Summer Tips - Routine Maintenance for Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers and Riding Lawn Mowers

Even with routine maintenance for your lawn mower, it's important to check, clean, and replace worn parts throughout the cutting season. Listed below are periodic maintenance items for walk-behind lawn mowers and riding lawn mowers that will ensure your machine performs at peak levels and could extend the life of your equipment.

Note that if your mower is damaged from hitting an object in your yard or has complicated engine trouble, it is best to take it to a local MTD certified service dealer for repairs.

Routine summer care items for lawn mowers

To ensure your lawn mower runs properly throughout the mowing season, periodically check the following items:

  • Lawn mower deck: After the engine has cooled, wash the cutting deck after each use to remove grass or other debris that may have accumulated. If there is substantial buildup, use a putty knife or other object to scrape the underside of the mower deck.
  • Lawn mower blades: Check the cutting blades for signs of damage or wear. If a blade is cracked, bent or worn, it needs to be replaced before the mower can be safely operated.
  • Lawn mower belts: Check the drive and deck belts on your walk-behind lawn mower and riding lawn mower for signs of wear, and replace if necessary. View step-by-step instructions for this task in the MTD Genuine Parts Knowledge Center.
  • Lawn mower air filter: If the air filter gets clogged with dust and debris, replace it to ensure your engine runs properly.
  • Oil and fuel: Check the oil level before every use, and change the oil and oil filter (if equipped) after every 50 hours of use. Also, add fuel treatment each time you fill the gas tank, and replace the fuel filter if it appears dirty.
  • Moving parts: Make sure gears, axles, and other moving parts are properly lubricated and grease as necessary to ensure proper performance. 
  • Nuts, bolts, and screws: Natural vibration from your walk-behind lawn mower and riding lawn mower can cause bolts to loosen. Check and tighten all hardware as needed.
  • Spark plugs: If you are having trouble starting your lawn mower, check the spark plug for carbon buildup and replace, if necessary.

Fix equipment issues quickly

When you need parts for your walk-behind lawn mower or riding lawn mower, you can use the MTD Genuine Parts Part Finder to find the correct one. Common parts include:


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Resolving outdoor power equipment problems as soon as they arise will prolong the life of your machine. Troubleshoot walk-behind lawn mower and riding lawn mower problems using our symptom guide.
The MTD Genuine Parts Knowledge Center provides do-it-yourself instructions for performing many basic maintenance items, including replacing cutting blades, drive and deck belts, and engine oil. If you find your machine has a bigger problem, use our service locator to find a qualified MTD service provider in your area.

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