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How to Fix a Rusted Lawn Mower Deck

A lawn mower in the grass.

It’s worth knowing how to fix a rusted lawn mower deck when spring arrives and the grass begins to grow. While your mower may run fine for now, it might not be looking so great, and all that corrosion can eat away at important structural components over time. Looks like it’s time for some mower maintenance.

There’s no need to buy a new machine when you can simply remove the rust and get your current mower looking as good as new. Here’s how to fix a rusted lawn mower deck and keep it from rusting again.

Safety FirstRusted Lawn Mower

Before you start doing any work on your lawn mower, make sure you pull the spark plug to prevent it from starting accidentally. It’s also a good idea to drain the gas, as you don’t want it to ignite or leak if you have to tip the mower on its side to get to all the rusted spots.

Now that your mower is ready, make sure you’re ready too. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gear, including gloves and eye protection. You should also have a tarp to put under your mower to collect the rust you clean off the deck.

Get Rid of Surface Dirt

Remove any surface dirt or stuck on grass from the mower deck before you start working on the rust. If there’s lots of grass hardened onto the surface, take the time to remove it so you can see the metal surface. This is especially important if you have rust on the underside of your mower deck, as you have to be able to view the full extent of the rust damage to be able to make good repairs.

Break Out a Wire Brush

Make sure you have the mower over a tarp or in an area that’s easy to sweep, and then break out a wire brush to remove all of the loose rust particles. The more of the visible rust you can remove, the better. There shouldn’t be any loose or flaking bits of paint or rust when you finish the job.

Remove Oil and Grease

Use paint thinner to remove any oil or grease on the deck. This can easily be applied with a rag or washcloth. It’s important to go over the entire surface so it’s completely clean before the next step.

Apply a Rust Converter and Paint

Once the surface is completely dry, apply a rust converter. This will neutralize the rust and create a tough, black surface that’s ready to prime. Finish up with a coat of paint, and your mower is ready to go.

Knowing how to fix a rusted lawn mower deck can save you the expense of buying a whole new machine. Once your deck is fixed, you can keep it from rusting again by wiping it down whenever it gets wet and storing it away from the elements when it’s not in use.

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

Photos courtesy Flickr.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

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