, according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, deputies said they responded to a call for help regarding a vehicle incident at the 5300 block of Sidney Road in Mt. Airy.

Once on scene, deputies said they found Augustus Clemont Harris, 82, dead with his body pinned underneath a zero-turn mower.

Find out what’s happening in Ellicott City with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Deputies said they believe Harris was riding his mower on a steep incline of a hill when it began to slide, catching the mower deck in the dirt. The mower, which had an after-market awning, flipped with him in the seat and trapped him inside.

Authorities said the Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct a full autopsy on Harris to determine his exact cause of death.

Find out what’s happening in Ellicott City with free, real-time updates from Patch.

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