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How to maintain your lawn mower


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.

How to do it

Checking the spark plug on lawnmower

1Once 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.

Checking oil level with the dipstick on lawnmower

2Once 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.

Checking the air filter on lawnmower

3Check 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.

Checking the wheels on lawnmower

4Regularly check that the wheels move freely and tighten the bolts with a wrench if they're loose. If the wheels are stiff, ask your dealer to look at them. Don't lubricate the wheels with oil as it attracts dust.

Wiping the mower underside of lawnmower clean

5Tip 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.

Hanging mower's cuttings bag to dry

6Don't forget the mower's cuttings bag - a little care will keep it in good condition. Brush or wash off any grass or leaves, and hang it up to dry until it's needed again.

Folding mower

7When it comes to storing over the winter, make the mower as compact as possible by folding down the handles and hanging up the grass bag separately.

Adam's tip

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

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to maintain your lawn mower
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ChipsMaguire 24/11/2011 at 15:27

A friend of mine has had a petrol lawnmower for 6 years and was wondering why it constantly sounded like it was going to cut out....turns out it's never been serviced, no oil check,no nothing, so this was a very useful feature I've emailed him the link

DianaW 06/09/2012 at 19:34

OK, so far so good for owners of petrol mowers.
Please would you do an equivalent maintenance guide for those thousands of us with hover mowers.