Mower Tune-up

This video walks you through the complete mower tune-up. We'll cover oil, plug, air filter change, gas filter cleaning, blade sharpening, self drive adjustment and much more. By the end of this video you could turn pro!

Over View

You’ll find useful resources on this page, tips, links to tools, parts and supplies required to complete your repair.

A mower needs a good tune-up at least once a year, if you do the basics your mower will sing all summer long and your lawn will look greener, seriously!

A blunt blade tears at the grass blades, instead of cutting them clean, the torn grass turns yellow as it looses excess moisture.

A tune-up is easy to do and best done in the spring. Change the oil, spark plug, air filter, gas filter, sharpen and balance the blade, adjust the self drive and lube all controls. Nice!

This video shows you how to take care of it start to finish.

Before working on your mower be sure to remove the plug wire to prevent accidental starting, see “Repair Safety Video”.

Tools & Parts

To nail this procedure you may need the following tools, parts and supplies.


B&S Tune-up kit

Genuine Briggs & Stratton tune-up kit suitable for Quantum engine family. Picture links to Amazon.com

Honda GCV Tune-up kit

Honda tune-up kit includes genuine Honda oil, air filter and spark plug. Picture links to Amazon.com

Honda Wheels

Set of four genuine Honda wheels, easy to fit and offer improved traction to worn rear drive wheels. Picture links to Amazon.com

WD40

This is first on the list for good reason, Wd solves a ton of problems. I won't work without it, because I can't. Picture links to Amazon.com

Ratchet Tool Set

Before we can do anything, we'll need tools. I've selected this set as I own some Craftsman tools and while I have worn some out, they did do a lot of work. So I expect this set will last the occasional user quite a long time.

This set carries both metric and standard sockets and that's important, because some mowers will have both type of fastener sizes. Set includes spark plug sockets. Picture links to Amazon.com


Gas & Oil Syphon

You'll find this tool really useful if you need to drain the gas tank, and you will if the gas is stale. The siphon will remove it without fuss or mess and it can be used for extracting the oil too. Picture links to Amazon.com

Gas Line Clamp

Some small engines will have a gas tap, which is really handy when removing the carburetor, stops gas flowing all over the shop. However most engines won't have one, these useful clamps simply squeeze the fuel line and prevent a spill while you perform surgery. Picture links to Amazon.com

Carb Cleaner

When cleaning your carburetor you'll need this stuff. Gumming is a sticky substance that's hard to shift. The carb cleaner will remove it, however if your carb is really bad, save yourself some work, go ahead and buy a new carburetor. Picture links to Amazon.com

Cleaners

You'll find these nylon brushes super useful when it comes time to clean those tiny passageways of the carburetor and jet. Use these in conjunction with the WD Carb cleaner. Picture links to Amazon.com

Gas Stabilizer

Mix this with the gas when winterizing your small engine. Gas isn't what it used to be, it goes stale, in some cases after just one month. Bad gas causes gumming and that's a carburetor killer. Stabilizer will save you money and stress in the long run. Picture links to Amazon.com

Gas Can

Briggs and Stratton refuel can. These guys got it right, I like it a lot, it offers press button control, no fuss no mess and no funnel required. Picture links to Amazon.com

Ignition Tester

This tool is used to check both the spark plug and the coil for spark. Sure you can check the spark without the tool, but it's not as good, the tool is designed to stress the whole ignition system. Picture links to Amazon.com

Feeler gauge

The ABN 26 blade feeler gauge set is marked in SAE and metric. You'll need this set to adjust valve lash and is useful when setting armature/coil air gap. You can also use it to gap spark plugs. Picture links to Amazon.com

Impact Wrench

I love DeWalt, they're make quality tools. This heavy duty but lightweight 1/2 inch impact wrench makes short work of stubborn bolts like flywheel nuts and rusty blade fasteners. Upto 700 ft lbs of torque on tap, I keep one in the trunk of our family car, makes a flat almost enjoyable. Picture links to Amazon.com

Drill/Screw Gun

I use a Dewalt screw gun (also a drill) in the workshop to speed up the process of removing engine covers, carburetor bolts, Armature bolts etc. It's a brushless motor and as tough as nails, I driven over it a few times - still works great! Batteries are interchangeable and so if you have a Dewalt product already you won't need the battery. Picture links to Amazon.com

Torque Wrench

Teng 1/2 Torque wrench, fantastic tool I use it every day and mine is still going strong. A torque wrench is advised for tightening components such as flywheel nuts and blades. The torque spec of these components is very important. Picture links to Amazon.com

If you are considering buying a torque wrench, definitely check out my review of Teng torque wrench.

Auto Technician and Writer at | Website

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Lawnmowerfixed.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write "How to" articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of mechanical repairs, from lawn mowers to classic cars.