If you’ve finally made your lawn mower purchase for the very first time, there’s more than a good chance that you’ll end up asking people how to maintain a lawn mower.
Of course, you want your mower to look the same for the next 10 years as it looks while buying, but that’s only possible when you know the secret to lawn mower maintenance.
For this reason, our 10bestlawnmowers experts have again entered the ground to share the deepest lawn mowing secrets that no one will tell you for FREE.
From how to clean a lawnmower engine and create a lawn mowing schedule to spring lawn mower maintenance and small engine repair, we’ve covered everything that falls under this umbrella.
So, let’s jump to the article about how to mow a lawn mower before it loses all the efficiency and becomes a heck of trouble for you while mowing.
Why Is Lawn Mower Maintenance Important?
Lawnmowers are the efficient grass-cutting machines that millions of homeowners love for their incredible, beautiful, and healthy results on the lawn.
However, their sensitive working mechanism makes them exposed to different damages and disturbances over time.
Although these damages are inevitable, the least you can do is learn, practice, and master the art of how to maintain a lawn mower.
This way, you can be saved from spending hours fixing your lawn mower problems, lawn mower maintenance costs and have a pleasant time mowing the lawn.
Here, we have the experience of maintaining nearly every type of mower, from the oldest reel and walk-behind mowers to the electric mower and robot mowers.
So, read this article carefully and increase the life span of your mower one to two years more by learning everything from small engine repair to spring lawn mower maintenance and everything in between.
As much as you love your lawn, it’s important to give the same love to your mower, which ultimately keeps your mower in a good state for years.
With that said, read this article about how to maintain a lawn mower and educate yourself.
How Often Should A Lawn Mower Be Serviced?
Getting your lawn mower serviced is another most important responsibility as a lawn owner that should be done at least once a year.
With some clean working skills and common mechanical tools, you can easily maintain your lawn mower without the need for a professional lawn mower service and save your lawn mower maintenance costs.
Basic lawn mower servicing includes replacing the damaged internal parts of the mower, cleaning the lawn mower, and sharpening the lawn mower blades.
How Do You Maintain a 4-Stroke Lawn Mower?
There’s no rocket science involved in maintaining a 4-stroke lawn mower, as all you need to do is change the oil regularly and take proper care of the lawn mower engine.
Simply find a good lawn mower oil and refill the new oil after draining the old oil.
Remember your lawn mower machine should not be oiled until the tank is empty. To keep a note of this, try to have and follow a lawn mower maintenance schedule.
Some other important steps to do are sharpen the lawn mower blades, clean the underside of your mower and prevent rust and corrosion from entering the lawn mower.
How Often Should You Clean Lawn Mower?
Cleaning the lawn mower both increases the lawnmower’s life span and efficiency during your regular mowing as it prevents exposure to rust and corrosion.
As a good rule of thumb, you should clean your lawn mower after every mowing, so you store it in good condition and get to use a clean lawn mower next time.
Some home owners also feel that it is trouble maintaining a lawn mower which is not true if you use the resources wisely, maintain a lawn mower schedule, and know commercial lawn mower repair.
Tips To Maintain A Lawn Mower Easily
1. Know The Type Of Lawn Mower
Whether you agree or not, the best answer to the question of how to maintain a lawnmower lies in the fact of the type of mower you have.
Since every mower is different from others, you better use unique approaches to maintain, which can indirectly save you plenty of time, effort, and money spent on lawn mower maintenance costs.
Once you’ve figured out the type of lawn mower you have, check its operator’s manual and read what the owner says about your lawn mower maintenance.
Through this, you’ll get to know about things to remember when doing your lawn mower maintenance.
2. Create a Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist
Creating a lawn mower maintenance checklist is very important if you’ve no idea about how to maintain a lawn mower which is why you’re reading this article.
It hardly takes a few minutes as all you need to do is sum up all the important chores of lawn mower maintenance, so you know what to do in an orderly manner. To put you at ease, we’ve made a lawn mower maintenance checklist that includes nearly all the general chores.
- Clean The Underside of the lawn mower
- Regularly add new fuel and oil to the lawn mower engine
- Clean the dirty spark plug or remove the damaged one.
- Replace and clean the dust from the air filter
- Sharpen and clean the lawn mower blades
- Use the right type of fluid in your lawn mower.
