Having a lawn mower maintenance checklist in hand is by far the best way to keep the mower in good working condition all year round.
With the right tips & tricks, you can extend the life of your mower for a few more years to get a healthy and trimmed lawn with smooth cutting.
Whether you’ve recently bought a mower or are juggling with your old and cranky lawn mower, this lawn mower maintenance guide is a must-read for you.
From how to clean a lawnmower engine to why lawn mower won’t start, we’ve covered a detailed lawn mower maintenance checklist to fix your mower like a pro.
When Should You Maintain a Lawn Mower Weekly?
Lawnmowers are efficient grass-cutting machines made up of sturdy metal parts that are likely to wear and tear over time. Regular cutting may make the blade dull and ugly while repeated charging can weaken the efficiency of the mower’s battery.
If you also see signs of your mower deteriorating, grab your mower equipment, pick up handy tools and use this step-by-step lawn mower maintenance checklist to work.
Step-by-Step Guide Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist
1. Know The Type Of Lawn Mower
Since every mower is different from the others, make sure to read the user manual for your type of mower in order to locate every lawn mower part easily.
For example, reel and push mower needs, regular cleaning and blade sharpening while heavy riding mowers call for frequent fueling and oil filling. So make sure to go through the lawn mower maintenance checklist to ensure everything is well inside.
2. Create a Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist
Creating a lawn mower maintenance checklist is an effective way to have all your to-do mower chores in one place. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common lawn mower maintenance practices so you don’t miss anything in between.
- 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
- Lubricate wheels to reduce friction
- 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 work on your mower, make sure to disconnect the spark plug and unplug the cord to be safe from any possible injuries or accidents. Usually, the spark plug is located on the front or the side of the lawnmower.
3. Change The Oil Regularly
Like your vehicle, your mower also needs regular oil filling to work smoothly across the yard without any interruption. However, changing lawn mower oil is a pretty simple task as all it takes is a few handy tools, quality oil, and gloves to refilling the lawn mower oil again into the mower.
On average, change the lawn mower oil every 50 hours of use to keep the engine running well during mowing.
5 Tips To Change Lawn Mower Oil
- The first step is to locate the cap of the oil tank. Check the location of the oil cap from the user manual guide.
- Once located, now open the cap and check the current oil level in the tank to see how much to drain. Never add new oil to the oil present in the tank.
- To drain the existing oil, use an oil pan or pump that sucks all the oil from the tank in seconds.
- 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
Adding a fuel stabilizer is an important aspect of the lawn mower maintenance checklist. With the help of a fuel stabilizer, you can increase the lifespan of the fresh gas to be longer effective in the mower.
For this reason, add a small quantity of fuel stabilizer along with the fresh gas and run it through the engine for a few minutes. Not only does it prevent the clogging of the carburetor but also saves money on buying fuel after every few days.
5. Check Tire Pressure
Inflated tires are 90% likely to be the cause of unexpected lawn mower accidents. However, the best tire pressure ranges from 10-14PSI to maintain good pressure, reduce friction, and prevent any damage.
Mowing with proper tire pressure helps the deck remain straight and easily maneuver all across the yard, even in cold temperatures. As a thumb rule, immediately check the tire pressure by pressing the tire pressure gauge in the center of the valve of the tire.
6. Tighten The Belts Of The Mower
Nearly every riding mowers come with belts that you loop and adjust to hold the operator strong and keep your lawn mower maintained. To adjust the belt, apply the tension to the spring, and compress it which will hold the belt in place.
If not maintained well, the belt may break, crack, or get worn out due to frequent breakages and mowing over hills or high objects. Therefore, make sure to check the condition of the belts before you climb to the riding lawn mower seat.
7. Lubricate The Mower
Although cleaning the mower is important, it doesn’t ensure 100% lawnmower efficiency or complete lawn mower maintenance. That’s why we added lubrication to the top of our checklist to fix the mower from all future issues.
Wiping oil on the machine parts not only makes the mower shine a little brighter but also increases its average lifespan. From wheels to the engine, apply oil to nearly all the external parts of your mower every once a month.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to lubricating the mower with any type of grease such as WD40 spray, machine oil, or any quality lubricant.
Step-by-Step Guide To Lubricate A Mower
- Unplug the mower supply,
- Locate the lawn mower part you want to lubricate.
- Remove that part and apply the lubricate in a generous quantity with the help of gloves or any brush.
- To lubricate the wheels, gently lift the mower, place a deck underneath and lock the wheels to easily lubricate the mower.
- However, you can also use the grease gun after every 25 hours of use to ensure the longevity of your mower
8. Clean the Deck
A deck is a horizontal base for the grass to slide down during cutting. As the wheels move forward, the grass slides into the deck and then gets chopped off by the blades in smaller pieces.
