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Home How To's Get Your Mower Ready for Spring in 8 Easy Steps

Get Your Mower Ready for Spring in 8 Easy Steps

Have you ever found yourself ready to give your lawn that first cut of the Spring only to find out your mower will not start or run?  Picture this, you wait all winter long for the warm weather to come and give you a reason to go work in the yard, then wham! The mower will not start…… you jump it…… it sputters and smells…… the tires are flat…… you engage the blades and the mower dies!  Shall I go on? OK…. Now you get cutting and the result looks like Gumby’s haircut? Can this be happening?

Frankly, yes it does and yes it will happen.  Fact: Machinery needs a little TLC at least once a year to run properly.

Let me show you how to spend a little time and a few bucks to make this work.

Unless you have access to ethanol-free fuel at a decent price, you are running standard gas out of the pump.  That is okay for cars and trucks, but ethanol and additives in gasoline are enemies of small engines!  If you left fuel in your mower over the winter, drain the tank.  Buy fresh fuel (minimum 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol {E10}) and put some stabilizer in it immediately.  Always keep stabilizer in your fuel

Cold weather and sitting dormant is really hard on lawnmower batteries.  If you have a load tester, simply check to see the battery needs to be charged.  If you do not, jumpstart the mower and let it run for 15 minutes or so; turn it off then see if the engine turns over quickly and starts.  If so, you may get another year out of the battery, otherwise replace it.  

A good practice at the end of the season is to trickle charge it over the winter. The new microprocessor style chargers do this very effectively and efficiently; they will not overcharge and turn off when the battery is full.

Fact: Uneven tire pressure will give you an uneven cut.  Make sure your tires have the proper amount of air pressure.  Make sure the right and left sides have the same amount. If you are experiencing some leaks and do not want to shell out the cash for a new tire, ask us about your options.

To be honest, this is one of the easier and simpler ways to keep your engine running as efficiently as possible.  Check the color and level of your oil. If it is black, change it.  If it is low, top it off. Rule of thumb: Change your oil once per year or every 50 hours of mowing whichever comes first.  Check your owner’s manual for the proper amount and type.

Most residential walk-behind mowers do not have oil filters; but if your mower has one, change it when you change your oil.  

Check your air filter and pre-cleaner if you have one.  The great thing about pre-cleaners is they do prolong the life of your air filter.  Many times throughout the year, you can simply take off the pre-cleaner and wash it in some dish soap, let it dry, then replace it.  Now pull the main air filter and check it for dust and dirt. If the paper inside is dark, it is time to replace it. Rule to Follow: Air filters should be changed annually or every 50 hours, whichever comes first.

Check your fuel filter.  Most mowers have an in-line fuel filter that is easily accessed. If yours has been installed for a year, then it is time to change it.  This is a very cheap, yet effective way to keep your mower running smoothly.

You know the drill by now….. If you have had your spark plugin for one year or 50 hours of mowing, it is time to change it.  Spark plugs come pre-gapped these days for easy installation. In a pinch, you can remove your old plug and clean it with emery cloth to get the black carbon that has built up.  Just remember, a new plug is always a better choice.

Your blades do not have to be sharp enough for you to shave with but should have a clean edge free of nicks and dings.  Good news! Lawnmower blades are not overly expensive and are very handy to have around as spares. While you are down there checking your blades, go ahead and check your belts for any signs of obvious wear.  Fact: Slick or worn belts will typically fail in tougher mowing conditions you typically see this in the Spring.

A lot of the newer mowers are going more and more with greaseless bearings, spindles, and the like.  Check your owner’s manual for a grease maintenance points and schedule. We recommend not using lithium grease.  Essentially, lithium does not hold up well when exposed to water.  The better choice is a lithium complex grease that does not contain molybdenum disulfide (a.k.a. Moly).

There you have it!  A simple easy 8 step checklist to get you mower ready for Spring.

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