What is the best small engine maintenance schedule?

Quick Links:

Small Engine Maintenance Schedule

You can avoid many small engine problems and save money on parts and repairs if you follow a regular maintenance schedule.

Always be sure to consult your operator's manual for special guidelines for your make and model. Service is more frequently required for heavy use or under dusty or dirty conditions especially for regularly used outdoor power products like a snow blower or lawn mower engine.

A great tool for keeping track of your engine maintenance intervals is the Engine Maintenance Minder. It’s a small engine accessory that can be easily installed, keeping track of how many hours the engine has been in use. The Maintenance Minder flashes every 25 hours of run time and works with 2 and 4 cycle engines. For our EXi series engines, which do not require an oil change, please reference your operator’s manual for proper maintenance schedule.

 After First 5 Hours
 - Change oil
 Every 8 Hours or Daily
 - Check engine oil level
 - Clean area around muffler and controls
 - Clean finger guard
 Every 25 Hours or Annually
 - Clean air filter*
 - Clean pre-cleaner*
 Every 50 Hours or Annually
 - Change engine oil
 - Check muffler and spark arrester
 - Replace air filter
 - Replace pre-cleaner
 - Replace spark plug
 - Replace fuel filter
 - Clean air cooling system*

* In dusty conditions or when airborne debris is present, clean more often.

Engine Break-In Procedure

Breaking in the engine is a good practice for new lawn mowers or outdoor power equipment. Please refer to your engine manual for the proper proceedure for your patricular engine.

It is very important to perform the initial break-in oil change.

After the break-in period, the oil should be changed to remove asperities that have broken from the bearings of the engine components and cylinder wall. The break-in oil change can be performed using the recommended grades of standard or synthetic oil. To save money, use standard oil for the break-in procedure, and if desired, switch synthetic oil afterwards.

WARNING: Always read the engine and equipment manual(s) before starting, operating, or servicing your engine or equipment to avoid personal injury or property damage. See an authorized dealer if you are unsure of any procedure or have additional questions.

Shop Related Maintenance Parts


Learn how to properly and safely use, troubleshoot and maintain your Briggs & Stratton equipment.

View How-To Articles >



Learn about the latest products, step-by-step instructions on how to locate your engine model number and more.

Browse Videos >