May 6, 2014

A Lawn Mower Check-Up

It’s spring time and if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to do a checkup on your lawn mower.

Simple maintenance can pay off in the long run.  Nobody wants to go out to start the mower only to find out the engine won’t turn over.  That could lead to a repair job or put you in the market for a new mower.  Meantime, your grass will suffer.

Many of these tips are simple and will save you time and money. 

·         Start with a simple tune-up:  Grab a wrench and tighten any loose nuts and bolts. Don’t forget to check bolts on the wheels.
·         Check to see if any fraying belts need to be replaced.
·         If you have a riding mower, check the tire pressure.  Also check the tread on the tire.
·         Check the engine to see if it needs oil. It’s always a good idea to change the oil at the beginning of the mowing season. It’s also a good idea to check the fuel filter and the oil filter.
·         Clean intake screens and fans if needed.
·         Drain the gas tank of any excess old gas before the start of a new mowing season.
·         Add a fuel stabilizer to the mower’s gas tank. This will help prevent separation that can lead to corrosion. The fuel stabilizer will need time to settle. Add the stabilizer, then let the engine run for several minutes to allow the stabilizer to settle in.
·         Clean the undercarriage. Grass can accumulate and get caked under the mower’s undercarriage. This can disrupt the mower’s discharge chute. Unplug the spark plug, then take a wire brush to scrape old grass from the undercarriage.

Remember, mowing your lawn works in tandem with things like regular watering to keep your lawn green and healthy. It’s important to make sure your tools are in the best possible working order.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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