Despite how often they are used, lawn mowers often get neglected. At the end of a busy season, we store them away and hope that they start up again next spring. Well, just like a car, your lawn mower requires regular maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly. Now that the lawn care season is over, it is time to tune it up. Not only will regular maintenance extend the life and performance of your mower, but it will also ensure that your lawn gets a healthy cut every time.
1. Clean the Mower Deck
Throughout the season grass can get caked onto the underside of your mower. Use a brush to clean off the dried-on dirt and grass and then wash with a hose to remove any remaining debris.
2. Check the Oil
Check your oil level and ensure that it is not old or contaminated. Drain and change your oil if needed. Consult your owner’s manual to ensure you use the appropriate method and oil type.
3. Sharpen the Mower Blade
Mower blades take a beating throughout the season – especially when hitting rocks, branches and other debris. Once your blades lose their sharpness, your grass plants are given a jagged and uneven cut. This makes your lawn more susceptible to disease. Make sure to sharpen your mower blade at least twice every season.
4. Drain the Fuel
Old gasoline is one of the most common reasons why lawn mowers have trouble starting in the spring. At the end of the season, be sure to run the mower out of gas or drain it if need be. Another option is to use a fuel stabilizer to keep your gas fresh while it’s in storage.
5. Change the Spark Plug
The spark plug is a very important component in helping your lawn mower function. To ensure it starts smoothly, change your spark plug once a year.
If you feel uncomfortable doing this maintenance on your own, or if you simply don’t have the time, you can bring your mower in for a professional tune up to a local hardware store or mower specialty shop. This can be done at the end of the season or, if you prefer, early next spring.