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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


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. 

Our 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.

hamish2 26/03/2015 at 21:43

Remove the connector(or even better remove the plug) from the spark plug before you look under the mower or touch the blade