If you haven't mowed yet, you will soon, so this weekend may be the perfect time to tune up the lawn mower. This helps reduce emissions as well as provide a better cut, which is better for your lawn. Tuning up your lawn mower is fairly simple if you are handy. If not, best leave it to the pros. But if you're looking to burn an hour over the weekend, here are few tips to get that mower in tip-top shape. What you'll need:
- Air filter
- Spark plug
- Wrench or socket for spark plug
- Wrench or ratchet for oil plug
- Disconnect and remove spark plug. This is just basic safety. Simply pull the rubber boot away from the plug. Plus, you'll be removing the spark plug anyway.
- Drain the oil. The drain can be found under the mowing deck on most push mowers (just refer to your user manual). You'll need a drain pan or some other collection vessel for the used motor oil. Allow the oil to drain for several minutes to ensure it empties. Then, don't forget to replace the drain plug!
- Replace the air filter. A new filter helps the mower engine breathe effectively.
- Add new oil. Refer to your user manual for the type of oil and the capacity. Do not overfill.
- Sharpen the blade. A sharp mower blade is beneficial to your lawn's health. A dull blade tears at the grass and as a result the grass has to devote nutrients to healing itself instead of growing healthy roots. Unless you have a bench grinder (and are comfortable using it), or you don't mind using a hand file for a very long time, it's best to leave sharpening to the pros. Most neighborhood hardware stores offer blade sharpening for a nominal fee. Plan ahead! It may take a few days to have your blade sharpened.
- Replace the spark plug and rubber boot.
- Add fresh gas and start it up!