Spring is the time to tune-up a mower. After lying idle for the winter, the mower will need a bit of TLC to get it through the busy months ahead. The routine is easy and should take you about an hour. If you are not sure about doing the work, then chose to have a professional do it.
A professional will know exactly what to do. They will drain old gas and oil, replace the air filter and spark plug, and sharpen the blade. After they tune-up a mower it will come back in tip-top shape. The cost will differ from district to district but should be between $50 and $75.
Many people decide to tune-up a mower themselves. At Fence Armor®, mower tune-ups come up in conversation a lot, it’s not all about fence post protection. We decided to pass on our top tips for customers to follow.
Leftover Gasoline in the Tank
One job you should always do to tune-up a mower.
Leftover gasoline can cause condensation in the fuel line. Old or dirty gasoline can gel up, clogging the carburetor. The mower will often start, but once the bad fuel reaches the carburetor, it will stall out.
Always drain the tank of gasoline at the end of the mowing season. Most repair technicians suggest this is the main reason why mowers may not start in the spring. Cleaning a clogged engine is a big job, and you may need a technician to do it properly.
A good tip is to run the mower until the fuel burns away.
Check the Oil
Checking the oil when you tune-up a mower, and before starting it. Not enough or dirty oil will do a lot of damage to a running mower. At Fence Armor® we hear a lot of stories from people who find this out the hard way.
When the engine is not running, the oil returns to the reservoir, telling you how much oil is there. This is a good time to check for floating debris or the color of the engine oil.
Old or contaminated oil must be removed. If your mower does not have a drain plug, you should carefully tip your mower to the side to drain the oil without spilling. If you have the owner’s manual, you should follow its recommendations for draining.
Add fresh oil but only after draining the old liquid in the tank. Remember, if you have a 2-cycle engine, your mower will use an oil and gas mixture. Always consult your owner’s manual for ratio recommendations and for the type of oil to use.
Clean the Undercarriage
Cleaning the undercarriage is vital when you tune-up a mower. It is probably the most common reason why a mower won’t start.
Grass build-up collects around the undercarriage and blade, clogging the discharge chute and preventing the mower from starting. Before cleaning the undercarriage, be sure to turn the mower off, and as a safety precaution, unplug the spark plug.
Using a pick, loosen and remove the bulk of the debris, and then clear any remaining bits using a wire brush. You can spray any remaining debris using the garden hose.
Cleaning the undercarriage is one of those jobs you should do before storing away the mower for the winter. We always do so at Fence Armor®.
Check the Air Filter
Check the air filter in the spring, when you tune-up a mower.
A dirty or clogged filter adds stress to the mower and burns more fuel. If the engine is smoking, then it is probably a clogged filter. It can also be dirty fuel or both.
Most mower air filters are easily accessible and removable. A new filter is inexpensive and should pop out with little effort. Take a look at the owner’s manual for full instructions.
Check the Spark Plug
Similar to the air filter, the spark plug is vital in the running of the mower.
It is recommended to replace this annually. A spark plug is inexpensive but always buy a quality brand. Remove the old plug with a socket wrench and install the new one. It should be that simple.
Be sure not to over-tighten, as the mower may not start.
Sharpen the Blade
A sharp blade is key to a beautifully manicured lawn. After all, you have the mower to cut the grass. What’s the point if the blade is not sharp?
Using a dull blade will rip and even leave blades of grass uncut.
Always sharpen the blade at the beginning of the mowing season. You will need to remove the blade to do the work properly. With the blade off, secure it in a vise and sharpen it with a metal file.
Do not do this if you are not happy with removing or sharpening the blade yourself.
A Brand-New Gas-Powered Lawn Mower
If you are thinking of buying a new mower, spring is the time to do it. Spring is the time for fence post protection too.
There is only so much time you can put into an old mower. When it cuts out a lot or doesn’t mow well, it may be time for a change, even after a tune-up. With a new mower, you can start the season as you mean to go on, with a neatly cut lawn.
Always store your mower for the winter in a dry area. Drain it of fuel and clean the undercarriage.
When you look after the mower, you will get many long years of service in return.
Call us - 888-289-5617
At Fence Armor® we can help you tune-up a mower. Our experts are gardeners too and know a bit about mowers. They also know all about fence post protection, of course. Ask them all your lawn mower questions. Call us today for all your fence post protection needs.
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