Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips & Upkeep

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips & Upkeep
  • Opening Intro -

    After several months of use, your lawn mower may not seem to work as well as it did at the beginning of the grass-cutting season.

    The grass isn't being cut evenly or the engine misses, perhaps it even backfires on occasion.


Your lawn mower isn’t broken, but it does need a midseason check-up, one that can help you avoid costly repair bills.

1. Find your maintenance manual.

Every new lawn mower comes with a book that outlines maintenance instructions. Although this book isn’t mandatory for maintaining your mower, it can help you identify parts needing replacement faster.

2. Remove the spark plug.

With your lawn mower on a level surface, remove the spark plug. A disconnected spark plug will ensure that the mower cannot be activated, possibly causing injury. The plug should be completely removed so that it doesn’t come in contact with the spark plug wire. Set the spark plug to the side.

3. Remove the mower blade(s).

Put on a pair of safety gloves and use a combination wrench to loosen the nut that holds the blade in place. You’ll be turning the nut to the left and will continue to do so until it works loose. Remove the blade and set it to the side.

4. Replace or sharpen the blade.

If you own a grinder, then you can sharpen the blade yourself. If your blade is particularly worn, then you may want to replace it. With the latter, you can take your blade to a hardware store and exchange it for a new one. This will cost you about $20. Install the now sharpened old or the all-new blade.

5. Replace the oil.

Lawn mower engine oil is typically too dirty to use after 50 hours of use, even shorter if you are dealing with dirt, dust and pollen. Remove the oil plug drain and put it in a safe place. Drain the oil into a drain pan, setting it to the side for later safe disposal. Put in new oil and reattach the oil drain plug.

6. Remove old gas.

You can skip this step if your mower has fresh gas. If not, remove the gas and replace with fresh gas.

7. Check the air filter.

Most lawn mowers come equipped with a cloth filter that can be rinsed off, dried and put back in the mower. If you have a paper filter, take this with you to the hardware store when you replace the blade to obtain a new one. Replace as needed.

8. Install a new spark plug.

With fresh oil and gas in the mower and a clean filter and a new or sharpened blade installed, your final step is to put a new spark plug in place. Like the blade and the filter, spark plugs are sold through your hardware store. Attach the spark plug wire to the spark plug. Start the mower.

Your mower should now run fine, giving you many more months of lawn-cutting satisfaction. Repeat the eight steps as needed and you’ll get many useful years out of your lawn mower.

See AlsoThe Cure For Your Brown, Parched Lawn

Home Improvement reference:

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Last update on 2020-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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Categories: Lawn Care

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".