- Change the oil of the mower
- Ignite the spark
- Keeping the tyres in a healthy state
- Tighten the starter cord
- Clean the motor’s housing
- Clean the top of the mower
- Drain the fuel and add fuel stabilizers to the mower.
Note: Before you start to maintain a lawnmower, always disconnect the spark plug to be safe from any possible injuries or accidents. The spark plug is usually located on the front or the side of the lawnmower.
3. Change The Oil Regularly
As you know, oil is what fuels power to the lawn mower and starts the lawn mower engine. Whether you’re having trouble starting a lawn mower or have a dead lawn mower, draining the old oil and refilling it with the new one can save more than half of your problems.
According to our experts, the machine should not be oiled until there is any oil sitting at the bottom.
If you already have the changing oil in your how-to main lawn mower question list, follow the series of steps mentioned below and check if you’re doing this right. Try to change the oil according to the specific lawn mower maintenance schedule to sustain the health of your lawn mower.
- The first step is to locate the cap of the oil tank. Different types of lawnmowers have different positions for their oil , but most lawnmowers have it on the right or left corner.
- Once you’ve located the oil cap, it’s time to change the oil. Open the oil cap and check the present oil level in the tank to measure the quantity of the oil you need to add more. Never add new oil to the current oil that has turned black, cached moisture, changed in texture, as it could likely make the new oil stale too.
- Best practice is to change the oil as soon as the season ends or after 4-5 mowing. The lawnmower oil may be influenced by environmental factors when a new season starts with its respective changes.
- To drain the existing oil, you need to have an oil pan plug that comes with the lawnmower. As a substitute, you may also simply use a hand pump to drain the oil simply. Whichever method you choose, make sure to follow the lawnmower manual so that you don’t face any glitches in between.
- Next, replace the oil with the new one and close the oil cap tightly to preserve oil from dust or moisture entering it.
4. Add Fuel Stabilizer
If you’ve ever had a clogged carburetor, the chances are that you’ve not used the mower for a long time.
If you’ve not used your mower for more than 30 days, your mower is likely to cause problems when starting the lawn mower.
In short, a fuel stabilizer can greatly reduce your lawn mower maintenance cost by saving you from unexpected high and low voltages.
That’s when you need a fuel stabilizer for your mower, which will help in keeping the gasoline good and fresh.
As a best practice, always use the fuel stabilizer after you’re done mowing and ready to store it in a safe place.
5. Check Tire Pressure
Proper tire pressure is extremely important to make sure the grass cuts in a leveled manner.
If you mow with proper tire pressure, the deck remains straight and can handle all types of lawns from straight to bumpy.
This also helps in reducing the friction between the mower and the ground so that you mow safely.
As a best practice, make a habit of checking the pressure in your tire as per a lawn mowing schedule.
6. Tighten The Belts Of The Mower
Belts are important to keep the mower in place and eliminate the likeliness of unexpected damages and disturbances. Over time, the belts may experience different cracks and get worn out due to frequent breakages and pulley turning.
This mostly happens when the mower cuts over hills and high objects. Therefore, regularly check the cracks in the belt and replace them in the worst condition.
7. Lubricate The Mower
Cleaning the lawn mower is great, but it’s still not enough to ensure that your mower runs smooth and seamless on the ground.
Applying lubricants once you’ve cleaned the mower is very important if you want to avoid common lawn mower problems.
That is why add this important step to your lawn mower maintenance checklist.
The best thing to use is the WD40 spray and polish on the wheels, throttle, and height adjuster. Once you’ve done this, wipe the excessive WD40 from the surface.
8. Clean the Deck
For those who don’t know, a deck is basically a horizontal blade that provides a base for the grass to slide down during cutting.
As you mow with the mower, the deck remains in continuous performance to cut the grass exposed to dust and debris.
Therefore, cleaning the deck is an important part of lawn mower maintenance, and you must do a lawn maintenance schedule to keep up with the efficiency of your mower.
To clean the deck of your lawn mower, follow the steps below.
1. Turn the lawnmower upside down with all the screws tightly closed so that nothing leaks out.
2. Next, wear gloves and clean the hose connection using a brush to wipe off all the grass, scraps, and other things from the deck.
3. For intense cleaning, you may also use a mixture of soap and water on a sponge to clean the grass that has stuck on the deck.
