Common Questions about Riding Mowers

With so many uses in the yard, including mowing and pulling dump carts and spreaders, it's important to know how to properly care for your riding lawn mower or lawn tractor.

Here are the most commonly asked questions about how to help your riding mower run well and efficiently. Keep in mind that before performing any maintenance tasks on your riding mower to always refer to your operator's manual for more detailed instructions.

What should my regular riding mower maintenance routine look like?

It's important to check the engine oil to make sure all levels are in good standing. Too much or too little oil can cause serious damage to the engine.

Before each mowing, you should also check your air filter for dirty, loose or damaged parts. It is highly recommended that the air filter, spark plugs, oil and oil filter are replaced every year when you prepare your mower for off-season storage.

You can also use a tune-up kit that contains the proper oil and filter for your Kohler-powered riding mower, like Troy-Bilt's Starter Tune-Up Kit, which also includes an oil pan, for a convenient and cost-saving mower maintenance option. Additionally, inspect all nuts, bolts and screws to make sure they are secure and that the equipment is in safe working condition.

What mower parts commonly need to be replaced?

Over time, parts of your riding lawn mower, like grass catcher components, the discharge cover and the trail can become worn and damaged. This could potentially expose moving parts or allow objects to be thrown. As a safety measure, frequently check components and replace parts immediately if there are any indications of damage with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) parts only. Use of parts that do not meet the original equipment specifications could lead to improper performance and compromise safety.

It's also important to inspect your lawn mower blades to prevent damage to your lawn and other components of your mower. A good rule of thumb is to replace or sharpen lawn mower blades at the beginning of each season to ensure a clean, fresh cut to your lawn. If blades appear to be bent, dull or unbalanced at any time, immediately replace them or take to a professional to have them sharpened.

Do I need any mower attachments?

There are several useful lawn mower attachments that provide versatility in the yard to help complete tasks as easy as possible. A grass bagger is recommended to help maintain the health of your grass and reduce thatch buildup, increasing oxygen and nitrogen absorption, plus encouraging grass to grow in the bare areas of your yard. A bagger attachment can also help clean up a light layer of leaves in the fall season.

There are other available riding lawn mower attachments like the front-mount dozer blade, which can help you move the dirt in your garden and even the snow in your driveway.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®, July/August 2014