Riding mower valve adjustment. Gasoline lawn mowers

Yard Machines

Find the Yard Machines original equipment parts and accessories you need to keep your lawn mower, snow blower and other outdoor power equipment performing strong. These parts and accessories are designed and engineered to exact standards to provide reliability, safety and top performance. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment parts and accessories.

Can’t find your part? Customer Service can help. CALL 1-855-971-2271 Monday. Friday, 8:30 am. 5:00 pm EST CHAT WITH US

riding, mower, valve, adjustment, gasoline


Find the original equipment parts and accessories for your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment on our Parts Diagrams. The Parts Diagram helps visualize components found on your equipment. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or need assistance installing the new part, call 1-855-971-2271.


Yard Machines original equipment parts can help you maintain your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment long-term. Find parts by machine type: Riding Lawn Mower, Walk Behind Lawn Mower, Garden Tiller and Snow Blower to repair your machine.

Original Equipment Parts can help your Yard Machines riding lawn mower perform at the level you need it to for a long time. SHOP PARTS

Find the parts you need to keep your Yard Machines push mower operating at peak condition. SHOP PARTS

Whether you’re cultivating your entire lawn or just a small garden, find Yard Machines garden tiller parts you’ll need to get the job done. SHOP PARTS

Avoid waking up to that fresh snowfall with a snow blower that doesn’t work! Regular maintenance and replacement of your Yard Machines snow blower parts will keep you ready all winter long. SHOP PARTS


Original equipment parts can help you maintain your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment long-term. Find parts by part type: Blades, Belts, Engine Parts, Cables, Pulleys, Tires and Wheels, Spindles and Universal Parts.

When you need blades to deliver a clean cut and a healthier-looking lawn, look no further than Yard Machines original equipment blades. Yard Machines blades are designed to provide a precise fit with every blade change. Heat dipped for durability and flexibility, these blades have been tested for thousands of hours to meet equipment standards. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment blades. SHOP PARTS

Yard Machines original equipment belts are manufactured to equipment specifications so you can attain a precise fit with every belt change. These belts have been designed to combat conditions. Made with durable, high strength materials, they’re designed to be flexible enough to withstand continuous bending around pulleys. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with White Outdoor original equipment belts. SHOP PARTS

Yard Machines original equipment engine parts are specifically designed for your outdoor power equipment’s engine. Shop air filters, oil filters, fuel filters, spark plugs and more. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment engine parts. SHOP PARTS

When it’s time to replace the cable in your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment, you’ll find the exact part you need. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment cables. SHOP PARTS

A properly working pulley helps your machine perform with maximum power. You can find the exact part you need when it’s time to replace a pulley on your Yard Machines riding lawn mower or snow blower. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment pulleys. SHOP PARTS

A proper-fitting tire will help your Yard Machines riding mower, walk-behind mower and snow blower to have a smooth and sturdy ride. Replace tires and wheels as they wear to help make sure your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment runs at optimal performance. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment tires and wheels. SHOP PARTS

Find the spindle assembly parts you need to help maintain your Yard Machines lawn mower’s performance so your lawn looks pristine. Protect your Yard Machines outdoor power product investment with Yard Machines original equipment spindles. SHOP PARTS

Find a variety of parts here that will help you maintain your Yard Machines outdoor power equipment including equipment covers, keys and tools. SHOP PARTS


Enter the product code shown on the product serial number. Then select your language, click “Search,” and download your manual. FIND OPERATOR’S MANUALS

With our easy-to-use online Service Locator, you will get information on your current location and closest service locations, as well as their contact information and driving directions. You can choose to view the service points either conveniently on a map, or a list. FIND SERVICE LOCATIONS

Have your Yard Machines equipment registered Online now. If you don’t know your model and product serial number, call 1-855-971-2271 we will be glad to assist you. REGISTER YOUR PRODUCT

Gasoline lawn mowers

clamping devices. A precisely cut lawn is ensured by the central cutting height adjustment with six settings. If you would like to also mulch your lawn using the RM 443, this petrol lawn.

push lawn-mower RM 448 TC

Cutting width: 46 cmEngine power: 2.1 kW

adjustment, you can effortlessly achieve an evenly cut lawn. This petrol lawn mower can be converted into a Multi-mower using a special mulching accessory. Technical.

push lawn-mower RM 756 GS

Cutting width: 54 cmEngine power: 2.9 kW

The STIHL RM 756 GS petrol lawn mower has been specially developed for tough, long-lasting use in professional operation. The sturdy hybrid housing, for example is characterised by high.

