Getting Your Mower Ready For Spring
If you own a lawn mower, it's important to put it to bed properly before the winter arrives. As spring comes around and the need to mow strikes again, lawn mowers become an important tool once again to ensure that lawns are trimmed and ready for the warm season. Here are some of the steps you can take to make sure your mower is ready to start a brand new schedule of spring mowing:
1. Check the Blades
Before reconnecting the sparkplugs or filling the mower with gas, check the blades and sharpen if necessary. Some mowers may have blades that can be replaced.
To sharpen, use a piece of wood to wedge between the blade and the bottom of the mower so that the blades don't move when you take off the bolt. Remove the bolt holding the blade to the mower and clamp the blade in a vice.
Then, use a straight file to file down the edges in the existing angle. Use the same number of strokes on each side of the blade to ensure equal sharpness.
Next, check the balance of the blade's width with a balancing cone. The blade should sit level. If one side is heavier, remove additional metal from the heavier side by filing until it hangs level. Then, replace the blade onto the mower.
2. Replace the Spark Plugs
Once the blades and other components of the undercarriage have been checked, replace the spark plugs by following the manufacturer's instructions. Because each model of lawn mower is different, the instructions on replacing spark plugs will differ from model to model.
Remember to never replace or reattach the spark plugs while your hands are near the blades. This could trigger the mower and cause a major accident.
3. Drain and Replace the Oil
You should have emptied the oil tank before storing it away for the winter, but if there is anything remaining in the tank, empty and replace it with fresh oil. Again, follow the manufacturer's instructions to see how much oil you should be putting in. Around two to four strokes should be enough for most models.
4. Inspect the Air Filter
If your air filter is dirty – indicated by any shade other than pure white – clean it off by hosing it down or knocking the dirt out. If you use a hose, remember to let it dry before replacing it. In most cases, it's easier to install a new filter. Checking your air filter is an important task, as clogged air filters will prevent the engines from starting and the mower from running.
5. Test the Mower
After the drive belt has been checked on riding mowers and a fresh tank of gas has been added, start the mower on the driveway or sidewalk for a test run. Never start the mower on the grass – you can damage the lawn if there are leaking fluids that cause it to start abruptly or loosen the wheels and cause skidding.
Lawn mowers are the single most important tool people can have in managing their lawns. In making sure that mowers are ready for a spring schedule, check each components and ensure that all parts are functioning together before unleashing it on your lawn.