Bob Vila Radio: Mower Air Filters

You're not the only one working hard these days. Your lawn mower has been busy, too. To improve its performance and extend its life, remember to clean the machine's air filter.

By Bob Vila | Updated Mar 23, 2015 1:49 PM

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With all the turf you’ve been trimming this summer, now’s a good time to give your mower some well-deserved TLC. That includes servicing the air filter. Clogged filters drastically reduce your mower’s efficiency and if neglected long enough, can damage the engine.

Cleaning Lawn Mower Air Filters


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Listen to BOB VILA ON MOWER AIR FILTERS or read the text below:

Air filters are usually located in square-ish compartments mounted to either the top or the side of the engine. There are two main types—foam and pleated paper. Foam filters can be cleaned; paper filters need to be replaced.

To clean a foam filter, first pull the wire off your spark plug, then unscrew the cover of the filter compartment and remove the foam. Give it a bath in kerosene, then soak it in clean engine oil. Squeeze out the excess oil and reposition the foam in the filter compartment, before finally screwing the cover back on.

Paper filters are even easier. Just remove the cover, toss the filter, and replace it with a new one.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.