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Prepare your mower for spring: Tips and guidelines

Posted on:Feb 25, 2015

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but now is the time to prepare your mower for spring mowing season.

prepare your mower for springWith the exception of the snowy northeast, which is still digging out from record snowfalls this winter, warmer and longer days mean that the spring mowing season is just around the corner. If you take steps to prepare your mower for spring now, you ensure that your mower is ready to go when the grass starts growing.

As always, Grasshopper recommends you keep a maintenance log to track of all maintenance procedures. Consult equipment service manuals for specific procedures, schedules and replacement parts lists, and use only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts.

Now, here are a few general guidelines that will help you prepare your mower for spring.

Cleaning – Thoroughly clean all accessible points and remove dried grass and dirt from crevices; a lightly oiled shop towel will help remove stubborn deposits. Use low-pressure air to blow debris from the engine and transmission areas, and remove clippings and debris from electrical components.

prepare your mower for spring engine oilEngine – For spark-ignition engines, clean the spark plugs or replace them. Change the oil and replace the oil filter as outlined in the engine manual. Clean the air filter by lightly tapping in your hand, and remove any dirt and debris from the air filter housing with a clean damp cloth. Consult your owner's manual for the proper time to replace the air filter. For liquid-cooled engines, remove any dirt and debris from the radiator cooling fins.

Fuel – Replace the fuel filter, drain leftover fuel and refill with fresh fuel. Use a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL® all year to preserve fuel freshness and prevent gumming in the carburetor.

Transmission – Check the cooling fans for mobility, and remove any “baked on” obstructions. Inspect nuts, bolts and linkage for snug fits. Consult your owner's manual. Replace with OEM-specified filter, and refill with OEM-specified fluid only. Check hydraulic hoses for leaks or signs of wear. Use extra caution when servicing systems that utilize separate pumps and wheel motors and high-pressure lines to avoid injury.

Lubrication – Thoroughly clean all grease fittings and lubricate with SAE multi-purpose grease. Apply only the appropriate amount of grease as specified in the ownerÂÂÂ’s manual, as too little or too much grease can damage fittings, seals and bearings. Use a disposable shop towel to wipe off any excess grease before use.

prepare your mower for spring sharpen bladesMowing Deck – Check that all baffles and shields are installed properly. Make sure pulleys and idlers are clean, and check for any loose or noisy bearings. Inspect belts for wear or damage, and adjust deck belt tension springs as needed. On a level surface, measure the height and angle on all sides, and adjust if necessary. Consult ownerÂÂÂ’s manual for proper deck angle to ensure optimal mowing quality.

Blades – Sharpen the mower blades, and check for balance and levelness. Do not straighten bent blades or add weight to blade tips; bent or altered blades will affect airflow and diminish cut quality. Discard and replace with OEM-specified replacement blades.

Tires – Over- or under-inflated tires can have a substantial effect on traction and quality of cut. Never inflate to the pressure embossed on the tire. Instead, consult your ownerÂÂÂ’s manual for recommended tire pressure. Grasshopper has low-pressure tire gauges available.

Want a hard copy to check off items as you prepare your mower for spring? Download the full checklist to prepare your mower for spring.


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