How to Swap Out Your Lawn Mower’s Fuel Filter

If your lawn mower is equipped with a fuel filter, swapping it out regularly is an important aspect of lawn mower maintenance. Luckily, swapping your fuel filter is a job that you can easily do yourself.

What kind of filter does your lawnmower have?

A closeup of a lawn mower engine during a fuel filter change.
In-line fuel filter in a lawn tractor’s engine bay | Briggs & Stratton via Youtube

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First, you must find and identify your lawn mower filter. Many riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors have an in-line filter, a plastic pod with fuel line attached to both ends. This filter will be located somewhere between your fuel tank (often mounted to a lawn tractor’s firewall, close to the driver) and its carburetor (on either the left or right side of the engine).

Some smaller mowers, such as walk-behind lawnmowers have an in-tank filter. This is a screen inside the gas tank that should only be changed by an experienced technician.

Once you have located your filter, take a picture of its size and take a picture of any writing on the filter body. If possible, not its micron rating. Finally, check how much clearance/room is left around the filter when you close your mower’s hood.

Buying the correct replacement filter

Product photo of a replacement in-line fuel filter for a lawn tractor or lawn mower engine.
In-line fuel filter | Bobcat

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It’s ideal if you have a lawn mower owner’s manual and can look up the correct fuel filter replacement. If this is not an option, check if your lawn mower manufacturer sells its own line of replacement parts, including filters. These offer the piece of mind of being engineered for your specific mower.

If you buy an off-the-shelf gasoline filter it might not be identical to the filter the original manufacturer installed. What’s most important is that the new filter offers enough clearance to close your lawn mower’s hood. Secondly, try to match the micron rating of your original filter. This is a measure of the smallest particle the filter can remove–according to Briggs & Stratton. Finally, a slightly larger or smaller filter should work as long as you can fit it in your mower.

You will also need a pair of pliars to remove the old filter’s hose clamps. It is always a good idea to have replacement clamps on hand in case one of the old ones is unuseable. Finally, you’ll find your filter-changing job much easier if you buy a fuel line clamp.

How to change your lawn mower’s fuel filter

Closeup of a man's hands while he fits a new fuel filter into a lawn tractor's gas line.
Changin a lawn mower fuel filter | Briggs & Stratton via Youtube

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Removing your old lawn mower fuel filter is as easy as clamping the fuel line shut, then using pliars to open the hose clamps on either end of your old fuel filter. Loosen both clamps and slide them along the line, away from the filter, before letting them close again. Place something beneath the filter to catch any dripping gasoline. Finally, twist and pull both ends of the fuel line off the fuel filter nozzles.

Installing a new fuel filter can be slightly trickier. First, make certain you have threaded the fuel hose clamps you want to use onto the fuel line before beginning installation. Then examine the new fuel filter, looking for an arrow indicating the direction fuel should be flowing. When you install the new filter, make certain this arrow is pointing toward the engine.

You will have to twist each nozzle of the fuel filter into the corresponding fuel line. After the fuel line is snug against the plastic filter body, loosen your hose clamps (you did remember to leave them in place, right?) and slide them over the filter’s entrance and exit nozzles. Release the fuel clamps and they will tighten around the new filter and your fuel lines.

Remember, remove your fuel line clamp before restarting your lawn mower. Otherwise, it’ll be a very short drive.

Next, find out if its time to service your lawn mower or see for yourself how to change your lawn mower’s fuel filter in the video below:

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