The transition between winter and spring can seem to be a standstill, as there is no snow to clear or grass to cut yet. But now, before the grass blades get unruly and overgrown, is actually an ideal time to make sure your mower is in excellent condition to get back to work after resting all winter.
After a few months this winter in the cold back corner of your garage or shed, your lawn mower needs a little TLC to wake up from hibernation before use this spring. If the mower was stored properly during the winter, it should be fine after sitting stagnant for a long period of time. However, there are still some tasks you need to do to ensure it's in running condition. Consider these tips to help tune up your mower as you pull it out of storage to get it ready for full use this spring.
Check the Oil
Whether you accidentally left oil in your machine or did add a fuel stabilizer to it, it's best to double check and see what is going on inside. If oil was left inside, remove the oil drain plug at the bottom of the engine and let the dirty oil run out into a container. Once it's completely empty, replace the plug and refill with the oil that is recommended in your owner's manual. If you placed fuel stabilizer in the unit before storage, your gas should be relatively fresh and the mower should start without issues.
Sharpen the Blade
A dull mower blade can shred the tips of grass, which can weaken blades and turn grass brown. Springtime is a good time to sharpen or change the blade since you'll be using it heavily now through the season. To sharpen, use a file or grinding wheel and follow the original angle of the blade and grind. Grind each cutting edge equally to keep blades balanced. Always remember to read your owner's manual for proper instructions, and remove the blade from the mower before sharpening to ensure safety.
Install a New Spark Plug
Spark plugs are what make your lawn mower's engine ignite the gas line during the combustion process ' meaning it allows for easy starts and efficient engine operation. However, old spark plugs aren't able to send the needed spark, which often results in faulty engine starts. As a part of routine maintenance, it's important to check and replace the spark plug at least once a season to guarantee easier starting and that your machine's engine performs as designed.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Correct engine lubrication ensures longevity and machine reliability. By adding lubrication to your machine, you will reduce its temperature and friction between components, which helps enhance performance and elongates engine life. Use a light-duty lubricant on contact surfaces for wheel bearings, cables and height adjusters. Remember to spray silicone under the deck of the mower to prevent rust and keep clippings from sticking.
Whether you rushed to put the mower away last winter, or your mower simply needs a refresher, you'll be well on your way to a successful mowing season with the tune up-tips above.