push lawn-mower Multiclip 547 D

Cutting width: 45 cmEngine power: 1.9 kW

The hand-propelled STIGA Multiclip 547 D lawn mower features a 45 cm cutting width and side discharge option, that make it suitable to take care of lawns up to 1500 m2. The STIGA Multiclip.

push lawn-mower Combi 748 V

Cutting width: 46 cmEngine power: 2.8 kW

This self-propelled lawn mower is equipped with a high-performing GCVx145 Honda petrol engine with speed regulator. The 4-in-1 cutting system allows you to choose the right cutting method.

push lawn-mower Combi 748 S

Cutting width: 46 cmEngine power: 2.2 kW

Self-propelled lawn mower with 139 cc petrol engine and 4-in-1 cutting system: collection, mulching, side discharge and rear discharge. 60 litre collector139 cc STIGA petrol.

push lawn-mower LB 146

Cutting width: 46 cmEngine power: 2.2 kW

Mulching lawn mower that’s easy to use Ideal for taking care of smaller lawns, this Husqvarna petrol lawn mower is easy to maneuver.

riding, mower, valve, adjustment, gasoline

push lawn-mower LC 247

Cutting width: 47 cmEngine power: 2.2 kW

Husqvarna LC 247 is a comfortable, easy to use walk behind lawnmower with excellent cutting performance and top class collection. Features durable composite chassis, rear discharge, convenient bag handling through the handle bar and easy.

self-propelled lawn mower LC 247S

Cutting width: 47 cmEngine power: 2.2 kW

Powerful, self-propelled petrol lawn mower. Creating a tidy, well-cut lawn is a true pleasure with this self-propelled collecting lawn mower

robotic lawn mower AV28

Cutting width: 1,200 mmEngine power: 20.8 kW

The AV range was created to face the most extreme working conditions in the field of outdoor maintenance. These vehicles represent the excellence of technology for green and snow management works. This model is available with a rotary.

riding lawn mower MF1018X

Cutting width: 970 mmEngine power: 11.3 kW

Features HST Foot Pedal Hand Lever Operator can use either HST foot pedal or hand lever for driving. When you let go of the pedal at your driving, the machine slows down at once. Pedal and lever are selectively used, as needed. Mowing.

riding lawn mower MG1022X

Cutting width: 970 mmEngine power: 14.1 kW

Features Run-through pedal Mowing part rises to upper position and differential lock is engaged when run-through pedal is stepped on. It makes it easier to operate the machine on bumpy ground. Run-through lamp flashes when mowing.

riding lawn mower ME1022X1

Cutting width: 970 mmEngine power: 14.1 kW

Features Large diameter front tire The rug pattern prevents the machine from skidding when the machine circles. Foot pedal Traveling operation is easy with the foot pedal. Variable mowing height control lever The mowing height.

riding lawn mower BUFFALO 100 BVHPX

Cutting width: 100 cmEngine power: 14 kW

Fitted with a 100-cm overlapping cutting deck and a 23-HP two-cylinder Vanguard engine, it has a higher hourly mowing output of up to 12 000 sq.m. per hour, and an unequalled weight-to-power ratio. Above all, it represents excellent value.

riding lawn mower HYDRO 100 MKEHH

Cutting width: 100 cmEngine power: 10.8 kW

While it capitalizes on the strengths of the previous model, the new Hydro 100 III ride-on mower is innovative, offering grounds men greater efficiency and operator comfort. The Hydro 100 III is derived from a unique.

riding lawn mower BUFFALO 124 HVHPX

Cutting width: 124 cmEngine power: 14 kW

LAWN TRACTOR REPAIR how to diagnose and correct engine valve issues

With their 1.24m overhanging cutting decks and 23 HP Vanguard two-cylinder engines, the new Buffalo 124 mowers boast a theoretical efficiency of 15,000 m²/h, an unparalleled weight to power ratio and above all excellent.

push lawn-mower GRINDER PRO MAX

Cutting width: 60 cm

body, the 60cm professional mulching The best cut for a healthy, green lawn, professional mulching even for tall grass. Same cutting frequency as a traditional collection mower. No chemical fertilization.

push lawn-mower GRINDER 46 SK

Cutting width: 46 cm

The best cut for a healthy, green lawn, professional mulching even for tall grass. It has the same cutting frequency as a traditional collection mower. No chemical fertilization needed. It’s also.

