How to Maintain your Lawn Mower in 5 Easy Steps

Welcome to the Koopman Lumber Powershop Blog, a new monthly feature aimed at helping you to maintain and improve your power equipment. In this month’s installment we will be discussing lawn mower care and maintenance. With spring coming soon, we asked our experts for advice on how to get our mowers ready for another amazing New England spring and summer. Also, better get a string trimmer as a backup in case things don’t go well over time with your lawn mower. Besides, it is fun to alternately use another tool. There are options on https://www.findstringtrimmers.com you can check out. Lawnmowers usually are trickier to maintain than brush cutters or string trimmers.

You can also swing by the Koopman Power Shop for a mower tune up and receive a complimentary Koopman Gift Card! Click here for more details.

Let’s dive in!

Difficulty:  Medium
Estimated time:  2-3 hours

Your lawnmower has been sitting in the shed or garage all winter. With spring right around the corner,  it’s almost time to bring out the mower and start taming your lawn. But before the grass is ready to be mowed it’s a good idea to take some time to make sure your lawn mower is in good working order. Nothing is more frustrating than a lawn mower that won’t start or doesn’t cut evenly or at all!  Here are a few quick things you can do to make sure your lawn mower is in perfect mowing condition this Spring. Of course, our power shops in Uxbridge and Grafton are more very well equipped to service all of your power equipment needs but if you’re up for the task, here’s some steps to consider…

STEP ONE: General Inspection

lawn mower 2098267lawn mower 8222119Start by making sure that all of your lawn mower’s parts are intact.  Carefully inspect your mower and check for any surface wear.  Check all of the belts, wheels, tires and covers, as well as the blade. Anything that appears cracked or otherwise unsafe should be replaced before use.  If you will be tipping the mower any more than slightly during your inspection, it is best to drain the mower’s gas and oil so that those fluids don’t get into the engine.

You should also use this time to clean your lawn mower if you hadn’t done that before storing it for the winter. Cleaning any caked-on dirt or grass from the mower will help it to function well. Simply use hot water and soap to clean your machine, then dry it thoroughly afterwards.  If the underside of your mower deck has a solid cake of grass and dirt, you will probably need to scrape it clean with a putty knife.  To make this labor-intensive task a whole lot easier in the future, apply a graphite non-stick spray, which will prevent grass from sticking to the metal surfaces.  For the most stubborn clean up jobs, our experts recommend using Tub-O-Towels, which is their heavy-duty clean up wipe of choice.

STEP TWO: Replace your Air Filter

air-filter-blogYour lawn mower’s air filter is crucial to the operating performance of the machine. If the filter goes uncleaned for an extended period of time, your engine performance will begin to suffer. There are many different types of air filters out there, so make sure you get the one that is right for your machine. If you have a paper filter it will need to be replaced, and if you have a foam filter you can clean and/or replace it. If using a foam filter be sure to check the integrity of the foam. If it appears worn or torn anywhere, it’s best to replace it.

Remember to check you air filter regularly; at least once a month during the mowing season.  Koopman Lumber offers a wide selection of small engine air filters to keep your mower performing at the highest level.

STEP THREE: Change your Gas and Oil

lawn mower 5969308lawn mower 4496196Anyone who read our November blog post,  “Winterizing Your Lawn,” will know that having a full tank of gas sitting throughout the winter is not the ideal situation. If you added a fuel stabilizer to your tank, remember to let your mower run for about 10 minutes before your first cut. If you didn’t, you will need to drain all of the old fuel out your tank and refill it with fresh gas.

Hopefully everyone who read our November blog changed the oil in their mower before storing it for the winter. If you didn’t, simply change the oil now before your first cut. Koopman carries fuel stabilizer, lawn mower oil, and gas cans to help you properly care for and maintain your machine.

STEP FOUR: Check your Spark Plugs

spark-plugYou should inspect your spark plug twice a year; once at the beginning of mowing season and once at the end.  If at any point it looks worn or rusted it is a good idea to replace it.  A spark plug that’s old, dirty, or fouled won’t be able to deliver the needed spark within the engine’s cylinder.  Use a spark plug socket which has a rubber insert to protect the spark plug’s ceramic body to remove the spark plug.  If the spark plug refuses to turn, spray it with a penetrating lubricant and allow it to soak in for about 10 minutes.  Koopman stocks a wide variety of small engine spark plugs, sockets and lubricants to provide everything you need to maintain your mower.

 STEP FIVE: Inspect your Blades

lawn mower 1254853Now that the rest of your mower is tuned up, it’s time to turn your attention to the blade.  A dull or broken blade will damage each blade of grass that it comes into contact with.  SAFETY FIRST:  Before inspecting your mower’s blade, make sure that the spark plug is removed so that there is no way for the engine to accidentally start and put the blade into motion!

Inspect the blade and see if it looks or feels dull at all. Are there any cracks along the surface of the blade? If the answer is yes or even “I don’t know,” you should have your blade serviced. While it is possible to file down and sharpen your own blade at home, a blade that isn’t perfectly balanced after sharpening could cause damage to your machine. Koopman offers professional mower blade sharpening which includes the crucial balancing of the blades. We have a highly trained staff at our Powershop who are able to help get you through your mowers yearly check up. Get your blades sharpened at a Koopman Powershop today, click here to begin!

Wrap up

That’s all there is to it!  Even though preparing your lawn mower can seem a little tedious, both your mower and your lawn will thank you for it. Keeping your mower in good condition year after year will protect your investment as well as the health of your lawn. Our experts can help you get the parts you need to do some service yourself, or feel free to have them do it for you. If it runs on gas and moves around your yard, chances are, they can help you keep it running! Check us out online at KoopmanLumber.com or at any of our four Powershop locations in Uxbridge and North Grafton. Thanks for reading this month’s Powershop Blog.  Tune in next month when we take a look at servicing your chainsaw!

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