How to tune up your garden mower (simply in time for summer season)

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Lawn mowers are powerful. Like any machine, although, they want common upkeep to run their greatest. Worse, neglect may cause a mower to fail fully. So earlier than the summer season mowing season actually kicks into excessive gear, prep your mower proper. From cleansing it to altering the oil to sharpening and balancing its blades, this information lays out steps to get your mower in tip-top form.

First collect all of the instruments and objects you want.


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Step 1: Gather what you want

First collect your instruments and gear. You’ll want an influence drill, eye safety, work gloves and a blade sharpening package. The package ought to include a ceramic blade sharpener and balancer. Expect to pay about $eight for the kit at your native ironmongery store. You’ll additionally want a torque wrench (or a socket wrench in a pinch) and a picket block. Consider having a rubber mallet available too.

Other objects and provides embrace a plastic drip tray, motor oil and a container for waste oil. Often a big piece of cardboard is beneficial as effectively an previous rag or material.  Also know that this information offers with push or self-propelled mowers, not using mowers. While some recommendation right here applies, they’re one other animal altogether.

Clear filth, particles and previous grass clippings from the blade space.


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Step 2: Clean it

To clear it, first begin with a cool engine. If your mower has a gas valve, swap it off. If you may, disconnect the spark plug, too. Next use a leaf blower to blast away any previous filth and main particles. Now gently lay the mower on its facet, gas cap going through up. Try to eliminate any junk on the mower’s underside as effectively.

You would possibly get away with utilizing a backyard hose to scrub your lawnmower. The most secure means, with the least danger of harm, is cleansing by hand.


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I do know that many individuals favor to hose their mowers down with a backyard hose. I admit, I’ve finished it. Still, doing that’s dangerous. If water will get into the wiring, air filter or engine, you might actually do some injury. Hand washing with damp rag is a drag, but additionally your most secure guess.

Some garden mowers, such because the Craftsman 37705, have a “washout” characteristic. It’s basically a backyard hose becoming on prime of the round blade cowl. This permits you to pump water into the blade meeting whereas operating the engine. That motion is designed to flush filth and grass particles proper out.


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How to prep your garden mower for the season


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Step three: Sharpen and stability its blades

With the mower nonetheless on its facet, seize your socket wrench and wooden block. Place the block contained in the blade effectively. This is to forestall the blades from turning whilst you loosen their bolts. Remove the blade mounting bolt/bolts. A typical mower can have one blade just like the Craftsman 37700 I serviced for this information (one mounting bolt). Some, like my Honda HRR216VKA, have two blades, an higher and a decrease (two mounting bolts). Each blade ought to have not less than two slicing edges.

To sharpen them, safe in a desk vise. Now connect the blade sharpener to the top of your energy drill. Make positive to put on eye safety and work gloves. Carefully use the sharpener to hone the slicing edges of your blades. Go slowly at first to get the texture of the very best angle for assembly the blade and sharpener.

After sharpening each side of the blade place it on the package’s cone-shaped balancer. If one facet dips beneath the opposite, proceed sharpening it till the blade rests stage. Return the sharpened blades to the mower and reattach. If you could have a torque wrench, it is a good suggestion to make use of it right here. Often that you must tighten the blade mounting bolt/bolts to a selected tightness stage. 

Typically measured in pound-feet, your instruction guide ought to checklist these specs. For instance my private machine, the Honda HRR216VKA, between 36 to 43 lb-ft of torque is required. 

Run the garden mower engine for a couple of minutes to get its oil flowing freely.


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Step four: Change the oil

Next you may change the oil. To decrease oil viscosity and get it shifting freely, run the engine for a couple of minutes. Now shut the engine off and roll the mower onto a chunk of cardboard or drop material. Close the gas line (in case your mower has one) and unhook the spark plug as earlier than. Find the oil filler tube and take away its cap. Often the cap additionally features as a dipstick.

Drain the previous oil out of your garden mower right into a drip pan.


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Place a drip pan or different container on the facet of the mower with the filler. Carefully tilt the mower so oil drains out and into the pan. Discard the spent oil into a correct disposal vessel. 

Add the recent oil to the garden mower utilizing the filler tube. A funnel like this one typically turns out to be useful, too.


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Now slowly pour recent oil into the mower. For the particular kind of oil you want, verify your instruction guide. Make positive so as to add solely as a lot as your specific mannequin requires. Remember to let the mower sit undisturbed for a couple of minutes so the oil settles correctly contained in the engine.

Pour the previous oil right into a particular disposal container.


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Get on the market and mow

Now that you’ve got finished all that, your mower must be able to sort out the season in stride. It ought to run smoother and extra safely, too. Even higher, you’ve got simply saved the $200 to $300 payment it usually prices, not less than in my neck of the woods, to have your garden mower serviced professionally. So go on and get on the market. That excessive grass wants slicing. 

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