How to maintain your lawn mower for peak performance?

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A properly maintained lawn mower primarily extends the life of your equipment but also ensures your lawn receives an optimal cut all season long. Old oil causes significant engine wear and works much less efficiently than fresh oil at lubricating components. Stick to the oil change intervals recommended in your owner’s manual, generally every 50 hours of runtime or yearly if used less. Let engines fully cool before draining old oil completely. Replenish with new oil up to the fill line.

Inspect the air filter monthly

Clogged air filters cause poor engine performance and struggle to start. Monthly, check the filter and tap it to remove debris if slightly dirty. Replace air filters at least annually or after 25 hours of use. Avoid knocking filters against surfaces when removing them so debris doesn’t enter the engine intake. Colliding with sticks, rocks and landscape debris quickly dulls ferris lawn mower blades. Annually replace blades or sharpen with a file if blades seem dull. After significant impacts, check and sharpen the blades to restore a clean cut. Never operate with damaged blades.

Check tire pressure and wheels 

Insufficient tire pressure makes pushing a mower much harder. Use a gauge monthly to maintain even inflation of around the maximum PSI listed on tires. Also, check wheels spin freely and debris isn’t wound around the axles. After each use, scrape-caked debris off the deck with a putty knife to prevent rust and allow proper discharge. Occasional pressure washing under the deck is fine if electronics are not involved. Let the deck fully dry before using it again to prevent rust. Avoid excessive water usage when cleaning.

Inspect belts and pulleys 

The belts transferring power from the engine pulley to the blades stretch and crack over time. Examine belts for wear yearly, replacing them if cracked or excessively worn. Confirm belts sit centered on pulleys and tension is correct. Misaligned and loose belts wear out faster. Replace spark plugs annually or as recommended. Inspect old plugs for heavy carbon buildup indicating engine issues. Ensure new plugs have the gap spacing and are fitful. Good spark plugs provide optimal ignition timing for smooth mower starting and running.

Listen for knocking or unusual noise

While mowing, listen for odd new sounds which may signal issues like a loose belt or broken component. Investigate and diagnose noises right away to prevent major repairs. A knocking engine often means low oil or carbon buildup on plugs. Reduce speed when hearing new concerning sounds. Use a fuel stabilizer or avoid leaving gas sitting for months. Periodically run the engine dry before refueling with fresh gas. Check fuel filters occasionally for debris clogging fuel delivery. Clean, fresh gas prevents performance issues.

The vibration of mowing gradually loosens nuts, bolts, and screws on equipment. Visually check mounts, guard bolts, handle attachments, and other hardware; tighten any loose spots to prevent damage from rattling and unintended part removal. Addressing minor issues early on avoids needing major engine repairs or even full replacements later. A finely tuned mower delivers your lawn a meticulously groomed look every time.

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