With spring just on the horizon, it’s time to dust off your lawn mower and get it up to par for the seasons ahead. The advantages of working ahead not only includes helping extend the life of your equipment, it can but can also save you time by detecting unforeseen issues before growing season is in full swing.
Keep these lawn mower maintenance tasks at the top of your list this spring and as with any routine mower maintenance, always refer to your owner's manual for proper instructions specific to your model.
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 remove 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, as 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; however, be cautious not to lubricate surfaces that the drive belt will contact during operation. Also, don’t forget to spray silicone under the deck of the mower to prevent rust and keep clippings from sticking.
3. Replace the Plugs
Generally inexpensive, it’s best to replace spark plugs once a season rather than cleaning or reusing them.
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 sharpened or replaced at least once a year. If the blades are bent, you will need to replace them. You should also watch for impact or wear on blade surfaces and cutting edges; replace blades if these conditions are found.
6. Change Belts (For Self-Propelled Units Only)
Long and wet grass clumps easily, so remember to remove any grass buildup from under the deck or belt. Also check belts for heavy wear or cracking; if you notice any, the belt should be replaced immediately.
7. Charge or Change Battery (For Mowers with Electric Start 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 or at your local authorized Troy-Bilt dealer.