Mowing the lawn doesn’t have to be a chore. Well-maintained lawn & garden equipment helps keep yard work safe while also saving you time and money in repairs. A tune-up before mowing season can also increase fuel economy, extend the life of the engine, reduce repair costs and decrease emissions. Follow these tune-up and routine maintenance tips to ensure your small engine starts and runs easy.
**SAFETY NOTE: Make sure to always disconnect the spark plug before reaching under a lawn mower***
- Oil: Lawn mower oil changes are recommended every 3 months or according to the owner’s manual. Run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil, which allows it to drain easier. With the engine stopped, empty the old oil and replace with new oil. Pour the old oil into a container and bring it in to your local O’Reilly Auto Parts to recycle.
- Air filter: Dirty air filters can choke the engine. When clean, the air filter ensures a good fuel to air ratio. Check the filter a couple times during the season. It is best to replace a dirty filter but they can be cleaned with a water/detergent solution and then air dry.
- Spark Plugs: Spark Plugs are cheap and easy to install. They also ensure easy startup and keep your mower running properly.
- Blades: A sharp blade will make your lawn look better and your mower won’t bog down when cutting thicker areas.
- Clean: Use a brush, broom or garden hose to remove mud, rust and plant debris from the top of the mower. Debris under the mower can decrease its effectiveness to mulch, bag or discharge. A garden hose and a plastic ice scraper can be used to get rid of grass clipping build-up. Once clean, a good way to reduce the amount of build up is to spray the underneath with a spray silicone lubricant.
- Tire Pressure: Check the tire pressure to ensure your tires are properly inflated. Use a tire sealant, like Slime, to fix small air leaks.
- Fuel: Gasoline left in the mower too long can cause fuel system problems. Winterizing your mower with fuel system stabilizer like Sta-Bil can ensure an easy first start the following spring.
- Battery: Many times, riding mower batteries can lose their charge in the offseason. A good trickle charger can usually get the battery back up to par. If you find you need to replace it, head to your local O’Reilly Auto Parts store. We have dozens of Super Start Lawn and Garden batteries for hundreds of different applications. Plus, we can even take your old battery and recycle it.
- Belts: Inspect the mower belts for any excessive wear or lack of tension.
- Lubricate: Lubricating your yard tools with a multi-purpose lubricant will help protect & preserve your equipment, fight corrosion and loosen rusted parts.
Don’t Forget Your Blowers & Trimmers
- Refill any trimmer line on your trimmer spool.
- Lubricating your yard tools with a multi-purpose lubricant will help protect against rust, loosen stuck parts and preserve parts.
- Change the spark plug in your blower & trimmer
- Clean or replace the air filter in your trimmer as well as replace the gas filter
- Use Trufuel 40:1 or 50:1 instead of gas station gas to ensure you have the correct gas to oil mix.