How to Tune Up a Lawn Mower - Page 2

  • Step 4 : Clean or replace the filter

    Clean or replace the filter

    If there's a paper filter, replace or clean it depending on the Owner's Manual. Clean foam filters by washing in soap and water and squeeze dry. Then soak the filter in a few drops of oil and reinstall it.

  • Step 5 : Sharpen the blade

    Turn the mower on its side and clean the housing around the blade by scraping off any dried dirt and matted grass. Remove the blade by loosening the bolt that holds it to the crankshaft. Place a block of wood between the mower's cutting blade and the housing to keep the blade from moving when you turn the mounting bolt with a wrench.

    Sharpen the blade

    Clamp the blade in a vice, and stroke the file across the cutting edge of the blade. Then repeat the filing on the other edge. You can also use a sharpening stone in an electric drill to sharpen the blade while it's being held in a vice. Slowly pass the stone over an edge for a few times and repeat on the other edges.

    Sharpen the blade

    Be careful to remove the same amount of metal from each end of the blade so it does not get out of balance. Test its balance by holding the blade with a screwdriver or knife through the center hole. If one end is heavier than the other, file it until it's evenly balanced. Reinstall the blade and securely tighten the mounting bolt with a wrench.

  • Step 6 : Fill with clean oil

    Turn the mower right side up on a level surface, and remove the oil fill cap from the base of the motor crankcase. Pour clean oil into the crankcase until the oil reaches the bottom of the fill hole. Some mowers have a small dipstick built into the fill cap. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations about the amount and type of oil to use.

  • Step 7 : Final inspection

    Tighten all nuts, bolts, chain drives and belts and lubricate moving parts and exposed metal to prevent rust. Riding mowers may have inflatable tires; check the tires to ensure proper inflation.

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