We’ve hit one of the hottest days of the year so far & with all the moisture we’ve had, you’ve probably got lots of hours on your lawn mower so far this year. It’s a good time to take a ‘mid-season’ check over your machine & if you’ve got approx. 50 hours on it, you may need to change the oil & filter. Here are 6 maintenance tips to extend the life of your machine:
1. Check/Replace Your Air Filter
Your engine requires fresh air in order to run at optimal performance. Unfortunately, most people overlook the air filter & rarely replace it, or try to blow it out with an air gun. We advise not to blow the air filter out with compressed air as the air can reduce the filtering capabilities and create bigger gaps, which can allow larger debris to get past the air filter. A plugged air filter can prevent the engine from taking in air, and as we know, oxygen is a key component in combustion. Without proper air flow, your engine will not run at it’s best.
2. Sharpen your blades
Dull blades can leave behind strips of uncut grass & can also cause tearing in your lawn. You’ve purchased a premium lawn mower to prevent your lawn from looking like this, so taking this maintenance step can help drastically with this. We offer sharpening services in our shop & even have “while you wait” service available during our off-peak hours.
3. Use high quality fuel
This issue has been growing each year as fuel companies are adding more additives into their fuels to increase profits & provide environmental benefit. Unfortunately, this has a negative effect on small engines, especially 2 cycle units. While most lawn mowers are not 2 cycle, this still is something to keep in mind with 4 cycle engines in walk behind mowers & lawn tractors. Purchasing 89 octane or higher fuel from a name brand station can go a long way in preventing fuel related issues. Also, buy smaller quantities and if you keep fuel around for more than 30 days, use an alcohol free fuel stabilizer & follow your owners manual for storage recommendations. Check out our other blog posts for more information on fuel related issues & how to prevent them. You can also visit http://opei.org/ethanolwarning/ for more info.
4. Use a machine designed for that application
We often see that a customer has purchased a machine from a “box store” and hasn’t purchased the correct machine for the application. A 42″ unit is not designed to “bush-hog” a 5+ acre property. If you’re in the process of upgrading your unit or moving, it’s probably a good time to take into consideration if the unit is designed for the acreage, the grass type, frequency of cutting & mowing conditions.
5. Clean under the Deck
As tip #1 said, the engine requires proper air flow in order to run at peak performance. Your mower deck requires this as well. Whether you are mulching, side discharging or bagging, debris and grass packed up underneath your deck can hinder the performance of your cut and leave you with clumps, and even cause rust to form under your deck. Many machines we sell are outfitted with a coupler to attach your garden hose to the deck to clean out underneath. We recommend you do this periodically and follow the owners manual for your machine for proper usage. Be sure to allow your machine sufficient time to dry as this can also leave moisture pools and cause rust if done improperly.
6. Call your local dealer
This is why we are here. We’re just a phone call or email away & we are more than glad to answer your questions and provide this maintenance & any repair services needed. Our knowledgeable staff can walk you through a new purchase, finding service items or schedule a pickup for repair. If you need something, contact us! Our professionals will keep your mower mowing strong!