Whether your fuel line is damaged or just old, changing a fuel line isn’t as difficult as you might think. With just a couple of tools and a new replacement line, you’ll be able to swap it out in no time. I’ve put together a guide, which applies to both walk-behind lawn mowers and ride-on mowers, so no matter which you use, I’ve got you covered.
Why You Might Need a Lawn Mower Fuel Line Replacement
If you’ve driven your mower into a bush or two, then there’s a good chance you have damaged your fuel lines and need to replace them.
However, if you’re a cautious mower driver and your fuel lines need replacing, it’s likely because they have degraded with time. When fuel lines get old, they develop dry rot, causing them to crack and split and produce small, pesky leaks.
Dry rot is what most of us have to battle against when it comes to preserving our fuel lines. The recurring problem I face is splitting the line when changing my fuel filter. The old line loves to break just enough so that it can’t be used.
Other noteworthy reasons to change your fuel lines are blockages and poor fuel flow. Having debris in the fuel, such as grass clippings or fuel gum from aging fuel, could block your fuel line.
Whether you have snagged your fuel line on a bush or have a leaking, cracked line, you will need to replace the fuel line on your lawn mower.
Equipment You’ll Need to Replace Your Mower’s Fuel Line
Thankfully, lawn mower fuel line replacement only requires a couple of common tools that I’m sure you already have in your toolbox. So the only part you’ll likely need to purchase is the new fuel line. If you are unsure which fuel line to get, just take a section of your fuel line down to the lawn mower parts suppliers and let them help you.
Tools & Parts to Replace the Fuel Line on Your Lawn Mower
- Fuel Line
- Handheld Snips
- Socket Wrench
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Marker Pen
How to Replace the Fuel Line on a Lawn Mower (Step By Step)
Now, you may be wondering if you should use the same steps for different fuel lines on your lawn mower. Yes, it doesn’t matter if it’s the fuel line between the tank and the filter or the filter and the fuel pump or any of the other fuel lines. So, let’s look at the steps you’ll want to follow.
Switch Off the Fuel
The first thing you will want to do is switch off the fuel. Once you remove a fuel line, the gasoline will free-flow out of the line. If you have a fuel cut-off valve, then simply turn it OFF. If not, then you’ll need to drain the fuel tank.
Remove the Engine Cover
Next, remove the engine cover so you can easily access the fuel lines. Take your socket wrench, remove the fixing bolts that support the engine cover, and set them to one side. Then, lift off the cover and set it aside.
Release the Spring Clips
To remove the spring clips, you’ll need to grab your piers. Pinch the clip’s prongs to open it and slide it to the middle of the line. I find that using a flathead screwdriver helps slide the clip along the fuel line. Next, you’ll need to move the clip on both ends of the fuel line to the center of the line.
Pry Off the Fuel Line
You need to be careful when removing the old fuel line since they tend to stick to the lawn mower part as if stuck with glue. I’d suggest trying to twist them to break the seal first.
Next, pull the fuel line from the attached part, such as the fuel filter or tank. If it’s tight and difficult to remove, then take your flathead screwdriver and try pushing the line off at the same time as you pull.
Again, just be very careful since you don’t want to break anything when trying to remove the fuel line.
Remove the Spring Clips
Once you have removed the fuel line, you’ll need to remove the clips for later use. Using the same method as before, take your pliers and remove both clips from the fuel line.
Cut the New Fuel Line
Line up the old fuel line with the new fuel line and mark the length of line you need with your marker pen. Then, take your snips and cut the new pipe to the desired length. When snipping the line to length, try to get it as square as possible, so you get maximum contact between the line and engine part.
Install Spring Clips to the New Pipe
Take your newly cut fuel line and install the spring clips. Then, using your pliers, open the clips and slide them to the center of the line. This is the one stage of the fix that I always seem to forget, so take your time and remember the spring clips or you’ll be removing the fuel line again.
Slide on the New Fuel Line
Again, you need to be careful of the delicate parts to which you’ll attach the new fuel line. I find the best way to get the new fuel line on is to twist and push at the same time. Also, I look to see which is going to be the hardest end to install and start there.
When installing the new line, make sure that it’s pushed on completely to the point that it can not physically go any further. If you’re having problems getting the pipe on far enough, you may be tempted to stop short, but this could lead to future leaks, so be persistent.
Reposition the Spring Clips
Once you have the fuel line in place, grab your pliers for the final time and reinstall the spring clips. Make sure you position the clips correctly in the same position as they were before you started the fix. I like to use the old pipe as a reference since it likely has imprints of their old position.
Reinstall the Engine Cover
The final stage of the fix is to reinstall the engine cover. Using your socket wrench, install the fixing bolts and secure the cover back into place.
Test the Fuel Lines
Now that you have completed all of the steps to replace the fuel line on your lawn mower, you can go ahead and test for leaks. Refill the gas tank, or open the cut-off valve, and start your lawn mower. Allow the mower to idle for a few minutes, then check for leaks. You should have no problem if you correctly installed the new fuel line and clips.
Things to Be Careful of
A few things could cause you problems when changing your fuel lines. First, the inside diameter of the pipe must be correct. If it’s too small, you’ll have major difficulty trying to install it. If it’s too big, it’ll definitely have leaks. Additionally, it’s important to make sure the length is just right. If it’s too short, it could have poor contact with the engine parts. If it’s too long, it could create a kink in the line, which stops fuel flow.
My best advice is to change the fuel line like for like. This is where the guys at the mower store come in handy, and take your time when measuring the lines.
Preventing Dry Rot
Knowing how to protect your fuel lines from the cracking and splitting caused by dry rot is handy. Silicone-based spray lubricants are great to use on rubber fuel lines. This lubricant will protect your lawn mower fuel lines from the elements such as sunlight and keep them supple.
If you use a belt dressing on your mower’s drive and deck belts, you may already have some lubricant in your garage. Just double-check the label and make sure it can be used on the fuel lines. If not, then there are a number of products on the market that are available for your fuel lines.