push lawn-mower GRINDER 4×4 SH

Cutting width: 52 cm

The best cut for a healthy, green lawn, professional mulching even for tall grass. It has the same cutting frequency as a traditional collection mower. No chemical fertilization needed. It’s also.

push lawn-mower HR400W

Cutting width: 400 mmEngine power: 3.2 kW

Speed : Forward.-2positon Backward1postion (mechanical gear transmisson) Handle can be adjusted vertically only

riding lawn mower RM88,RM950

Cutting width: 800, 950 mmEngine power: 11.8, 13.2 kW

Cutting Height: 10-70 mm (Free adjust system) Speed : Forward.-0 ~10.0( km/h) Backward.-0 ~4.5 (km/h) (HST Transmisson) Equipped with differentail gear differentail lock system. Rack and Pinion type Steering system.

riding lawn mower RM980,RM980F

Cutting width: 975 mmEngine power: 15.6, 17 kW

Cutting Height: 10-80 mm (Free adjust system) Speed : Forward.-0 ~12.0(km/h) Backward.-0 ~7.0 (km/h) (HST Transmisson ) Equipped with differentail gear differentail lock system. Rack and Pinion type Steering system.

zero-turn lawn mower ZT 5110TR/W

Cutting width: 51 cmEngine power: 3.6 kW

level. : 98 dB Airfilter. : Paper with foam filter Cylinder. : 1 Starter. : Recoil Oil. : SAE 30 Gasoline/diesel. : Gasoline Engine oil. : 0,6 litre Mulching. : Yes Speed.

zero-turn lawn mower ZT 5110TR/WE

Cutting width: 51 cmEngine power: 3.6 kW

dB Airfilter. : Paper with foam filter Cylinder. : 1 Starter. : Electric/recoil start Oil. : SAE 30 Gasoline/diesel. : Gasoline Engine oil. : 0,6 litre Mulching. : Yes Speed.

push lawn-mower Premium 4275

Cutting width: 42 cmEngine power: 1.4 kW

Productdescription Premium 4275 The innovative PREMIUM series from TEXAS is lawn mowers developed specifically for the demanding user. This model has only 3 wheels, which makes the mower.

riding lawn mower T 23-125.6 HD V2

Cutting width: 125 cmEngine power: 14.4 kW

strong. This is how our lawn mower tractor presents itself of superlatives. If you want to process really large lawns efficiently, we recommend the lawn tractor solo®.

riding lawn mower T 16-103.7 HD V2

Cutting width: 103 cmEngine power: 9.1 kW

Germany and manufactured in Austria: This is how the lawn mower tractor T16-103.7 HD V2 Comfort presents itself. Large areas can be mowed efficiently and above all comfortably with this powerful lawn.

riding lawn mower T 15-93.7 HD-A

Cutting width: 93 cmEngine power: 7.7 kW

mounted, reliable 2-blade mower deck.Clear and easy to access controls.Wide wheels for optimal traction.Large 220 litre grass collector Discover the beautiful side of lawn mowing with our Comfort.

push lawn-mower 805.136

Engine power: 9.7, 5.5, 6 ch

( HOW TO ADJUST VALVES) FIX HARD TO START Lawn Tractor with OHV Briggs Engine- MUST SEE- Part 1/2

FPM park mowers are designed for professional use. They are intended for mowing of large grassy areas such as parks, sports fields and similar public areas. This mower has rear-wheel drive, providing.

riding, mower, valve, adjustment, gasoline

push lawn-mower SPRINT B42

Cutting width: 42 cm

lightweight and easy handling are ideal for the home garden and for areas up to 500 meters. On the other hand, the self-propelled mowers with steel or aluminum deck ensure high reliability and cutting quality in all situations.

push lawn-mower 5370SB

Cutting width: 53 cm

The secret of IBEA’s mulching system lies in the perfect synergy between deck and blade. The precise inclination of the blade tips and the particular design of the thick, rounded deck allow the mowed grass to be diverted towards the blade.

riding lawn mower SF4xx Series

Cutting width: 60, 54 inEngine power: 35, 27 kW

which can ease vibration from pedal. [Mower decks] 60-inch mower deck is available for SF450 and 54-inch mower deck is available for SF438 with grass collectors. Mulching kit is.

zero-turn lawn mower 76602

Cutting width: 63 inEngine power: 26 ch

-BIG, BAD and POWERFUL. One pass with this machine is all it will take to know you’ll never mow with anything elseBuilt Like a Bull. Rely on commercial-grade components, like the IronForged deck, 10-gauge steel, G-force-generating.

