Maintaining a Lawn Mower

April 10, 2012

As with all garden tools, routine care and maintenance is necessary to improve performance and extend the life of your lawn mower. Here is a page to cleaning and maintaining your lawn mower to help keep it running safely and efficiently for as long as possible.


Keeping Your Lawn Mower Clean

For a rotary mower, clean the mower deck and engine housing after each use. To do this, disconnect the spark plug cable and turn the mower on its side, spark plug up. If you're worried about fuel leaking out, place a small piece of plastic under the gas cap before tipping the mower onto its side. Use a 3" putty knife to scrape away any caked on grass and dirt from the exposed areas under the deck. For riding or tractor mowers, cleaning underneath the mower deck is a bit more complicated. One method is to raise the deck and spray underneath it with an air hose, or a strong jet from the garden hose (be sure to let dry thoroughly in the sun before storing). Another method is to drive your mower onto a sturdy set of ramps so you can reach underneath to scrape it clean.

Routine Care and Maintenance

In addition to cleaning, there are other maintenance jobs to take care of before, during, and after the mowing season. These are usually minimal, but be sure to follow your manufacturer's maintenance recommendations as closely as possible.

Beginning of the Season:

Throughout the Season:

End of the Season:

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April 1, 2005

It doesn't hurt to keep a spare lawn mower blade on hand. Just in case you happen to run over something that might bend the one on the mower (Example: Maybe your wife or kids are doing the mowing). You might need it on a holiday when all the stores are closed.

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July 15, 2004

When you are cutting grass and the grass is damp, try spraying a little cooking spray on the blades of the lawn mower before starting to cut the grass.. It is amazing the grass doesn't stick to the blades and clump up.

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March 26, 2005

if you have a gasoline engine lawnmower, always run the engine out of gas before putting it up till your next use. Also, it doesn't hurt to use a bit of gas additive in your fuel (so you don't gum up your carburator.)

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9 Questions

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May 2, 2007

Do you have any tips to share for maintaining your lawn mower? Post them below.


By saron (Guest Post)
August 20, 20060 found this helpful

how to change the oil in Yard Man lawn mower Model # 455

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By Sarah Cox (Guest Post)
May 7, 20070 found this helpful

This is info from Home Depot:

Maintaining Your Lawn Mower
There's more to mowing a lawn than just turning on the mower. A mower that's not properly cared for will have years taken off its life and have a lot more problems in the short run, as well.

A little fast, simple maintenance during the mowing season and just before you put it to bed for the winter can make the difference between care-free operation and lots of costly and stress-inducing problems.

Be sure to keep the blade sharp, as described in the project Sharpening a Mower Blade. A sharp blade, along with a well cared-for engine, will keep your mower humming for years to come.

Once or twice a year, clean the mower. With the gas tank empty, disconnect the spark plug wire and turn the mower on its side. Give it a powerful spray with a hose to loosen dirt and dried-on grass. Scrub with a soft brush and soapy water. Then rinse.

Replace or clean the air filter once or twice a year as well. Replace paper filters when they look dirty. Plastic foam filters can be removed and washed out by hand in warm, soapy water and then allowed to air-dry. After they dry thoroughly, work about 2 tablespoons of clean mower oil evenly across and into the filter, lightly coating it as well.

After you've used the mower for the last time at the end of the growing season, empty the fuel tank by letting the engine run until it runs out of gas. Leave the gas tank empty until spring. If the mower has a separate tank for oil, empty it and refill the oil tank with fresh oil.

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August 16, 2014

My husband's mower was running and then would cut out after it got hot. So we put on a new coil on, and it started right up. He mowed about 3 laps in the front yard, and then it just died. My husband checked to see if everything was OK. He tried to start it and found that it was not getting fire. He took the new coil off and put the old one back on. It started right up, but didn't last long. Do you have a clue what it might be?

By Denise Solgat D. from Ozark, AR


February 8, 20160 found this helpful

The vent hole in the top of the gas cap could be clogged. This will create a vacuum in the fuel line. I had the same problem. Take a paper clip and push it through the hole to clear it.

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September 4, 2014

How many safety switches are there and where are they located on a Bolens riding mower, 13an683g163?

By Dagmar

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May 22, 2014

I cannot get the oil drain plug out, it is stripped. What do I do?

By Marilyn

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August 30, 2009

How do I go about changing the front belt on a MTD task force riding lawn mower?

By sharon from Lecanto, FL

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