Before performing maintenance on your mower, make sure to read the owner’s manual for specific information about the oil and the location of all the parts. Keep in mind, the engine comes from the factory with oil in it already, but this oil is only for use in temperatures between 0°F and 80°F, and only for the first 24 hours of operation. After the initial oil change, the oil will need to be changed after each 100 hours of operation.
Gather your supplies. You’ll need rags or paper towels, an appropriate three liter container for the old oil and the drain hose that came with the user’s manual. Also, have the proper new Cub Cadet oil filter ready, a shallow pan and two liters of new oil. 10W30 is usually fine, but check the manual for instructions about the correct oil for extreme temperatures.
Run the engine for three minutes to warm the oil. It will drain easily, along with any sediment that may be in it. Turn the mower off and remove the spark plug to eliminate any danger of accidental starting. Remember, the engine and oil could be hot, so use caution to avoid burns.
Clean around the oil fill tube and remove the oil fill cap/dipstick. Now wipe around the oil drain valve, remove its protective cap, and you will see the drain port. Get your oil drain hose and push it securely into the oil drain port. Place the other end of the hose into the oil collection container. Now gently push in the oil drain valve while rotating it counterclockwise. Pull it towards you and the oil will flow out. Wait for all the oil to drain out, including drips. Now push in the oil drain valve, rotating it clockwise so it locks. This clockwise rotation and tightening will keep the oil from draining out later and ruining the engine. Remove the hose and put the protective cap back on the oil drain valve and port to keep debris out. Changing the oil filter is next. Never skimp on this step.
Start by wiping all around the base of the old filter. This will keep debris out of the crank case when you begin the change process. Now get ahold of the filter and turn it counterclockwise. This will loosen it from the adapter allowing you to remove it. Set it aside and put your new filter into the shallow pan mentioned earlier. Make sure the open end is up and slowly pour a little fresh oil into the threaded center hole. Only pour in enough oil to fill the hole to the bottom of the threads. Wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in to the material of the filter. Now pour a just a drop of new oil on your fingertip and rub it onto the new filter’s gasket. Next, put the new filter onto the adapter and turn it clockwise just until the rubber makes contact with the base. Lastly, give the filter one extra ½ turn to tighten it. Do not over-tighten, or you will have difficulty removing the filter at the next oil change.
Now you can slowly pour the new oil in through the oil fill tube, being careful to avoid an overfill. Periodically, you can check the dipstick to see whether you have poured in enough oil. The engine can be ruined from having too much oil, so use caution. Now, put the oil fill cap back on and make sure it’s tight. Carefully wipe up any spills. You’re almost done!
Place the spark plug back in the mower, turn it on and run for only thirty seconds. Turn it off and take the key out of the ignition. Take the oil fill cap/dipstick off, wipe the dipstick, stick it back into the oil fill tube all the way and then read it. Slowly add a little more oil if needed, being careful not to spill any. Tighten the cap back on and carefully examine three areas for any leakage: the base area of the oil fill tube, the area around the oil filter adapter, and the area around the oil drain valve. If you think there is a leak, make sure you have your mower serviced by a certified technician.
Once you are back up and running, remember to occasionally check the oil between projects. Always wipe the oil fill tube before checking the oil level to keep debris out of the crankcase. Keep the oil near or at the FULL level but never over full. Keeping enough oil in the engine and changing the oil and filter regularly will keep your Cub Cadet LT1050 mower running smoothly for many years.