We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Perform a Lawn Mower Tune up?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The process of how to tune up a lawn mower is something that every do-it-yourself homeowner should know. Fortunately, even people who don’t consider themselves mechanically inclined can master the essentials of a lawn mower tune up and keep their riding or push mowers efficient and functional over the years. All it takes is a little motivation, attention to detail, and roughly one hour every six months to manage a tune up.

Your first step is to purchase one of the lawn mower tune up kits that are available at local home supply stores, as well as many hardware stores. Most kits will include all the basics needed for the job. Some will even include the fluids needed as well as filters and plugs. Often, purchasing the kit will be less expensive than purchasing the items individually, and will also minimize the chance of forgetting something that is necessary to complete the tune up.

Before you actually begin the tune up, make sure the fuel supply is shut down. This is accomplished by closing the shut-off valve that allows fuel to flow into the carburetor. Different makes and models will position the valve in different places along the fuel line, so consult your owner’s manual to locate the exact location. Don’t forget to disconnect the spark plugs. This precaution will help eliminate the chances of accidentally starting the engine when working on the mower blades.

First, drain the old oil out of the motor. This is usually accomplished by using the drain spout and a tube to direct the old oil into a safe container. Once the oil is drained, close the spout and refill the tank with new oil. You can dispose of the old oil at a recycling center later.

For the next step in your lawn mower tune up, replace the air filter. Consult your owners’ manual for specifications on the type of filter you should use. Often, this process requires nothing more than using a wrench to remove a cover, extract the old filter, and slide the new filter into position. Once the new filter is in place, secure the plate before continuing the tune up.

You will also want to check the mower blades as part of the overall tune up process. If the blades are dull, remove them by using a wrench to loosen the retaining nut that holds the blades in place. The blades can be sharpened using a file to gently but firmly hone the blade edges. If the blades appear to be in poor condition, it might be a good idea to simply install new blades that are pre-sharpened.

The last task in your lawn mower tune up is to install new spark plugs. Ideally, the plugs should be changed out at least once a year. If you use the mower a great deal, replacing the plugs twice a year is recommended. Make sure to install the right size of plugs for your motor, or the overall performance of the engine will not be up to standards.

Before cranking the motor, check the pull rope, the condition of the controls, and the general cleanliness of the mower. Clean off any debris that could clog the motor in any way. Also check the owner's manual for any other tasks that may be required for a lawn mower tune up on your specific unit. Taking the time to do the job properly and completely will keep your mower in top working condition and allow you to use the tool for many years to come.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Jan 30, 2014

Sporkasia - I'm definitely going to make an effort to learn how to tune up a lawn mower engine. I have been told that the life expectancy of a mower can as much as triple with regular maintenance. So if I learn to do the job, it will save time and money. I'll save the money I would pay a professional to do the tune up, or the money I would pay for purchasing lawn mowers sooner if I didn't get them tuned up regularly

By Sporkasia — On Jan 29, 2014

Drentel - The article is correct. I have very little mechanical knowledge, yet I have learned my way around a lawnmower engine. We have a riding mower and I have also learned how to remove and sharpen the blades without too much difficulty.

That being said, I must admit there are some parts of the job I like less than others, but I feel great when the task is over. I'm sure a tune up wouldn't cost a fortune if we had someone else do it for us, but, as they say, a penny saved is a penny earned.

By Drentel — On Jan 29, 2014

I remember trying to tune up my father's push lawn mower one time. I thought it would be simple, but I ran into something I couldn't figure out. It may have been something to do with the lawn mower air filter that stopped me. I don't remember, but the article makes the job sound easy enough. Maybe I'll give a another try this year.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.