Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist: 7 Tips for Keeping your Machine in Tip Top Shape

Lawn maintenance is important to ensure that your yard looks as lush and healthy as possible.

It is also important that you maintain your lawn mower to ensure that it will last for years and function properly. When well-maintained, it could last for decades. Lack of preventive maintenance and neglect can easily break the machine. To keep your machine in tip-top shape and ensure trouble-free service, here are some lawn mower maintenance checklists that you can do.

Check and Change the Oil

As simple and basic as it is, this procedure is almost always overlooked. Changing the oil after every 25 hours of usage is ideal to get the most out of your machine. 

  • Check the oil level on your lawn mower. Watch out for oil that appears dark in color or far any falling debris that may have stuck on the mower. Contaminated and old oil should be drained and replaced.
  • To change the oil, remove the oil drain plug located below the mower’s deck and place your mower on concrete blocks. Allow the oil to drain properly. Make sure that the motor is not hot before changing the oil since the oil that comes out may be hot enough to burn unprotected skin. If your machine is not equipped with a drain plug, gently tilt your lawn mower to the side and let the oil drain through the fill hole. 
  • Refill it with good quality oil. Do not overfill.

Always Clear the Lawn

It is important to clear the lawn of any stones, branches, tools, and other sharp objects before mowing. Running your mower over a toy, stone, or tree root can severely damage the machine.

Damages may include dinging the deck, jamming the engine, or nicking the blade. What’s worse, is that if those items slip and rocket out from under the mower, there is a possibility of someone (a person or a pet) or property being hit. 

Sharpen the Blades

Keep in mind that lawn mowers endure a huge amount of stress.

Blades are subject to wear and tear. Beyond normal wear, they may also be damaged by large branches, rocks, and other hidden objects.

All these things can nick and dull blades. When your mower blades are not sharp enough, they can rip and tear the grass instead of providing a clean and even cut. 

Ideally, you can sharpen the blades using a vice and metal file. However, if you are inexperienced, it is best to have a mower repair shop sharpen the blades for a small fee or have it included when you do mower tune-up.

Check the Air Filter

Another lawn mower maintenance checklist item that is quite simple to accomplish is checking the air filter and making sure it is clean and free of debris.

You can still clean the filter if it’s not too clogged with dirt. Consider replacing it if it is very dirty. Replacing the air filter is inexpensive, and ideally, it is advisable to replace the air filter at least once a year to ensure optimal performance.

Check and Clean Out the Undercarriage

It is common for grass to get caked in the mower’s undercarriage potentially causing the machine’s discharge chute to clog. Make sure you also clean the undercarriage from time to time.

Use a wire brush to remove and scrape the dirt and grass clippings from the undercarriage. Use a hose to spray and thoroughly remove the remaining debris away. As a safety precaution, ensure that the spark plug is disconnected before working around the undercarriage to avoid any accidents.

Keep the Engine Block Clean

One way to keep the mower from overheating and eventually getting damaged is to ensure that the engine block is clean. Use a stick or a long-bristle brush to clean dirt and debris that may have accumulated between the engine’s cooling fins after use. 

Change the Spark Plug

Just like the air filter, a spark plug is also important to keep your mower performing properly. It is inexpensive and easy to replace. Ideally, it would be best to change the spark plug every year for best performance.

To replace the spark plug from the mower, unhook the spark plug wire. Using a spark plug wrench or a socket, remove the old plug from the mower. Install the new spark plug, making sure it is not too tight. If you don’t have a torque wrench, get it as tight as you can with bare hands then tighten ¼ turn further with a socket or spark plug wrench.

While these tips will help keep your mower in great working condition, getting a professional check-up on a regular basis is one way to guarantee that your machine is in top working condition. A professional lawn mower repair shop, such as Greg’s Small Engine can drain the old gas from your mower, perform basic diagnostic tests, and replace the spark plug and air filter. Contact us today!