How to maintain a Tecumseh lawn mower engine

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Keeping your Tecumseh lawnmower engine maintained and in top condition will ensure the mower serves you well for many seasons. Proper care and storage is the key to a long life for small engines, and regular maintenance will help you avoid repair costs by preventing problems before they occur. Tecumseh lawnmower engines range from two to 12 hp (horse power) and all engine sizes require the same service. Carrying out a service just once at the end of the mowing season to help ensure an easy start next year. Maintaining your lawnmower after each use is also recommended.

Keep the external areas of the engine clean while in use. Allowing the engine's casing to become heavily soiled will cause overheating and could seriously damage the unit. Rinse the engine off after use. Allow the engine to cool before rinsing it. The engine housing is cast aluminium, so sudden temperature changes could cause it to crack.

Check and change the oil often. The oil in the Tecumseh engine not only lubricates but also cools the engine. The Tecumseh engine is air-cooled, so a proper oil level is extremely important. Change the oil by removing the square-headed plug underneath the mower. Allow the mower to drain into a pan to collect the used oil. Replace the plug and refill the crank case with oil.

Remove the spark plug and check for burnt or corroded electrodes. Sand any burnt areas until shiny and reset the spark gap, or replace the plug. Check the spark gap in the plug. The gap is the distance measured between the centre electrode of the plug to the outer electrode. Set the gap by bending the top electrode outwards or tapping it down. Set the gap where you just feel a slight tug when you pass the gauge through the two electrodes.

Fill the fuel tank completely. Some Tecumseh engines have a direct opening in the petrol tank that houses the lower end of the carburettor. A full tank is best because it keeps the lower end of the carburettor saturated in fuel. Take this step to stop the development of petrol lacquer build up on the lower parts.

Check the air filter. A dirty air filter can stop a mower from running at all. Remove the screw from the top of the air cleaner. Remove the foam filter from its housing and replace or clean it. Clean the filter with hot soapy water. Use a grease releasing washing-up liquid for the best results. Rinse the filter and squeeze it dry in paper towels. Replace the filter into its housing and replace the cover.

Buy a good quality petrol stabiliser when you plan on storing your Tecumseh. Mix the stabiliser as directed. Fill the engine's fuel tank and start the engine. Stop the engine immediately and store. Add the stabiliser to the engine's petrol to stop the fuel from breaking down and becoming a gum inside the tank and carburettor.

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