6 simple steps to keep your mower in top shape this season
Phyllis, September 2015
It's spring, and that means everyone’s favourite weekend activity is just around the corner – mowing the lawn! It doesn’t matter if you fuss over your lawn like an amateur green keeper or give it a quick once-over (and ignore the edges), a well tended mower will make the job quicker and easier. You’ll also get a better result. Spring is the perfect time to give your mower its annual tune-up. Experts say this vital yet simple piece of maintenance will help ensure that your machine continues to perform at its best. Leading garden and lawn care company, Victa outlines how. “It's easy to tune up your lawn mower,” says Joe Camilleri, Victa’s technical services officer. “An annual tune-up will extend the life of your mower while reducing emissions by up to 50 per cent. This seasonal maintenance consists largely of cleaning and lubricating. Dirt on the inside is abrasive, while dirt on the outside traps heat. Both instances can increase wear and shorten the life of the mower. “If you give them some routine maintenance, mowers are real workhorses. Just like you regularly service your car, you should give your mower some TLC. It’ll run better, last longer and burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly.” Even if you have very little mechanical experience, tuning up your lawn mower is easy. Just follow these six steps.
Step 1: Change the air filterAir filters routinely become clogged with oil and debris, so replacing it before each mowing season will help protect the mower's engine and ensure it runs optimally. Think of it as allowing the engine to breathe properly.
Step 2: Change the oilMost contemporary mowers have four-stroke engines, so the oil needs to be replaced each year or after 25 hours of use. Victa recommends using the Briggs & Stratton Oil Removal Kit to remove the old oil. Only use four-stroke engine oil (refer to the engine manufacturer’s specifications), which can be bought from most hardware stores or specialist mower retailers. Oil is critical for lubricating and cooling the engine.
Remember: Don't pour the used oil into the rubbish bin or down the drain. Check with your local council for your nearest waste disposal centre.