Skip to Content

How to Remove a Spark Plug From Your Lawn Mower (Step-by-Step 2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to remove lawn mower spark plugSputter, sputter, STOP. That familiar lawn mower sound usually means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with some small engine maintenance.

With a few basic tools and a bit of know-how, you’ll have that mower humming again in no time. Start by gathering your socket set, spark plug socket, and torque wrench. Park the mower on flat ground and let the engine cool before getting to work.

Disconnect the spark plug wire, then use your tools to unscrew and remove the old plug. Inspect the electrode and porcelain for wear – you may just need to reset the gap. If replacement is required, get the right plug for your mower and carefully thread it into place.

Reconnect the wire and you’ll be ready to power up your machine. With the lawn mower spark plug removed and replaced, enjoy your freshly manicured lawn once again.

Key Takeaways

  • Park the mower on flat ground and allow the engine to cool before removing the spark plug.
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.
  • Use a socket set to turn the plug counterclockwise and remove it from the cylinder head.
  • Inspect the electrode and porcelain for wear, and reset the gap or replace the plug if necessary.

How to Remove Lawnmower Spark Plug

How to Remove Lawnmower Spark Plug
Gather your spark plug socket, wrench, and gloves before starting the spark plug removal process. Purchase the correct type of replacement plug specified for your mower’s engine, usually available for under $5.

Park your mower on a level surface, disconnect the wire lead, then use the socket to turn counterclockwise and pull out the old plug.

Gather Your Tools

You’ll want to get your socket wrench and feeler gauge ready for this quick tune-up. First, locate the spark plug – it will be sticking out of the engine, often on one side. Next, disconnect the thick wire attached to the end of the plug using pliers. Finally, use the appropriately sized spark plug wrench or socket to turn the plug counterclockwise and remove it.

This allows inspection, cleaning, and replacement if needed. The whole process takes just 5-10 minutes for a beginner DIYer.

Purchase the Right Kind of Plug for Your Mower

The right spark ignites engines from small push mowers to mighty riding tractors, so choose your firestarter wisely. For optimal performance, select the plug recommended in your mower’s manual, usually Champion, NGK, Bosch, or E3 brands.

Setting the proper gap with a feeler gauge avoids misfires. Replace old plugs annually for easy starting and longer engine life. Proper plug maintenance takes 5 minutes, costs under $5, and keeps your mower roaring.

Park Your Lawnmower on an Even Surface

Stop your mower on flat ground before yanking out that plug. Park on a level surface and set the handbrake. This prevents rolling while you work. Wear gloves and carry your toolkit over to the mower. Locate the spark plug cylinder sticking out the side of the engine. Raising the mower’s wheels gives you easy access to the piston and the manufacturer-recommended spark plug.

Disconnect the Ignition Cable

Gripping the ignition cable like a lifeline, sever its connection to the spark plug with care.

  1. Use pliers to squeeze the spring clip and release the wire.
  2. Pull the wire boot straight out to disconnect it completely.
  3. Tuck the loose wire safely away from the spark plug.

Disconnecting the spark plug wire prevents accidental starting while working on the mower. With the cable removed, you can now access and remove the spark plug itself. Use a spark plug wrench that fits snugly for easy turning.

Customization options like new plugs can optimize engine performance. Proper maintenance helps ensure smooth starting and prevents issues like misfiring.

Pull the Spark Plug Out

Grasping the spark plug’s base, twist counterclockwise until it’s loose, then gently pull it from the lawnmower’s cylinder head. Use a plug wrench for grip if it’s stuck on tight. Once out, inspect electrode wear and gap before replacing.

Be sure to keep debris out of the threads and piston when installing the new plug finger-tight before wrenching it snug.

How Long Does a Lawn Mower Spark Plug Last?

How Long Does a Lawn Mower Spark Plug Last
You’d think your mower’s spark plugs will last forever, but alas, they need changing every year or two for peak performance.

Inspect spark plugs annually before mowing season.

Look for excessively worn electrodes, cracked porcelain insulator, or carbon fouling.

Use a wire brush and gap tool to clean deposits and reset gap if salvageable.

Replace plugs every 100 mowing hours or 2 years for best ignition.

Buy the right heat range and style plug specified in the mower’s manual.

The lifespan of a spark plug varies based on mowing frequency, engine use, and maintenance habits. Regular inspection and replacement ensure reliable starting and optimal engine performance.

What Are the Required Tools for Changing My Mower’s Spark Plugs?

What Are the Required Tools for Changing My Mower
Changing spark plugs is a cinch with the right gear. You’ll need a spark plug socket, ratchet, and torque wrench to remove and install the new plugs. A wire brush cleans off carbon deposits from the old plugs. Use a feeler gauge to check and set the gap on new plugs – usually around 0.

030 inches. Adjust with a spark plug gapper tool. Anti-seize lubricant makes removal easier next time. Follow your mower’s manual for the right socket size, torque spec, and gap setting. Proper tools make this routine mower maintenance quick and easy, ensuring your engine starts easily and runs smoothly all season long.

