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How To Maintain Your Mower Engine

The key advantages to maintaining your engine include:

  • Extending engine life
  • Easier starting
  • Protecting your investment
  • Cleaner environment

Maintenance can also:

  • Reduce emissions by up to 50%
  • Reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%
  • Restore horsepower up to 7.5%

Maintaining your engine is easier than you might think. Just follow these four steps:

  • Replace spark plug
  • Check and change the oil
  • Use fresh fuel and add fuel stabilizer
  • Replace the filters

Replacing Spark Plugs

Replacing the spark plug ensures consistent spark, more reliable starting, and improves fuel economy. It is one of the easiest ways to ensure accurate and easy starting of your engine. Replace the spark plug at the beginning of every mowing season and/or every 100 hours of use.

Checking and Changing the Oil

  • Check your oil level regularly and fill to the mark on the dipstick. Do not overfill!
  • Changing the oil cleans the inside of the engine, reduces friction, and extends engine life.
  • Change your oil after the first five hours of use and then every 50 hours of use or at the beginning of the season.
  • Consult your owner’s manual for oil viscosity recommendation. SAE30 oil is recommended for most engines.

Using Fresh Fuel and Adding Fuel Stabilizer

Always use fresh, clean unleaded gas. In general, you should use fuel within 30 days.

However, adding fuel stabilizer will help keep fuel fresh longer. In fact, it can keep fuel fresh up to 2 years. Fuel stabilizer also cleans the carburetor and the fuel system, and works in both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines.

Always treat new fuel with stabilizer to protect your equipment throughout the seasons.

Replacing Filters

Changing the oil filter prevents clogging, increases performance, and greatly increases engine life. Change the oil filter every 50 hours or once a season (more often under dusty conditions).

Changing the fuel filter prevents the carburetor from clogging and increases performance. Replace the fuel filter every 100 hours (or once a season).

Replacing the paper or foam air filter/air cleaner prevents clogging for easier starting and also reduces fuel consumption. Replace your air filter every 25 hours (or once a season). If your filter is a dual element filter, you should clean it every 25 hours and change the cartridge every 50 hours. Do not wait until the filter element starts to break down, or becomes discolored, torn, or wet!

Note: You can clean foam air cleaner elements with soap and water and reuse them. (Dry completely before installing them.)

Maintenance Schedule

Follow the schedule below. More frequent service may be required if you are working in dirty, dusty, or heavy load conditions.

Maintenance Schedule
Every 5 hours or daily
  • Check oil level.
  • Change oil (and filter, if equipped with one) after first 5 hours of use.
25 hours or every season
  • Replace air filter/air cleaner
  • Clean dual element air cleaner
50 hours or every season
  • Change oil.
  • Replace dual element air filter.
100 hours or every season
  • Replace spark plug.
  • Replace in-line fuel filter.

Storage Tips

Before putting your equipment into storage, make sure you do the following:

  • Add fuel stabilizer.
  • Drain the engine oil and refill.
  • Pour 14 ml (.5 ounces) of oil into the spark plug hole.
  • Replace the spark plug and crank the engine slowly.
  • Clean dirt and grass from the engine and mower deck.
  • Store in a clean, dry area.
  • Disconnect the battery terminals (if applicable)

TSC Lawn Mower Maintenance Supplies


  • Air cleaner
  • Battery (if equipped)
  • Belts (if equipped)
  • Blade (if equipped)
  • Fuel filter (if equipped)
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Funnel
  • Oil
  • Oil filter (if equipped)
  • Oil pan/drain pan
  • Pliers
  • Pump or socket
  • Screwdrivers
  • Shop towel
  • Small Engine Care & Repair manual
  • Socket wrench set
  • Spark Plug
  • Spark Plug Gauge
  • Spark Plug Wrench