Autumn is upon us, bringing with it cooler weather, vibrant foliage, and pumpkin-flavored everything. But as you prepare to cozy up in front of the fireplace with a good book, don’t forget about the trusty lawn mower that’s served you well all summer. Proper maintenance now can extend its lifespan and ensure it’s in tip-top shape for next spring.
Why Fall is the Best Time for Lawn Mower Maintenance
You might be asking, “Why is fall the best time for lawn mower maintenance?” Well, as your lawn’s growth rate slows down, your mowing schedule naturally follows suit. Utilizing this downtime to focus on maintenance ensures that your mower is ready to go once the busy spring season arrives. It also allows ample time for any necessary repairs, avoiding delays when you need your mower the most.
Essential Mower Maintenance Steps
Blade Cleaning: Detach the blade and scrape off any grass clippings, mud, and other debris using a putty knife or wire brush.
Undercarriage Cleaning: Use a hose to clean the undercarriage, but make sure to disconnect the spark plug first to eliminate any chance of accidental ignition.
- Inspect: Check the blade for any signs of wear, nicks, or rust.
- Sharpen: Use a metal file or a specialized blade sharpener to sharpen the blade. A sharp blade provides cleaner cuts, reducing stress on your grass.
- Balance: Ensure that the blade is balanced to avoid uneven cuts or damage to the mower’s motor. Use a blade balancer or hang the blade on a nail to check.
Drain Old Oil: Remove the oil drain plug and drain the old oil into a container for proper disposal.
Add New Oil: Consult your mower’s manual for the recommended type and amount of oil. Fill and check the level using a dipstick.
Air Filter Replacement
Remove: Take out the air filter, usually located under a cover near the carburetor.
Inspect and Replace: If the filter is made of foam and only slightly dirty, you can wash it with warm, soapy water, dry it, and reinstall it. If it’s paper or extremely dirty, it’s time for a replacement.
Spark Plug Replacement
Remove: Use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug.
Inspect: Look for signs of corrosion or wear.
Replace: If necessary, install a new spark plug, taking care not to overtighten.
Fuel Stabilizer: If you plan on storing your mower for the winter, adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank can help prevent gum and varnish buildup.
Empty the Tank: Alternatively, you can run the mower until the fuel tank is empty to avoid stale fuel problems.
Taking care of your lawn mower is not just a fall activity but a year-long commitment. However, the autumn season provides an opportune time to carry out in-depth maintenance work, from blade sharpening to oil changes. A well-maintained mower is key to a beautiful, healthy lawn.
NG Turf is your reliable source for top-quality sod and lawn care expertise. For more information, tips, and products that help you take care of your lawn like a pro, give us a call today at 770.832.8608.