While shopping at Lowe’s, I saw this nice visual management with the aim of answering two questions about lawn mower maintenance:
- What should I maintain?
- When should I maintain it?
The chart is nice because it shows on one page the answer to both questions above; this is nice, especially for people with a poor memory and people who need extra help with do-it-yourself stuff like me:
How do I care for my Lawn Mower?
Here’s that chart:
In case you are in need of help caring for your lawn, here’s what I know (which isn’t much)1:
Lawn Mower Storage
After the last mowing of the year, when either the grass goes dormant, stops growing, or the snow falls, you will need to get your mower ready for storage. Most mowers have an instruction manual to follow, but if you don’t have one, here are two things you can do prior to storage:
- Drain the remaining fuel from your mower. Warning: Always disconnect your spark plug connection prior to draining. In general, the longer your mower sits in storage, the more likely it is for your gas (either in the mower or can) to get bad. By draining the fuel from your mower, you are preventing the remaining fuel from aging and potentially going bad inside your mower engine and carburetor.
- Once the fuel has been drained, reconnect the spark plug wire and run the engine until it burns all remaining fuel and runs out of gas.
Lawn Mower Spring Time Care
Once your lawn starts to grow again, it’s time to bring your mower out of hibernation. Once again, if you don’t have your mower’s owners manual, then there are a few things you can do to get your mower ready for the new season:
Please note: If you are not mechanically inclined, you may want to take the mower to a local shop to do this work for you.
Change the oil in the mower. If you run a two-stroke engine, then your oil is already mixed in with the fuel and you can skip this step. Most smaller gas powered four-stroke engines tend to run a 30 weight oil. However, you should first check your owner’s manual to find out what the manufacturer recommends, if possible. Most smaller engines also have a drain-plug located under the deck of the mower. Most decks have a small cut-out area on the bottom that exposes the bolt to drain the oil.
- Replace the spark plug. Most older spark plugs can fowl-up and should be replaced at least once a year.
- Replace the fuel filter (if present). Some smaller sized and older engines may not have a fuel filter. If your engine does, it is typically located on the fuel line between the tank and the carburetor. It’s usually an off-white or black color.
- Replace the air filter. Engines need to breath, too! If you kick up a lot of dust and debris while mowing, then your filter could be choking your engine. In such cases, you may want to replace the air filter more then once during the year.
If you have completed these steps and your mower still doesn’t seem to run properly, then go back and make sure everything was completed correctly.
You may have a simple problem, such as a carburetor adjustment, or something more complicated, such as an internal engine problem. Either way, these people should have experience and can usually identify what the problem is based on a call or email.
- allaboutlawns.com/lawn-mowing-mowers/how-do-i-care-for-my-mower.php ↩
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Tom Berend says
sign would be more readable if X’s were propagated to the right. every box would be marked for the 100 hour maintenance (which is likely what gets done). now, at 50 hours you have to THINK about whether to replace the spark plugs or sharpen the blades.
love your column. thanks.
Lawn Service Cumming says
keeping the blades sharp on a lawn mower can increase the longevity of the mower as well as keep your lawn healthy. Thanks for the article!