How to service your ride on mower

Ride on lawnmower

Spring has finally sprung and with summer just around the corner, now’s a good time to give your mower a service, this is because through decades of experience we know that regular maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your machine, and the quality of its cut! If you bought your ride on or zero turn mower from OMC, don’t forget your first service or first service kit with us is free. To keep your mower in excellent condition, regular maintenance and seasonal servicing is a must. Here’s a checklist to cover the basics that you can either do yourself (if you know what you’re doing) or leave to a professional.

There are many benefits to buying a mower from OMC. Download your free document now to find out what they are.

Give it a good clean

Grass clippings, twigs, leaves and dirt can all get inside your mower affecting its performance. Check the deck of your ride on or zero turn and carefully remove anything that may be stuck underneath. This is also important to ensure there are no fire hazards. Cleaning the deck will help your lawn mower perform better by allowing the blades of grass to stand fully upright as the blade spins to trim them.

We recommend using a basic set of ramps, with a sufficient load rating, these cost around $100-300 depending on quality. Or alternatively, you can simply use a block and tackle hoist to lift the front of your mower up, these are available new for as little as $65 on Trademe.

A mower with a heavy buildup of grass clippings may deflect the grass blades so they can’t be cut efficiently, and the grass buildup can even hinder the rotation of the blade itself. Some ride ons have a deck wash out port so if yours does, you can hook it up to your garden hose and flush out any debris from underneath.

Lubricate your moving parts

Make sure you avoid wear and tear on the moving parts of your ride on or zero turn with some lubricant. Using a grease gun is a quick and easy way to apply lubricant to the small parts under the hood of your mower.

You’ll need to look for the grease nipples, which can usually be found around the spindles, support wheels and deck lift mechanisms. Just be careful not to over grease, follow the manufacturer’s instructions as over greasing can cause seals to break.

Check and/or change the air filter

A lawn mower’s air filter keeps dust and other particles away from the engine. In order for an air filter to work efficiently, it should be checked regularly to ensure it is not dirty or blocked to the extent that airflow could be hindered. We recommend avoiding compressed air around air filters, as microscopic particles can be forced back through, which could harm the engine. When you remove the old one, clean the surrounding area before you put in the new one.

Get in touch with our expert parts team who will be able to point you in the direction of the correct replacement air filter for your machine.

Replace the spark plugs

Spark plugs will usually need replacing about once a season and doing so will result in easier starts and better fuel economy. Before replacing spark plugs, be sure to get the right spark plug and ensure it is fitted correctly, or get in touch with our service department to book a service if you’re unsure.

Check your belts

Make sure your belts aren't worn or damaged, and that they have the correct tension. Over time, the belts on your mower can wear. Changing a worn deck belt is necessary as it will help your machine run at its peak. Replacement belts can be purchased from OMC and are easy to install with often just a screwdriver or a 3/8 socket and some elbow grease.

Many customers chose to wait until a belt snaps before replacing. However, if your belt looks tatty or rubber is worn off, it is worth considering a new belt. Most mower belts are self-tensioning.

Change your oil and oil filter

Just like a car, your mower needs regular oil changes. Unscrew the oil bung and release the oil into a bucket or a plastic milk bottle. Now is also a good time to fit with a new engine oil filter. Once completed, replace the bung and fill your mower engine with the correct amount of new oil. Double or triple check that the level is correct using the dipstick, after the oil has had time to settle in the sump.

Most mowers with a 4-stroke engine use 10W-30 engine oil, however check with the manufacturer to ensure you get the correct grade.


Now that your mower’s just like new, you might want to look into purchasing some add ons to make the job even easier. We have a great selection of garden trailers, side and rear catchers, mulching and striping kits, tow hitches, lights and much more. Contact us for further information.

Leave it to the professionals

Not sure how to perform recommended maintenance? Simply fill out our services and repairs form here and we’ll do it for you.

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