A lawn mower needs regular maintenance to keep it operating efficiently. A well-functioning mower translates to a healthy and attractive lawn. On the other hand, a faulty mower retards the growth of your grass and damages the grass blades.
So, when you need to tune up your lawn mower, you might wonder how much the whole process costs. On the bright side, it is a job that does not require the most experienced lawn Guru to handle; even a first-timer can do it with a little guidance. Read on to get all the information you need on how much a lawn mower tune up costs.
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How Much Does A Lawn Mower Tune Up Cost? – (Full Breakdown)
The cost for tune up varies depending on the type of lawn mower that you have. Generally, tune up for small push mowers is usually less expensive compared to large riding mowers. On top of that, the mode of powering the mower – whether gasoline or electricity, also determines the cost. Overall, a lawn mower service will charge $40 to $85 for a tune up.
Most handymen or lawn mower services will charge both the cost of labor and material. To cut on the cost, you can tune up for yourself, it will cost you roughly $25 to purchase the replacement parts. In this case, you must refer to your mower’s manual as you work.
What Includes In Tune Up?
Now that you know how much a lawn mower tune up costs, let’s delve into the intricacies of the tune up process itself. To start with, a lawn mower tune up mainly involves three main components; the oil, air filter, and spark plug. These three components must be checked and changed if necessary.
- Changing The lawn mower Oil
First things first, you’ll need to change the oil in your lawn mower. Generally, oil lubricates moving parts thus ensuring that your mower’s engine runs smoothly and efficiently. But with time, this oil is prone to dirt and wearing out thus losing its ability to protect the engine.
As a result, you need to change the mower’s oil regularly as recommended by the manufacturer. During tune up, the existing oil is drained and replaced with new oil.
- Replacing The Lawn Mower Air Filter
Air intake into the engine is essential for the combustion of fuel. Remember that an air and gasoline mixture is injected from the carburetor into the engine’s combustion chambers where it is ignited to provide the engine with energy.
However, before the air enters the engine system, it has to pass through an air filter to get rid of dust and dirt. As such, air filters can become easily clogged and damaged and thus need to be regularly replaced. Replacing an air filter will ensure clean air enters the engine and in turn, enhance the fuel combustion.
- Changing The Lawn Mower Spark Plug
A lawn mower’s spark plug is vital in the engine’s ignition system since it produces the spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. After using your lawn mower for a long time, the spark plug may become accumulate dirt or get corroded preventing it from functioning well.
During the lawn mower tune up, the old spark plug is replaced with a new one. This makes the ignition process a walk in the park by ensuring that your lawn mower’s engine starts in no time whenever you want to use the mower.
Also Read: How to Tell If Mower Deck Spindle is Bad?
How Often Should You Bring Your Mower In For A Tune Up?
For an average residential lawn mower with a small engine, tune up is recommended after every 50 hours of operation. This is roughly once per mowing season. Commercial lawnmowers, on the other hand, need tuning up more frequently since they handle larger workloads.
Nevertheless, you should check our mower’s manual or contact your manufacturer for more information on this. Machines that work in areas with high temperatures and dusty conditions will require more frequent tune up. In general, a lawn mower needs tune up at least once a year.
So, the simple answer is; tune up a residential lawn mower once after operating it for 50 hours. Commercial lawnmowers need a more frequent tune up since they handle larger workloads.
Why Tune Up Is Important For A Lawn Mower?
Let’s face it; you need a well-maintained lawn mower for your lawn to look healthy and attractive. Tune-up helps maximize the performance of your lawn mower, and avoid costly repairs.
Thanks to tune up, a lawn mower’s engine system operates efficiently thus reducing the fumes and emissions which in turn makes it more environmentally friendly. On top of that, it also extends the life of the mower’s engine thus ensuring the longevity of your lawn care equipment.
Also Read: How to Replace PTO Clutch on Scag Mower?
Can I Perform A Tune Up Myself? – DIY
While most people prefer to take their lawn mowers for tuning up at a repair shop, you can still DIY. Besides, getting your hands a little dirty can help save you some dollars and of course, earn some experience.
So, the simple answer is yes, you can perform a tune up by yourself. However, you need to be extremely cautious.
As a precautionary measure, work in a well-ventilated area and ensure you disconnect the spark plug cable – this helps prevent your lawn mower from accidentally starting up and causing accidents. Tuning up a lawn mower involves changing its oil, air filters, and spark plug as discussed below:
1. Change the Lawn Mower’s Oil
As we have already seen, oil is essential for the lubrication of moving parts. To change the oil:
- Check your mower’s manual and purchase the right type of oil for your model
- Run your lawn mower’s engine for a few minutes. This helps warm up the oil so that it will drain better. Power off the mower, remove the spark plug and drain the oil.
- Park the lawn mower on level ground and fill it with the new oil up to the recommended level. You can use a dipstick to check the oil level.
2. Change The Air Filter
Clogged air filters hinder clean air intake into the combustion chambers making the engine less effective. To replace the air filter in your lawn mower:
- Park the mower on a straight ground
- Disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental startups
- Unscrew or remove the bolt holding the air filter cover in place
- Remove the old clogged air filter and replace it with a new one
- Screw back the air filter housing
3. Change The Spark plug
An old and corroded spark plug makes the lawn mower’s ignition process hard and tiresome and thus needs changing. During tune up, you can replace the spark plug in the following simple steps:
- Disconnect the spark plug of your lawn mower
- Using a spark plug socket, remove the existing spark plug and install the new one. Note that it is advisable to check the mower’s manual to purchase the recommended type of spark plug.
- Finally, reconnect the spark plug wire and start your lawn mower.
When you do the tuning up yourself, it is important that you also do other lawn mower maintenance practices that include:
4. Recharge Your Mower’s battery (For Electric Cordless)
If you are using a battery-powered lawn mower, ensure that the battery is 100% charged before you start the engine. Also, check the battery housing to ensure there is no moisture that may otherwise corrode the battery terminals.
5. Sharpen The Blade
Sharp lawn mower blades give the grass a smooth and even cut leading to a healthier and nice-looking lawn. Dull blades on the other hand damage the grass blades which creates an entrance for diseases making a lawn weaker and unhealthy.
Therefore, it is important to clean and sharpen your lawn mower blades regularly. Whatever you do, do not touch the blade before disconnecting the spark plug – unless you want to lose a finger or two. Remember that with the spark plug connected, your lawn mower is prone to accidental startups.
6. Clean The Under mower Deck
Before reinstalling the blades, you need to clean any dirt from the underside of your mower’s deck. If there is too much dirt, you can use a wire brush to scrub it off. On top of that always spray your underdeck with nonstick cooking spray at least once a year. Also, rinse off the underdeck before storing your lawn mower at the end of each mowing season.
Tuning up your lawn mower is a crucial process to ensure this lawn care companion remains efficient. In a nutshell, a lawn mower tune up mainly involves changing three main components; the oil, air filter, and spark plug. You can let a professional handle the task at a fair cost.
But if you have some free time and are willing to try something out and gain experience, why not do it yourself? Besides, all the materials you’ll need for the process are available at your nearest home center or hardware store.