Performing routine maintenance is the best way to ensure your mower runs well for many years and that your lawn gets cut the right way each time. Be sure to perform this maintenance at your next available opportunity and depending on how much grass you cut each week, you may have to do these on a more frequent basis.
Fuel in the Tank
The only thing you should never leave throughout winter until spring is the fuel in your lawn mower’s fuel tank. Before the season ends, run the fuel tank dry, drain any remaining fuel, or add a fuel stabilizer to the tank before storing your mower. This will help ensure it starts up easily in the spring.
If you don’t want to go through the process of draining the tank, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to the mower or gas can at least 2-3 weeks before you estimate to be done mowing or mulching leaves. That way, whether you then end up running it dry or some fuel is leftover, it will won’t gum up or varnish while sitting over the winter. To bypass the majority of these issues, use non-oxygenated fuel if it’s available in your area.
Address your Engine
There are three things that every mower engine needs to run well: its oil changed, its air filter inspected, and its spark plug replaced. The air filter and spark plug are generally easy to check and replace with common household tools. The spark plug should be replaced every year (remember to check your owners manual for the spark plug’s correct gap spacing), and the air filter needs to be inspected monthly and replaced when it’s too dirty anymore. You should change your engine’s oil at least once per year, and be sure consult your owners manual for instructions on how to change the oil, as well as what type of oil to use.
Sharpen your Blades
It’s critical to sharpen your lawn mower’s blades before the first mow of the season as dull mower blades will rip grass blades instead of precisely cutting them. If you decide you’re up to sharpening blades yourself, always remember to disconnect your spark plug before the removal process to prevent the mower from accidentally starting. Your owners manual will tell you how to remove the blades, and you can use a vice and metal file to sharpen them or an angle grinder. Most small engine repair shops will sharpen blades for a small fee; just bring them the entire mower or the blades alone if you’ve already removed them.
If your lawn is larger than a typical residential yard, you may have to sharpen blades more often throughout the season.
Clean Under the Deck
While you’ve got the spark plug disconnected and the blades removed for sharpening, now is a good time to clean under the deck. Grass clippings will build up along the sides of a deck over the course of a season, which can inhibit the blades and reduce your lawn mower’s ability to mulch.
Use a wire brush to clear out big chunks of debris and then hose it down to wash away any remaining dirt or grass.
Once you’ve performed this maintenance, you’re ready to start mowing. Before you do, always remember to mow tall by raising your lawn mower deck anywhere from 3.5 to 4 inches off the ground during the hot summer months.
Check your Owners Manual
The first step when performing maintenance on your mower is to consult your owners manual for any instructions specific to your model. There are many kinds of lawn mowers – walk-behinds, riders, zero-turns, etc. so make sure you read your owners manual to find out if yours has any maintenance needs not mentioned here.
Use these tips to keep your lawn mower running great year after year, and if you need help with taking care of your lawn, get in touch with Greener Grass Organic Lawn & Pest today for top-rated lawn care in Canton, Akron and many surrounding areas.