zero-turn lawn mower FasTrak

Cutting width: 48, 54, 60 inEngine power: 22, 24, 27 ch

-Up to 10 mph mowing speed.4yr / 750hr limited warranty All-New Redesigned 2022 FasTrak The FasTrak is the perfect mower to start your lawncare business, grow your lawncare business or mow residential large acreages.

push lawn-mower ULYSSE

Cutting width: 48 cm

push lawn-mower AS 470 EProClip A

Cutting width: 47 cm

the turf, forming a layer of mulch that both fertilises and protects the lawn from drying out. The AS 470 ProClip 4T saves 30% more time when compared with collection bag lawn mowers.

zero-turn lawn mower 125V

Cutting width: 48, 52, 61 in

Combining powerful performance with a compact design ideal for tight quarters mowing, the Model 125V is a great way to step up to Grasshopper comfort, quality and durability.

riding lawn mower S14i

Cutting width: 91 cm. 107 cmEngine power: 14 ch

patented Walker GHS Blower with Thru-Shaft PTO and commercial grade components makes the S14i a serious, entry-level commercial mower designed for residential properties.

push lawn-mower S, X Series

Cutting width: 21, 30, 36, 60 in

behind mowers, we did our homework. We packed more technology and performance into each mower. Our mowers deliver precision lawn trimming with versatile handling and.

riding lawn mower GTM, GSM

Cutting width: 80, 112 cmEngine power: 15.5, 16 ch

Gianni Ferrari GTM The Gianni Ferrari GTM is a commercial grass collecting ride-on mower that combines high range technical features and specification, with a maximum width of only 85 cm. The 80 cm cut, 280 litre grass.

push lawn-mower HM37

Cutting width: 37 cm

maneuverable lawn mower with internal combustion engine. Built on the proven Grin chassis, it is equipped with the powerful and reliable Briggs Stratton 675 series, 163 cc engine with Ready Start.

push lawn-mower

Cutting width: 460 mm

various working conditions. Humanized design throttle makes easy power control. Suitable for garden, school and wide lawns. Straight knife, higher efficiency. MAIN PARAMETER Chassis:18 Die Casting Steel Displacement:163.

push lawn-mower Fm 160

Cutting width: 600, 530 mmEngine power: 2.7 kW

Reliable, lightweight and easy to use. This is the new Fm 160 a professional trimmer to a perfect cut of the lawn and roadside

reach your clients in one place, all year round

Your suggestions for improvement:

Filters: find the right products faster. Terminology: use the most common industry terms. Brands: a wider selection. Products: to improve the relevance of the collection. Other

Receive updates on this section every two weeks.

Please refer to our Privacy Policy for details on how AgriExpo processes your personal data.

With AgriExpo you can: Find a nearby distributor or reseller| Contact the manufacturer to get a quote or a price | Examine product characteristics and technical specifications for major brands | View PDF catalogues and other online documentation

are pre-tax. They exclude delivery charges and customs duties and do not include additional charges for installation or activation options. are indicative only and may vary by country, with changes to the cost of raw materials and exchange rates.

Honda Lawn Mower Carburetor Adjustment: How to Do It

This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate of retailers(like Amazon), we earn from qualifying purchases.

When your Honda lawn mower’s engine doesn’t idle, lacks power at high speed, or won’t start, it could be time to adjust the carburetor. If you have never done this before, you are probably wondering how difficult it will be, what tools you will need, and if you should just call an expert.

Adjustments to a Honda lawn mower’s carburetor should be made after it has been cleaned. If the carb is dirty, adjustments will be temporary. You will need some screwdrivers, a wrench, a carb cleaner, and an hour or two. Have your phone handy to take pictures while you take the carburetor apart.

Keep reading to find out how a carburetor works, what could be causing different problems, as well as preventative measures.

How Does a Carburetor Work?

Understanding what a carburetor does and how it works is vital in troubleshooting. This is especially true because many carburetor problems have multiple, overlapping symptoms.

The carburetor’s role is to provide the space where gas and air mix. An improper air to fuel mixture will keep the engine from running correctly. An incorrect gas and air mix cause most carburetor problems. Your job is to figure out what is causing the mix to be off.

