This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the air filter on riding lawn mowers. The air filter traps dirt from air going into the carburetor. If the air filter is clogged with dirt, the carburetor won't get enough air to mix with the fuel for combustion. A dirty air filter could be the problem if the engine stalls after starting or if it runs rough or sputters. Check the air filter regularly and replace it with a manufacturer-approved replacement part if it’s dirty. While you’re replacing the main air filter, it’s a great idea to install a new foam pre-filter too.
Follow the steps in this repair guide and video to replace the air filter on common Briggs & Stratton engines that power Craftsman, Husqvarna, John Deere, Ariens, Toro, MTD, Troybilt, Murray, Snapper and Cub Cadet riding mowers and lawn tractors.
This video explains how to replace the air filter on a riding lawn mower.
Disconnect the spark plug
Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake.
Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.
Let the engine cool.
Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
Lift the tractor hood and disconnect the spark plug wire.Tip: Disconnect both spark plug wires if your tractor has 2 cylinders.
Disconnect the spark plug.
Remove the old air filter
Rotate the air filter cover’s retaining knobs counterclockwise to release them and then pull off the air filter cover.
Release the air filter from the intake tube and pull out the filter and foam pre-filter.
Remove the air filter cover.
Install the new air filter
Slide the foam pre-filter onto the air filter.
Connect the new air filter to the intake tube and slide the filter into the housing.
Reinstall the air filter cover and rotate the retaining knobs clockwise to lock the cover in place.Tip: Replace the foam pre-filter when you replace the air filter.
Install the new air filter.
Reconnect the spark plug
Reconnect the spark plug wire and lower the tractor hood.Tip: Reconnect both spark plug wires if your engine has 2 cylinders.
These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.
Get your mower running smoothly again by replacing the air filter—it's a quick job you can do yourself, following these steps.
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Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your riding mower or lawn tractor.
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