Trade Resources Industry Knowledge Follow The Notes for Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Maintain a Riding Lawn Mower

Follow The Notes for Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Maintain a Riding Lawn Mower

Watch the video and follow the notes for step-by-step instructions on how to maintain a riding lawn mower in top condition all year long.

Fall Mower Maintenance

After a season of mowing, perform these steps before storing your lawn mower for winter.

Run the mower for about a minute. The oil will be easier to change while it's warm.
Turn off the mower.
Cover the work area with a drop cloth.
Brush off any grass clippings, dirt and debris with a cleaning brush. The engine will still be hot, so be careful.
Disconnect the battery by first removing the black negative cable, then the red positive cable.
Remove the mower deck and blades according to manufacturer's instructions.
The blades should be sharpened once a year. Take them to a professional for sharpening. If you want to do this step yourself, you can purchase a blade sharpener and balancer at Lowe's.
If the blades are a few years old and have deep gouges, replace them. Stop by Lowe's with the make, model and serial number for your mower. Shop Lawn Mower Blades
Clean the deck with a putty knife and cleaning brush. Most manufacturers don't recommend using a hose because the water will rust the mower. Never use a shop-vac near gasoline.
Clean the belts and belt covers, too. If they appear worn or cracked, replace them.
Replace the mower blades.
Perform any maintenance in a well-ventilated area. Open the garage door for maximum air circulation.

Change the Oil in Your Riding Mower

Step 1

Remove the oil fill cap and open the cap on the drain valve.

Step 2
Slide the manufacturer's drain tube onto the valve, if supplied.

Step 3
Many mowers have different valve mechanisms. Open the valve and drain the oil into the used-oil container.

Step 4
Once the oil has drained, close the valve and recap the port.

Step 5
Then remove the oil filter with an oil filter wrench and add a new one.

Step 6
Add the manufacturer's recommended oil.

Step 7
Wipe up any excess oil with a shop rag.

Step 8
Reattach the mower deck according to the owner's manual.

Never pour oil down the drain. Contact your local recycling center for oil disposal instructions.

Treat the Gasoline in the Mower

Step 1
Pour fuel stabilizer in a gas can, then fill the gas can with gas following the stabilizer directions.

Step 2
Fill the tank on the mower with the treated gas. A full gas tank is less of a fire hazard than an empty one.

Step 3
Change the fuel filter according to the manufacturer's instructions.

How To Maintain a Riding Lawn Mower in top condition
Lubricate Your Mower

Lubricate any moving parts on the mower with the manufacturer's lubricant.

Avoid getting any oil or grease on the nylon bearings. The grease may attract dust that will damage the bearings.

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Change the Mower's Air Filter

Paper filters will need to be replaced.

Pre-cleaners on air filters should be changed, too. Some manufacturers require a light coating of engine oil to help filter out dust and debris.

Finishing Touches for Mower Maintenance

Replace the spark plugs with a socket wrench.
Check the tire pressure and adjust according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Reconnect the battery starting with the positive cable then the negative cable.
Let the tractor run for about a minute so the fresh oil can lubricate any internal parts.
Disconnect the battery again.
Store your mower where it won't be exposed to any heat source or gas appliances, and cover with a tarp.

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How To Maintain a Riding Lawn Mower in top condition
Topics: Hardware