Riding Lawn Mower Air Filter Replacement Instructions

Length of Clip:  1:57

As part of routine maintenance, it's important to check and replace your riding lawn mowers' air filter. Performing this maintenance item will ensure your machines' engine performs as designed and will extend its service life. Follow the instructions below to inspect and clean or replace the air filter.

Note that if your riding 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.

Step 1: Position the riding lawn mower

Park your riding lawn mower on a flat, level surface. Turn it off, remove the key, and lock the parking brake. Once the engine has cooled, open the hood and disconnect the spark plug wire.

Step 2: Wipe off the mower air filter assembly

Clean the area around the mower air filter housing. This will remove dirt and other debris that could get into the engine while you're changing the air filter.

Step 3: Remove the mower air filter cover

Remove the mower air filter cover from the air filter housing.

Step 4: Clean or replace the pre-filter

If the engine air cleaner is equipped with a pre-filter, remove and clean it with liquid detergent and water. Ensure that it is completely dry before re-installing it. If it's excessively dirty, replace it.

Step 5: Install the new mower air filter

Install the cleaned or new pre-filter. Then, re-install the new mower air filter.

Step 6: Re-attach the mower air filter cover

Re-attach the mower air filter cover to the air filter housing.

Step 7: Re-connect the spark plug

Re-connect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Fix equipment issues quickly

When you need parts for your 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 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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