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How to Tune Up Your Lawn Mower Read This First. Helpful Tips

It is best to keep your lawn mower well-maintained throughout the year, this is done by checking if all the mower’s parts are running as expected. If not, fixing it only requires a few basic steps to ensure the mower is turned up. There is no need to take your lawn mower to a repair store since fixing it is not that complicated, and it also helps you save a lot of money.

If your lawn mower is not starting as soon as you need it to, perhaps that is the right time to tune-up. It keeps your mower running smoothly and efficiently since you will check all the parts and ensure they are fully functional. The tune-up includes changing the oil and the fuel and air filters so that the engine performs at its best. These annual tune-up actions will help you complete the mowing easily and also avoid constant repairs.

How to Tune Up Your Lawn Mower:

  • Step 1: Remove the Spark Plug
  • Step 2: Drain the Engine Oil
  • Step 3: The Filters
  • Step 4: Change Your Spark
  • Step 5: Remove and Sharpen the Blade
  • Step 6: Wipe the Underside of Your Mower
  • Step 7: Install the Blade
  • Step 8: Replace the Gas and Oil
  • Step 9: Connect the Spark Plug Wire
(CC BY 2.0) by Kai Hendry

You do not require an expert for a mower tune-up since it is quite straightforward to learn how to do it. Below are ideal strategies that will help you tune up your mower and know which tools are useful.

Lawn Mower Tune Up

● What You Need:

  • Gloves
  • Draining pan
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug
  • Oil or gasoline
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Locking pliers

Step 1: Remove the Spark Plug

Every model has its spark plug located in a different place, so you should understand your model to locate it. However, no matter the location, it is always accessible to you, so search for a rubber cable capped in its ends with a white tub. Pull the plastic cap gentle to remove the plug. Disconnecting this part is essential for you to work on your mower safely. It means that the lawn mower cannot accidentally start since the plug is off.

Step 2: Drain the Engine Oil

Check the manual to know the right method of draining the oil from the mower. If you have misplaced the manual, search for it online since many manufacturers post such information. Typically, look for a cap written oil on your mower’s side, or the tip, then tilt it until all the oil is drained. If there is a draining plug, loosen the plug using a socket wrench, then remove it. Ensure the drain pan is ready so that the oil pours in once you remove the mower’s plug.

When you want to drain the oil, carefully tilt the mower, so you do not spill some oil. Search for a firm that disposes of the used oil to keep the environment safe. You will have to pay a small amount, but it helps ensure that proper disposal methods are followed, hence keeping the surroundings safe.

Step 3: The Filters

Many manufacturers urge you to buy a new air filter every year to ensure your engine runs smoothly. Replacing the air filters helps remove the oil and debris so that your machine runs effectively. Use a screwdriver to remove the air filter’s cover, then replace it with a new one. Wipe the air filter cover and screw it back into your lawn mower.

Step 4: Change Your Spark

Ensure your mower has a new spark plug so that it does not affect how it starts. There should be a gap in the spark plug since if it touches your machine’s electrodes, your mower will not start. Insert them and tighten it using your hands but make sure it is not too tight to avoid damage.

Step 5: Remove and Sharpen the Blade

The best method to remove your blade is through placing a block of wood, for instance, on the blades’ opposite direction as you loosen it. If you are dealing with minor wear or tear, run the file along the cutting edges, but use a bench grinder for more damaged problems. A socket wrench can help remove the blade and sharpen it with a bench grinder or metal file. Tilt your mower and use the lock pliers to prevent it from slipping.

The lawn mowers do not require too much effort to sharpen as they are made of soft steel and are not required to be extremely sharp. The aim is to get rid of the dents and remove the existing layer that makes it hard to mow your lawn. During the sharpening process, have gloves on to protect yourself from getting cut.

