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!

Red lawn mower parked on the grassy lawn, Can You Tip A Riding Lawn Mower On Its Side Or Back?

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

Ride on 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Mowing the lawn

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.

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?

Lawn mower cutting green grass in backyard

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.

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

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

Draining Lawn Mower Fuel

  1. Insert a clean tube into the gas tank of your lawn mower.
  2. Connect one end of the tube to a siphon pump.
  3. Connect a second clean tube to the output port of the pump.
  4. Place the other end of the second tube into a gasoline container.
  5. 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. Moreover, ethanol can corrode and damage the carburetor.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

Oil draining into a yellow and black container during an oil change on a red lawn mower

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.

  1. Once you’ve drained the lawn mower of oil, look for the drain plug.
  2. Position a drain pan under the oil drain plug.
  3. 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

Man working on a lawnmower in the garden

  1. Check the spark plug. Clean the threads with a wire brush.
  2. If the contacts are dirty, use high grit sandpaper to gently scrub the contacts.
  3. Check the air filter.
  4. 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.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might find the articles below equally interesting:

How To Make A Riding Lawn Mower Faster?

How To Start A Lawn Mower Without The Pull Cord?

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