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If you want to keep your lawn looking its absolute best, you’re going to need a properly working lawn mower. And to ensure that your lawn mower works properly? You’re going to need to maintain it. The good news is that most lawn mower maintenance tasks aren’t all that complicated. 

How do you maintain a lawn mower?

A man performing maintenance on a lawn mower
Lawn mower maintenance. | INSADCO / Martha Spoerck/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Lawn Doctor reports that while many take their mowers to a professional for lawn mower maintenance, many others perform their own lawn mower maintenance. If you plan to take on this maintenance yourself, Lawn Doctor suggests familiarizing yourself with your mower’s owner’s manual. 

In your owner’s manual, you’ll find the lawn mower maintenance tasks your mower will need. These maintenance tasks often include replacing the mower’s spark plug, sharpening its blades, topping up the oil, and replacing the mower’s air filter.

Annual lawn mower maintenance checklist

There are a few lawn mower maintenance tasks you should be doing every year. The Daily Gardener reports that the best time to carry out these annual tasks is before the mowing season actually begins. Your yearly lawn mower maintenance checklist should include tasks like:

  • Sharpening your lawn mower’s blades is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your lawn mower.
  • Replacing spark plugs once a year will help keep your lawn mower in good working condition, The Daily Gardener reports.
  • Use the dipstick to check your mower’s engine oil and top it up, if necessary.
  • Check that your mower’s air filter to make sure it’s free of debris. If it’s very dirty, consider replacing it.
  • Check your lawn mower’s tires to ensure that they are inflated.

Note: Before working on your lawn mower, The Daily Gardener recommends removing the mower’s spark plug, its battery, or unplugging it. 

How often should you change the spark plug in a lawn mower?

Of all the yearly lawn mower maintenance you should be doing, changing the spark plug in your mower is one of the most important things you can do. According to Rehabitat Home, a bad spark plug will keep your lawn mower from working correctly. Fortunately, changing your lawn mower’s spark plug isn’t very hard.

To change your lawn mower’s spark plug, start by warming up your mower. Then, Rehabitat Home suggests using a wrench or spark-plug socket to unscrew the old spark plug. Next, thread in the new spark plug. 

How to tell if your lawn mower’s blades need sharpening

While sharpening your mower’s blades is one of the most important annual lawn mower maintenance tasks, you should also know how to tell if your lawn mower’s blades need to be sharpened. According to Weingartz, there are three tell-tale signs that your mower’s blades need to be sharpened. 

The first is if your mower isn’t cutting your lawn evenly or if it’s leaving patches of missed grass behind. The second sign your lawn mower’s blades might need to be sharpened is if the mower cannot cleanly slice blades of grass. Lastly, Weingartz says your mower’s blades likely need sharpening if there are chips or dents in the blade itself.


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