With simple, regular maintenance, your mower will have your neighbors thinking the grass really is greener in your yard.
It’s time to break out the riding mower and get to work. To make sure it’s ready to do the job, Ed Rzasa, subject matter expert for lawn and garden at Sears, offers these riding mower maintenance tips.
(Text Version of Infographic)
Maintain Your Mower
8 Ways to Help Extend the Life of Your Riding Mower
1. Give it a good cleaning. Use compressed air or a leaf blower and blow out the old grass, dirt, and debris. Do this before the first use and after every use during the season. The debris that accumulates can interfere with the operation of the riding mower.
2. Replace the fuel with clean, fresh fuel. Did you store it with gas in it? If so, drain the old fuel into a red gasoline can and follow hazardous waste disposal regulations.
3. Change the oil and oil filter. Change the oil and filter in your mower at the beginning of the season – more often in dustier areas. Check the oil before every use. Tip: Let the mower run for a bit before changing the oil. And make sure to wipe up any spills on the engine.
4. Clean or replace the air filter. Check your manual to find out how often you should do this. Between changings, you can clean a foam filter with soap and water. Make sure it’s dry before reinstalling. Replace paper filters when it’s dirty.
5. Change the spark plugs. This simple but crucial task will help the mower start smoother and run more efficiently. Tip: Order replacement parts at searspartsdirect.com, or play it safe and call in the pros at Sears Home Services.
6. Check the tires. Make sure they’re inflated to the recommended air pressure listed on the sidewall of the tires.
7. Make the blades are sharp and properly balanced. You can DIY if you’ve got a vice and a sharpener – just be sure to wear sturdy gloves and eye protection, and make sure the blades are properly balanced. Or play it safe and call in the pros.
8. Determine a maintenance schedule. Brands differ on when’s the best time to care for your mower – from every 25 to 50 hours of use. Get out your manual and follow its timetable.