Keeping your lawn mower in excellent working condition is a big part of maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn, and it’s also key to ensuring your lawn mower will last as long as possible – approximately 10-15 years. Performing regular maintenance on your lawn mower, particularly its engine, will extend your lawn mower’s life and help it work its best all season long.
You can either tune-up your lawn mower yourself or hire a lawn mower service expert to take care of it professionally. Either way, lawn mower maintenance is something that should be done at least once a year and will only take a few hours to complete. Use this guide to learn how to properly maintain your lawn mower and extend its life.
When to Perform Lawn Mower Maintenance
Be sure to clear the area of objects like twigs, stones, and toys and never mow in the dark. Lawn mower maintenance can be carried out at any time of the year, but two of the best times for it are at the beginning of the season before it’s time for the first mow, or at the end of the season when you’re putting your mower away until next year. note that timing will vary based on geography.
The end of the mowing season is an ideal time to perform annual lawn mower maintenance because there are certain things you need to do to take care of it goes unused for months at a time. By performing routine maintenance and winterizing your lawn mower in the fall, you’ll be able to get mowing right away when spring arrives and be less likely to cause damage to your mower’s engine or lawn from dull blades or malfunctioning parts.
Annual Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist
Use this checklist to make sure you’re doing everything needed to keep your lawn mower running at its best:
- Change the engine oil
- Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel system, or remove all fuel from the mower if discontinuing mower use for more than 30 days
- Replace the spark plug
- Replace and clean the air filter
- Sharpen the lawn mower blades
- Balance the lawn mower blades
- Keep the mower clean
- Fog the engine
Tips for Lawn Mower Maintenance
Many people opt to take their mowers to a professional for lawn mower service at the beginning or end of the mowing season, but plenty of people perform their own maintenance. Caring for a lawn mower can be a messy and time-consuming process, but it’s a necessary evil. Lawn Doctor can provide you with lawn mower maintenance services in your area.* However, if you decide to care for your lawn mower yourself, follow these tips to help you succeed:
- Get familiar with the owner’s manual. The last thing you want to do is cause damage to your lawn mower, so make sure you understand how to care for it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions are provided to make sure your mower runs as long as possible.
- Disconnect or remove the spark plug. You’ll want to replace the spark plug annually to make sure your mower starts up easily, but taking it out at the beginning of maintenance is also a good idea for safety as it prevents the mower from being started accidentally.
- Drain the gasoline out if it’s the end of the season. Either run the mower’s engine until the remaining gas is all used up or drain it out, and begin with new gasoline in the spring. Old gas can keep your mower from starting.
- Clean the lawn mower. To aid in performance, clear out all the grass and any other debris that’s become caked on the undercarriage during the mowing season.
- Replace or top up the oil. Consult the owner’s manual to learn how to change lawn mower oil correctly and the proper type of oil for your lawn mower. Change the oil in your mower if it is old or contaminated; drain it out and replace it with new oil. Make sure to dispose of the oil properly. Most towns have oil recycling centers available for free.
- Clean or replace the air filter. A clean air filter helps your mower work at peak efficiency. Follow the owner’s manual for specific directions on installing a replacement air filter.
- Sharpen and balance the blades. Even if your lawn is relatively clear from branches, rocks, and foreign objects, the blades will wear down over time. You can sharpen the blades yourself, but this is one step that is generally better left to the lawn mower service professionals unless you’ve mastered the technique.
- Fog the engine. If your mower will be sitting idle during the winter, the lubricants in the engine can drain away over time, and then the water in the air can cause corrosion and damage to occur. Fogging oil can help prevent this from happening. Check your owner’s manual to see if your lawn mower needs engine fogging, and be careful to follow the directions exactly.
Lawn Doctor’s Mower Maintenance Program
Do it yourself not your thing? Lawn Doctor’s lawn care professionals are ready to help you identify what maintenance your lawn mower needs and help keep it operating at its top condition.* When you use a Lawn Doctor professional to help maintain or repair your lawn mower, you get fast service with great results that assure trouble-free operation. You also save money as you protect the initial investment you made in your mower and are unlikely to need multiple repairs to enjoy optimal operation of your mower. Lawn mower tune up service is not available in all areas. Be sure to contact your local Lawn Doctor to find out if this service is offered.
Looking for lawn mower service near you? Contact your local Lawn Doctor professional today to schedule an appointment for lawn mower maintenance.
* Franchises are independently owned and operated. Services vary by location.