10 Tips for Lawn Mower Maintenance

March 15, 2024

Tips for keeping your lawn and garden equipment running great for years to come.

Spring has sprung, and with the birds chirping from dawn to dusk breaking the silence of winter gone by, so too returns the outdoor chores like mowing the lawn, tilling up the garden and a variety of other outdoor projects.

Much to our advantage, we now have the ability to trade up from rotating spinning blades powered by our legs pushing across the yard to rotating spinning blades under the deck of our motorized zero-turn lawn mowers. Instead of strapping the plow to the back of the horse, we can run our motorized tiller to churn up fresh dirt for planting. And with the continued advent of mechanical-powered machinery to ease our strains of manual ‘horsepower’ also comes the need to maintain our equipment for prolonged use.

Whether it’s the push mower or the riding mower, the leaf blower or the roto-tiller, the skid steer or the mini excavators barreling across our properties, they all need the proper attention to perform their intended duties. “Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance,” says Mike McNutt from Detailed Lawn Care Service (Hubertus, WI). “I have 2050 hours on my zero turns, starting and running great every time because I have done what is needed.”

“Among other things I change out the spark plugs annually. I’ll blow out air filters once a week, I change the fuel filters once a year, change oil at 50 hours, hydraulic fluid and filter changes at 100 hours, I sharpen blades at 25 hours. The proper maintenance will keep your gear running a long time. I check my oils every day. A zero turn costs almost the same as a car,” chuckles McNutt, “so I try to take care of it all.”


Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance

Whether you own a push, ride or zero-turn mower, accounting for a few operational considerations can help with your equipment’s safety and maintenance. Follow the steps below and maximize the life span of your lawn mower:

1. Change the oil.

Just as the oil is the lifeblood of the big engines, it also provides the same advantages for the smaller engines as well, requiring the same attention. Without the proper oil change maintenance, lawn equipment wears out due to increased heat and friction and lack of lubricity. 

Change the lawn mower oil to extend the engine’s life. When refilling the oil reservoir, be sure to read the equipment’s manual beforehand. Perform the oil change according to the recommended viscosity and application instructions. 

2. Change your filters.

Clogged oil filters cause a backup in fresh oil and flow-through to all of the mechanical parts that experience friction. Changing the lawn mower’s fuel filter allows a steady flow of clean fuel into the combustion chamber, making the torque and horsepower of smaller engines more efficient. A cleaner burn then limits exhaust emissions into the environment. Replacing dirty filters also extends the lifetime of small engine components. 

Aside from the oil filter, remember to check the air filter as well. Dust particles and grass clippings accumulate on the air filter over time. Clean the air filter regularly to ensure an optimal fuel-to-air ratio, which impacts the overall engine combustion. Proper operational procedures also contribute to equipment maintenance. Avoid tipping the mower in a direction that might cause fluids to seep into the air filter or combustion chamber.

3. Stabilize the fuel and improve performance with additives.

Fuel sitting in equipment for an extended period can cause congestion on the carburetor. Stabilize the fuel with a premium fuel additive to prepare your mower for the off-season. Before you add any additives, drain any stale fuel that may be present after the winter storage.

Additives fill the gaps where some oils and fuels fall short. Spending just a couple extra dollars on additives maintenance will go a long way in adding more life span to engines and motorized equipment. It also increases lubricity, fuel burn and reduce wear in any engine. Applying the same benefits to the mower can help avoid costly equipment repairs and replacements. 

Additives such as Hot Shot’s Secret Gasoline Extreme and FR3 Friction Reducer can help increase fuel efficiency and horsepower. It deep-cleans and removes deposits in the carburetor. The additives also work wonders in reducing friction, heat and wear and tear on engine components. As such, it extends the base performance in shear stability, oxidation stability and film strength. 

4. Clean out any debris.

Keep your lawn mower clean, from the area beneath the mower deck to the outer surface. You can use water when cleaning, but make sure to wipe and dry the area to avoid rust accumulation. Using a scrubber or blower can also help remove more significant buildup.

5. Check your spark plugs for proper gap and spark.

Spark plugs also contribute to the overall fuel combustion. Lawn mowers depend on the spark plugs to get the proper amount of electricity to run the engine. Examine the spark plugs to ensure the appropriate gap and spark. When replacing spark plugs, refer to the owner’s manual for specifications. Remember to replace, cap, wrap or coat any bare or frayed wiring connections, too.

6. Tighten or replace any loose nuts and bolts.

Checking the working parts of the lawn mower plays a significant role in its efficiency and maintenance. Routinely examine the parts for any loose screws and tighten or replace them accordingly. 

7. Sand, prime and paint rusted parts.

Rust damages the efficiency of metal parts in lawn mowers, leading to machinery malfunctions and safety hazards. That’s why proper mower maintenance includes cleaning and removing rust. Use a soft cloth to clean any loose dirt and paint. After cleaning the surface, scrub the area with a wire brush or sandpaper to remove rust scales or flakes. Prime the roughened section and paint it for extra protection. 

8. Examine the tire pressure and belts.

Along with the nuts and bolts, it’s important to check the lawn mower’s tire pressure. Proper tire pressure helps in cutting the grass evenly and safely. Inadequate tire pressure, on the other hand, can cause unnecessary friction on both the transmission and engine. 

