Lawn Mower Tune Up Guide

Image Courtesy of Simon Howden and

Image Courtesy of Simon Howden and

With winter in its final days and spring well on its way around the country, it’s time for homeowners to start performing seasonal maintenance on their lawn mowers in order to prepare for the first cut of the season. This process is actually quite easy, but there are a few things that must be replaced and checked before the mower gets put back into regular use during this year’s warmest months.

1. Remove Old Oil from the Mower
When oil sits stagnant in the lawn mower for several months at a time, it becomes less effective and more “gunky.” This can cause major problems with the mower’s engine over time, and it can lead to more frequent requirements for maintenance. As a rule, the oil in a lawn mower should be changed at least once per season, before it has been fired up for the first time.

Make sure to have an approved container handy to drain the oil into, and be sure to dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly way. As always, remember to use only the type of oil that is approved for the mower by its original manufacturer.
2. Check Belts and Blades

Be sure to check every belt within the mower to see whether or not it has been damaged during the previous year’s work. Also make sure that each belt is at full tension, which will ensure that it doesn’t fall off or cause other problems during the spring and summer. One of the most common problems with mowers at the beginning of the spring season is that the wide range of winter weather conditions has stressed belts, caused them to become loose or brittle, and has placed them at high risk of malfunctioning.

Check blades for sharpness, too, as this is a main source of frustration for homeowners. After a long season of mowing, blades can be reduced in sharpness quite a bit, which might especially cause problems with lawn mowers that both cut grass and mulch the other debris they come across in the meantime. Blades are easy and affordable to replace, and sharper blades will lead to a more consistent and presentable lawn all season long.

3. Replace the Spark Plugs

There are few things more frustrating than attempting to start a lawn mower to no avail. With worn spark plugs, that’s a likely scenario when homeowners set out to mow their lawn for the first time after warmer weather has returned. Over the course of a typical mowing season, spark plugs get worn out and the process of starting the mower gets increasingly long.

Luckily, spark plugs are among the easiest and most affordable repairs that can be made after a long winter. In fact, the spark plug needs to be disconnected for many of the repairs on this list, meaning replacing it can actually be a key part of pre-season maintenance. Be sure to buy only OEM spark plugs that are approved for a given mower model, and there are likely to be far fewer problems this spring.

4. Change the Mower’s Air Filter

It might seem a bit counterintuitive for a lawn mower to even have an air filter, since the very nature of the job is a bit dirty. Even so, the filters installed on today’s riding mowers and walk-behind models are instrumental at filtering out dirt, debris, and even allergens, during typical mowing jobs. Any homeowner who suffers from seasonal allergies or an aversion to dust will understand the importance of this part.

The air filter, just by its nature when installed to outdoor power equipment, gets quite dirty after a typical summer season. It should be replaced at least once per year before the first mowing job of the season, largely to prevent dust and allergens from becoming a major part of the process. Most major manufacturers sell their own, OEM air filters that are guaranteed to be high quality and compatible with the model they’re purchased for.

For Seasonal Maintenance and Repairs, OEM Parts Should Always Be Used

OEM replacement parts for lawn mowers are made by the mower’s original manufacturer and they offer superior quality, compatibility, and durability when compared to off-brand parts. OEM replacement parts for seasonal maintenance procedures are easy to find, especially at distributors like The company sells a wide range of parts and offers a parts lookup tool that can assist homeowners looking for the perfect replacement option.

With Proper Maintenance, Minimal Repairs Will be Necessary

By following the proper maintenance procedures before the arrival of spring, homeowners can reduce the likelihood that their mower will malfunction and lead to even bigger problems. With just a few simple steps, mowers can be started easier, with a sharper and more consistent cut, that won’t cause allergies or suffer from the problems caused by old, outdated oil.


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