Spring has sprung, and this means you'll soon start to see a surge of brand new green grass growth! It also means that it's time to dust off your lawnmower, and get it ready for months of Spring and Summer use. Taking the following steps to prepare your mower now will ensure optimal performance all season long.
Remove the Spark Plug
Before doing any work on your lawn mower, always remove the spark plug. This will prevent the mower from starting, which can prevent a serious injury. If you are using a battery powered lawn mower, be sure to remove all batteries.
Change the Oil
To change your mower's oil, start by removing the oil plug and allow the old oil to drain out into a container or pan. When it is completely empty, replace the plug tightly and refill it with fresh oil. Check your mower's owner's manual to find out how much and what type of oil your mower needs. If you no longer have your instruction manual, most can be downloaded online from the manufacturer's website.
Sharpen the Blade
If your mower blade is dull, it will likely cut your grass unevenly, or pull, or shred your grass as you mow. This can easily be prevented by sharpening the blade at least once a season.
Begin by removing the blade and inspecting it. If it is nicked or damaged from accidentally mowing over rocks or other hard objects, it will be best to replace it with a new, fresh blade. If not, proceed with sharpening.
A hand file is the safest tool for sharpening lawnmower blades at home. Professionals may often use a grinder, which works much faster, but is best to only be used with experience. Local professionals can also be of service for blade sharpening.
When finished, hang the blade on a nail to easily check it's balanced. Skipping this step can lead the blade to vibrate while mowing, which can lead to mower damage.
Give it a Good Cleaning!
While the blade is off, use a strong water spray to clean the underside of the mower. If you find caked-on grass or mud, remove it first by gently scraping with a putty knife, or bristle brush. Then, spray down the underside of the mower by using a regular hose nozzle, or power jet nozzle, attached to your hose. When finished, dry with a cloth to make sure you've removed all debris from cracks and crevices.
If you wish, you may also apply a light coating of wax to the deck. This will keep grass and dirt from sticking, making it easier to clean next time.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
To extend the life of your mower, lubricate all moving parts at least once a season. Check your mower's owner's manual for instructions and make sure you wipe away all excess oil.
Clean or Replace the Air Filter
A clean air filter will improve your mower's performance. If you have a foam filter, remove it, spray it clean, and put it back. If you have a paper air filter, throw it away, and replace it with a new one.
Reassemble your Mower
Next, reinstall the mower blade. Make sure you install it right-side-up. Otherwise, the blade won't cut!
Hand-tighten the bolt, ensuring that it is as tight as possible. A loose blade can affect your engine timing and may make it difficult to start the mower.
Finally, install a new spark plug, and you're done!
Preparing your mower for Spring is easy! Following these simple steps will ensure your mower is always ready to go, improve its lifespan, and help your yard look great all summer long.
This post is provided for informational, educational purposes only. This information is intended to provide general guidelines. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, and local codes are constantly changing, Ray Padula Holdings assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcomes of any projects or tasks completed. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure compliance with all local laws, rules, codes, and regulations for any projects completed. If there are any questions or doubts regarding any elements of any information provided, consult a local, licensed professional.