Its that time of year again, the trees are budding, the flowers blooming and the grass is getting tall. If your like most you will probably roll the lawnmower out of the garage, top off the fuel and begin cutting.
Wait, not so fast. There are a few easy maintenance items you can do yourself to keep your lawnmower humming like new all season long.
Change the oil
This is probably one of the most important maintenance items you can perform at each season. Lawnmowers run in a hostile dusty environment, and the oil can be easily contaminated. Your lawnmower manufacture will recommend the frequency of oil changes you should preform. I like to do it every spring before the first cut.
My lawnmower is a Honda walk behind. This unit uses a common fill / drain hole. The first step is to wipe any dirt off the dipstick, then unscrew and place the dipstick cap on the side.
Next tilt the lawnmower on its side and drain the oil into a shallow pan. One that can hold at least 3/4 of a quart. It may take a few minutes for the oil to fully drain. Remember to recycle the used oil according to local laws in your area.
Based on your manufactures specification use the correct amount of oil and type. Most motor oils are rated by their weight or viscosity. For example 10W-30 or 5W-30. Since we usually only operate our lawnmowers in the spring and summer months the second number is all we care about. The first number is simply the viscosity during cold weather. 30 weight oil should be fine for most applications. Locate a funnel and fill the motor to the manufactures specifications. Do NOT over fill. Check your oil throughout the mowing season and top off as needed. A good quality oil for $10.99 at Amazon
Clean / change the air filter
This is another easy item you can do to keep your mower running at top performance. Remove the filter cover and inspect the filter. Replace a dirty filter with a new one.
While replacing the filter check to make sure no dirt or dust made it to the other side. The back side of the filter should be clean and dust free.
Replacement Air filters can be purchased for under $10 Check out this selection.
Check the blade and housing
A sharp blade and clean housing are important to good lawnmower performance.
The blade should be sharpened or replaced as needed and the housing cleaned. A WORD OF CAUTION – I’m a bit old school so when changing the blade I always pull the spark plug wire to prevent an acaccidental start. In the old days if the power switch was left in the ON position and you spun the blade it could cause the mower to start. So just be safe when working under the lawnmower deck.
As you can see from the images my blade is ready to be replaced. I will order one on Amazon.
Spark Plug Replacement
Sorry, I don’t have any images of this procedure, but a good clean spark plug can also help keep your lawnmower running great. When changing the plug be sure to user the correct spark plug wrench, have a spark plug gap tool on hand and a good quality spark plug.
I hope some of the information here helps you do some minor maintenance on your lawnmower and keeps it running great for years to come!
Thanks for reading!