Why you should get a lawn mower tuneup

A lawn mower tuneup will extend the life of your mower and help it run as efficiently a spossible. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael L. of Manassas, Va.)

A lawn mower tuneup will extend the life of your mower and help it run as efficiently a spossible. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael L. of Manassas, Va.)

If your lawn mower is sluggish when you start it up, or doesn't seem to cut the grass as cleanly as it used to, it's probably time for a lawn mower tuneup.

What is a lawnmower tuneup?

The most basic tuneup focuses on the engine, and will do three things: Clean the air filter, change the oil and replace the spark plug.

Professional lawn mower tuneups usually offer more than basic engine maintenance. A repair shop will sharpen your mower blade, inspect the housing and drive mechanism, lubricate the mower's moving parts and check the overall function of your machine.

Why does a lawn mower tuneup extend mower life?

Changing the oil, the air filter and the spark plug help the machine do its job with minimal interference. A dirty air filter puts extra stress on the mower and burns gas less efficiently. Most lawn mowers have a paper or foam air filter that can be easily accessed. Replacement air filters are inexpensive. Replacing the spark plug on an annual basis will help ensure an easy start.

Cleaning the blade, undercarriage and the mower deck extends the life of your machine. Grass and debris clumped in the housing can rust the mower deck. For the undercarriage, use a wire brush to remove deposits of grass clippings.

Keeping the blade sharp will put less stress on the mower's engine, while also improving the look of your yard. A dull blade tears the grass, leading to an uneven look.

How much should a lawn mower tuneup cost?

Getting a tuneup shouldn't break the bank. If you do it yourself, you'll need to buy oil, an air filter and spark plug — totaling around $20 to $30. A professional tuneup often costs between $50 and $100 for a push mower. The costs are minimal compared to repair costs if a neglected mower breaks.


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How to tune up and maintain a lawn mower

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An annual tuneup should keep your lawn mower in top shape and prevent expensive repairs. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)
An annual tuneup should keep your lawn mower in top shape and prevent expensive repairs. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)

Are you thinking of tuning up your lawn mower? Check out this step-by-step guide to DIY lawn mower tuneup complete with instructions on how to change the spark plug, replace the air filter, drain the oil and sharpen the blade.

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