Tuning Up Your Lawn Mower
Having that perfect lush lawn is something many property owners strive for. Whether it’s residential or commercial, attractive landscaping is not only more inviting by adding curb appeal, but it can also increase the value of your investment.
Part of having that flawless appearance is the regular maintenance of your grass. This not only includes regular watering, applying fertilizer, and aerating, but the weekly mowing of the grass to keep it looking groomed.
Your lawnmower is the key to this piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t have to be expensive to do a good job, but there are some factors that will make a big difference.
Where to Start
One such component is tuning up your lawnmower before the season starts. Here are some tips for performing a tuneup yourself:
1. Disconnect the spark plug
Always disconnect the spark plug before starting work on your lawn mower. It’s a necessary safety feature because you’ll be touching the mower blade. When the spark plug is disconnected, the mower can’t accidentally start. Simply locate the spark plug wire and use your hands to disconnect the rubber boot.
2. Drain engine oil
Check your owner’s manual to see how to drain the oil from your lawn mower. If you don’t have the manual, search online using your mower’s make and model.
For most push mowers, you can drain the oil by removing the drain plug located in the undercarriage, or by tilting the mower on its side and draining it out through the oil fill tube.
If you have a drain plug: Tilt the mower back, loosen the plug with a socket wrench and then use your hands to remove it. Have a drain pan ready because oil will pour out as soon as you remove the plug.
See the full post here: How to Tune Up and Maintain a Lawn Mower
Changing the oil will lubricate the engine to maintain peak performance and extend its life of your lawnmower. You owner’s manual will provide guidelines on how often this needs to be done but always start the growing season with a fresh oil change.
You also want to change the air filter and spark plug before starting your mower for the first time each spring. You can clean some air filters with detergent as long as they are made of foam, but pleated, paper air filters have to be replaced.
Sharpening Your Mower Blade
There’s one more essential task to complete before cranking your mower into action: Sharpening the blade. This video shows how to manage this using a metal file:
You might only need to sharpen your blades at the first of the season depending on the type of grass you are mowing. If you use your mower anywhere there are rocks, you are going to have to sharpen your blades more often.
One way to tell if your blade needs sharpened is by taking a blade of grass after you mow and inspecting it. If the cut edge of the grass blade is sheared off clean, then your blade is sharp; however, if you see jagged edges, then it’s time to sharpen.
Last but not least, you need to clean underneath the mower deck. The above video referenced this, but it’s worth spending a little more time on. Here is a post that provides some extra info on this topic:
Clean Under Mower Deck
With the blade off, I like to quickly clean out any gunk from the underside of the mower deck with a putty knife and a wire brush.
PRO TIP from several commenters: Spray the underside of the deck with nonstick cooking spray (like PAM) at least yearly, and rinse off the underside of the deck after every mowing. This will prevent a gunky buildup like you see on my mower. Excellent tip people, thank you!
Originally posted here: Tune Up Your Lawn Mower!
With all of these tune-ups, it is crucial that you pull off the spark plug first to assure that the mower doesn’t accidentally start. Safety first!
If you aren’t sure you want to manage this on your own, call a landscaping company in Denver and they can tell you the best place to go to have your mower worked on.