Larger decks can take more swaths of grass while smaller-sized decks need more passes to cut all the grass. The reason we added cleaning decks to our lawn mower maintenance checklist is that- cleaner decks are equal to better cutting.
To clean the deck of your lawn mower, follow the steps below.
1. Turn the lawnmower upside down and make sure all the screws are tightly closed to each other.
2. Next, wear gloves and clean the hose with a brush to wipe off all the grass, scraps, and other things from the deck.
3. To clean properly, use a mixture of soap and water to clean the deck from upside down.
9. Clean/Replace Air Filter
The role of the air filters in your lawn mower is to filter down all the dust and debris from the air and pass clean air to the engine.
Made up of lightweight plastic, these air filters are easy to clean and can work for over 25 hours of operation without causing any issues. However, the best way to clean the air filter is by locating the exact position of the air filter. To save time, it’s best to refer to the user manual and understand your lawn mower model and its parts.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps to clean your lawn mower air filter in 5 simple steps.
- First, locate the exact location of the air filter on your mower.
- Next, unplug the lawn mower, and disconnect from the power outlet.
- Next, rotate the screw and open the air filter housing to take out the air filter.
- From there, replace the damaged or dead air filter with a new one care
- 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
How can we end our lawn mower maintenance checklist without adding this step?
Cleaning the spark plug regularly makes it clog-free and sparks electricity that ignites combustion, activating the engine. Once it’s washed, use a hard-bristled brush to clean the marks on the lawn mower, remove oil stains, and check the air-to-fuel mixture.
10. Check the Adjustments
Like every machine, lawn mowers need special adjustments to function well and run well on the lawn. Oftentimes, loose adjustments result in causing problems for your mower, leading to unexpected accidents.
From adjusting the valves to set the lawn mower at the right height, carefully inspect the mower before mowing. Here’s a quick breakdown of some adjustment tips to follow.
- Check the tire pressure and fill in the extra air to make the mower run well.
- The best way to adjust the cutting height of the mower is by increasing or decreasing the height of the deck to get desired cutting.
- Next, tighten all the screws, nuts, and bolts with a screwdriver and pull the starting cord a few times to see how it works.
- Once done mowing, collect all the clippings in the collector bag or blow the leaves to clean the lawn thoroughly.
- Also, take care of all the adjustments before and after oiling to make sure the oil doesn’t leak.
11. Store It Properly
Storing the lawn mower safely is the ultimate sign of relief to keep the mower out of danger. From long-dormant winter to rain and harsh sunlight, store mowers in a clean and dry place to prevent extreme temperature effects.
At 10best lawnmowers, we use quality lawn mower covers to keep them safe and prevent direct contact with sunlight.
- 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
Mowing can be really messy and often leave grass clippings on the deck and blades after every mowing session. To clean the clippings, use a hard-bristled brush and scrape the debris on the surface of the deck.
However, lawn mowers with baggers store the clippings themselves so all you have to do is empty the bagger once it’s full.
13. Sharpen the Cutting Blades
Want sharper cutting with less effort? Sharpening the lawn mower blades can do the job for you. As one of the most important parts of lawn mower maintenance, this small share of work can improve your lawn cutting by over 40%, isn’t it great?
The sharper the blades will be, the better it will cut the grass and make the grass grow healthy and safe from pests. On average, experts advise sharpening the blades after every 25-30 hours of use, depending on grass growth and time.
Step-to-step guide to sharpen lawn mower cutting blades
To sharpen lawn mower blades, follow the steps below
- Disconnect the spark plug from the lawn mower and turn it off
- Tilt the mower to one side and unscrew the bolts that secure the blade.
- Gently pull the blade and clean the area filled with dirt and debris.
- Use a hard-bristled to rub the dirty area in a to and fro motion.
- Once done, now it’s time to sharpen the lawn mower blades.
- Use a quality blade sharpener and wear safety gloves while attaching cleaning and removing the blades.
- Once removed, place the blade on a flat surface in a way that its cutting edges can be seen from the outer side.
- Locate the cutting angle, check blade balance and sharpen the blade using a drill sharpener stone.
- Drag the rear side of the blade to the beveled side of the stone and move in a to and fro direction.
- Now, 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, attach the blade back in its place and tighten the bolts for the safe side.
A good rule of thumb is to sharpen the mower blades after every 20 hours of use to get refined cutting every time you cut the grass. However, you can also replace the blade in case the current one is exposed to rust or corrosion.
Have Questions About Our Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist? Find the Answers
How To Clean A Lawn Mower Engine?
