As the days grow longer and the snow begins to recede, homeowners will once again venture outdoors to get their yards and lawn into tip-top shape for summer fun. But just like your lawn has been hibernating over the long winter, so too has your lawn mower and other small engines. Even if you properly winterized your mower, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure it works like it should. To get there, follow these five steps.
1. Freshen up with a new tank of gas. It only takes 30 days for the gasoline in your mower to start to break down, which can harm your engine. If you have any gas left in the tank from the fall, empty it with a siphon and fill the tank with fresh fuel straight from the gas station. For optimal results, use ethanol-free gas (E0).
2. Don’t forget to check the oil. A new season means new oil. This will ensure your motor will run smoothly and it will go a long way to prevent overheating. Be sure to check the owner’s manual to make sure you put in the right kind of oil and the proper amount.
3. Two components to clean and replace. Along with keeping your mower fed with fresh gas and oil, at the beginning of each season there are two components to either clean or replace: the spark plug and the air filter. To inspect the spark plug, simply clean the area around the cylinder and use a wrench to remove the plug. Check for any damage or black coating, and if the plug appears damaged, replace it. As far as the air filter goes, it’s best to start each season with a new one. Consult the owner’s manual for reference on how to do this and always consider using genuine parts from the manufacturer.
4. Sharpen the blade. A dull lawnmower blade rips and tears blades of grass in your lawn, making them more prone to disease and discoloration. A sharp blade helps promote a greener, fuller and healthier lawn. Most local hardware stores or small-engine shops offer blade-sharpening services.
5. Maybe you need a new engine? If you’ve gone through all the maintenance tips above and you’re still having problems with your mower, it’s probably time for a new one. When making a purchasing decision, focus on the most essential component: the engine. Ideally, you want an engine that offers minimal maintenance, easy starting and smooth, effective operation. The Kohler 5400 Series is a new option featuring a Triple-Balance System, which significantly reduces vibration for a more comfortable ride.
To learn more about how the right engine can improve the performance of your mower, visit www.KohlerEngines.com.