Closeup of a fuel filter attached to a machine.

Where Is The Fuel Filter On A Lawn Mower?

6 minutes

It’s essential to include the filter on your maintenance list for lawn mowers. However, locating the fuel filter can sometimes be difficult because manufacturers don’t follow an exact placement and sometimes it’s hidden. So, when it comes to where the fuel filter is on a lawn mower, where will you find it?

You’ll find the fuel filter in a lawn mower either in the fuel tank or the fuel line. Whether in the fuel tank or the fuel line, it will always be before the fuel pump.

What Does A Fuel Filter Do?

The purpose of a fuel filter is to filter microscopic impurities out of fuel. Equally important, the filter will remove large debris that has found its way into the fuel tank.

Are There Different Types Of Fuel Filters?

Fuel filters come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Each filter is designed to be used with specific engines. They can also have different filtration rates.

A filtration rate refers to the smallest particles a fuel filter can trap. For example, most lawn mowers have a filtration rate of 10-15 microns (for reference, one micron is equivalent to 0.00004 inches). This means the filter will stop anything larger than that.

Do All Lawn Mowers Have A Fuel Filter?

It would be reasonable to assume so, but unfortunately, not all manufacturers include a dedicated fuel filter for their lawn mowers. Instead, they use an internal filter that can’t be replaced. In this case, the fuel filter can be located inside the fuel pump.

How Do I Locate The Fuel Filter?

Closeup of someone doing maintenance on their lawn mower.
Annual maintenance, including fuel filters, is a great idea to extend the life and performance of your lawn mower.

Replaceable fuel filters are found in two locations: on the fuel line or in the fuel tank. So, by following the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump, you should come across the fuel filter. If you do not find one, then look inside the fuel tank.

For this reason, check the fuel line first, as the one in the tank may just be a pre-filter. Checking both areas will prevent mixing up the pre-filter with the fuel filter.

What Is A Pre-Filter?

A pre-filter is designed to collect only larger debris in fuel. It picks up materials such as grass and leaves.

How Do I Check The Fuel Filter?

Once you locate the fuel filter, you can inspect it. If your fuel filter is transparent, then this can be done just by looking at it. If it’s made of material you can’t see through, then you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for their recommendations on when to replace it.

How Often Should I Change My Lawn Mower’s Fuel Filter?

If you can see through the fuel filter, check to see if the filter material looks clean and fresh. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace it. It’s also time to replace it if you see any debris inside such as grass.

It’s also best practice to replace or at least check your fuel filter once a year (and other things too), usually before the mowing season starts. You can also check for signs of an old fuel filter such as decreasing engine performance, engine spluttering, and lower fuel efficiency.

How Do I Replace The Fuel Filter?

Here we will discuss the methods to change the different types of fuel filters. This step-by-step guide will teach you the techniques and materials/tools/parts you’ll need to change your filter successfully. Let’s start with safety.

Safety First

While it’s great to take care of maintenance issues on your own, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, we recommend contacting a professional. Also, your owner’s manual may have some information about this process.

If you do decide to take this task on yourself, first put your lawn mower on level ground. Make sure the area is well-ventilated. Wear work gloves and safety goggles too.

Last but not least, be careful since the work you’re doing will involve handling flammable liquid and vapors. It never hurts to get someone to help out if you can.

That said, let’s talk about the tools you’ll need when changing an in-line fuel filter for a lawn mower.

Tools Needed For An In-Line Fuel Filter

Now, let’s move on to the process itself.

How To Replace An In-Line Fuel Filter

  1. Switch the fuel cut-off valve to the OFF position.
  2. Remove the fuel line that returns to the fuel tank from the fuel filter.
  3. Drain the fuel into a fuel can.
  4. Remove the fuel line going to the fuel pump from the fuel filter.
  5. Connect the new filter to the fuel tank line.
  6. Connect the new filter to the fuel pump line.
  7. Switch the fuel cut-off valve to the ON position.
  8. Clean up any spilled fuel.
  9. Refill the fuel tank.
  10. Start the lawn mower to see if it’s working properly.

Now, let’s move on to the materials, tools, and parts needed for an in-tank fuel filter.

Tools Needed For An In-Line Fuel Filter

Now, let’s go through the steps to replace an in-tank fuel filter for a lawn mower.

How To Replace An In-Tank Fuel Filter

  1. Switch the fuel cut-off valve to the OFF position.
  2. Remove the fuel line attached to the fuel cut-off valve.
  3. Drain fuel from the tank into a fuel can.
  4. Remove the fuel filter from the fuel tank.
  5. Disconnect the fuel line attached to the fuel filter from within the fuel tank.
  6. Attach the new fuel filter to the fuel line within the fuel tank.
  7. Place the new attached filter back in its location within the fuel tank.
  8. Switch the fuel cut-off valve to the ON position.
  9. Clean up any spilled fuel.
  10. Refill fuel tank.

Can I Clean A Fuel Filter On A Lawn Mower?

Unfortunately, no. Lawn mower fuel filters are designed to be disposable. Cleaning a disposable fuel filter only makes it less able to properly filter the things it needs to. This can lead to several issues with your lawn mower such as engine performance and irreparable damage.

How Do I Preserve The Life Of A Fuel Filter On A Lawn Mower?

The easiest way to preserve the fuel filter’s life is to ensure the fuel is as contaminate-free as possible. First, use a pre-filter funnel when collecting gasoline from the gas station and again when filling your lawnmower’s fuel tank. It should be noted that pre-filters such as filter funnels have different grades of filtration with smaller filter holes equaling better filtration.

Conclusion: Where Is The Fuel Filter On A Lawn Mower?

So, the process should come easily now when it comes to where the fuel filter is on a lawn mower. Even more importantly, you’ll know how to locate it, check it, and replace it. You’re well on your way to becoming a lawn mower expert.

That said, we’d love to hear any other tips you have about fuel filters. We’d also love to hear any other maintenance tips you might have. Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for more help or just curious about lawn mower maintenance? Then check out this article on cleaning lawn mower fuel lines.

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!