Step 6: Wipe the Underside of Your Mower

Once the blade is off, cleaning the under of your lawn mower deck is easy using a wire brush. Spray a nonstick spray, then rinse it off as it prevents build-up, hence keeping the machine operational. You should consider using a pressure washer or your garden hose to blast any dirt left. The stubborn build-up should be scrubbed using warm water and soap before rinsing your machine.

Step 7: Install the Blade

The best way to reinstall the blade is by placing a block of wood as you tighten the nut. It stops your blade from spinning and ensures your blade is well-fixed before you start using it.

Step 8: Replace the Gas and Oil

The drain plug has to be inserted before adding the oil and using a funnel to avoid spillage.

Step 9: Connect the Spark Plug Wire

Once you have checked and seen that all parts are in great state, attach the spark plug wire back, and your mower will be tuned. Use a wrench and plug socket to tighten it, then fit the cable cap at the end.

● Know The Right Time To Move On:

Although taking care of your lawn mower will keep it operational for years and years, you should easily identify if the machine is past its lifespan. It reaches a point when you need to replace the machine; hence, see how often you repair or tune your machine to know if it is still functional.

Also, clean the carburetor since it is the essential part of your lawn mower, and the dirt affects its efficiency. You might use more gas to get the carburetor in shape, which increases the fuel expenses.

Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance

Give your mower a good tune to ensure all the parts are working as it makes it easy to mow. However, regular maintenance is critical as it is a perfect preventative measure to complete the tasks at hand.

1. The Break-In Period:

Every new lawn mower has a breaking period where a few things in the machine become loose after using it. For the new mowers, there will be two times when the maintenance is required:

  • After Eight Hours: You are expected to change the engine oil and the filter, then check the wheel and tighten other parts that seem loose.
  • After 50 Hours: Depending on your lawn care schedule, you might take some time before hitting the 50th hour. When that happens, check the transmission oil and the filter of your lawn mower.

2. Every 50 Hours:

Once you are past the first 50 hours of the break-in period, it is recommended that you lubricate your components every 50 hours after that. However, remember to lubricate it even without hitting the 50th-hour mark, as it keeps the machine running.

3. 100 Hours:

If your machine is constantly used, you have to tune it up after every 100 hours. During that time, sharpen and clean the blades, and check if there is tension in the driving belts.

4. 200 Hours:

It might take a long time before you hit 200 hours, but you should ensure your machine gets full service. Adjust the valve clearance, and it is recommended you work with an experienced dealer for this service.


● Why Does the Lawn Mower Need Regular Tune-Ups?

Since the tune-up focuses on the engine and air filters, you will keep your machine in good condition for longer, saving you money as you do not have to repair or replace your machine constantly. Also, during the tuning sessions, you will keep sharpening the blades, which reduces the stress to the engine and keeps it balanced.

● How Often Should You Tune-Up The Lawn Mower?

If your mower has a small engine, it should happen after 50 hours. However, there are specifications from manufacturers. Read your manual and look at how your lawn mower operates to determine if it needs tuning up for effective operations.

Final remarks

When you use the steps discussed above, it will be pretty easy to tune and run the machine. Check your lawn mower’s condition before you start mowing to ensure you do not struggle while using the machine. You should also read the machine’s manual to identify all the parts, as it enables you to know the right ways of removing each part and keeping your mower in check.

Mower tune-ups do help with the engine maintenance and improve the overall performance of the machine. If you get these services from professionals, you will end up paying anything close to $90 or more depending on your model. So, knowing how to do it without involving a professional saves time and money, this is why equipping yourself with such knowledge is essential.

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  1. Judd Burke says:

    I’ll give this a try this weekend, thanks!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the blog helpful, Judd! Enjoy tuning up your mower this weekend. It’s a great way to keep it running smoothly without spending a fortune on repairs. Happy mowing!

  2. Chad Rodriquez says:

    I need to do this before mowing season, thanks.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad you found the information helpful, Chad. Keeping your lawn mower well maintained is key to a successful mowing season. Happy tuning!

