(NAPS)—Chances are, your lawn mower has been a faithful fair-weather companion. So at the end of the mowing season, you want to give it the attention it deserves.
Here are some tips on what you can do now to be sure your mower will start easily next mowing season.
• Make sure your operator’s manual is on hand for quick reference whenever you work on your mower or any such equipment.
• Remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before doing any mower maintenance, and tape or tie it out of the way.
• Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place away from gas cans, the water heater or furnace.
• Change the oil. Old oil has lost much of its ability to coat and protect engine components, which could lead to damage down the road. Most people avoid changing the oil in their lawn mower because they think about having to tip the mower over to drain the old oil. They worry about spills in the drive-way and a mess of rags and cardboard to catch spills. Oil removal kits make the process easier and a lot less messy. For example, the Briggs & Stratton 1.6-liter oil extractor pump has a long-reach hose so oil can be extracted through filler or dipstick holes. It is important to return and recycle used oil at the proper collection center in your community.
• Clean your mower. Brush or hose off leaves, grass and mud. Gently tip your walk-behind mower on its side to spray the underbody. If debris is caught on the blade, use a stick or tool to remove it—never use your hands.
• Use a fuel stabilizer. Never store your lawn equipment with a partially full fuel tank. Either run the equipment out of fuel or use fuel stabilizer in a full tank of fuel. Add Advanced Formula Fuel Treat-ment and Stabilizer according to the package directions.
Then—and this is important—run the mower for a few minutes so the stabilizer circulates through the carburetor. The stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for up to six months. Turn off the engine and completely fill the gas tank. A full tank will help prevent moisture from condensing in the tank, which can form rust that could break away and clog the carburetor.
• Store your mower in a dry, protected place such as your garage or a garden shed. Never store it next to a furnace, water heater or appliance with a pilot light.
For further facts and tips on maintaining your mower and other outdoor power equipment, go to www.stowyourmower.com or call (800) 444-7774.