Fall lawn mower maintenance

Instead of approaching fall lawn mower maintenance as a dreaded chore, try looking upon it as preserving your investment. Gas-powered lawn mowers require maintenance, just like your gas-powered automobile. Luckily, taking care of your mower is lots easier at a fraction of the price and you don’t have to rotate the tires! Clean your lawn mower and put it away for the season when all the leaves have fallen or it starts to snow. Try these fall lawn mower maintenance tips to keep your mower running like new.

·    Gasoline goes stale after 90 days, leaving sediment in the gas tank as the gas evaporates. Removing the gas is the best solution. For safety, perform this task outdoors. If you want to reuse the gas in another gas-powered engine, like your car, you can use a turkey baster to remove most of the gas from the mower. After you have removed as much of the gas as you can, start the mower, allowing the mower to burn out the last of the gas.
·    Drain and replace the oil in the fall or the spring. Replace the oil filter too if your mower has one.
·    Turn the mower over and remove the blade. Sharpen the blade. A lawn mower blade can be sharpened using a file or a grinding wheel, or better yet, have a professional sharpen the blade so you don’t have to worry about affect the balance of the blade.
·    With the blade removed, use the high-pressure setting of your garden hose attachment or a pressure washer to clean the underside of the mower. A steel brush may help with this task.
·    Clean the top side of the mower with high-pressure water or soap, scrub brush and a bucket of water. Dawn dish detergent is a good choice because it will cut through the residue that forms on top of the mower
·    Remove the battery and store indoors during the winter.
·    Clean out the clippings bag. Use a wet-dry vac to suck out all residue grass, leaves and weeds to ensure that they don’t decompose in the bag, causing a slimy mess. Place the bag in a sunny location to help remove all traces of moisture, and then store indoors.
·    Check the mower for broken or worn parts. You may find end-of-season sales to pickup replacement parts at a reduced price to help you complete your fall lawn mower maintenance.
·    With the mower all cleaned up, you may want to paint it. Be sure to wrap the engine compartment and wheels as well as taping over the model number tag. You may need that tag number for maintenance or warranty purposes.