Owners of rototillers should know how to maintain and repair their tillers. Ariens makes it easy for their customers to do their own repairs, and there are many basic repairs that you can do in your own garage. There's no need to call a mechanic. All you need to complete most repairs and maintenance jobs are new parts, which you can order online directly from Ariens.
Replace worn tines when the gap between the middle tines becomes greater than 3 1/2 inches. Worn tines actually cause the tiller—and you—to work harder. Worn tines also till shallower than good tines. Remove each tine individually by loosening and removing the two bolts that attach the tine to the hub. Remove every tine on one side of the hub at the same time and replace the whole group together. Remove the tine hub from the transmission by removing the shear pin that holds the tine hub in place. This will allow you to access and remove the tines more easily. Repeat with the other set of tines.
Remove the spark plug periodically throughout the tilling season with a spark plug wrench to check its condition, especially if the engine begins to burn a little oil. The spark plug will get dirty quickly when this happens and should be wiped clean regularly to keep the engine performance up. While the spark plug is out of the engine block, inspect it for signs of wear or damage. If the spark plug shows signs of wear or damage, replace it before using the tiller again.
Clean the tiller after each use, but only after the engine and transmission have completely cooled off. Applying cold water to hot metal will likely damage the hot metal parts. Use pressurized water to loosen packed dirt and debris. Wash the whole exterior of the tiller. Focus on getting the tines and the tine housing clear and free of dirt and debris. Long weeds, grass, twine and wire pieces can wrap themselves around the tines and the tine hub. Remove all debris from the tines and tine housing in between uses.
Change the engine oil regularly to keep the engine in top condition. Do the first oil change on a new Ariens tiller after the first 20 hours of use. Thereafter, change the oil after every 50 hours of use. If the working conditions are very dusty and dirty, or the working load of the tiller is heavy (as with clay soils), change the oil more often. The oil drain plug is located on the front of the engine. Open the drain plug and drain off the oil into an approved container after allowing the engine to warm up for a few minutes. Warm oil flows more easily. Remove the oil filler plug/dipstick and add the amount of 10W30 engine oil specified on the dipstick.
Clean the air filter regularly to keep engine performance high. Clean the foam filter regularly with warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse and dry the filter thoroughly before reinstallation. Remove the paper element from the air filter housing and lightly tap dirt and debris off it. Use compressed air to blow loose dust away from the inside and the outside of the filter. Blow air into the air filter housing to remove dirt and debris. Clean the foam and paper filter after every 50 hours of use, and replace them every 200 hours.