Prepare Your Lawn Mower For Spring
April showers bring May flowers… and growing grass. Every lawn lover knows that grass needs to be maintained by regular mowing. In order to survive the rapid growth of grass in the spring you’ll need to ensure you prepare your lawn mower for the undertaking.
Lawn Mower Spring Preparation Checklist:
For safety, be sure to unplug the spark plug wire before you start any preparations. When you start to prepare your lawn mower this will ensure the mower doesn’t turn on while you are exploring areas near the blade. Make sure to have your owner’s manual handy as each brand of mower differs from one another.
1) Change the oil
You’ll need to locate the fill tube. Once located remove the dipstick and lay the mower on its side with a cup or other container underneath to catch the oil as it drains. Once drained you can set the mower upright again. Refer to your mower’s manual to find out what kind of oil you need, fill and then replace the dipstick. Do a quick check after replacing the dipstick to ensure that it reads full.
2) Sharpen the blade
Put some gloves on to be safe while you handle the blade. Using a socket wrench, loosen the nuts from the blade so it can be removed from the mower. Double check your socket is the right size so the nuts don’t get rounded off. Once removed, it’s time to sharpen. This can be done with a metal file, sharpening stone for your power drill, hand grinder, or even a bench grinder. There are videos on YouTube for a visual representation on how this process is done and how to do it safely. Before you replace the blades you should wipe out the inside of the mower to remove any old grass and clean the area. There are tools ergonomically designed for cleaning the mower deck but any type of putty knife or metal scraper will get the job done. The frequency in which mower blades need to be sharpened depends on how careful you are when mowing (hitting rocks, etc.) but the general rule is roughly once a month. Infrequent sharpening can leave your grass blades looking mangled and also make your lawn more susceptible to disease.
3) Change the spark plug
Start by disconnecting the spark plug with either a socket wrench or a spark plug wrench tool. Place your tool on the spark plug and turn firmly, lefty-loosey. Once loosened continue unthreading by hand. When inserting the new spark plug make sure its gapped to avoid delaying engine combustion which can cause the engine to miss or run erratically. Line up the threads when inserting, use your tool to twist it in, righty-tighty. Be sure not to overtighten as to not damage the seal on the spark plug.
4) Change the air filter
Locate the location of the air filter on your mower. Depending on the brand you may need to loosen some nuts whereas others are held by snaps. Remove the cover to expose the air filter. Inside the cover there should be a foam element. Wash the foam element with some soap and water. Rinse until water runs clear. You can also blow out the filter with an air compressor if you have once. Once clean replace it in cover. The paper element, if dirty, should be removed and discarded. Once removed replace with a clean filter. Put your cover back on and you are good to go!
5) Grease the bearings
Identify within your manual how many grease points are on your mower. Use a grease gun to adequately lubricate those areas to keep your wheels moving smoothly.
Once your tune up is complete give your mower a start to make sure it runs smoothly.
We hope these tips get you pumped to have the most manicured lawn on the block. Call or text (303-948-6631) Erbert Lawns today to get on our Weed Wipe-Out & Fertilization Program and you’ll have the greenest lawn on the block as well!