10 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Petrol Lawn Mower

10 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Petrol Lawn Mower

Look After Your Petrol Lawn Mower

Petrol lawn mowers are favoured for their power and efficiency, especially on large or uneven lawns, where they outperform electric and battery-powered alternatives. While they require regular maintenance and servicing to avoid long-term issues, this upkeep can be done at home without expert knowledge. Proper care ensures longevity and reliability, allowing users to maintain a healthy lawn with ease.

The 10 Steps to Maintaining a Petrol Mower

  1. Regularly check and replace the mower’s oil to ensure proper engine lubrication.
  2. Clean or replace the air filter to prevent engine contamination and maintain performance.
  3. Inspect and sharpen the mower blades to ensure a clean, efficient cut.
  4. Stabilise the fuel before long-term storage to prevent engine damage.
  5. Check and tighten any loose bolts and screws to ensure the mower’s structural integrity.
  6. Clean the deck after each use to prevent grass build-up and corrosion.
  7. Examine the spark plug for wear and replace it if necessary for reliable ignition.
  8. Drain old fuel from the tank to avoid starting issues and engine deposits.
  9. Lubricate moving parts such as wheels and cables to prevent wear and tear.
  10. Schedule an annual professional service for a comprehensive check-up and maintenance.

1. Familiarise Yourself With Your Specific Lawn Mower

To maintain and care for your petrol lawn mower you’re going to need to take the time to familiarise yourself with it, and its inner workings by reading and studying the manual and warranty information. This isn’t something many of us like doing, it can be a bit boring, but if you want to get the best out of your mower, it’s an important step. Furthermore, neglecting the maintenance info in your manual may actually affect your warranty coverage, so be sure to have a thorough read through it, back to front, before undertaking any servicing or tinkering with your petrol mower.

2. Always Use the Correct Fuel (as specified by your manufacturer)

To get the very most out of your mower, you’re going to need to ensure that you’re using the correct fuel, as recommended by the manufacturer. Other fuels and brands will likely work in your mower but to ensure it keeps ticking along and starting up each time, pay attention to their guidelines. Incorrect fuel usage could cause damage to your mower in the long-term.

3. Check Your Fuel Levels

Check your fuel levels each time you’re going to take her out and if she needs a top-up, make sure you use fresh fuel. Fuel stored for longer than three months can become stale, it will still work, but it won’t work as well. It’s just not optimal for your mower or your lawn. Fuel management is essential, and if handled correctly, will add years to the life of your mower.

4. Store your Fuel Correctly

Always keep your fuel in a sealed container and in a cool and dry place. Plastic containers work best, and you should stay away from any metal cans or tins, as these rust over time and will decrease the effectiveness of your fuel and it’s lifespan. The fuel life of new fuel can be extended by up to two or three years by adding a fuel conditioner, but you can’t extend old fuel, please don’t try, it’s a waste of time and money.

 5. Drain Your Tank After Every Other Cut

Care for you petrol mower Some experts advise draining your petrol tank after every use. Other’s encourage you to pour it away after every second cut. Either way, it’s good practice to drain your tank regularly and keep fresh fuel flowing and burning through your petrol lawn mower. Old fuel is by far the leading cause of machines misfiring and not starting up correctly.

6. Check the Oil Level Before Each Cut

Just like any petrol-powered car, your lawn mower needs to have the right type of oil (as recommended by your manufacturer), You can check your oil levels by using your lawn mower’s dipstick.

This is an excellent opportunity to check the quality of the oil in the mower. Take this time to check for any signs of debris or discolouration (if it’s charcoal black, it’s gone bad and needs changing). If you see anything amiss, you should drain the oil and replace it with fresh oil before taking her out on another spin.

Draining the oil is a relatively straightforward process. You first need to open up the drain plug and let the oil drain out into a cup or onto any kind of protective surface (to protect your lawn from contamination). Give the mower a good shake, to ensure that every last drop has been drained, and presto, it’s done! If your mower doesn’t have a draining plug, you will need to remove the oil via the filling hole, by gently tilting your mower and pouring it out that way. Again, simple enough and takes very little time.

