For many parts of the country your gas-powered lawn mower gets put away for the winter for a long nap and no use for a few months. Before you get ready to fire it up for the first time this spring follow this checklist to have it operating safely, efficiently and ready to care good care of your lawn.
*UNPLUG THE WIRE FROM THE SPARK PLUG BEFORE DOING ANY OF THE SUGGESTIONS BELOW*
- Wipe Down the entire body, engine handles of the machine. This does not improve the running of the unit, but you’ll look more put together when you’re behind it mowing the lawn.
- Tilt the unit back so the spark plug it towards the sky and inspect the blade. You have a few options; replace the blade, sharpen the blade yourself or have the blade sharpened professionally. Either way the blade needs to be removed.
- With the blade removed use a putty knife to scrape all the caked-on lawn clippings and dirt from the under body of the machine. This will improve the ability to lift the grass up and either into the bag or up into the deck for mulching depending on how you care for your lawn.
- Replace the spark plug, air filter and oil typically every other season. The manufacturer will make suggestions on how often but typically every 50 hours of use is the timeline.
- On the years you are not replacing the items in #4 remove and clean the air filter, remove and clean the sparkplug and add oil as needed to the crank case.
- Inspect all cables, handles and fasteners on the machine and tighten, lubricate and adjust as needed.
- Add new fuel and an engine cleaning solvent like Seafoam or Start Your Engines to clear out any build up of gunk in the fuel line. After adding the liquid fire up the engine and allow to run for 10 minutes or so to get hot and give the solvent time to work.
When properly maintained you should expect your gas-powered lawn mower to give you 10 plus years of service. Always follow proper safety procedures when using a lawn mower to ensure you and your family are safe.