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A Victa lawn mower on a work bench

Overview

Your lawn mower is an important gardening tool, so it's worth taking the time to maintain it. At least once a year there are some simple things to do to make sure your lawn mower runs well and lasts longer.

Steps

1Safety first

Before you start any maintenance work on your lawn mower, disconnect the spark plug and make sure the throttle is in the off position. The mower is now safe to work on. Only carry out maintenance on the mower when the engine is cold.
A person disconnecting the spark plug on a lawn mower

2Clean the mower

Use the rags and the soft brushes to clean the outside of the mower to remove any dirt, grime and grass that has built up.
A person cleaning a lawn mower with a brush

3Apply lubricant

Once you have cleaned the outside of the mower it's time to apply some lubricant. Spray WD40 onto the wheels, the throttle cable and the height adjuster. Use the rag to wipe away any excess WD40.
A person applying lubricant to the throttle cable of a lawn mower

4Check the spark plug

If you have a four-stroke mower, it's worth checking the spark plug. If you have a two-stroke, replacing it can give your mower a new lease of life. Use the socket set to remove the spark plug. If it doesn't need replacing, clean it with the wire brush. When replacing the spark plug, screw it in with your fingers as far as you can, so that you don't cross-thread it. Then tighten it with the socket. Be careful not to overtighten it.
A person cleaning a spark plug with a wire brush

5Check the air filter

Remove the cover from over the air filter. If it's not too dirty, give it a tap on the bench and a clean with a brush. If it is dirty, it's well worth replacing it.
A person removing the cover from the air filter on a lawn mower

6Clean the catcher

Remove the catcher from the mower. If it's very dirty you might need to give it a thorough hosing out. If it's not too bad, clean it out with the brushes.
A person cleaning a grass catcher with a brush

7Clean and check underneath the mower

It's not a good idea to tip your lawn mower upside down, so just lean it back so you can clean and check underneath. Use the brushes to remove the grass. It's especially important to do this if you have a steel mower because a build-up of grass can cause rust. Inspect the blades to make sure they're not too badly damaged. If they are, you'll need to replace them. Sharp blades cut grass well and keep it healthy. Wear the safety gloves when working around the blades.
A person cleaning the underneath of a lawn mower with a brush

8Check the oil

If you have a four-stroke mower, check the oil. Remove the cap and check the oil level on the dipstick. If the oil level is low, top it up. If the oil is dark and dirty it will need draining and replacing. Another handy tip is to only add petrol to the mower before you use it, that way it won't go stale.
A person checking the oil level in a lawn mower

9Ready to go

And there you have it, some simple ways to maintain your lawn mower. If you can carry out this maintenance at least once a year, your mower should run long and strong.
A Victa lawn mower on a work bench

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.