Lawn Tractor Tune-up Guide:
What to Inspect, Clean, and Replace
Ensure your property looks its best all summer long by keeping your lawn tractor well-maintained. We will cover some of the basic maintenance tasks essential to keeping your lawn tractor running smoothly and efficiently. Keep in mind that not all lawn tractors are the same, so the maintenance process may differ a bit with your machine. We’ll take you through step-by-step, which parts are prone to wear and should be inspected on a regular basis. If you prefer to follow along with our video, check it out below!
Lawn Tractor Maintenance Steps:
1. Remove the Mower Deck
Start by removing the starter key to ensure you don’t accidentally start the mower while you are working on it. With the key removed you can begin by removing the mower deck. This will allow you to change the oil and inspect the filter and ignition, as well as the cables and linkages. In most cases you’ll need to remove the mower belt, to allow the deck to be released. To do this, simply remove the guard and this should allow you to slide the belt off.
2. Check the Engine Oil
Next, you will need to check the engine oil. Use the dipstick to determine how much oil is in your machine and how clean the oil is. If the oil has been left sitting in the machine over the wintertime, you may want to change it either way.
To change the oil, first drain the old oil into a large container. While the engine oil is draining, skip along to steps three to six. Once the oil has drained, fill it back up with new oil, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to let it soak in for a couple of minutes.
3. Inspect the Air Filter
Check the air filter and determine whether it needs to be cleaned or replaced. Most manufacturers recommend that you change the air filter every one hundred hours or so. If your filter is at that point or it is noticeably dirty or damaged, it should be replaced with a new one.
4. Inspect the Fuel Filter
Check the fuel filter and determine whether it should be replaced or not. A dirty or damaged filter should be replaced, and the start of the mowing season is the perfect time to do it.
5. Clean or Replace the Carburetor
If your fuel filter is dirty and needs replacing, you will likely want to clean and replace the carburetor as well. If not, skip to the next step. To clean the carburetor, you can use a carb-cleaning product, but be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications for how to use the cleaner selected.
6. Check the Engine Oil Filter
Once the oil has drained, you should now be able to inspect the engine oil filter. To remove the oil filter, you will need an oil filter removal tool. This can be a little messy, so make sure your oil container is handy.
7. Inspect the Cables and Linkages
Look for damage to the cables and linkages, particularly the ends of the cables. Also check to make sure that the cables aren’t too stiff. If they are damaged, they should be replaced.
8. Check the Spark Plug and Harness
Remove the spark plug and check it for wear or damage. Your manufacturer will also have guidelines for how often you should change the spark plug. Also do a quick check of the plug harness and make sure it isn’t damaged either.
9. Inspect the Mower Deck
Belts & Pulleys
Now that all your under-the-hood inspections are complete, it’s time to check the mower deck. Start with the belts on the top of the deck and make sure they aren’t showing any signs of wear or damage. You will need to loosen or remove the pulleys to get the belt off. It is a good idea to inspect the pulleys as well.
Underside of the Mower Deck
Take a look at the bottom of the mower deck, making sure there isn’t a build-up of mud or grass caked on, and if there is, remove it carefully.
The Mower Blade
Inspect the mower blade and check for rust, chips, or any damage, and replace it with a new blade if any of these things are present. If the blade is in decent shape, you can sharpen it, which ideally should be done at the start of the season. Now that the inspection of the deck is complete, reassemble it back under your tractor.
Now that you’ve completed these important maintenance steps, be rest assured that your lawn tractor will be running at peak performance all summer long. If any of the parts you have inspected need replacing, be sure to use your model number to search our large library of OEM parts specific to your equipment. Check out our YouTube channel for more helpful videos on repair, maintenance, and more!