  3. Laurie Hansen says:

    How often should I change the air filter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      You should change the air filter in your mower annually for optimal performance and longevity. It’s best to do this as part of a tune-up to ensure all parts are working correctly.

  4. Deanna Castillo says:

    This is very informative, I appreciate it.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Deanna! I’m glad you found the information helpful. Maintaining your lawn mower is key to its longevity and performance. Let me know if you have any questions!

  5. Erica Davis says:

    Do I need to drain the oil if I’m just sharpening the blade?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It is not necessary to drain the oil when just sharpening the blade. Only drain the oil during a full tune-up to keep your mower running smoothly.

  6. Roy White says:

    These steps are easy to follow, great guide.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Roy! Keeping your lawn mower well-maintained is essential for optimal performance. I’m glad you found the guide helpful. Happy mowing!

  7. Eleanor Gomez says:

    Can I use any type of oil for my lawn mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can use any type of oil for your lawn mower, but it is best to use the recommended oil type for optimal performance.

  8. Elmer Reynolds says:

    Helpful information, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you Elmer! Glad you found the information helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about maintaining your lawn mower.

  9. Derrick Reid says:

    Is it necessary to wear gloves when sharpening the blade?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It’s always recommended to wear gloves while sharpening the blade to protect your hands from cuts and injuries. Safety first!

  10. Sara Walker says:

    How do I know if my mower needs a tune-up?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Regular tune-ups help keep your mower running smoothly. If it’s not starting easily, it might be time for a tune-up. Remember the basic steps for maintenance.

  11. Julian Williams says:

    What’s the best way to clean the underside of the mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Julian, to clean the underside of your mower, simply wipe it clean with a wire brush and spray a nonstick spray to prevent build-up. Follow these steps for a well-maintained lawn mower.

  12. Kaylee Craig says:

    Great tips for maintaining my lawn mower.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Kaylee! I’m glad you found the tips helpful for maintaining your lawn mower. Remember, regular tune-ups can keep it running smoothly for a long time.

  13. Louis Romero says:

    How often should I be tuning up my lawn mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It is recommended to tune up your lawn mower every 50 hours. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your mower running smoothly and efficiently. Thank you for reaching out!

  14. Ron Parker says:

    I’ve always taken my mower to a shop, but I might try this now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for considering trying to tune up your mower at home! It’s a straightforward process that can save you time and money. Let me know if you have any questions.

  15. Cassandra Matthews says:

    I never thought about sharpening the blade, good tip.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Cassandra! Regularly sharpening the blade is key to an efficient lawn mower. Simple maintenance like this can make a big difference in how smoothly your machine runs. Happy mowing!

  16. Rafael Ramos says:

    Thank you for the detailed instructions, very helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the instructions helpful, Rafael! Keeping your lawn mower in top condition is key for smooth mowing. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

  17. Kurt Hicks says:

    Good to know I can do this myself.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the information helpful. Keeping your mower well-maintained is key to its longevity and efficiency. DIY tune-ups save money and ensure your machine operates smoothly.

  18. Martin Newman says:

    What do I do if I can’t find the spark plug on my mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To locate the spark plug on your mower, first ensure the maintenance steps are followed. The plug is accessible and essential to safely tune-up your mower.

  19. Toni Fuller says:

    Where can I dispose of the used oil safely?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      You can dispose of used oil at a local auto parts store or mechanic shop that collects it for recycling. Some recycling centers also accept used oil for safe disposal.

  20. Vanessa Hudson says:

    Is it okay to use a pressure washer to clean the mower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Vanessa! We don’t recommend using a pressure washer to clean your mower. Follow these simple steps instead for a quick and easy tune-up. Hope this helps!

  21. Tracy Murphy says:

    I didn’t know it was this easy to tune up a lawn mower.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad you found the information helpful Tracy! Keeping your lawn mower well-maintained is essential for optimal performance. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!