(BPT) - After months of winter, warmer weather is finally here. It's time to head to the lake, spend time on the deck or take your kids to the park. Yes, you're ready for the season - but is your lawn mower?
One of the season's most important tools has been hibernating through the winter, and it will need a helping hand to get ready. So before you fire it up for the first cuts of the season, make sure you follow these important mower maintenance tips.
1. Replace any existing gas. Did you run your mower out of gas or add fuel stabilizer last fall? If you didn't, stored fuel is likely to break down over the winter months and can go bad in as little as 30 days - making your mower hard or impossible to start in the spring. To protect your mower, make sure you fill it with fresh fuel from the gas station. And make sure it doesn't have too much ethanol, as most mowers can only accept up to a 10 percent ethanol blend (E10).
2. Monitor the oil levels. It's a new season and your mower deserves new oil. Check the engine's existing oil level, you'll likely find it's low. If it is, add oil as appropriate. Operating a mower with too little oil can burn out your engine. At the same time however, you want to avoid overfilling the oil level. Consult your owner's manual for the right oil type and amount for your engine. And as your changing the oil, this is also a great time to inspect and possibly replace your oil filter.
3. Focus on the spark plug. Inspect the area around your mower's spark plug to make sure no dirt or other debris will enter the cylinder once the plug is removed. Once you're satisfied the area is clean, use a socket wrench to remove the plug and inspect it for any damage or carbon deposits. These deposits will appear as a black coating. If the plug appears to be worn, or has been used for several mowing seasons, replace it.
4. Clean the air filter. A mower's air filter collects a significant amount of dirt, dust and other debris over a typical cutting season, so it's good to start the year with a clean one. Consult your owner's manual to determine which filter is right for your mower and to learn how to make this simple replacement properly.
5. Adjust the blade. When performing your spring maintenance, this is also a good opportunity to inspect your mower's blade. Look for cracks, nicks, bends or any other signs of damage. If you find these, replace the blade. Also, if the edge is dull, the blade should be sharpened. If you feel uncomfortable sharpening the blade yourself, take it to your local hardware store or small engine shop. For safety, always unplug the spark plug when inspecting the blade.
Considering a replacement?
If you've applied the seasonal maintenance tips above and it's obvious your old mower just isn't cutting it anymore, you'll need to shop for a new one. Start your search by focusing on the mower's most essential component, the engine. Look for an engine that offers minimal maintenance, like the Kohler XTX Series, which never requires an oil change over its lifetime. Simply check the oil level before each use and you're good to go. The engine is built to last, with a rugged cast iron cylinder bore for extended life. It also features Smart-Choke and Easy-Pull technology to make starting a breeze. And with its Consistent-Cut power, it will make short work of tall grass. The Kohler XTX Series is the perfect choice to make this mowing season everything you hoped it would be without any of the hassle.
To learn more about how the right engine can improve the performance of your mower, visit www.KohlerEngines.com.
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