X

How to Get Your Lawn Mower in Shape for the Summer

Summer is about to get into full swing. It's high time you give your mower a tune-up.

bb-ces
bb-ces

Brian Bennett

See full bio
how-to-lawn-mower-10
1 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Lawn mowers need regular love

If you don't give your lawn mower a little love in the form of regular maintenance, it will stop returning the favor.

how-to-mower-1
2 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Gather what you need

The first step is to get all the tools and equipment you'll need. These include a power drill, work gloves, a blade sharpening kit, a torque wrench (or a socket wrench in a pinch) and a wooden block. Consider having a rubber mallet on hand, too. Other items include a plastic drip tray, motor oil and a container for waste oil.

how-to-mower-2
3 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Get out the grime

First try blowing dirt and old grass clippings out with the leaf blower. If that doesn't work, scrape debris away with a putty knife. The last resort is to spray it with a garden hose. Unless your mower has a special washout hose connector, you risk damaging the engine, wiring and other sensitive parts.

how-to-mower-3
4 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Wipe it clean

One sure way to get rid of dirt is to wash your mower by hand with a damp rag.

how-to-mower-4
5 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Loosen up the oil

Next you'll want to change your lawn mower's oil. Before you do that, lower its viscosity by running the engine for a few minutes. 

how-to-mower-5
6 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Remove the oil filler cap

Find the cap that covers the oil filler tube. It's usually black and doubles as a dipstick to check the oil level.

how-to-mower-6
7 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Drain out the old oil

Carefully tip the mower on its side with the oil filler tube pointed at your drip pan. If the sludge that comes out looks as dark and dingy as this, you'll know an oil change was long overdue.

how-to-mower-7
8 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Get rid of the spent oil

Don't pour old lawn mower oil down the drain. Dispose of it responsibly by collecting it in a container made for the job. You can then give full containers to a licensed disposal center.

how-to-mower-8
9 of 9 Chris Monroe/CNET

Add clean engine oil

Next add clean oil to the mower. Check with your mower's manual to confirm the right type and right amount of oil to add.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

81 Photos
The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The Dodge Hornet SUV Will Be a Rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale

More Galleries

The Dodge Hornet SUV Will Be a Rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale

8 Photos
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Just Right

More Galleries

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Just Right

36 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos