How to maintain your lawn mower

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May, Dec, Jan, Feb, Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

15 minutes

If you've got a petrol rotary lawnmower, you can get the best from your machine by carrying out a series of simple jobs every month. Always consult the owners' manual or contact your local dealer for further advice about your specific model before you start. When you're ready, remove the spark plug cap so the mower can't start unexpectedly.

You will need

  • Petrol lawnmower
  • Rag or cloth
  • Socket wrench
  • Spanner


Once the spark plug cap is removed, check to see if the spark plug is dirty, removing it with a socket wrench and brushing it off if necessary. If it's very dirty you can replace it for under £5.

Once a month pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, re-insert it and pull it out again, checking the oil level reaches the line indicated. If it needs topping up, check which oil the owners' manual recommends before adding any.

Check the air filter every month and replace it when it becomes grimy. Your local dealer can tell you which type will suit your mower and it should cost no more than £10 to replace.

Wipe all parts of the mower with a light oil to clean and protect them from rust.

Tip the mower on its side, keeping the air filter facing upwards to stop oil or dirt pouring into it. Wipe the underside of your mower with a damp cloth to prevent grass build-up and to stop it rusting. Check the wheels to ensure they move freely and tighten the bolts with a wrench if they're loose. 


Fuel can go stale over time so before you put your lawnmower into the shed for the winter, empty the petrol tank.

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