9. Clean/Replace Air Filter
The basic function of an air filter is to pass the clean air from the mower. But when the filter is dirty- it can’t clean the air properly either.
The majority of the filters are made up of lightweight material that can be replaced easily as a cakewalk.
In case you forget to clean the air filter, you might have to spend a few bucks more on your lawn mower maintenance costs.
Others are made of sturdy material that can be cleaned with a little bit of stress, so make sure to check the material of your air filter before cleaning.
- First, identify the air filter by its rotating screw and the air filter housing.
- Next, rotate the screw and open the housing to take out the air filter.
- Once you get that, replace the air filter with a new one if it has been damaged due to external wear and tear.
- If it’s all fine and fiddled except some dirt and debris, simply clean it, dry it and then again put it back into the air filter housing. That’s how you make lawnmower maintenance easy.
8. Clean the Spark Plug
A dirty spark plug is 90% times the reason for your lawnmower not starting smoothly.
The dust and debris of the spark plug don’t allow the fuel to pass through the engine.
That’s when you need to make a small engine repair which starts with how to clean a lawn mower engine.
Therefore, make a routine of cleaning the spark plug before starting the lawnmower. First, rotate the spark plug and check if it’s dirty or not.
In case of a dirty spark plug, clean it with a brush and again attach it to the mower. A good rule of thumb is to change the spark plug after every 5-6 mowing and fix a lawnmower easily.
9. Lubricate The Parts Of A Mower
Have you ever lubricated your favorite metal equipment and adore how it shines after? Yes, that’s how lubrication does wonder for you. But, it is one of the best parts of maintaining a lawnmower. At 10bestlawnmowers, we have greatly saved our lawn mower maintenance costs by lubricating all our machines well.
- Use a light machine oil to lubricate all the metallic parts of the mower.
- Tilt the mower on both sides and clean it thoroughly from top to bottom.
- Make sure the oil doesn’t enter the air filter as it may get clogged and make the lawnmower splutter.
- After oiling, use a clean cloth to wipe the parts of a mower and save them from rusting.
For your ease, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best lawn mower oils you can use without a second doubt.
- Pennzoil (2 Cycle 1 gal. jug), 550045220-3PK
- Honda Pro GN4 Motor Oil
- Briggs & Stratton 30W Engine Oil
- Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Engine Oil
10. Check the Adjustments
Like every machine, lawn mowers need special adjustments to make sure your lawn mower functions well and runs seamlessly on the lawn.
With time, your lawn mower is likely to suffer from wear and tear, which results in disturbing its adjustments, making it less efficient.
For this reason, it’s important for you to carefully check every adjustment on your lawn mower to save yourself from possible accidents. If the problem doesn’t solve by lawn mower adjustments, know when to replace a lawn mower.
- Check the edges of the tire. Roll it a few times to see if the edges are flat. If there’s any difficulty rotating, then clean the debris in the axle and roll it again a few times.
- The height of the deck matters a lot in the cutting. Adjust the deck with respect to the cutting blade for a perfect and balanced cutting.
- Tighten all the screws, nuts, and bolts with a screwdriver, if needed. Also, check the tightness of the starting cord and pull it a few times to see how it works.
- An outer shell is a part that stores all the grass, scraps, and debris. Not only is it important to remove the scraps but also use an air pumper to clean them thoroughly.
- You may also use an air vacuum with a blowgun to extract out the deeply stuck dirt and grass that has been there for ages. Always apply moderate pressure and target a specific area for good and quick results.
11. Store It Properly
It might sound new to you but storing the lawnmower in the right place makes a lot of difference in servicing a lawnmower.
No matter what season it is, it’s important to learn about proper spring lawn mower maintenance to increase your mower life span.
In best practice, always store your lawn mower in a safe place, away from the reach of water, dirt, or other unnecessary mess.
In winter, it’s essential to store either in the garage or warehouse where there is a moderate temperature to keep the mower oil and gas in usable condition.
At 10best lawnmowers, we use special lawn mower covers for all or mowers to keep them safe and secure. Some of the best-rated ones:
- Tough Cover Premium Lawn Mower
- ASHLEYRIVER Riding Lawn Mower
- Himal Outdoor Lawn Mower
- Indeedbuy Riding Lawn Mower Cover
- Family Accessories Zero Turn Lawn
12. Clean Grass Clippings
Once you’re done mowing, clean all the clippings from the underside of the mower that will likely get stored during the mowing.
