Keeping Your Mower Running
Ensure that your lawn mower is up to the task of keeping your lawn trimmed by following these maintenance tips. Performing routine maintenance not only helps keep your lawn mower running all summer, but can also help extend its life for many seasons.
Beginning of Season Maintenance
A beautiful, lush lawn begins before you pull the starter cord. Completing these maintenance steps is the best way to keep your lawn mower running strong; you’ll need to check the spark plug and air filter, and have a bottle of oil and fuel stabilizer on-hand.
Check Air Filter
Take a look at the air filter and check for dirt and debris. If it is a foam filter, clean it and put it back in the mower; if it is a paper filter, replace the filter. If the air filter is clogged, it won’t allow enough air into the engine for it to run smoothly.
Replace Spark Plug
A fresh spark plug ensures that your lawn mower will start when you go to use it. A spark plug fouled by fuel, carbon, dirt or oil on the electrodes may not produce a spark strong enough to ignite the air/fuel mixture and start your engine. Be sure to use the correct replacement spark plug designed for your mower.
Change the Oil
To change the oil, start by removing the drain plug at the bottom and let the oil drain out into a container. Set the old oil aside for recycling. Refill with the type and amount of oil recommended in your owner’s manual.
Put fresh gas in the lawn mower. Ethanol-based gas can go stale in 30 days or less. As gas breaks down, gum and varnish are formed that can clog fuel lines and carburetor jets, making your engine hard to start.
Dull mower blades won’t make a clean cut; they pull the grass causing tears that weaken the grass that could lead to disease and your lawn turning brown. Have your blade(s) sharpened or install a new blade if it is damaged.
Clear out any grass or other debris that built up underneath the mower during the previous year. During the season, continue to keep the undercarriage clean and free of grass. Also keep the top deck of the clean by wiping or spraying it off.
End of Season Maintenance
Doing a little maintenance before you put your mower away for the season ensures that your machine is ready to go next spring. Consider changing the spark plug, checking the air filter, changing the oil and sharpening the blades before storing your lawn mower. You should also either run all the gas out of the mower or put fuel stabilizer in the tank.
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