Your lawn mower is just one of the many tools you need for a beautiful yard or a profitable landscaping business. Whether you rely on your lawn mower to keep your grass at an appropriate height or use it to make money in your career, maintenance is key to keeping it in good working condition. We’ll review a few crucial lawn mower maintenance tasks that everyone needs to add to their to-do lists.

Stabilize Fuel

Similar to your vehicle, your lawn mower also uses fuel (unless you have an electric mower). However, with a lawn mower, you don’t use the fuel as quickly as you do in your vehicle. When fuel sits untouched for too long, it can get thick and eventually clog the carburetor. Adding a fuel stabilizer to your lawn mower helps prevent this from happening. A fuel stabilizer is an especially good idea when storing your lawn mower away for Pennsylvania’s winter.

Change the Oil

Routine oil changes can help extend your lawn mower engine’s life. Each of the mechanical components of the lawn mower relies on friction and movement with one another. Over time, the constant rubbing motion can become abrasive and output too much heat. Excessive heat can lead to your lawn mower overheating. Regularly changing your lawn mower’s oil adds moisture, making it easier for the parts to rub together. Ideally, you should change your lawnmower’s oil every 25 to 50 hours.

Sharpen Blades

A series of small blades in your lawn mower is what cuts the grass. Over time, these blades dull down, making the engine work harder. You may also notice an uneven cut, as some blades are sharper than others. A preventative maintenance appointment for your lawn mower allows a professional to sharpen them. If the blades become too dull, it may be better to replace them.

Replace the Fuel Filter

Replacing the fuel filter ensures cleaner engine output. Not all lawnmowers or lawn equipment have filters, though. Smaller, home-use lawnmowers are less likely to have a fuel filter than commercial-grade mowers. If you’re unsure whether or not your lawnmower has a filer that needs a replacement, you can always ask your technician during your lawn mower service.

Replace Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are just as important to the performance of your lawn mower as they are to your vehicle. A spark plug allows combustion to occur with fuel, essentially powering your lawnmower. Ideally, you should replace your lawnmower’s spark plugs every 100 hours.

You can also determine when it’s time to change your spark plugs based on your mower’s performance. A poorly functioning lawnmower or one that doesn’t start or run as smoothly as it once did could be due to faulty spark plugs. A more efficient lawnmower means a better-looking lawn or better results for your landscaping clients.

Check Mower Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure can also affect how well your lawnmower works. Firstly, you may find it difficult to push the mower. If you have a walk-behind or riding mower, you may notice the ride is bumpier than usual. Try to get in the habit of regularly checking your tire pressure and adding air when necessary. 

The ideal tire pressure for your lawnmower may depend on a few things, like type, size, weight, and brand. Ideally, a riding mower should have somewhere around 14 PSI for front tires and 10 PSI for rear tires. Some people may add slightly less air to their lawnmower’s tires to improve performance, but the front and rear should always be somewhat similar.

Check for Worn Belts

Your lawnmower also relies on timing belts to work. If your belts get too worn down, you’ll find that the lawnmower doesn’t work as efficiently as it once did. Cracking or faded belts are one of the easiest ways to identify that you need new ones. Of course, keeping up with regular lawnmower maintenance appointments ensures things like the timing belt are in good condition.

Know When to Upgrade Your Lawnmower

While preventative maintenance can keep your lawn mower working more efficiently for longer, it’s not a solution for everything. You can still expect to replace your lawn mower every couple of years, based on size and usage. Commercial-grade mowers tend to last less time since they’re used more frequently. 

You can also weigh the costs of repairs against a new mower. If the cost to repair your mower is similar to the purchase price of a new one, it may be a better idea to start fresh. Newer mowers require less maintenance and are designed to work more efficiently.

Keeping up with basic maintenance tasks is a must when owning a lawnmower, whether for residential or commercial purposes. Certain tasks, like regular oil changes and adding air to your tires, can help keep your mower in excellent working condition. Ongoing maintenance also helps your lawnmower work better for longer, saving you money in the long run.