Lawn mower care and maintenance is important to the life of your mower. If you neglect to follow a maintenance schedule then you risk a breakdown. Just think of all the headaches and money you can save just by taking care of your lawn mower.
This reminds me of the old lawn mower that came with our house. The previous owner neglected to take care of it. It ran like it was ready to die.
Did I go out and buy a new mower?
No. I cleaned up the carburetor and installed a new spark-plug.
Total cost: Less than $10 for carb cleaner and a spark-plug.
It took me about an hour to take the carburetor apart to clean it and install the spark-plug. I also changed the oil and cleaned under the mower deck.
I saved a few hundred dollars as I didn’t need to buy a new lawn mower.
Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance Tips
You should perform these steps every year at the beginning of the mowing season. It really isn’t that much work and will extend your mowers life.
Supplies and Tools Needed:
- Lawn mower oil
- New spark-plug
- Spark-plug socket and ratchet
- Leather gloves
- Scraper tool
- Pail to catch the old oil
1: Change Your Lawn Mower Oil
You will have to check the owner’s manual for the correct motor oil to use. If you don’t have the manual you can check the manufacturer’s website. Most of the major brands will have manuals posted on their website for download.
When I am changing the oil on my lawn mower I like to put it on top of 2 saw horses. This allows me to access the drain plug under the mower deck easily. If you go this route you will need help lifting the mower.
If the underside of your lawn mower is caked with grass clippings you will have to scrape them off. While your at it you might as well clean the whole deck.
Drain the oil into the oil catch and replace the drain plug. Pour in the new oil up to the fill line on the dipstick. Do not overfill the oil or the engine will be damaged.
2: Replace the Lawn Mower Spark-plug
Changing the spark-plug on your lawn mower is an easy job. It also ensures that you can start the mower easily.
Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct spark-plug replacement and grab one from the hardware store. My local Home Depot had all the replacement parts I needed when overhauling my lawn mower.
Remove the wire from the spark-plug and unscrew it with your socket and ratchet. Install the new spark-plug and reattach the wire.
It’s that easy.
3: Clean Underneath Your Mower Deck
Grass clippings tend to stick to the underside of the mower deck. Cleaning it on a regular basis keeps it cutting cleanly and prevents the discharge chute from clogging up.
You will need to use a scraper or screwdriver to get the clippings off the mower deck.
4: Sharpen the Lawn Mower Blade
You will need to remove the cutting blade from your lawn mower for this step. Make sure you put on a pair of leather work gloves to protect your hands.
There are a few ways to sharpen the cutting blade. You can use either a metal file or get a specialized tool made just for sharpening blades.
The blade sharpening kit pictured above is available on Amazon.com
If you need to get your car ready for winter you can read my guide here.