How to Tune Up a Lawn Mower

How to Tune Up a Lawn Mower

Keep your lawn mower running smoothly all season long with an annual tune up. Follow these step-by-step directions to do the job right.



 How to Tune Up a Lawn Mower

How to Tune Up a Lawn Mower

Keep your lawn mower running smoothly all season long with an annual tune up. Follow these step-by-step directions to do the job right.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required

  • Socket set
  • Spark plug wrench
  • File
  • Screwdriver

Materials Required

  • Drip pan
  • Spark plugs
  • Filters
  • Oil (10W30)
  • Gasoline
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Workhorses
  • Lubricant

Tools Required

  • Socket set
  • Spark plug wrench
  • File
  • Screwdriver

Materials Required

  • Drip pan
  • Spark plugs
  • Filters
  • Oil (10W30)
  • Gasoline
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Workhorses
  • Lubricant
  • Step 1 : Find a convenient place to work

    Find a convenient place to work

    Position the mower on a pair of workhorses or some sturdy boxes to raise it off the ground so you can get at the underside to change the oil and sharpen the blade. You also will need a container to catch the dirty oil that drains out of the mower's crankcase. A large funnel placed in a plastic gallon milk container makes a good oil collector. Be sure to follow the direction of your local environmental guidelines to dispose of the dirty oil properly.

  • Step 2 : Remove the spark plug

    Remove the spark plug

    Before you do any work on the mower, pull the spark plug wire off the spark plug to prevent the mower from accidentally starting. Use a socket wrench or spark plug wrench to remove the spark plug. Take the old plug to the hardware store or home center and purchase a matching replacement.

    Before you replace the spark plug, pour a couple of ounces of clean oil into the spark plug hole in the cylinder head. Then slowly pull the starter cord to move the piston up and down in the cylinder. This will spread the oil around on the walls of the cylinder and prevent rusting. Replace the spark plug by screwing it into the cylinder head by hand, then tighten with a wrench.

  • Step 3 : Drain the oil

    Drain the oil

    Remove the oil plug and drain the old oil into a drip pan. Follow the direction of your local environment guidelines to dispose of the oil properly. When no more dirty oil drips out of the crankcase, replace the drain plug and tighten it by hand. Then use a wrench to tighten the plug.

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