Instructions on Proper Installation of New Lawn Mower Spark Plugs

Instructions on Proper Installation of New Lawn Mower Spark Plugs
Before installing that new spark plug, you’ll need to locate and disconnect the wire from the old plug, then use a wrench to remove it. With the old plug out, inspect its tip to see if replacement is needed or if it just needs cleaning, and put a few drops of oil in the cylinder to lubricate the piston.

Finally, check that your new plug has the proper gap, lubricate the threads, and carefully thread it in by hand before tightening with the wrench to avoid overtightening.

Locate and Disconnect the Spark Plug Wire

Let your eyes follow the distorted baton wires wiggling from the chaotic shag carpet cylinder with an insatiable hunger, voraciously severing the connection in a single determined chomp. Now, turn towards the spark plug and grip it with your socket wrench. Cautiously unscrew the plug in a counterclockwise direction, taking care not to drop any dirt down the spark plug hole.

Remove the Spark Plug

Squeeze and turn the spark plug wrench counterclockwise to loosen the plug from its port. Grip the plug’s hex base and slowly twist until it is free. Take care not to drop any dirt or debris into the open cylinder.

Thoroughly clean the area around the port before removing the old plug. Inspect the plug’s condition and electrode gap before installing a new one.

Determine if the Spark Plug Needs Cleaning or Replacement

Inspect the spark plug’s electrodes under a magnifying glass, like a detective searching for clues, to determine if it needs cleaning or replacement. Check for dark, oily deposits, excessive wear, burnt spots on the insulator, or corrosion, as these indicate the plug needs replacement.

If the spark plug has a light grayish tan color and minimal wear, it simply needs cleaning to remove fouling deposits and reset the gap measurement for proper ignition timing.

Lubricate the Mower Piston

Insert drops of engine oil into the spark plug hole and pull the starter cord to lubricate the piston before replacing the plug.

  • Coat cylinder walls to prevent rust
  • Lubricate piston rings for easy start
  • Add anti-wear protection for next use

Oiling the piston through the spark plug hole is an important step to prepare for winter storage or before installing new plugs.

Inspect the New Spark Plug

Look at the tip of that new spark plug you just installed – does it have any black carbon or oil indicating it needs replacement already? The electrodes on a fresh plug should appear clean and shiny. Double-check the proper gap as well. An intact porcelain insulator and untarnished metal indicate a quality plug ready for installation.

With the electrodes correctly gapped, the new spark plug is now prepared to generate strong, consistent sparks in your mower’s engine.

Where Can I Find Lawn Mower Parts and Service Near Me?

Where Can I Find Lawn Mower Parts and Service Near Me
You’re feelin’ mighty low that your trusty mower’s chokin’ on old spark plugs, and you still gotta tame that shaggy lawn. Time to saddle up and mosey on down to your local hardware shop or dealer for new plugs and parts.

Ask the helpful folks to hook you up with the right spark plugs, wrenches, and supplies for your make and model.

While you’re there, grab fresh oil and filters for an engine tune-up. Get that mower hummin’ with new blades too. Then you’ll be ready to ride into the sunset with your trusty steel steed, leavin’ neat rows behind.

With the right gear and know-how, you’ll keep your mower’s engine sparking joy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of spark plug does my specific lawn mower model require?

You’ll need to check the owner’s manual or model number plate to determine the exact spark plug your mower requires. Once you’ve obtained the model number, refer to your manual or look it up online to find the manufacturer’s recommended plug.

My lawn mower won’t start even after replacing the spark plug – what else could be wrong?

Hey friend, if that new spark plug doesn’t fire your mower’s engine, you’re staring into the fiery throat of a dragon! Check the gas, air filters, and wiring – leave no stone unturned. We’ll slay this beast yet. Just stay calm, be methodical, and victory shall be yours.

How can I tell if my spark plug is bad and needs to be replaced?

Start here: A faulty spark plug causes issues. Inspect the tip – look for excessive carbon buildup or wear. The porcelain may be cracked or the gap incorrectly set. Use a gauge; adjust if needed.

Is it okay to gap a spark plug while it’s still in the engine?

No, don’t gap plugs while in the engine. Always remove them first to avoid debris entering the cylinder. Use a proper gap tool to check and adjust. Pay close attention to measurements. Replace plugs if they are beyond adjustment.

Do I need any special tools beyond a socket wrench to remove my lawn mower’s spark plug?

You’ll need a spark plug socket and a ratchet. Choose the correct size socket for your spark plug’s hex shape. Ensure that the socket is fully engaged over the plug to prevent stripping it. Turn counterclockwise to loosen it.

Start slowly in case the plug is stuck. If the plug is stubborn, you may need pliers to grip and turn it.


You’re now a spark plug removal pro! Swapping out your mower’s spark plug takes just minutes, and this life-changing maintenance makes your machine run like brand new. Carefully follow each step – disconnect the lead, extract the plug, inspect or replace it, lubricate the piston, and properly reinstall it.

Finding parts locally saves time, but you’ll be a hero by easily handling this yourself.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.