Use a hard-bristled brush to clean the stuck gas to clean the mower for an excellent performance every time.
Always clean the grass clippings with the help of a lawn mower maintenance checklist.
If you have a lawnmower with an attached bagger, you must read our how to maintain a lawn mower guide from a different perspective.
If the storage box has been over-filled, empty the bagger by taking out all the grass clippings from there.
Depending on your needs, you can both empty the bagger after mowing the lawn or midway.
Whichever way you choose, make sure to disconnect the spark plug and turn the mower off when doing this lawn mower maintenance.
13. Sharpen the Cutting Blades
The basic function of every lawn mower is to cut the grass in a systematic manner which cannot be done by scissors or trimmers.
For this reason, the cutting performance of your lawn mower speaks volumes of its precision, efficiency and power exerted on your lawn.
Sharpen the blades with the help of a lawn mower checklist.
Sharper the blades will be, the better your mower will cut the grass and help it grow healthy and safe from pests.
With time and use, the blades lose their sharpness and become dull, resulting in not too good cuts, which is probably why you should sharpen a lawn mower.
Therefore it’s important to sharpen the blades every twice a mowing or if you’ve mowed with the mower for more than 15-20 hours.
Step-to-step Guide About Lawn Mower Maintenance!
How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Cutting Blades?
To sharpen lawn mower blades, follow the steps below
- Disconnect the spark plug or battery from the lawn mower and turn it off
- Title the mower on one side and unscrew the bolts that secure the blade. You’ll probably find that on the underside of the mower.
- Once done, pull the blades out in a straight direction and remember the side.
- Clean the removed blade with the help of a brush. For intense cleaning, scrape the caked-on grass, mud, leaves, dust, debris and other unnecessary mess from the blades.
- Once you’ve cleaned the blade, it’s time to sharpen it with the help of a blade sharpener.
- Tilt the blade in a way that its cutting edges can be seen from the outer side.
- To sharpen the blade, use a drill powered blade sharpener, beach grinder or any rotatatory tool that can sharpen the blades.
- When using the drill sharpener stone, simply put the cutting edges on its tips and run the drill. This is for the front side of the blade.
- For the back side, simply drag the rear side of the blade to the beveled side of the stone and let it move in a to and fro direction.
- repeat the strokes and keep changing the direction so that both the cutting edges can be sharpened easily. Make sure the blade is balanced while you’re sharpening it.
- once done, keep the blade back in its place and tighten the bolts to see if it has increased in sharpness or not.
To maintain the cutting, all you need to do is sharpen the lawnmower’s blades after every mowing. It’s recommended to perform this lawnmower maintenance step or fix your lawnmower with professionals as it requires tools that you mightn’t find at your home.
Best Lawn Mower Oils
If the situation worsens, try to replace the lawn mower blade, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg. To help you out, here is a list of some best lawn mower blades that you should try out.
- Maxpower 331528B Mulching Blade
- MaxPower 561713B 2-Blade Set
- Maxpower 331538B Mower Blades
- Maxpower 331981B 21-Inch Mower Blade
- MaxPower 331740B Blade
- EGO Power+ AB2101 21-Inch Lawn Mower High Lift Blade
- MaxPower 561713B 2-Blade Set
- Toro 22″ Recycler Mower Replacement Blade
- MTD Genuine Parts Replacement Mulching Blade
How To Clean A Lawn Mower Engine?
Cleaning a lawn mower is easier than it sounds, as there are a number of cleaners you can use to clean the engine. Follow the steps to clean the lawn mower engine as easily as it can be.
- Take your lawn mower to a well-ventilated area.
- Turn the lawn mower engine off
- Spray an engine cleaner or any degreasing agent such as WD40 or any heavy duty degreaser.
- Clean all the grease, dirt encrusted and other stains on the lawn mower engine.
- Wipe away the stains on the lawn mower surface and break up all the dirt and debris.
- Once done, clean the lawn mower with a clean white cloth and clean your small lawn mower engine.
Should You Run The Gas Out Of Your Lawn Mower?
