Remember last fall when you were so relieved to be done with mowing for the season? That last mowing of your lawn was bittersweet right? You were glad to be done with outside lawn work for a few months but you also knew that it meant a few months of cold and snow. Well, now winter is slowly coming to a close. . . finally. It will be a few weeks yet before the weather gets nice enough to do any of the preparations for planting and caring for your lawn. It is a time, however, to make sure your equipment is ready to roll once things start growing again! Are you “mower-ready”?
A yearly inspection and tune-up (either by a professional or on your own, if you are especially handy) it’s important to ensure all parts of your mower are working properly and safely. Here are some tips to getting your mower in shape for the season to come.
- Fuel – Did you leave the fuel in the tank or did you remember to empty it last fall? Fuel can go bad in as little as one month so check that all gas has been drained. Once you have confirmed that the fuel tank is bare refill with fresh fuel. (Consult owner’s manual for the correct fuel type for your mower.)
- Air Filter – Filters on a mower can quickly become filled with dirt and grass that flies during each mowing. If it becomes too clogged then it deprives oxygen from the engine resulting in sputtering and coughing of the engine and poor overall performance. Depending upon the type of air filter your engine uses, either replace or wash and dry with soap and water. Again, consult that manual to the correct method of replacement or cleaning.
- Oil – Before each use of your mower you should be checking the level of oil. At the beginning of each season you should also be replacing the old oil with new and changing out the oil filter.
- Spark Plugs – Mowers are constantly getting wet, dirty and collecting muck. Spark plugs, therefore, should be replaced yearly for best performance. Spark plugs can quickly become rusty or damaged.
- Blades – Dull blades cause grass tips to turn brown and, weakened blades are at higher risk for pests and disease. If the blade seems dull, bent or is not cutting properly, replace with a new one.
Getting your mower reading for this spring season is a crucial step in getting that well-manicured lawn that you have always wanted.