9. Check the battery.

There’s nothing worse than going out for the first cut of the year and you turn the key and you get nothing. This is why it’s important to maintain lawn and garden batteries. Check the voltage with a multimeter, check all electrical connections and make sure they are secure and inspect the batteries for signs of damage or corrosion. 

10. Sharpen the blades.

It’s easy to miss this step because we take for granted that our blades will cut through their intended materials. That is not always the case, though, as we tend to forget what we don’t see and our engines work harder when the blades are not adequately serving their purpose. A sharpened blade helps in making the task more efficient and saves unneeded stress on the power plant, thereby requiring less exertion to maintain.


Maintain Your Lawn Mower With Hot Shot’s Secret

Just like any other motorized vehicle, maintenance is the key to the success of your lawn mower. Maximize the life span of your lawn mower and prevent hefty repair projects in the future with the right maintenance products. Hot Shot’s Secret is your trusted partner for premium fuel and oil additives to keep your modern lawn mower, small or big, in tip-top condition for a long time. If you’re not satisfied, we offer a money-back guarantee as part of our commitment to excellence and exceptional customer care. 

Shop our products or contact us today for any questions about our high-quality additives, all powered by science.


Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Lawn Mowers:

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: 1.5 oz per Quart of Oil
Frequency: Every Oil Change
Benefits: Users can gain up to 5% Fuel mileage and horsepower. FR3 Friction Reducer is a lubricity-enhancing oil additive that increases the lubricating and wear reduction properties of the host oil. It increases rubber seal lubrication for less oil leaks and cleans deposits on the rings and pistons, thereby providing a smoother sealing surface for the rings. Lost compression is then restored with better ring seal, less blow-by and increased combustion efficiency.

Product: Gasoline Extreme
Dose: 1.25 oz per Gallon of Gasoline
Frequency: Once a year for moderately used equipment. Twice a year for equipment used over 100 hours.
Benefits: Gasoline Extreme is a deep-clean for fuel injectors, thereby restoring the flow and spray pattern from gummed-up fuel injectors. Intake Valve deposits are cleaned 69% on average, restoring valve seating and volumetric efficiency. A special lubricity additive is included in Gasoline Extreme helping pumps and injectors move freely. All of which add up to more efficient fuel burn and improved gas economy.

“Edgers”: Included in the category is also Leaf Blowers and Weed Eaters. Before conducting any maintenance, be sure the power button is in the off position, the gas tank is empty and the spark plug wire is disconnected and pulled away from the cylinder.

• Use a brush with a mix of water and detergent to clean off any grease, dirt and debris.
• Check all screws, bolts and nuts for tightening as needed.
• In a 4-cycle engine, check the oil level and consistency before every use.
• Check string or blades for proper stability and extension.
• Remove and inspect the spark plug for proper gap and spark. If the plug tip is black, replace the spark plug.
• After use for the last time in the season, empty the fuel tank to avoid condensation and fuel breakdown.


Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Edgers:

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: 1.5 oz per Quart of Oil
Frequency: Every Oil Change
Benefits: FR3 esters provide increased rubber seal lubrication as well as a slight swelling of the seal for less oil leaks and a regain in compression. FR3 provides enhanced protection against engine wear with a patented carbon Nano particle that fills in microscopic irregularities on the machined surface allowing a smoother surface for the lubricating film to form. FR3 components extends the base oil performance in shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction.

Chainsaws: For the utmost safety protection and operation, proper use of a chainsaw requires routine inspection and maintenance prior to every start of the motor:
• Ensure the chain brake is functioning properly.
• Check and/or replenish bar and chain oil level before each use.
• Remove debris from the cooling fins and air intake.
• Check the flywheel fins to avoid blockage of air from cooling the engine.
• Sharpen the chain to reduce load on the motor plus help avoid kickbacks.
• When the cutting tooth has been worn down to less than 4 mm, replace the chain.
• Clean debris from the saw after each use.


Hot Shot’s Secret Application(s) for Chainsaws: (All 2 Cycle engines)

Product: FR3 Friction Reducer
Dose: Pre-mix 1.5 oz. FR3 per Quart of 2-cycle oil, then mix 2-cycle oil blend with gas at usual treat ratio. (1:40, 1:50 per manufacturer’s instructions)
Frequency: every tank
Benefits: Wear rates are reduced by 43% (ASTM G-133 test). FR3 engages patented synthetics with unique lubricating properties improving friction reduction over PAO or mPAO synthetics of the same viscosity. Patented FR3 nano particles cross link at the surface, which increases film strength and boundary lubrication, improving shear stability, oxidation stability, film strength and especially friction reduction.



“I believe in Hot Shot’s Secret. I was in for some injector repairs and the garage recommended HSS. I went online and checked them out and everything looked good. I actually called for more questions. They promised me the 100% money back guarantee and gave me all the details. And when I made the purchases, they asked me for my phone number.

A month or two later they actually called to ask how my truck was running. To me, that stands out. Nobody really cares after the sale. And they reiterated that if I still wasn’t happy, to send in the receipt. To me, that makes a big difference.

Not only did it help my injectors, I noticed I picked up a couple miles per gallon using their products.

They even sent me a bottle of FR3 friction reducer to try out as well. I loved it.”