  • Float Chamber: The float chamber holds fuel, and as the amount of fluid increases, the float rises until it is pushed into its seat. When fuel leaves the chamber, the float falls. As more fuel enters, it rises again.
  • Intake: Air rushes through the throat of a carburetor, and then a narrower passageway called a venturi. This causes the air to speed up, creating a vacuum that pulls fuel into the fuel nozzle.
  • Fuel Jet: Once the proper gas/air mixture has been created, the fuel is pulled through the fuel jet. This creates the explosion that powers the engine.
  • Throttle Valve: This valve controls the amount of gas that goes into the carburetor. An open valve increases the engine’s power, and a closed valve stops the engine.

Carburetor problems can occur at each of those points, and the way to fix most carburetor problems is to get inside and see which of these is causing the problem.

Why You Should Clean the Mower’s Carburetor

Although you might be tempted to play around with the throttle or make other adjustments, clean the carburetor. Otherwise, any corrections you make will be temporary, and you could wind up causing even more damage to the carb.

Also, get a parts cleaner, such as WD-40 Specialist Carb/Throttle Cleaner. It contains the solvents you need to clean out the gunk, and the spray will blast away dirt and deposits. For tools, you will need screwdrivers and a socket wrench.

Mower Engine Starting Problems

If your engine is not starting, you have difficulty starting it, or it stops after you get it started, then the following could be causing starting problems:

  • The main jet, main nozzle, or main nozzle air path could be clogged.
  • The float isn’t moving correctly.
  • The throttle stop position is wrong.

Mower Speed Problems

If the engine speed does not increase, the speed is unstable, or the engine performs poorly at high speed, then an additional clog to check for is the pilot jet—either its air path or the jet itself are clogged.

Should speed problems happen at low speeds or the idle speed is unstable, then in all likelihood, the pilot jet or its air path is clogged. You will need to check for dirt and clean.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on 2020-08-27.

Mower Gasoline Problems

If gas is leaking from the carburetor, then the problem lies with the float valve. Either the float valve is worn out or coated with dirt, or the valve seal is worn or dirty.

Getting to the Mower’s Carburetor

Before you get started, we recommend you disconnect the spark plug cap. This is to prevent the mower from accidentally starting. Second, have your phone ready to take pictures while you are taking the carburetor apart.

Fix Without Taking the Carburetor Apart

You might get lucky and avoid having to take the carburetor apart. To do so, FOCUS on cleaning out the carburetor idle jet. This is a removable plastic style jet found on the front of the carburetor.

  • First, spray the carb cleaner and remove the dirt and gunk.
  • Look for a plastic screw with a Phillips head bolt. That’s the idle adjustment screw. Loosen and remove it.
  • Now you will have access to a rubber plug with a hole. This is the idle/pilot jet.
  • To remove the pilot jet, you need to pull it out gently. Use flathead screwdrivers to wedge it up.
  • After you get it out, you should clean it with the carb cleaner. The small hole on the end often gets plugged. Honda makes Jet Cleaner sets, but a tiny pin will be a good substitute.
  • After you have cleaned the pilot jet, push it back in carefully, and then replace the idle screw. Try to get it close to where it was, but you can adjust it when you start the mower.

Clean Out the Float Bowl

The float bowl is at the bottom of the carburetor. It is easy to take off, but before you do, turn off the fuel line. Then loosen the bolt on the bottom and take out the bowl.

There are two gaskets—one where the bowl connects to the housing, and another one on the bolt. Inspect both for cracks. Then clean out the bowl and replace the housing.

Taking the Mower’s Carburetor Apart

If the mower is still not running correctly, then the carburetor must be taken apart so that you can clean it. This is a much more complicated procedure and could take an hour or more.

  • First, remove the air filter. If it is dirty, replace it. A dirty air filter can affect how well your mower runs better. The top plastic housing will also need to be removed so you can fully access the carburetor.
  • Next, you will take the air filter box off so that you can get to the carburetor. In most models, it is held on by two bolts. As you loosen the bolts, hold onto the carburetor. The bolts run through the carburetor and mount it to the motor housing.
  • Now that you have access to the carb, get ready to start taking pictures. Anything you unhook needs to be hooked back correctly. Keep an eye out for the tiny spring attached to the top.
  • Once you have taken the carburetor off, it is time to disassemble. As you do so, check the gaskets—worn ones need to be replaced. Continue taking the carb apart and cleaning. Every hole needs to be clear of dirt.

Finally, the carburetor will have to be reassembled. Hopefully, you took lots of pictures so that you have them as guides.

Rather than taking a carb apart, some folks simply buy a new carburetor. Be sure to check compatibility with your Honda Mower.

