After a long Winter, Spring is finally here! There’s nothing worse than pulling your lawn mower out for the First Mow of the spring, only to find out it won’t start. Giving your lawn mower an annual tune-up can not only prevent costly repairs, but it can also extend your engine life and increase your fuel economy by up to 30%!
Fortunately, giving your lawn mower a full-service tune-up is quick and simple! Here is a guide to help you tune up your lawn mower so you can get it running great all summer long!
Change the Oil
After your lawn mower has been sitting in the shed all winter long, it’s important to check the engine oil before starting it up. Most lawn mowers benefit from changing the oil at least once per year. If your oil needs changing, here are step-by-step instructions on how to change your lawn mower’s oil:
- Before you do any work on your lawn mower, it is important to REMOVE THE SPARK PLUG CABLE. This will keep the mower from accidentally starting up during repair.
- Once the spark plug cable is removed, remove the drain plug and tilt the mower back to empty the old oil.
Refill the mower with new oil. Make sure the oil reaches the “full” line on the dipstick.
Check the Gas
Many times when a lawn mower won’t start after a long winter, it’s because condensation has built up in the gas line and become frozen. To avoid issues, empty the gas tank before you store it for the winter, and begin each spring with a fresh tank of gas.
Check the Air Filter
When tuning up a walk behind lawn mower, it’s also important to check the air filter. If your air filter is dark or grey in color, it’s probably time to replace it. Fortunately, air filters are a cheap way to make sure your lawn mower is running at it’s best. A brand new air filter can:
- increase fuel efficiency
- reduce emissions
- prolong engine life
If your air filter is also equipped with a pre-filter, be sure to clean it with water, along with changing the air filter.
Change the Spark Plug
If your lawn mower won’t start, it could be the spark plug. Fortunately, spark plugs are also an inexpensive and easy fix. Even if your lawn mower is running smoothly, it’s usually a good idea to change your spark plug every four years. You can usually tell whether or not a spark plug needs replaced, simply by looking at it. If it is black or dark in color, then you could probably benefit from a new spark plug.
Most spark plugs are pre-gapped, so all you have to do is remove the old spark plug and switch it out with the new one. This should have your engine starting just like new!
Change or Sharpen Blades
Another part of tuning up your lawn mower is making sure that your blades are sharpened and balanced. If your lawn mower blade isn’t properly balanced, it can leave your lawn looking uneven.
To change your lawn mower blade, prop your mower up on its side so you can easily access the deck. With the spark plug cable unplugged, use a socket wrench to remove the bolt that’s holding your blade into place. In order to avoid accidents, be sure to WEAR GLOVES! While you’ve got your lawn mower propped up, now is also a good time to clean out the deck of any grass or debris.
Once the old blade is off, then it’s time to put the new one on. Pay attention to the position of your blade; the new blade will be positioned just like the old one. This will help reduce the risk of putting the blade on improperly. Use a socket wrench to bolt the new blade into place.
Lubricate any Moving Parts
The last thing to do when getting your lawn mower ready for spring is to lubricate any moving parts. Using WD-40 or any other lubricant, be sure to grease up moving parts such as the axle, inside the wheels, bearings, cables, etc.
After following these steps, your lawn mower will be all tuned up and ready to go this summer! If you need any parts along the way, Mutton Power Equipment Parts has a wide variety of mower parts you might need, including air filters, replacement blades, spark plugs and more.
We also service lawn mowers in and around the Fort Wayne area. If your lawn mower still won’t start, give our service department a call at (260) 432-9438.