How To Change Your Go Kart Oil Yourself

Performing your own maintenance is essential to owning a go kart. It’s not practical to drive somewhere and have it done for you. Luckily changing the oil on a go kart can be done fairly easily yourself. Below are the good, better, and best ways to accomplish this.


This method could also be considered the easiest, but least thorough. First, you need to find level ground or make your own with jacks and jack stands. The go kart should start level.

  1. Make sure you wait a while to change the oil if you have just driven your go kart. I would recommend the engine be cool to the touch before starting.
  2. Find your drain plug. It will normally be at the bottom-most square section of the engine and just look like a random bolt sticking out. 
  3. Hopefully, our drain plug will be facing a direction that’s easily accessible, if not we may improvise below. For now, we’ll assume it’s accessible enough.
  4. I like to use a bendable drain tool that I can bend around so when the oil comes out it’ll go right where I want it. Put this in place and also find a spare container to put the used oil into. An old water bottle works fine here.
  5. Open the drain plug and let the oil spill out. Once the oil stops draining or starts dripping very slowly, put the plug back in.
  6. Locate your fill spot, also the spot where you check the oil level and pour in new oil. Most small engines will use around 1/2 quart, for reference, that’s what the Predator 212 uses. 
  7. Startup the engine and look for leaks, then call it done!


This method is better because it will allow more oil to drain and have less of a mixture when you add the new oil. Follow all the steps from Good, but during step 5 modify using one of the below ideas.

  1. While draining the oil, lift up the go kart to allow the oil to flow towards the drain. You’ll have to tilt it back and forth to get everything out. The bendable drain tool really comes in handy here!
  2. Instead of using the drain plug, if it’s in a location that’s not very accessible, you can use the fill spout. They are more accessible a lot of times because they are used to check oil levels, and their placement is more favorable. Do the same as above, tilt the go kart until the oil comes out.
  3. The slowest and perhaps most dirty way is to use the fill spout but suck out the oil using a turkey baster. You won’t need to tilt the go kart to get started, but you might need to a little to finish the job. 

All three of these methods will be harder on you, but will result is more of the old oil being removed from the engine. Which is better long term as the majority of the sludge and junk and metal shavings will stay in that last 2% of the oil that doesn’t get drained.


This method will take you the longest and require the most effort but will yield the most effective oil change. To put this short, just remove the engine and do the oil change on a bench or the floor. You are able to rotate and get the oil out this way much easier, and you will be able to get 99% of it out this way. 

One other huge benefit of doing this is that you are able to clean up the engine, you’re able to check the other maintenance items over more easily, and it also aids in completing some of the other yearly maintenance items you should be checking. I have a more comprehensive list located here that goes into greater detail.


Do yourself a favor and wear some rubber gloves. No matter how careful I am, or how clean everything is, I always seem to manage to touch something that makes my hands smell hours later. 

If you use the Better method, use wheel chocks so you are rotating the go kart and it’s not rolling on you.

When you have the old oil in a container you can take it to your local auto parts store and they have a recycle drum you can dump it into. I have a container I use for cars that I’ll store up and empty it when it gets heavier, but be environmentally responsible when disposing of use oil. It’s free!


However you end up doing it, just make sure you do an oil change once a year. It’s the #1 maintenance item that will extend the life of your engine. It’s cheap, it’s fairly easy, and it’ll pay huge dividends down the road when you get great life out of your engine. 


I love to drive my kids around in our go kart and I'm always looking for an opportunity to share what I've learned with others!

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