How to Get your Lawn Mower Ready for Summer in 7 Easy Steps
Is it summer time? We live in central Minnesota so you can never be too sure, but from the looks of our greening lawns it’s time to take your outdoor power equipment out of storage and get ready for the first mow of the season. Here is a handy checklist of the top seven steps to ready your gas-powered lawn mower for this summer.
1. Spark Plug(s)
Before you get started, remove the spark plug using a spark plug socket or disconnect the plug wire. This simple step will help you safely work on your power equipment.
First, disconnect the lead and clean the area around the spark plug so you don’t get junk or debris in the combustion chamber when you remove it. Then, visually inspect the spark plug. If it looks worn out, damaged, cracked, or dirty, it only costs a few dollars to replace. If all looks well, screw the plug back in, making sure not to over-tighten it. Keep the lead disconnected while you work on the rest of the checklist.
2. Air Filter
If your mower uses a paper filter, you may be able to clean it using an air compressor. However, keep in mind air filters don’t cost much, so if your filter looks dirty or oily best to just purchase a new one.
If your mower uses a foam filter, it can be cleaned with water and mild dish soap. Just make sure it’s completely dry before use. Also, check your owner’s manual or manufacturer specs because some mowers you’ll want to oil your filter. All this means is apply a few drops of motor oil and work it in with your fingers. Make sure there is no excess oil, and make sure your mower is the type to use an oiled filter. Again, make sure the filter is dry before use. If you have a new lawn mower, you may not need to oil the filter.
3. Change the Engine Oil
While we’re on the subject of oil, the next logical step is to check your lawn mower’s oil. How are the levels? What is the color? Is there any debris?
A good rule of thumb is to start the season with fresh oil, so you’ll want to drain and replace the engine oil. Then, throughout the season, double check that the oil is topped off, isn’t dark in color, and doesn’t contain debris.
4. Visually Inspect Belts
Next, examine any belts on your lawn mower to make sure they don’t have cracks, tears, or splits. Also check for twisting, and adjust the tension if necessary. If you do see signs of damage, our repair shop can service most brands. There are thousands of YouTube videos for you DIY types, but make sure to check your owner’s manual first for instructions.
5. Check Your Mower Blades
We all know a sharp blade will get the job done faster and cleaner than a dull blade. Start by taking the blade off the lawn mower, then use a grinder to smooth out any nicks on the leading edge and the cutting part of the blade. We can help sharpen used blades that are still in good condition.
Also important is the balance of the blade. You can check the balance with an inexpensive tool like the Ace Blade Balancer. This will save time and hassle in the long run, because an unbalanced blade can wreak havoc on your yard and your engine.
If your mower blades are beyond repair, we have a large selection of replacement blades that will fit most brands and mowers out there! Feel free to browse our outdoor equipment department in Sauk Rapids, MN, or contact us to get started.
Grease any grease fittings, and lubricate control cables by spraying the top and bottom of where the cable runs through the sheath. Work the cable back and forth using a lever until you’re sure the lubricant has spread along the cable. Oil any moving parts as instructed in your owner’s manual, and wipe off any excess.
7. Check Your Wheels
Lawn mower wheels come into contact with debris, dirt, grass clippings, and gunk that can bog down your machine and stop wheels from working properly. Start by cleaning out any junk or debris in the wheel wells, manually or with an air compressor. Then, remove the wheels and use all-purpose grease right where the wheel spins on the axle. Lubricate bearings if applicable, and make sure to replace worn sculpting wheels if you need to.
Once the wheels are attached again, check the tire pressure and fill to recommended PSI. Note that the best tire pressure is usually higher from front to rear tires. Maximum PSI should be shown on the side of each tire.
That concludes our 7 Easy Steps to Get Your Lawn Mower Ready This Season
You should now be ready for a long (short), hot (humid), grass-growing Minnesota summer! Reattach the plug wire, fill your gas tank, and start your mower up.
Uh-oh. Didn’t start? Our Repair Shop can service most brands. We are an authorized service center for Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Kawasaki, Tecumseh, and Honda Engines. Our expert team of power equipment specialists would be happy to help get your machine back to peak performance!