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5 Rototiller Maintenance Tips

A small green rototiller .

Congratulations! You’ve bought a rototiller, a great tool for next-level gardening. But as with any other machine that features a gas-powered engine, it’s essential to perform regular rototiller maintenance. Here are five tips to help you keep your rototiller maintenance on schedule.

Every Time You Use the RototillerRototiller maintenance

1. Check the motor oil. Your rototiller is just like any other gasoline-powered machine. The engine is its heart, and low oil levels mean there’s not enough lubricant protecting the moving parts. Be sure to check the oil level before each use to decrease the likelihood of having to repair your rototiller down the road.

2. Clean the engine. Think about your car, truck or SUV: For them, exposure to dirt and dust are considered “severe operating conditions.” For the rototiller, these are everyday conditions. As a result, parts may need to be replaced over time. For example, the oil seals on the tine shaft of a rototiller could crack from normal wear and tear. You’ll need to replace the oil seals so that the gears and bearings that turn the tines are properly lubricated. Cleaning your engine before every use can help you avoid poor engine performance and breakdowns.

After Every 10 Hours of Use

3. Check the drive belt tension and the nuts and bolts. Since you’re running your rototiller over bumpy ground, key components can loosen, so it’s important to check the belt tension and tighten the nuts and bolts regularly. Spend one minute every ten hours on this small task for years of reliable operation.

4. Change the motor oil. No matter how diligent you are about cleaning your engine, grit will bind into the system, making the motor oil act as an abrasive carrier instead of a pure lubricant. To maintain top performance, change out the oil after every ten hours of use.

5. Lubricate the tiller. As important as the motor is, the tool that’s being driven is also mission-critical. Smooth, easy turning of the tiller means you can churn through anything. Lubricate the tiller blades and all other moving parts on a regular basis to keep this component moving as it should.

Make sure you check your owner’s manual for maintenance schedules that go beyond the 10-hour mark. Fortunately, not much is required in the way of tools or training for proper rototiller maintenance, and the parts tend to be easy to replace as well.

Check out all the rototiller parts available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on rototiller maintenance, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mike Hagerty View All

Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and Previous outlets have included KFBK and in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and

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