Getting your Mower Ready for Spring
Posted on Mar 24, 2008 by Paul White
If you are expecting your mower to be ready to take on your lawn after sitting for months in the garage think again. When talking to the sales person at Home Depot, I was told that your average push mower only lasts 3-5 seasons, depending on use. The truth is your mower can last alot longer with proper care, and maintanence. The Mower I have is the Briggs and Station 6.5 HP Yard Machine. Its a push mower ( yes, exercise ) I bought from Home Depot 2 years ago. The cost at the time was around $170, which considering all the stuff that was included thats a good deal. If I had paid an additional $40 I could have gotten the self propeled version, but at the time I was cheap, and decided to save some money, just so I could suffer in the heat of august. If I could do it again I would have bought the self propelled.
Here is a checklist of things you should do to prepare your mower for battle with your lawn.
Change your Mowers Oil
If you are like me and have a mower with a 4 cycle engine you will need to change your mowers oil. Those of you who have two cycle engines do not need to do this. If you don't know what kind of engine you have this should help. If you put straight Unleaded Gas in your mowers tank you have a 4 cycle engine, if you add Oil to your fuel before filling your tank you have a 2 cycle mower. If you have a 4 cycle engine changing your Oil should be done at least once a season. This will ensure your mower stays strong for the long term. Most Mowers take SEA 30 weight Oil. Read your Mowers Manual to be sure you use the proper Oil. I just went down to Home Depot and bought a container of the Brigs and Station SEA 30 Oil that was made specifically for my mower. In my case getting the old Oil out wasn't hard I just tipped the mower on its side and caught the Old oil with a plastic cup. After I had the old stuff out, I just poured the new stuff in. There is no Oil Filter to worry about, at least not on mine. Afer changing your Oil you might notice your mower is quieter now, and runs smoother. This is always a welcomed effect.
Sharpen your Cutting Blade
You would be suprized how dull your blade can get even if it still looks sharp. Grass will gently dull your blade while rocks and obsticles ( garden hose, kids toys, WMDs ) will make huge dents out of your blade. Even though you can buy a new blade for about $20-$30. You can just as easily sharpen your current blade. All you need is a dremel or grinder. I used my Dremel to smooth out my blade and give it an edge worthy of shaving with ( almost ). After you are done sharpening your blade make sure to tighten it back on good, else it might cause a few casualities. After doing this I immediately noticed a difference in how it would cut grass. Before it would cut the grass, but now its like a coffee grinder. Each blade of grass is chopped into almost powder form, allowing it to easily mulch back into my lawn without leaving chunks.
Grease your Wheels
If you have wheels with bearings this is not needed. But if you have the typical plastic wheels, a little grease can help. Just take the wheels off and apply a little grease to your axles. This will ensure your Mower will roll smoothly even when carrying a full catcher.
Clean / Replace your Air Filter
This may or may not be dirty. Alot of it depends on the how much dust is in the air. Its its not that bad knock it on the ground to loosen up any dirt it caught, and then put it back on. If its in less than perfect condition you may want to buy a new filter from home depot.
Where to get parts for your Mower
If you bought your mower from Home Depot, the best place to get simple parts ( not major repair parts ) would be Home Depot.
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