What to Do When Your Lawn Mower Needs a Tune Up
A lawn mower is a heavily-used machine, so like all machines it needs a little tune-up now and then. By taking the time to tune up your lawn mower, you will keep it running in good working condition for a longer period of time, and thus will be able to save on its repair costs. You will also notice that the mower will run more smoothly and efficiently, so this will make the mowing job even easier than if you had to contend with a noisy sputtering machine.
Thankfully, you do not have to tune up the machine every time you want to use it though. Just once a year is good enough, so it’s usually recommended to do the tune up in spring when you first take it out for use during the season.
Before you do anything, please remember to read your user manual first and take note of the safety precautions. Then before you take apart the mower, remove the spark plug first so that it cannot be started by accident.
The last thing you want is to have the sharp metal cutting blades start spinning wildly in front of you when you have your hands in the depths of the machine. This is an accident waiting to happen, so taking the precaution of removing the spark plug first will ensure you will have a safe tune up session.
Once you have removed the spark plug, the next thing to do is a general cleaning of the mower. Use a scrapper to remove any accumulated dirt or grass clippings from underneath the mower, and then check that all the holes, ducts and debris channels are not blocked.
If the blades are dull, this is a good time to have them sharpened. If you feel up to it, you can try sharpening the blades yourself, but you must be extra careful because the curved blades are harder to sharpen for the inexperienced. A safer way is to dismantle the blades and take them to a professional to be sharpened for the best results.
If you are sharpening the blades yourself, make sure they are replaced properly and the retaining screws or bolts are tightened securely. And if any of the blades is severely chipped or is showing signs of wear, you should replace it with a new blade for safety reasons.
Then check the engine belts to ensure they are still taut and not worn out. If any part of the belt is frayed, it’s time to have the belt changed. Just get a replacement from your local retail store and follow the simple instructions to change the belt.
This is now a good time to change the engine oil. Again, it’s a simple affair that goes a long way to help prolong the working life of the mower. Just make sure you dispose of the oil in an environmentally-friendly way. Do not just dump it into the nearest drain, but take it to your local car lubrication shop instead for proper disposal.
After that, check the air filter to see if it needs changing. If it’s a paper filter, just swop out the old one and put in the new one. But if it’s a foam filter, you will need to soak it with a few drops of engine oil first before installing it back into the mower.
Now the last thing is to put back the spark plug. But you should change the spark plug and put back a brand new one instead of the old one. This helps your engine run more smoothly and efficiently, thus reducing the amount of gas used.
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