Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance: A Guide for Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist

by | Aug 14, 2020

Basic lawn mower maintenance

There is nothing more uplifting and lovely to the eye than a dashing green lawn look on your yard. While most people believe that money cannot buy happiness, however, you can buy an excellent mower to cut your lawn to the best of your preferences. And this sounds much like happiness when you take time to observe it. So lawn mower maintenance should be a task and you can make a lawn mower maintenance checklist to smoothly doing the basic lawn mower maintenance for your mower.

A riding lawn mower makes mowing worthwhile because controlling it is more of driving it through a large piece of land in less time and effortless. An interesting point to keep in mind is that how well it is maintained determines the machines’ lifespan. Riding mowers are considerably expensive, and you should take steps to ensure the machine lasts as long as possible. With little or no experience, you can check for and solve any fault before or after they occur, as we shall further explore below.

lawn mower maintenance checklist

Purchasing a lawn mower means you have three options: rear-engine mowers, front-engine lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers, all of which perform best under different terrain, respectively. The lawn mower operates at its best during the first couple of years, but eventually, signs of the need for service begin to show. These may include worn-out cables, dull blades, and unusual sounds from parts of the lawn mower engine, perhaps at the beginning of the spring and sometimes after prolonged use between the season.

A basic lawn mower maintenance practice would be to either service once a year. You can service your mower in preparation for storage in winter and spring to get it ready for use in mowing your lawn. The practice above involves checking for any blockages in the pipes. It could be testing the engine and replacing the worn-out parts with new ones and clearing them of foreign fragments.

2) Refer to the product manual

Before handling any part on the lawnmower, you need to refer to the product user manual. This will help you to become more familiar with the mower and note any precautions that may have come with the lawnmower. The manual is also the first port of call, as it may contain timelines for the use of some parts and the most suitable replacement parts if need be. When you’ll go for your lawn mower maintenance you should check your product manual as well.

3) Sharpening the blade of the lawnmower

The blade on the lawn mower is a crucial component to consider. Lack of performance and malfunctioning has adverse effects on both the machine and the grass. Trimming the lawn with a faulty blade may result in unevenly proportional cuts on the grass. You can sharpen a blade manually using a file. When the blade needs replacing, check either your user manual or a lawnmower service center to determine the precise blade you need.In some cases, the blade may be incorrectly aligned with the blade adapter, as identified by the two holes near both the blade center and the notches of the blade adapter. If set incorrectly, this indicates that the blade adapter is damaged and needs replacing.

Check the video of lawn mower maintenance checklist

4) Check Spark plugs

The lawnmower may accidentally set in motion while being worked on and, unfortunately, result in noticeable damages. Besides double-checking to ensure that the mower is not in motion, be sure to engage the parking brake. Most importantly, unplug the spark plug, clean it, and place it back when you have finished working.

 It would be best if you also considered replacing spark plugs after identifying a defective spark plug. A typical spark plug exhibits a brown to greyish-tan color and electrode wear. But the most recognizable faulty cap would show a melted metal around the gap. While replacing spark plugs with new ones, make sure to substitute with caps of the same heat range.

Briggs & Stratton- Spark Plug

Briggs & Stratton- Spark Plug

5) Check fuel levels

You should check the fuel levels before mowing. Then afterward, you can fill to the required standard for optimal performance. Additionally, the use of low-quality fuels and operating the machine beyond the stated levels of fuel impairs the lawnmower’s functionality and shortens its lifespan.

Furthermore, when preparing the riding mower for storage over a more extended period, maybe for winter, you should drain the mower of any fuel left. Also, make sure to blow out any rust or fragments to prevent the clogging of engine pipes. Fuel tends to get stale over time, so using it in that state can damage the engine. Then at the beginning of a new season, you can fill the fuel tank within its limits, and your lawnmower would be ready for use.

6) Change the oil and filter

Although oil has a greater lifespan than petrol, it also needs changing. Like petrol changing, it requires you to drain it out of the mower and fill with a new supply. Take note of the oil plug position when removing to drain the oil, as mentioned in your product manual.

Extra care is needed to prevent the lawnmower from tipping over altogether, and the best alternative is the use of an oil extractor. It can make the task easier where you’ll insert a suction hose into the lawnmower’s sump, and the oil gets extracted by pumping the extractor.

 Furthermore, before filling the lawnmower with the new oil, the oil filter needs to get changed, too, as well as checking for dust and dirt. And you mustn’t forget to refer to the manufacturers’ manual to be sure you are replacing with the correct oil. Also, when filling oil, avoid overfilling and spillages as this could damage your machine.

7) Servicing the carburetor

When you start experiencing engine issues such as white smoke or ignition problems in your machine, you should clean the carburetor. The cause of this could be the lengthened presence of stale gasoline or grease in the carburetor. By the time your lawnmower would be working inefficiently.

To troubleshoot this issue, just let the metal parts sit in a gasoline jar overnight. Make sure the plastic parts do not stay in the gasoline for long; otherwise, the plastic may get ruined. For any servicing activity, always bear in mind that the carburetor works best if it remains clean.

8) Check for loose parts

Over time, some parts on the lawnmower tend to loosen, which may also occur during repairs and replacements. When you check for fuel levels, consider checking whether the mechanical parts are tightly placed in position and solve it if otherwise. 

Like a riding mower, which is human-driven, there is a possibility that pressure loss in the wheels is high, depending on the frequency of use and weight. For this reason, you should also check for pressure and loosely fitted wheels so that the lawnmower does not overturn. Besides, several parts require their degree of tightness, and you should take caution not to exceed this; for example, the spark plug requires you to tighten by hand initially and then by spanner but not tightly.

9) Washing the lawnmower

Most of the steps we explored dwelt on keeping the riding mower intact in its interior. But simply cleaning the lawnmower is an exterior approach that does not only cost less and easy to perform. But then it also ensures future use of the lawnmower. The primary purpose of washing lawnmower is to clean off dirt and debris.  Thoroughly wash around the fuel fill and oil fill areas on the mower since it’s where the dust accumulates.  Moreover, it would help if you cleaned around the tires for it to run smoothly.

Cleaning a mower can be done perfectly fine with using a hose. However, you need to be aware so that you may not spray electronic parts that are not supposed to get moisture. Spraying water on the electric parts of the mower could cause the components to rust. And the water may wash away grease on axles and cause the parts to wear out early, which consequently raises maintenance costs for you.

Furthermore, when washing your lawnmower, the grass from the deck should be removed thus because the grass produces acid, which weakens the mower in the long run. Also, the grass causes a blockage that affects the cutting of green in the future.

To sum up

A riding mower is a real value for money as it eliminates considerable time and effort in giving your surrounding that refined look. The best way to ensure the machine stays around longer, be sure to purchase the exact and genuine parts when replacing the original parts that came with the mower. A well-maintained mower may exceed fifteen years working, and the simplest way of achieving this is by keeping it clean.

For the fore mentioned, you may come up with a plan to perform some of the maintenance processes seasonally or yearly. Or even after every use as suited to your budget since some of the riding mowers are a bit costly to maintain. But then worth it, and supposed to be kept maintained. I hope you find this helpful and don’t hesitate to share it with your friends.

Kazi Taslim

Kazi Taslim


Poweredgrip ensures an expert team of writers, to provide you with excellent informational and unbiased content. We are dedicated to giving you much smoother and best up to date information. We share the incomparable tricks, tips that give you awareness and confidence for making your buying decision. We are a very enthusiastic, dedicated and hard worker. Kazi Taslim is the Author and Editor of our experienced writing team.

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