Thursday, May 29, 2014

Get Your Motor Running.......DIY 15 Minute Lawn Mower Maintenance

Recently I noticed my lawn mower was running like crap.
It was eating a lot of gas, sputtering, and making odd noises,
so I started calling around to repair shops and found that most repair shops around my area charge around $80-$120 just to do a minor tune up.
I wasn't sure what was going to be the problem so I decided to try to do some basic maintenance myself
to save some money.
So come with me and lets get this baby tuned up to see if it fixes our problem!
Now, first things first. We need to understand how a lawnmower works.
A lawn mower is just like your car.
It needs to be maintenance from time to time in order to keep running its best.
Because it runs with a motor it will have the basic components any other motorized item has such as
 oil, spark plug, and need fuel/gas.
So after searching online and looking over my lawn mower I discovered it operates with a Briggs and Stratton motor
(lawn mower says this on top)
so I did some research and found this maintenance kit.  
It contains everything you need!
One stop shop.
About five  years ago Mr.Chaos changed the spark plug so I knew that had been done
but I don't recall EVER changing out the air filter. (uh, oh)
Since the mower was running sluggishly I thought the air filter was probably the culprit so I started with it first.

Simply locate where your air filter would be.
It is typically not next to where the air blows OUT of the lawn mower,
(since air goes in one side and out the other),
 so find this spot first then look
on the OTHER SIDE for your air filter.

Ah, ha! I was right!
When I unscrewed the screw to loosen up the air filter I was shocked to find this!!!!
A VERY DIRTY and CLOGGED air filter!
No wonder the darn thing was running sluggishly and making weird noises!!!!

Yikes! Look at the old one compared to the new one!

Man that was dirty!

Now, after you get over the fact that your air filter should have been changed years ago,
go ahead and put in the new one.  (like my sarcasm?) :)
To do this simply slide the new one in the EXACT same way the old one came out and push it into place.

Screw the cover back on and get ready to change the spark plug next!

To change the spark plug,  simply locate the spark plug wire which should be towards the front of the mower like in the picture below.

The black spark plug wire connects to the spark plug

so simply pull it off so that you can access the spark plug.

After removing the plug wire you will see the actual spark plug.

Now use a spark plug wrench like below
-you may need to buy one for $3 or so bucks if you don't already have one on hand.

Take one of the ends, mine used the larger end, and slide it over the spark plug so that the hexagon shaped opening covers the hexagon shape around the edge of the spark plug.
You may need to lightly push it on to the plug.

Then insert the arm into one of the holes so you can push on it to start unscrewing the spark plug.

Once the spark plug is removed you will see the hole where the new spark plug goes.

Simply insert the LARGE end of the spark plug into the hole and turn to tighten it on.

Put  your spark plug wire back on the tip of the spark plug, and you are done!
(unless you want to also change the oil, which I did not need to do).

You have now tuned up your lawn mower!
Get your motor runnin'..............................and get that lawn mowed!!!!

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