The best time to perform lawn mower maintenance is at the end of the season in late autumn, but not everyone has the time. If you missed your chance then, be sure to perform this maintenance in early spring before your first mowing. Doing so will ensure your mower runs well and reliably, and that your lawn gets cut the right way.

Fuel in the Fuel Tank

The only thing you should never leave 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.

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.

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 can be inspected and replaced when it’s too dirty to clean anymore. You should change your engine’s oil every year, and again 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; dull mower blades will rip grass blades instead of neatly 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. Most lawn mower 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.

Clean Under the Deck

While you’ve got the spark plug disconnected and your lawn mower’s 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.

If you have more questions about snow mold, or anything related to the care and health of your lawn, call 330-353-9105 to speak to a Greener Grass representative, or Contact Us through our website.