November 11, 2011

5 Tips for Mower Maintenance this Fall

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This is from the folks at John Deere and it's about mower maintenance. If you're like us and have an "on-again-off-again" relationship with small engines, below are a few tips worth following to keep the frustrating machines in working order.

Our feelings on these engines is summed up by something we overheard FOTS (father of Tool Snob) say a few weekends ago regarding his string trimmer: "I don't care if it trims grass, I just want it to start."

5 Tips for Mower Maintenance this Fall

We are well into fall and the dog days of summer are behind us, but before you abandon your lawn care duties, remember that your mower can be used year round for Mother Nature cleanup duty. Most riding lawn mowers, like the John Deere X310, or zero-turn-radius mowers, like the Z665 Ztrakā„¢, come with a variety of attachments that can change with the seasons. When using your mower to mulch leaves this fall, be sure to provide proper and frequent maintenance checks for optimum performance.

Look for leaves. Fall leaves, though beautiful, present a particular challenge for mowers. Double check your air filters for stoppage. If filters are blocked, they will suck unfiltered air from elsewhere and damage the motor.

Stay sharp.
The added strain of leaf mulching may dull the mower blade more quickly. You can use 20 percent more fuel with a dull blade, so either sharpen up or have a spare blade on hand.

For those who prefer to let their mowers hibernate for the winter months, there are a few important things to check before putting your machine in storage. Don't wait till spring to clean up your machines. A little work now will save you time and money when it comes to rolling your mower back out of the garage next year.

Hit the deck. Clipping and debris buildup under the deck can cut airflow and reduce effectiveness. A dirty deck can also cause rust and corrosion during winter storage. Turn the mower on its side and clean the undercarriage with a hose.

Fuel Fix. Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent separation that can lead to corrosion. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for five minutes.

Give it a once over. Tighten all nuts and bolts; check belts filters, safety shields and guards. Replace any damaged or missing parts, including spark plugs. Check tire tread and pressure. Make sure your mower will be ready to hit the ground running next spring.

Spending a little bit of time maintaining your mower throughout the fall and possibly prepping it for winter storage will save you a lot of hassle in the spring. As temperatures drop, don't drop the ball on important lawn care duties.

Read More in: How-To | Lawn/Garden

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at November 11, 2011 6:01 AM

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Recent Comments

nice tips,giving the lawn it's last haircut for the season, and putting it away in storage.

What an odd Autumn we've had this year. Snow in october, leaves finally change color and within a day they are all on the ground.


Posted by: Kevin at November 12, 2011 11:15 AM
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