Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips
When the mercury starts to drop, the leaves start to fall, and sweatshirts come out, it means autumn is in the air. That also means, it's getting just about time to put the lawn mower in the shed or garage for the season. Before you do that, however, you should take some time to ensure it is in the best shape it can be for next year's mowing season. In this post, we are going to take a look at some fall and winter lawn mower maintenance tips to keep your mower in tip-top shape.
Fall Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips
Sometime around Halloween, mowing season usually comes to close. After that last mowing, you should drain any remaining gas from your tank. The easiest way to do this is to just let the mower run until it stops. In preparation for that, watch how much gas you are putting in the mower in the final weeks of the season. Try to get an idea of just how much gas is necessary for a full mow. You don't want to just let the mower run for an hour if you don't have to. If you would rather not have an empty tank during the off season, then be sure to add a gas stabilizer to the remaining gas. This will give you the best shot at clean starts in the spring when it's time to get back out there.
After the final mow, you should also clear out all of the matted grass and other clippings from under the deck. Grass can hold more moisture in fall and that makes it easier for seemingly-dry grass to cake up and stick to the blades and underside of the deck. You can use a putty knife to get the stubborn grass.
Pro Tip: If you get in the habit of clearing grass out from the deck and blades after every mow, there will be much less accumulation to deal with at the end of the season.
Winter Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips
When the snow is covering the ground in a beautiful white blanket, it's the perfect time to get your mower into the shop for a full check up by a professional. If you set up an appointment for January or February, odds are that the calendar at the shop will be wide open.
This is also a good time to change the oil, which should be done annually. Late winter / early spring are ideal times to do this. When the grass starts to grow, you don't want to be out there changing your oil before you can mow it.
Some other regular off-season lawn mower maintenance checks include:
Examine the air filter - If it is starting to get gunked up, it's time to get a new one in there.
Replace the spark plug - You should really do this every year. Decline in spark plug performance can be difficult to notice because it happens over time. Replacing it annually helps to ensure that it, and the rest of your engine, can stay working at peak performance.
Examine your mower blades - A general rule of thumb is to replace them or sharpen them every 2-3 seasons. Still, you will want to check them every season. Some seasons will see a lot of rain and warm weather, which leads to more frequent mowing and thicker grass. Some seasons will be the complete opposite. When you keep tabs on your blades and ensure they are sharp, you'll know you are getting a clean cut with each mowing.
While your lawn mower may not be as big as an investment as your house our your vehicle, it's still an investment. Taking proper care of it, particularly in the off season when you have the time, is the best way to keep it working like new for many years to come. And when your mower is running well, your lawn (another investment of time and money) will also look good year after year.
Of course, if you would rather leave the lawn maintenance to professionals, we'd sure appreciate it if you reach out to E.P.M. LawnScape and Supply. We have a full range of commercial grounds maintenance and residential lawn care service available. You can contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!