7. Monitor, Clean and Replace the Air Filter

Petrol Lawnmower Air FilterThe air filter is a vital component and keeps your lawn mower’s engine and carburettor safe from dirt, rocks and grass — three things you want to stay on the outside of the mechanics of your machine. If debris does get inside, it will cause havoc. This is an incredibly important part of lawn mower maintenance, which shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s also incredibly simple to take care of yourself. It’s not any more challenging or taxing than cleaning or replacing the filter on your vacuum cleaner.

On average, your air filter will need replacing once a year. They’re cheap to replace and easy to pick up from your local hardware store or garden centre. When replacing the air filter, make sure to give the holder a good clean too and ensure it’s free from any muck or debris before you install the new one.

8. Check and Replace Your Spark Plugs

Petrol Mower Spark Plug A fully functioning spark plug will ensure that your engine starts up quickly and correctly each time. It will stop your mower from overheating, misfiring or stalling. In short, it’s super important, and should be replaced every twelve months. Spark plugs are pretty cheap and a doddle to install yourself at home.

You’ll need a socket wrench to remove your spark plugs (check your manual for the exact size), be gentle with it; it should come out without too much force. Next, take your new spark plug and line it up in the exact same position as the old one and tighten. We don’t want to tighten it too much, just enough to ensure that it’s in place and doesn’t wiggle about. If it’s too tight, it could cause issues when starting up the mower, later on.

9. The Nuts and Bolts of it all!

Before each cut, take a few seconds to have a quick once over of your lawn mower. Make sure all of the bolts and screws are still tight and in place and that they haven’t been rattled loose by the last cut. If you find any loose bolts, you will need to tighten them up before your next session. If any bolts or screws are missing, you will need to replace these before cutting your lawn again. Proceeding with anything missing may lead to more damage. It’s just not worth it.

10. Keep Your Blades Sharp

Hyundai HYM460SPE CuttingIf there is a part of your mower that takes the most beating, it has to be the blades. All that chopping, swiping and grinding up dirt and pebbles takes a toll on the blades after time, and a lawn mower with blunted blades is barely a lawn mower at all.

If your blades have become blunted or dull you’re going to need to remove them from your mower and sharpen them or, if they’ve been on your mower for many years, and are looking pretty banged up, replace them with new ones.

This is usually very simple to do. The majority of petrol mowers have a simple little bolt on the underside, holding them in place that you need to unscrew. Be careful though, even a blunted blade can cut you, so make sure to use heavy-duty gloves and keep away from the pointiest looking bits, as much as possible!

You can sharpen the blades with a file, which you can pick up from your local DIY store or, alternatively, this service is offered at garden centres and lawn mower service centres.

Why not take a look at the following video on How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade.


By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to ensure that your lawn mower will be in tip-top condition and give you many happy years of service and a perfectly cut lawn. If any of these steps sound too daunting, you can always take your lawn mower to a service centre, but with a little time and patience, there’s no reason why you can’t learn how to maintain and look after your petrol lawn mower needs and servicing yourself, from the comfort of your home.

Do You Need Help With Choosing The Perfect Petrol Lawn Mower?

If you need help with choosing the perfect petrol mower for you and your lawn, why not head over to my best mower selection tool, by clicking the image link below. It will select the perfect petrol mower in seconds based on your specific requirements.

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Lawnmower Product Expert, Reviewer and Author at EasyLawnMowing.co.uk | 01284 615144 | info@easylawnmowing.co.uk | Website | + posts

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.

With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.

6 thoughts on “10 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Petrol Lawn Mower”

  1. I was about to buy a HYUNDAI HYM430SP petrol lawn mower through your link (with the MOWJO discount, thank you for that) when I was confronted with the news that the new UK unleaded E10 fuel may be damaging to lawn mower engines. I contacted HYUNDAI and they recommend using ASPEN fuel as it has no ethanol. But ASPEN is rather expensive. Would STIHL MOTO4 PLUS (which is, I believe, also ethanol-free) work equally well as it’s much cheaper?
    Thank you for your advice.

  2. Hi Mark, this looks really useful. Is there a way to get this in paper form like a PDF or, could I create on myself and reference your site?

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