True Cost to Tune Up a Lawn Mower

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated February 14, 2022
A woman mowing her lawn
Photo: sturti / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Lawn mower servicing costs $10 to $250.

  • DIY tune-ups start at $10.

  • Pro riding lawn mower tune-ups cost up to $250.

  • Annual servicing keeps your mower in peak condition for longer.

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A properly tuned-up mower is your lawn's best friend, but one with dull blades is like the schoolyard bully. Rather than giving beautiful, clean cuts, it tears at the grass like the mean kid pulls hair. Tuning up a lawn mower costs $10 to $250. The price you'll pay depends on the type of mower you have and whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a lawn mower repair pro.

Lawn Mower Tune-Up Costs

Lawn mower tune-ups can cost as little as $10 for a simple reel mower where all you need to do is oil the axle and sharpen the blades. However, for a heavy-duty residential lawn tractor, you'll pay up to $250 because it's a more complex machine with more parts and it takes more time and parts to complete the service. 

While you can save money by taking your lawn mower to a repair center, they're often big, bulky, and heavy, so it's not necessarily easy or practical to load them onto your vehicle. However, if you still want professional help, many lawn mower repair specialists offer a mobile tune-up service, where they come to you, do the tune-up onsite and, if they spot a major problem that needs a full repair, they can take the machine away, fix it, and bring it back. 

Tune-Up Costs By Lawn Mower Type

Regardless of the type of lawn mower you have, it will still need annual TLC. If you neglect your mower, you'll end up with patchy, thin, unhealthy grass prone to disease, fungus, and pests. To keep your lawn lush and green, your first task, every year before grass-cutting season begins, should be to give your lawn mower a tune-up. 

Take a look at the typical cost ranges for annual lawn mower servicing by type of mower. The ranges represent the DIY cost at the lower end and the professional service at the upper end. 

Lawn Mower TypeTune-Up Cost
Reel Mower$10–$50
Push Mower$25–$70
Self-Propelled Mower$25–$100
Riding Lawn Mower$100–$250

Lawn Mower Tune-Up Breakdown

A man using a riding lawn mower in his back yard
Photo: Dmytro / Adobe Stock

Even a top-of-the-line mower needs a little help to stay in good shape. Without a yearly tune-up, any mower struggles to keep your lawn nicely manicured. Plus, a full service helps maximize the life of your mower and reduce the likelihood of hefty repair bills. Take a look at the different elements involved in a lawn mower tune-up. Obviously not all of these apply to all mowers because, for example, a reel mower doesn't have an engine. 

  • Oil change

  • Engine tune-up

  • Check the tire pressure

  • Spark plug change

  • Air filter cleaned or replaced

  • Fuel filter checked and replaced if necessary

  • Block and cooling fins cleaned

  • Drive system checked and adjusted

  • Carburetor cleaned

  • Belts checked, replaced and tuned

  • Mowing deck scraped and cleaned

  • Bearings and pulleys checked

  • Carburetor rebuilt if necessary

  • Starting system checked and serviced

  • Blades sharpened

  • Replace frayed pull cord

Cost to Tune Up a Lawn Mower Yourself

The cost to tune up a lawn mower yourself varies from around $10 to $100. While tuning up riding lawn mowers is best left to the pros, unless you have extensive experience working with that kind of machinery, reel, push, and walk-behind mowers are suitable for DIY servicing, in most cases. 

Reel mowers just need a splash of oil, a full clean, and blades sharpened, most likely with a whetstone. This will cost you $10, at most, for the oil, assuming you already have a whetstone. 

For lawn mowers with an engine, you'll need to change the spark plugs and air filters and perform an oil change. This can cost you between $25 and $50. And, of course, you'll also need to clean the mowing deck, engine block, and air filters, and you'll need to sharpen the blades. 

If you know your way around a lawn mower, doing the annual service yourself is a great way to save money. However, if you're not confident, then it's advisable to hire a local lawn mower repair service to do it for you. Professional servicing will identify and fix potential issues before they become significant and expensive problems, plus a pro can do the job in half the time it'll take you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Mower Tune-Ups

How often should a lawn mower be tuned up?

This depends on how often your lawn mower is used. Minimally, it should be tuned up once a year. If it is used regularly, then every 100 hours of use is advisable.

How often should lawn mower spark plugs be changed?

It is recommended that your spark plugs should be checked and changed after every 25 hours of use. 

Is it cheaper to replace or repair a lawn mower?

Whether to repair or replace your lawn mower really depends on what is wrong with it and how long you have owned it. If your lawn mower is relatively new, then making sure that you regularly service the mower will help keep in good shape. There are of course issues that will cost hundreds of dollars to repair, such as the engine blowing or the lawn mower going over rocks. Many people go by the three-year rule and replace their lawn mower rather than do repairs after this time.

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