Cleaning a lawn mower is easier than it sounds with the help of cleaning sprays you may easily find at home. Follow the steps to clean the lawn mower engine in less than a few minutes.
- Take your lawn mower to the open space.
- Unplug the power outlet and disconnect the spark plug.
- Spray engine cleaner or any degreasing agent such as WD40 on the stains and scratches of the engine.
- Wait for a few minutes until it cleans all the grease from the surface.
- Now, wipe away the residue on the lawn mower’s surface and let it dry for a few seconds.
Should You Run The Gas Out Of Your Lawn Mower?
When not in use, the gas in the lawnmower may get stale and needs to be drained out for the refueling of the new gas. As a thumb rule, try to run the old gas out of the mower before every mowing to keep the engine in a good state for years.
If you’re not sure how to drain the old gas, read our article on ”5 steps to drain gas” here.
How Do You Maintain a 4-Stroke Lawn Mower?
In most cases, maintaining lawn mowers with 4-stroke engines can be a little different than ordinary lawn mowers. Such engines need more oil than average and require complex lawn maintenance over the years.
The best way to take care of a 4-stroke lawn mower is by regularly changing the oil, replacing the oil filter, and keeping the mower in good condition for years. To start with, look for a quality machine oil and measure the oil level to make sure the tank is full up to the mark.
How Often Should You Clean Lawn Mower?
Although you don’t need cleaning at every mowing, it’s one of the best lawn mower maintenance practices to increase the life span and efficiency of the mower.
On average, it’s advised to clean your lawn mowers every twice a year to keep the blades clean, refined, and in good condition all year round.
Start by brushing off the extra clippings on the blades and thoroughly wash the lawn mower deck to ensure smoother, faster, and better cutting in your next mowing.
How To Clean Grass From A Plastic deck Mower?
Plastic deck mowers need better handling and care during lawn mower maintenance to keep them in good condition. To clean grass from a plastic deck, use a soft-bristled brush and apply firm pressure on the deck while cleaning. Keep scraping the grass in a to and fro motion until the deck is wholly clean and free from any stains.
How To Loosen the Bolt Securing the Blade?
The best way to loosen the bolt of a lawn mower blade is by rotating the wrench in a clockwise direction that will loosen the blade bolt. However, make sure to use a wrench socket of the correct size and be gentle while applying the force on the bolt.
How To Store Pushed Lawn Mowers For Winter Checklist?
Storage is one of the crucial aspects of winter lawn mower maintenance to take care of your mower even after the long-dormant winter.
Before winter, empty the gas tank, unplug the mower, clean the blades and carefully inspect the mower before mowing. For extra safety, add the fuel stabilizer and wait for a few moments to let the engine circulate throughout the engine.
How To Treat a Mower When It Shuts Down After Running for Five Minutes?
If your lawn mower doesn’t start or stop immediately, check the level of oil in the mower and refuel it to ensure greater efficiency of the engine. Look for our lawn maintenance checklist to find the best solutions to your engine problems.
To start the lawn mower in a few minutes, check out these things in your mower.
- Faulty spark plug
- Ignition Coil
- Fuel supply
- Engine overheating
- Dirty air filter
What Is the Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist?
Looking for effective spring lawn mower maintenance? This section is for you. In spring, lawn mowers are likely to rust or corrode more rapidly due to the moisture in the air. Therefore, having a spring lawn mower checklist can greatly help in jotting down all your maintenance chores in one place. Here’s a checklist to fix the mower during spring.
- 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?
While there is no fixed time for lawn mower servicing, a thumb rule says to service lawn mowers before and after every cutting season. To ensure efficient mower performance, try to service your mower every once or twice a year depending on your mower’s needs.
For example, a mower used for 2-3 years will need less mowing than the one you bought a few weeks back. Therefore, it’s best to service a lawnmower when you feel your lawnmower is losing efficiency over time.
When Should I Maintain A Lawn Mower?
Maintaining a lawn mower is a crucial aspect to make your next mowing as efficient and smooth as you dream of. The best time to maintain a lawn mower is at the beginning of lawn mowing season or when you’re about to mow your lawn.
As a best practice, create a lawn mower maintenance regime and maintain the mower every once a year, especially before winter.
Long story short, a well-maintained lawnmower cut better, last longer, and consumes less fuel than an old and cranky lawn mower.
We hope you like this lawn mower maintenance checklist that covers everything from filling the oil to storing the mower and everything in between.
If you’ve been using your mower without proper maintenance, better late than never to make your mower shine brighter and work better than before.
Now that you know how to maintain a lawn mower, buying a new one doesn’t sound like a bad idea.