Yes, you should. By running the gas out of your lawn mower, it becomes pretty easy to start the lawnmower in a few pulls and can get the answer to your problem regarding how to maintain a lawn mower.
When not in use, a lawnmower can gather a lot of stale fuel that needs to drain out before you mow your lawn.
Therefore, we recommend you let the mower run for a few minutes with the engine turned on.
When the spluttering sound from the engine is over, stop the lawnmower and start it again for final use after a few minutes.
It will also offer easy lawnmower maintenance and get you rid of the gas that has to sit at the bottom of the tank.
FAQ’s About Lawn Mower Maintenance
How To Clean Grass From A Plastic deck Mower?
Plastic deck mowers are comparatively sensitive and need more care and maintenance compared to heavy mowers made up of sturdy material. For this reason, you may clean such mowers using any soap, water, or dishwashing liquid to clean the dirty parts of the mower.
How Do I Undo the Bolt Securing the Blade?
The best answer to this is to read the manual of your lawn mower as the phenomena of securing the blade are different in every mower.
Another way is to use a clean ratchet to remove the bolt by tightly gripping the shovel handle between the blade and the side of the mower.
How To Store Pushed Lawn Mowers For Winter Checklist?
Storing push lawn mowers for winter is very important as we don’t mow in winter. The best way to store a lawnmower during winter is after you have emptied the fuel in your lawn mower.
Once the winter is offered, you can run the mower again by adding the fuel stabilizer, filling the tank, running the mower, and letting the oil circulate throughout the engine. In this step, you don’t need a lawn mower maintenance schedule.
How To Treat a Mower When It Shuts Down After Running for Five Minutes?
Considering the scenario, the problem is often found to be in the fueling of your lawnmower. When the fuel doesn’t reach the engine well, then clean the lawnmower engine so that the mower tends to fall at the bottom.
Some other possibilities could be the small engine repair for which we advise you to clean the gas or oil tank thoroughly or replace it with new if needed.
The next step is to clean the lawnmower engine thoroughly. For that, insert a thin fine wire into the mower’s engine to check if there’s oil in the mower or not.
What Is the Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist?
Spring lawn mower maintenance is basically the maintenance you do for your mower in spring. In spring, gasoline-powered lawn mowers are most likely to face problems starting or running the lawn mower. Some important steps to perform during lawn mower maintenance include:
- Replacing the blade and belt
- Reconnect the spark plug wire
- Fill the tank with fuel
- Oil the screws and bolts
- Roll the mower outside and flip it
- Clean and replace the air filter
- Clean the underside of the mower
- Inspect drive belts
- Change the engine oil
- Pull the ignition wire by disconnecting the spark plug
How Often Should A Lawn Mower Be Serviced?
Well, there is no specific time that we can suggest you clean and maintain the lawnmower, but it varies with the different lawnmower’s conditions.
For example, a mower used for 2-3 years will need less mowing than the one you’ve bought a few weeks back. Therefore, it’s best to service a lawnmower when you feel your lawnmower is losing efficiency over time.
The best time to maintain a lawnmower is before and after the season ends. Also, creating a lawnmower maintenance checklist after and before mowing will help you with your regular lawn mower maintenance regime.
Using lawnmowers in winter is undoubtedly trouble; therefore, try to add certain steps for winterizing your lawnmower.
Try to create a lawnmower maintenance checklist so that you don’t miss these important steps in any case.
Not only does a properly maintained lawnmower cut better, last longer, and consume less fuel to give an excellent lawnmowing experience.
But, it also saves you from breaking a bank to buy a new one. So, try to have a lawn mower maintenance schedule as you follow all the steps from your lawn mower maintenance checklist.
Complete and quality lawnmower maintenance is the only key to getting a healthy, perfect, and new-like lawnmower. No matter how long you’ve been using your lawnmower without maintaining it, this is high time when you should know how to maintain a lawn mower without spending a fortune.
If the lawnmower still does not start, then read our guide on how to start a lawnmower to understand what’s causing the problem. For more detailed information about lawnmowers, you can also hop on another guide about how lawnmower works, so there’s no room left for any query.
All the tips we mention in our guide about how to maintain a lawn mower aim to help you fix your lawnmower by yourself and make it work at its best in every situation. Now that you know how to maintain a lawn mower, buying a new one doesn’t sound like a bad idea.