How To Clean The Air Filter On A Briggs and Stratton Lawn Mower

Approx Reading Time: 8 minutes

The primary purpose of an air filter is to protect your Briggs & Stratton lawnmower’s engine and carburetor against any dirt or debris that might have entered during the process of lawnmowing. A properly functioning air filter in a lawnmower serves as the first line of defense in this regard. If the air filter is worn out, the dirt and grass clippings might enter the engine and cause excessive wear on engine parts and drastically reduce its efficiency.

A lawnmower air filter prevents dirt and grass cutouts into the engine, producing excess wear and reducing motor power. Two different types of air filter systems are provided for the Briggs and Stratton engines. The foam air filter system only contains a foam filter, and the dual-element system consists of a paper filter and a foam filter. Briggs and Stratton recommend both air filters every 25 hours — more often when you work in a very dusty environment.

How to clean the air filter on a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower:

  • Step 1: Do your research.
  • Step 2: Make confident that the lawnmower is off.
  • Step 3: Disconnect the spark plug wire
  • Step 4: Locate the air filters.
  • Step 5: Clean the filter
  • Step 6: Ensure the presence of the right equipment.
  • Step 7: Put everything back in place. 

In Briggs and Stratton lawnmowers, the foam only air filter uses the motor oil spread all around the holding medium to trap the debris and dirt. In case the foam filter is dry, it traps only the large particles leaving other dust particles unchecked. Thus, cleaning and oiling it is essential. In addition to the foam filter, Briggs and Stratton also have a genuine dual air filter element that extends the engine’s life exponentially. The foam part acts as a pre-cleaner and should be replaced every 25 hours, while the cartridge every 100 hours.

Cleaning or replacing the air filter in your lawnmower is considered an integral part of general tuning and maintenance for the Briggs and Stratton engines. Following this step saves the machine from hazards and enhances the machine’s efficiency by extending its lifetime. In the case of foam pre-cleaner, it is necessary to get it cleaned every 25 operating hours. On the other hand, in the paper air filter case, replacement is needed after at least 300 hours of operation. Specifically, in dusty conditions, replacement of an air filter is necessary because it can get clogged. When an air filter gets clogged, there is no passage left for the air to enter the engine. There will be no engine combustion as oxygen, an essential element to initiate the engine’s combustion, fails to enter the engine.

In this part, we will elaborately enlist steps required to clean the Briggs and Stratton lawnmower’s air filter.

Clean your for the Briggs and Stratton lawnmower’s air filter in 7 easy steps.

● Step 1: Check the details for your specific type

The first step when you are going forward to clean an air filter is to do your research. Refer to online resources or your user manuals with more information on the different parts. This will help you understand the model and make various parts (like a carburetor, engine oil, tires, air filters, etc.) from your Briggs and Stratton lawnmower.

Some lawnmower models have a relatively more straightforward mechanism to clean the air filters. For some other Briggs and Stratton lawnmower models, you need a good step by step procedure to clean or replace the two air filters.

● Step 2: Make sure your lawnmower is off:

After you have done your research and are familiar with the model and make of your for the Briggs and Stratton engines and the parts involved, the next obvious step that many people tend to forget is to make sure that the lawnmower is turned off and disconnected from the power source. 

In addition to the engine, a lawnmower comprises many other moving parts that are operative even when the engine is off. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the entire lawnmower is turned off and disconnected as a safety precaution to save yourself from hazards.

● Step 3: Disconnect the spark plugs:

This step is taken as more of a precaution before getting onto cleaning the lawnmower. For extra security, one must disconnect the spark plugs. Spark plugs are an integral part of the engine that the essential for it to get turned on. They are generally located at the front end of the machine. Once you have found them, you can disconnect them by removing the wires getting into the spark plugs. You can even remove them by using a wrench of appropriate size. Disconnecting the spark plugs is a prerequisite to safe work.

● Step 4: Locate the air filter:

Once you are done with the precautions, the next step is to locate the air filter. In the case of a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower’s both the air filter is generally located near the top of the engine, encapsulated in a metal or plastic casing that has been secured with the help of screws. You can remove the air filters by unscrewing the wing nut that holds on the air filter housing. After that, remove the housing and lift out the filter.

● Step 5: Clean the air filter:

A Briggs and Stratton lawnmower consists of foam air filters used as a pre-cleaner. To clean, pull out the filter and thoroughly wash them with hot water and liquid soap until all the grease present starts to diminish. After that, remove as much water as you can via rinsing. Once you are done rinsing, spray the air filter with just the right amount of engine oil as its excessive amount could cause problems for the exhaust system. So, it is recommended to squeeze out the extreme oil content from the air filter.

After cleaning the pre-cleaner, you can now clean the dual-element air filter that is a cartridge with soap water and a brush.

After the filter is clean, remove any debris present in the rubber gasket/encapsulation that seals the carburetor unit’s air filter. Also, look for any tears and leaks in the gasket and if there are any, ensure to seal it off completely.

● Step 6: Ensure the presence of the right equipment:

To remove the air filter, you will be needed to unscrew the casing to remove it and clean the rubber gasket from inside. Ensure that you have an ample supply of the right sized screws if they have been corroded or damaged.

Hence it is necessary to have the right tools and supplies before getting onto the cleaning phase.

● Step 7: Put everything in place:

It is necessary to keep check of all the parts or components you remove. Keep a bowl for the screws so that they do not get misplaced. And if needed, take some photos or a video with your phone where each screw is and how the parts fit. This step will help you put back the machine in an orderly fashion and save you from the panic caused by misplaced small screws and components.

Related Questions:

How much time, skills, and tools I need to clean my lawnmower’s air filter.

Cleaning a lawnmower’s air filter sitting for a while is an easy task that can be quickly done at home in a couple of hours provided you have the right knowledge.

The tools and items needed for this job are liquid soap that cuts through grease, a paper towel, motor oil, and a replacement gasket if required. It is always suggested to refer to the owner’s manual for detailed instructions and specifications.

Can I use solvent water to clean the air filter?

In the case of a foam air filter, it is warned not to use solvent water as it causes the fibers’ breakdown that makes up the foam filter. 

What types of air filters are present?

There are two basic air filters: the foam air filter and the dual-element air filter.

The dual-element air filter is regarded as the best fit because of the double layers of protection that are air-pleated and foam elements.

The other types are foam air filters, which have two different subtypes. A disposable air filter must be replaced after a specific time, and reusable foam air filters can be washed by following the steps mentioned above.  

Are paper filters also cleanable?

Different lawnmowers use paper filters that can be disposed off. They are easier to handle because they can be removed and replaced without needing to clean them.  Since it is hard to differentiate between paper and foam filters, one often realizes halfway through the cleaning process, the filters that your machine uses are made of paper. It is therefore recommended to ensure that spares are available when you take up the task. Air filters are available from local hardware or other online resources easily.

Final Remarks:

Cleaning a lawnmower’s air filter is an easier task if you have the right instructions and tools. From time to time, cleaning and replacing the air filter are necessary for the machine’s health and efficiency. A clogged air filter can hinder the engine’s normal combustion process, causing the engine to malfunction and eventually seize.