Practicing routine and thorough mower maintenance is a must if you want to protect your investment. Extending the life of your lawn mower saves money, time, and energy and helps you keep a beautiful lawn year-round. If you’ve never owned (or even operated) your own lawn mower, maintenance can be intimidating to know where to start. Here are five simple tips to guide you through any mower maintenance check.
1. Safety First
Before beginning any mower maintenance, consult the owner’s manual and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. Then, check that the lawn mower is off and nothing is moving. Unplug the spark plug or disconnect the mower from its power source. When tilting the mower to its side, take cautionary steps to avoid fuel spills by letting it run until the fuel has run dry or properly draining it.
2. Check for Dull Blades
The sharper the blades, the more effective and efficient your lawn mower will be. The sharper blade makes cleaner cuts in the grass, keeping it healthy for quicker recovery. It also reduces your mowing time as it mows through the grass quickly and easily. Mower blades should be sharpened twice each season for best results.
3. Change the Gas & Oil
If you ever have difficulty getting your mower to start, a common culprit is that there’s old gas or oil in the lawn mower. It’s recommended to completely drain and refuel the gas at the end of each mowing season. During your mower maintenance checks, check the oil for dark oil or debris. Refer to your owner’s manual for how often you should be changing the mower’s oil.
4. Inspect Spark Plugs & Filters
Spark plugs and filters are essential to the health and function of your lawn mower. Check these regularly to see if they should be replaced for the next mowing season or if they can be cleaned and reused. The spark plug can be replaced once a year so that you can have it fresh for the new mowing season. Filters should be replaced if they’re too clogged or dirty. Foam filters can just be washed and replaced. Check your filters after every mow.
5. Clean Off Debris Build-Up
Brush off any debris after each use of the mower to keep it from building up. A couple of times a year, do a more thorough clean where you even get under the mower (with the gas tank empty). Use a wire brush to scrap grass clippings and dirt from the undercarriage and a garden hose to spray it down. Scrub where needed to get stubborn debris off. Remember: always disconnect the spark plug when working around the undercarriage.
Your lawn mower is an investment for your lawn care. Take care of it with regular mower maintenance checks and you’ll always have a lush, healthy lawn.