Tips to Help Get Your Lawn Mower Spring-Ready
Before the grass starts to grow and lawn care prices rise with the season, it’s a good time to make sure your lawn mower is running and working properly. Lawn mowers are probably your most important lawn care tool, and just like anything with a motor, maintenance is required to help keep it running well throughout the lawn care season.
Here are 9 ways to help get your walk-behind mower spring ready:
- Safety first – remove the spark plug (or disconnect the wire) before beginning any work.
- Check the spark plug for any erosion or deposits. If the plug is not too damaged, you may be able to clean and reinstall it. You can learn how to troubleshoot spark plug problems here.
- Drain last year’s fuel. After months of sitting idle, your lawn mower’s gasoline has deteriorated beyond a usable state. You can siphon or pump the old gas out, or on some mowers you may be able to disconnect the gas line and drain the fuel out.
- Replace the fuel filter if your mower has one. If so, it’s usually located between the gas line, tank, and carburetor. It’s a good practice to replace the filter after every 200 hours of use, or any time it’s clogged or dirty.
- Change the oil. Your mower’s engine oil should be drained and replaced regularly to avoid damage. It’s a best practice to change the oil every spring, or after every 50 hours of use.
- Clean or replace air filter. A clean air filter helps ensure your mower runs smoothly. It can be easily removed and cleaned using dish soap and water. If your air filter is paper, you may try removing dirt and dust with an air nozzle if you are unable to replace it.
- Sharpen blades. Sharpening your mower blades can be done by removing them and using a bench or hand-held grinder to reduce any large knicks on the leading edge of the blade. Finish the process by smoothing the remaining length of the cutting portion of the blude.
- Clean the mower. Removing dirt and debris can significantly impact how well your mower runs. Simply using a garden rose to spray it off can be effective but be careful to avoid getting water into the spark plug hole.
- Lubricate wheels and control cables.
Remove lawnmower wheels and apply all-purpose grease to where the wheel spins on the axles, as well as the bearings. Spray penetrating oil on cables, then operate each cable level back and forth several times to work the oil in.
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