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Mower Starting Tips

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts


The Handyguys discuss annual spring maintenance and home improvement for your lawn mower

For many of us in the northern parts of the USA, it is that time of year when we get the lawn mower out for the first time. Most of us probably use tradition walk behind mowers with combustion engines. Like our cars, these tools require maintenance to keep them humming along from year to year. The Handyguys discuss how you can handle these basic maintenance items yourself:

We start off by talking about mower safety and some crazy mower stories before we get into the basics of spring mower tune-up.

Basic Spring mower tune up consists of checking and maybe replacing the spark plug, cleaning or replacing the air filter, sharpening your blade, cleaning the deck and changing the oil.

This is an example of a bad sparkplugChanging the spark plug – The spark plug only needs to be changed if its black, burnt, or damaged. If it looks clean when you remove it only replace it if you are having trouble with the mower running smooth or not starting. This picture is an example of a badly fouled plug that needs replaced.

This filter could likely be cleaned with compressed air or a brush. I chose to just replace it.Replacing an air filter – make sure you get the correct air filter. There are many sizes and styles. The filter can be cleaned with compressed air or a brush. If its really bad just go ahead and replace it. Some filters are foam and can be washed in warm soapy water. Do not re-install a washed filter until its completely dry.

Sharpen your mower bladeSharpening a blade – You can use a file or a grinder to sharpen your blade. Make sure you use the same angle as the previous sharpening. Handyguy Brian got this heavy duty grinder for only $25, including the stand, at an auction. An inexpensive grinder will be fine for this task. A Dremel tool or even just a plain old file will do the trick as well. A sharp blade makes a better cut and helps keep your grass healthy. Tip – If your blade bolt is stuck try soaking it in some Liquid Wrench

Clean the grass and removing the mower bladeCleaning the mower deck – Sorry I don’t have an after picture. Use a scraper and a wire brush to clean up the mower deck. This is especially important for mulching mowers. If you have rust, sand that and hit it with some primer and paint.

Changing the oil – Do this every year. Make sure you use the proper oil and the correct amount. Most mowers will use SAE 30 oil. Do not use 10W-30, its different and will likely void any warranty you may have. Regardless – Check your owners manual first for the correct oil.

Learn more by listening to this installment of the Handyguys Podcast!

And remember – You can always ask The Handyguys a question about your DIY or home improvement project by calling us at (615) 676-0877 or using the contact form.

We respond to all questions and may use your question in a future episode.

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