Now that summer is definitely here, the heat and humidity will be radiating throughout the next several months. With it come those afternoon storms that water our lawns and make the grass grow. That means having to mow about every week, along with edging, trimming, and blowing away clippings. It also means that your lawn equipment will get a big work out and it ought to be in the best condition to handle all that use.
If you’ve looked at the prices of new equipment, you probably know these items are not cheap. The good news is, with just a bit of preventative maintenance and care, you can get your lawn equipment in good condition and extend its life. It doesn’t take a mechanic or a lawn machine expert to do these things. What’s more, this preventative maintenance comes at a very low cost, because you’re only going to need a few inexpensive items.
How to Get Your Lawn Equipment Ready for Summer
When you take your mower, line trimmer, edger, and leaf blower out, even if you regularly change the oil, the engines will still develop a build-up of gunk and that not only wears down their longevity, but also, decreases power while consuming more fuel.
Even if you changed the oil in your mower frequently last year, starting off a new season with a fresh oil change is a great place to start your tune up. Consult your mower’s manual to determine how to drain the old oil, and replace it with oil of a similar viscosity. —NAPA Online
Over time, this will cost you money because you’ll have to buy more fuel and mix. To get the most out of your lawn equipment, do the following and it will work well for many years to come. After all, lawn maintenance is a never-ending, albeit seasonal, task.
Most of us just pull the mower out, pour in a bit of gas, pull the cord, walk behind it, and then shut it off a put it back. Doing so over the course of many months, even years, allows engine build-up and part failure. So, wheel your lawn mower out and do the following:
- Change the air filter. The air filter provides much needed flow to the engine to keep it running. Check the air filter on your lawn mower and replace it if necessary.
- Change the fuel filter. Over time, the fuel filter can become clogged, so, check it before you start the engine, and replace if needed.
- Change the spark plug. Spark plugs generally last a long time. If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked it, then it’s probably time to replace it with a new one.
- Clean off the undercarriage. The undercarriage collects a whole lot of debris and it builds-up over time. That affects its performance, so it’s wise to clean the undercarriage.
- Sharpen the blade. Blades dull as they are used and should be sharpened periodically. Doing so will make mowing easier and a bit quicker.
Gas line trimmers are powerful and allow you to move freely about without being tethered to an electrical cord. Just like a lawn mower, these rely on much of the same parts so, to service your line trimmer, do the following:
- Replace the air filter. Just like the mower, your gas powered line trimmer is equipped with an air filter. Check it and replace it if necessary.
- Replace the fuel filter. Fuel filters also become clogged after much use and can cause the engine to sputter and shut off. Check and replace the fuel filter when needed.
- Replace the spark plug. Remove the spark plug and if it has corrosion on it, then go ahead and replace it.
- Adjust the idle speed. This is a good time to check and tweak the idle speed.
- Replace the line. Even if there’s a lot of line left on your machine, it’s a good idea to replace it with fresh, new line.
Edgers allow you to make aesthetic cuts, to square and line along walkways, driveways, street curbs, and more. You can do the following preventative maintenance to keep it running at its best:
- Check the belts. Your gas powered edger has several belts on it. Check each one for signs of wear. Should any of them be loose or cracked, replace them.
- Check the spark plug. Unfasten the spark plug and check it out. Replace it if it is corroded or faltering.
- Check the air filter. Pull out the air filter and rinse it off it if possible. Should it be blocked, then replace it.
- Check the oil. You should always check the oil, not only for the amount but for its state. If it’s been awhile since you’ve changed it, do so now.
- Sharpen the blade. Remove the blade a sharpen it if it is dull.
The leaf blower is a workhorse, and, it needs regular attention to keep it running healthy. Before you begin to use it, do the following things:
- Check the air intake. If it is blocked, clean it to allow air to pass through.
- Replace the spark plug. Take the spark plug out and inspect it.–replace it if needed.
- Clean the muffler spark arrestor screen. You can hose the spark arrestor screen off if it’s caked with gunk.
- Clean the carburetor and surrounding space. To keep the engine running efficiently, clean the carburetor and the space surrounding it.
- Check the fuel filter and line. Just like your other gas powered equipment, you should check the fuel filter and line and replace if needed.