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How to Prep Your Lawn Mower for Summer
Detailed steps for your outdoor power equipment seasonal tune up
Mowers are investments and for those as specialized as Cub Cadet, Briggs and Stratton or Honda Power equipment you’ll want to give it the same attention as you would give your prized corvette to keep them running properly. According to manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, a tune-up can increase fuel economy by a third, extend the life of the engine, reduce repair costs and decrease emissions by up to 50 percent.
Where to start:
To begin disconnect the spark plug and examine the contacts. They should be smooth and shiny. Mild to severe rust connections can prevent starting or resulting in a dangerous misfire. For an easy fix gently take some emery cloth or 400 grit sandpaper to the spark plug and rub gently to ease off the rust. If the rusting is severe, you may need to replace the spark plug. Luckily OKC Pro Power has a full stock of small engine parts at an affordable price. Keep in mind new parts are always a great investment, not only are setting up your mower for longevity but there’s nothing like a new spark plug to make your mower purr.
Check the Blades
Be sure to keep your safety in mind at all times. Make sure the spark plug is disconnected before touching the blades or the underside. While the spark plug is disconnected, turn the mower carriage over and examine the blades. Carefully run your hand over the blade. The cutting edge should be sharp enough to cut a fine piece of paper. If it’s not, you will want to have the blade sharpen the blade professionally. If the blades are up to standard the next thing to do is a brief cleaning.For optimal mowing, the blade needs to be sharp and straight. A dull or bent blade will still cut grass, however it will cut unevenly and may pull the grass roots out and damage your lawn. If the blade is bent, it should be replaced. If the blades are up to standard the next thing to do is a brief cleaning. Mindful of the sharp blade, carefully remove compacted grass from hovers with a spatula or a smooth-edged plastic trowel.
Clean the Under Carriage
You will want to clean the under carriage thoroughly. If there is an abundance rust, you should be able to remove it with a stiff steel brush and steel wool.
Replace the Fuel
Gasoline tanks should have been emptied for winter storage. If not, drain the gasoline now and discard. Gasoline can separate and become gummy during the winter. Be sure to refill the engine with the proper type and grade.
The Final Steps
Check mowing height again. Refer to the owner's manual if wheels have notches for raising or lowering.
Tighten all nuts and bolts that might have loosened over the winter. Check the handle attachments carefully. Examine collection bags. Repair or replace damaged ones. You may want to hose them down with some soapy water.
Finally, reconnect the spark plug and enjoy the satisfaction of an optimal mowing experience as well as a freshly tuned machine operating at its full potential.
Pro Power Equipment