Even if you spent time carefully preparing your lawn mower for its summer duties, you still need to take some time throughout the mowing season to maintain it. For your fuel-powered mower, there are a few things you should consider putting on your regular lawn mower maintenance checklist.
To start, it’s highly recommended that you read the owner’s manual and follow proper safety protocol. Disconnect the main spark plug lead before doing any maintenance on your mower. Also, refrain from doing any work on your mower immediately after use or while the engine is still warm.
Lawn mowers endure a lot of vibration, which loosens their bolts. Periodically check the bolts on the push handle, wheels and on the blade — most are easy to access and tighten with a hand wrench. Avoid tipping the mower on its side if there is fuel or oil in it.
Your lawn mower engine is most efficient and stays in better shape if you always run it with fresh gasoline. When possible, each time you use your mower, let the engine run out of gas. For the end of the season, drain the gas tank completely to prevent fuel from turning into shellac, which clogs fuel lines and carburetors. If you’re starting this season with a tank full of stale gas, drain it completely before adding a fresh top off and running your mower.
While you’re keeping an eye on your fuel system, take an extra moment to check your oil, air filter and spark plugs.
A significant amount of moisture can reside in your grass blades. Letting old grass remain on your blades and deck is similar to letting it sit in water. Eventually, rust will form, which dulls your blades and your mower’s performance.
Keep the underside of your mower free of build-up by cleaning it after each use. With the mower turned off and the spark plug removed, hose down the body and undercarriage, making sure to remove any chunks of grass and other debris. Use a lubricant periodically on the blades and underside to help prevent rust from forming and quicken your clean up.
Keep Your Cut Crisp
After repeated use, lawn mower blades lose their sharp edge, leaving your lawn looking more tattered than manicured. You can recapture the crisp cut once again by sharpening your mower blades. Use a sharpening tool or file to sharpen your blades, or take them to a business that offers sharpening services.
When properly maintained, a good mower will last many years, much like a car. Take care of your investment with routine maintenance and you’ll go a long way to making sure that you get the most out of your machine.
Check out all the lawn & garden products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on your lawn mower maintenance checklist, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
As a freelance automotive writer, I create articles, how-to guides, web content and white papers for online magazine site and automotive companies. I passionately believe that cars and motorcycles should be appreciated for the works of art they are, and fantasize about owning a white Ducati 899 Panigale to display in my living room. I am currently the Corvette expert at About.com, cover alternatively-fueled vehicles and technology at HybridCars.com, and hold the imaginary title of Formula One test driver on the back roads surrounding my Oregon home.