House and Home

4 Simple Steps to a Lawn Mower Tune-up

You rely on your lawnmower to run all season long, and a little bit of time spent tuning your mower engine in spring can help keep it running at its peak performance.

A simple tune-up on a walk-behind mower can be done in 20 minutes or less and, if you do it yourself, is a cost-effective option. The key is having the right supplies on-hand. You may need a new air filter, spark plug, engine oil and fuel treatment. One simple way to take care of this task is with Briggs & Stratton’s all-in-one tune-up kit that has everything you need included.

You’ll also want to keep your operator’s manual handy. If you don’t know where yours is, many engine manufacturers make it easy to find the right one from the comfort of your own garage by visiting their websites.

There are four simple steps to keep your walk-behind mower humming:

  1. Change the oil. The easiest, most mess-free way to get rid of old oil is with an oil removal kit so that you won’t have to tip your mower over to drain the oil. As an added bonus, most local power equipment dealers make recycling your old oil easy. Simply drop it off in a closed container and they’ll take care of the rest.
  1. Replace the spark plug. Replacing the spark plug takes only minutes and helps ensure easy starts and smooth operation. Start by disconnecting the spark plug lead then clean the area around it. Remove the old spark plug with a socket wrench and install the new one, being careful to not over-tighten. Then simply re-attach the spark plug lead, checking the manual to make sure that the spark plug is gapped correctly.
  1. Clean or replace the air filter. Some types of air filters need cleaning, while others need replacing. Determine which type your mower uses and make sure to take care of it. A clean air filter helps keep dirt and debris out of your engine.
  1. Treat your fuel. Gas can go stale in as little as 30 days, which can clog and damage engine parts. Add a fuel treatment and stabilizer to keep gas fresh and protect your engine. Always use fresh fuel treated with a fuel stabilizer when filling your equipment’s fuel tank.

Find more tips for lawn mower maintenance, including common questions and solutions, at, plus take a quiz to test your maintenance IQ at

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  • Reply Jay Jackson

    Thanks for the article, this was great information.

    May 17, 2017 at 7:16 am
  • Reply Rosie

    I don’t know too many people who do a tune up on their lawn mower, but they should! They would not do that with their car!

    May 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Lisa Coomer Queen

    These are great steps to tuning up a lawn mower. This will come in really handy! Thanks!

    May 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply gracefulcoffee

    Such a helpful post! I never thought of a lawn mower needing a tune up 🙂

    May 17, 2017 at 7:52 pm
  • Reply Julie Wood

    Adding a fuel stabilizer to your fuel is so important to make sure the fuel does not get old and ruined. My husband redid the lawn mower and did all these things last month.

    May 18, 2017 at 7:14 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This is great lawn mower advice.

    May 18, 2017 at 9:10 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    Lawn mower tune up is important for the summer.

    May 20, 2017 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Kimberly “kaflickinger73” Flickinger

    This is very good to know. I will be sure to tell my Dad who owns a mower.

    May 31, 2017 at 11:38 am
  • Reply Marti Tabora

    I didn’t even realize that they made a tune up kit, but it’s definitely good to know,

    June 1, 2017 at 5:50 am
  • Reply Michelle S

    We typically take the mower in during the spring or late fall for a tune-up. We aren’t the do-it-yourself kind of people.

    June 1, 2017 at 9:53 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    Great tips for lawn mowers.

    June 11, 2017 at 8:28 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    Awesome tips for lawnmower tuneup.

    June 13, 2017 at 10:11 am
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