Lawnmowers are tough.
Like any machine though they need regular maintenance to run their best.
So before the summer mowing season really kicks into high gear, prep your mower right.
From cleaning to changing its oil to the sharpening its blades, I'll show you how to get your push mower in tiptop shape.
You'll need a power drill, eye protection, work gloves, a ceramic blade sharpener and balancer, a socket wrench, a wooden block, a rubber mallet A plastic drip tray.
motor oil, and a container for waste oil.
Also a large piece of cardboard and an old rag or cloth can be useful.
Lawnmowers see plenty of outdoor action.
Because of that, they tend to get dirty fast.
To clean it, first start with a cool engine.
If you can, disconnect the spark plug too.
Next, use a leaf blower to blast away any old dirt and major debris.
Now gently lay the mower on its side, fuel cap facing up.
Try to get rid of any junk on the mower's underside as well.
I know that many people prefer to hose their mowers down with a garden hose.
I admit I've done it.
Still, doing that is risky.
If water gets in the wiring, air filter or engine, you could really do some damage.
Hand washing with a damp rag is a drag, but also your safest bet.
With the mower still on its side, grab your socket wrench and wood block.
Place the block inside the blade well.
This is to prevent the blades from turning, while you loosen their bolts.
Remove the blade mounting bolts.
Secure the blades in a table vice.
Now attach the blade sharpener to the end of the power drill.
Make sure to wear eye protection and work gloves.
Carefully sharpen the cutting edges of your blades.
Go slowly at first to get the feel of the best angle for meeting the blade and sharpener.
After sharpening both sides of the blade, place it on the balancer.
If one side dips below the other, continue sharpening it until the blade rests level.
Return the sharpened blades to the mower and re-attach.
Next you'll change the oil.
To lower oil viscosity, and get it moving freely, run the enginge for a few minutes.
Now shut the engine off.
Roll the mower onto a piece of cardboard or drop cloth.
Find the oil filler tube and remove its cap.
Often the cap also functions as a tip stick.
Place a drip pan or other container on the side of the mower with the filler.
Carefully tilt the mower so oil drains out and into the pan.
Discard the spent oil into the proper disposal vessel.
Now, slowly pour fresh oil into the mower.
Make sure to add only as much as your particular model requires.
Remember to let the mower sit undisturbed for a few minutes to let it settle properly.
Now that you've done all that, your mower should be ready to tackle the season in stride.
It should run smoother and more safely too.
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