Article is sponsored by MTD.
Take care of your outdoor power equipment and it will take care of you. With proper lawn mower and snow blower maintenance you can extend the life of your machines. Maintenance is about more than a tune up at the start of each season. There are things you can do throughout the year to ensure your outdoor power equipment starts quicker, runs smoother and lasts longer. Check out these tips for riding lawn mower and snow blower maintenance to extend the life of your outdoor power equipment.
Lawn mower maintenance
Start each season with a tune up. Replace any worn or broken walk behind or riding lawn mower parts including lawn mower blades, oil and fuel filters, and spark plugs. Throughout the season, check your lawn mower blades for damage, especially if you run over any rocks, roots or bumps, and replace them if necessary. Whenever you sharpen or replace your lawn mower blades you should make sure to balance them as well. If the machine has begun to vibrate at all after hitting anything, you’ll need to take it to a professional to have the blades replaced and rebalanced. It’s also important to grease fittings regularly to keep parts running smoothly and not risk serious damage to your lawn mower.
At the end of the season, wash down the deck of your mower to remove debris. Then, drain the fuel for the winter or use a fuel additive to keep moisture, which can prevent your machine from starting, from building up. Fuel additives should be a part of your routine throughout the season since they can keep the fuel from breaking down and leaving deposits throughout the lines, engine and carburetor. Even though you’ve prepared your machine for winter storage, you don’t need to wait until the spring to tune up the lawn mower. Winter is the perfect time to order replacement walk-behind or riding lawn mower parts and make repairs.
Snow blower maintenance
Regular, proactive snow blower maintenance helps avoid costly repairs and premature replacement of your machine. Cold weather makes starting your machine more difficult, and storage throughout spring, summer and fall is a long time to go without use. Throughout the season you should check your snow blower belts, grease the fittings and start it every so often to ensure it’s ready to go (especially if you have large snows spread out throughout your season). You should also change your oil, filter and potentially spark plug at the beginning of the season.
Sta Bil fuel additive is also important for snow blowers. To ensure your machine is in pristine condition each season, perform regular snow blower maintenance and use a fuel additive like Sta Bil to keep moisture out. An important fuel tip for snow blower maintenance (and lawn mower, too) is to use fuel with less than 10 percent ethanol whenever possible. The moisture in the ethanol causes the fuel to break down faster, and while fuel additives will slow the process, having a higher quality fuel is important for small engines. In fact, most small engines aren’t designed to run with fuel that has 15 percent or more ethanol because it can actually damage their systems. Using the proper fuel and regularly changing the oil will prolong the life of your outdoor power equipment and help it start and run smoothly each year.
Final tips for lawn mower and snow blower maintenance
Eventually your outdoor power equipment will need to be replaced or upgraded, but by performing regular maintenance, you can reduce how often you need to purchase a new mower or snow blower. Don’t wait until your machine breaks down and needs a serious repair, pay attention to wear and tear and make repairs as you go. If you forget to drain the fuel or use an additive like Sta Bil, a fuel reconditioner may be used to clean out the engine and lines to help you start your mower or blower. Finally, fix something fully the first time. A partial repair or a quick-fix can lead to greater damage down the line. For more information on lawn mower and snow blower maintenance, consult your owner’s manual or take your machine to a certified repair shop.