Check out this 12-minute video that will take you through the steps of fixing a lawn mower carburetor:

To prevent future problems, make sure you are following Honda’s recommendations. Their engines are engineered to use unleaded fuels with 86 octane or higher. Ethanol fuels can be used as long as the fuel has no more than 10% ethanol (E10). A fuel with methanol should contain no more than 5% methanol.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDIY.com for this article. This post was first published on 2020-08-27.

Fuel with higher ethanol or methanol content can cause problems with the mower’s performance. The engine’s warranty does not cover damage to the engine caused by fuel with more than 10% ethanol.

If possible, regular unleaded gasoline is ideal. Avoid E85 at all costs because Honda considers it an alternative fuel since it is 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline.

Storage Suggestions to Prevent Carburetor Problems

These are some suggestions to prevent future carburetor problems. Gasoline can begin to deteriorate within three to four weeks, so use these if you only mow every couple of weeks:

  • Fill up the tank. As fuel is exposed to heat or air, it oxidizes and can gum up the carburetor’s jets. Keep the tank full to minimize how much gas can enter the tank through the vent.
  • Run the engine out of gas. No fuel = no oxidation. If the mower only has a little gas in the tank, run it dry and close the fuel valve.
  • Storage container. Make sure you close the container tightly and store it in a cool place. Honda discourages metal fuel containers since they might rust, and tiny rust particles can clog the carburetor.
  • Fuel Stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers should be added if gas is stored either in the container or the mower for three months or longer. If you plan to use the mower within a year, there is no need to drain the gas from the fuel tank or carburetor—as long as you add the stabilizer.

Final Thoughts

Carburetors are an essential and often overlooked part of a lawn mower. If your mower is not running well and you have checked the air filter and spark plug, you might have to work on the carburetor. Taking the carburetor apart and cleaning it is time-consuming but not difficult. You may decide that rather than repairing the carb that you purchase a new one.

Related Articles

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2020-08-27.

The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier

These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.

By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023

One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.

The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.

Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.

Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.

Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.

What to Consider

A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.

Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.

Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.

An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.

A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.

With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.

Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.

A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.

Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.

Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.

This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.

expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.

Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.

Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.

How We Tested and Selected

We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.

That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.

Honda HRN 216VKA

Key Specs

Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.

If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.

All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.

In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.

One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.

Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion

Key Specs

Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.

We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.

Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.

Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.

Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower

Key Specs

This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.

Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.

Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.

Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace

The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.

The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.

With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.

If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.

Craftsman M220

Key Specs

Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.

It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.

The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.

Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Key Specs

This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.

Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.

Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.


Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?

Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.

Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.

My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?

It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.

riding, mower, valve, adjustment, gasoline

Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.

What Are the Problems Caused by Bad Valve Adjustment?

Vehicle engines are precision machinery; the movement of many parts must be synchronized carefully to make the engine perform properly. Intake and exhaust valves are critical components for optimum engine performance. These valves contain mechanisms that must be adjusted correctly to allow for changes in temperature and compensate for material wear. Running a vehicle with incorrectly adjusted intake and exhaust valves can have a detrimental effect on your vehicle.

Rough Idle

All of the intake and exhaust valves in an engine must open and close at correct intervals to allow the engine to run smoothly. These valves have a small amount of clearance between the valve itself and the mechanism that activates the valve. This clearance is called lash. If the valve lash is set incorrectly (too much clearance, or not enough), the engine may respond by running rough at idle, particularly while warming up.

Reduced Power

Intake and exhaust valves that are not adjusted to open and close at the proper times degrade an engine’s ability to make maximum power. Intake valves control when and for how long fuel is allowed into the combustion chamber, and must be synchronized with the speed of the pistons to allow the maximum amount of mixture into the engine. Exhaust valves perform a similar function, except their purpose is to allow burnt gases to leave the engine. If the valves aren’t adjusted correctly, the engine will not burn fuel at maximum efficiency. Power and mileage then dramatically decrease.

Damaged Valves

The most serious result of incorrect valve lash adjustment is damage to the valves and related components. Setting the clearances loosely causes parts of the valve mechanism to hammer together, damaging valves and creating a knocking or rattling sound. Setting the clearances too tight can prevent valves from completely closing (or not closing for enough time), which may cause extreme heat damage and complete valve failure. Always keep your engine valves adjusted according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Automotive Engines: Diagnosis, Repair, Rebuilding; Tom Monroe; 1996
  • Engine Management: Advanced Tuning; Greg Banish; 2007

Phillip James has worked in the engineering and technology fields since 2002 and began writing in 2004. His work has appeared in his university newspaper, the Avion, and he has done private technical manual work. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his aviation airframe and powerplant mechanic certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.