Seven Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

With warm weather just around the corner, it's time to get your lawn mower ready and up to par for the seasons ahead. Chances are the lawn mower is one of the most used machines in your shed or garage, which is why it's important to perform routine lawn mower maintenance to extend the life cycle of your machine and also to avoid breakdowns.

As with any routine mower maintenance, always refer to your owner's manual for proper instructions for your model.

Here are a few tips from Troy-Bilt:

Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

1. Change the Oil

First, place a container under the mower's drain plug. Remove the dipstick and use vise grips or a wrench to take off the plug. Once the oil has drained, replace the plug. Next, place a funnel on top of the oil reservoir and pour in fresh oil. Check your owner's manual to determine the appropriate oil grade and amount for your model. If you overfill, just drain the excess oil through the drain plug. Pay close attention, though - overfilling may damage the seals, and underfilling may cause overheating.

2. Grease It Up

Use a light-duty lubricant on contact surfaces for wheel bearings, cables and height adjusters. Don't forget to spray silicone under the deck of the mower to prevent rust and to keep clippings from sticking. Be careful not to lubricate surfaces that the drive belt will come in contact with during operation.

3. Replace the Plugs

Spark plugs are cheap insurance and since they are inexpensive, don't clean or reuse old ones. It's recommended to replace them once a season.

4. Clean the Filter

The air filter is usually an oil-soaked and debris-covered sponge enclosed in a metal or plastic casing on the side of the engine. If you live in a dry or dusty area, you may need to clean the filter several times a year. To do so, simply soak it in warm, soapy water and squeeze dry. Sponge filters can be properly cleaned and reinstalled. If you have a cardboard filter, don't clean it - just replace it.

5. Sharpen the Blades

It's important to have your blades professionally sharpened at least once a year. If the blades are bent, you will need to replace them. Watch for impact or wear on blade surfaces and cutting edges because those should be replaced too.

6. Change Belts (For Self-Propelled Units Only)

Long and/or wet grass clumps easily, so remember to remove any grass buildup from under the deck or belt. Check belts for heavy wear or cracking - if you notice any, the belt should be replaced immediately.

7. Charge Battery (For Electric Start or Battery Units Only)

If you're having trouble starting your mower, it may be your battery. Refer to your manual for proper battery charging or replacement procedures.

Replacement parts can be purchased at troybilt.com, at your local Lowe's® store or at your local authorized Troy-Bilt dealer.