Small Engine Parts Focus: Air Filters for Lawn Mowers & More

For those of you new to Briggs & Stratton® engines for outdoor power equipment, we have three different types of small engine air filters: the foam filter, paper air filter and dual element of foam and paper filters.

Briggs & Stratton Air Filters Paper Air Filter for Lawn Mower

Function of a small engine air filter

Put simply, air filters keep the bad things out of your engine so it runs better. In the air filtering process, any air (and subsequently, debris) that could enter the combustion chamber of the engine must pass through the air filter first. The element traps the dirt particles on the outside, protecting your engine from debris and dirt.

It’s always amazing seeing all the debris that gets sucked into my lawn mower and caught by the air filter.

How often to replace an air filter

While most people change their filter every spring during tune-up time, filters should be replaced every 3 months or after 25 hours of use. For the dual element air filters, we recommend replacing pre-cleaner every 25 hours, and replacing the cartridge every 100 hours. It may need more changing in particularly dusty conditions. That means you may need a change even before your mowing season is over this year.

When performing any kind of tune-up on your lawn mower’s small engine, change your air filter. Refer to your small engine operator’s manual to make sure you get the right one and to review all safety precautions before performing any DIY mower maintenance.

Also, remember never to start your mower with the air filter not in place, as this could be damaging to the engine.

What happens when you don’t change a lawn mower air filter

Small Engine Foam Filter  Dual Element Air Filters for Lawn Mowers

A clogged or full air filter can lead to a wide range of problems like decreased engine performance, poor fuel efficiency, shorter engine life, or worse: the engine that won’t start. Your local authorized Briggs & Stratton dealer can also answer any questions you may have about small engine parts, maintenance and repair.

A quick change of an air filter is an easy and inexpensive way to prolong the life of your Briggs & Stratton engine. Find more step by step instructions on changing an small engine air filter.

Check back on the blog for more lawn mower parts info to come, visit our Small Engine Parts FAQ section or shop for air filters in the Briggs & Stratton online parts store.


NOTICE: Customer service questions are not monitored via the blog. If you need assistance with your Briggs & Stratton engine or power equipment, please contact our Answer Center or post your question to our User Community.