Lawn Mower Maintenance

Let's talk a little bit about lawn mower maintenance. Let me be the first to tell you that I know much more about my grass, weeds, and the soil they grow in than I do about mower maintenance. The trouble is that without the mowers, we would have a heck of a time maintaining the lawn itself! Just as the lawn needs to be constantly maintained so that it looks good, so does your mower, so it will run well.


Spring lawn mower maintenance to me, is the first step to getting me excited about the upcoming season. You can usually start a few weeks before you actually start mowing in the spring, while the weather is warming up and you are getting the itch to get outside from a long winter.


If you do not know how to do any of these steps or do not feel comfortable doing them yourself take your mower to your local dealer or mower repair center for a check up. They usually run a spring and sometimes a fall special for this type of service.


The following is a list of some basic things to do and look for when maintaining your mower. As time permits I hope to be adding some brief "how to's" for some of the steps. You will have to check back later or contact us if you need something explained right away.


Spring tune up.


Some of the following items you may have completed last fall when you put your mower away. I will list them here also so that you can check to make sure you completed them.

  • Change the oil. If your mower has an oil filter change that also.
  • Check, clean, or replace the air filter.
  • Change the spark plug. Make sure to check the gap with a spark plug gauge. Most owners manuals will tell you the proper gap size for your mower.
  • Sharpen the blades, and make sure to balance them.
  • Remove the engine shroud and clean around the air cooling fins.
  • Clean the mower deck top and underside.
  • Lubricate the controls and linkages.
  • Grease any grease fittings.
  • If you have a battery make sure it is fully charged, and the terminal connections are cleaned.
  • Check the tire inflation if you have a riding mower.
  • Check the level of the cutting deck. You want the back of the deck about an eighth inch lower than the front side for proper cutting and you want the sides to be equal.
  • Fill with fresh fuel.



Before each use

  • Check fuel and oil levels.
  • Check tire inflation.
  • Check for loose or worn parts.



After each use

  • Clean clippings from underside of mower and from top of deck.



Periodically throughout the season

  • Clean or change air filter after every 25 hours. More often if working in dusty conditions.
  • Lubricate wheels and moving joints after 25 hours.
  • Check belts and chain drives of riding mowers.
  • Check blade sharpness and general condition.
  • Balance the blade after sharpening.
  • Check all visible moving parts for wear and looseness.
  • Use correct fuel and oil.



Season's end

  • Drain all the fuel that you can from the tank. Then run your engine until it runs out of fuel. Another option is to fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer if the warranty allows it.
  • Remove the spark plug and drop a teaspoon of oil into cylinder. Give it a couple of pulls slowly to make sure the oil lubricates the sidewalls of the cylinder. Replace the spark plug but do not hook up the wire.
  • Brush or wash away dirt and debris.
  • Grease where necessary.
  • Store in a dry, ventilated area.


Following these tips should make your lawn mower maintenance easy and keep your mower running smoothly. If you notice any thing odd about the way your mower is running while you are using it, do yourself a favor and have it checked out by a professional right away. Like they say, a small problem may become a big problem if you keep ignoring it.



Until next time - Have a Happy Lawn!!!

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