Buying a mower or any piece of lawn care equipment is an investment, in both the future of your lawn and your peace of mind when it comes to caring for your home. This means you should go out of your way to take care of your mower and make sure that it lasts you; otherwise, it’s not much of an investment if you have to buy a new mower every other year.
One of the things you have to keep in mind about mower maintenance is the off-season. For most of the year, your mower will likely sit in storage until the weather changes. Therefore, good maintenance requires diligence during the off-season and before mowing season.
Maintenance is preventive care
You not only have to be regular with maintenance once the mowing season begins, you have to be proactive. This means checking on your mower throughout the year and only using the best parts. Finding the right replacement part can be tricky due to compatibility issues, as not every part may fit every brand of mower. This is why it’s important to do your research and read the owner’s manual for your mower. The manufacturer will typically list compatible parts numbers so you don’t buy something you can’t use.
Replacing parts may be as simple as buying parts of the same brand. Therefore, if you have a John Deere mower, chances are you can use John Deere mower parts to keep your equipment in working order. You may also be able to use those same parts for another brand of mower if the manufacturer lists them as a compatible alternative. The bigger brands are often more reputable for their quality, so it’s not uncommon to see some manufacturers produce parts that are usable for a wider range of brands in addition to their own.
Lawnmower care during the off-season
You should try to store your lawnmower in a covered storage space while it’s not in use. This could be a shed or garage, or covered with a mower cover and kept under waterproof shelter. The important thing is to make sure the equipment is protected from snow and rain and protected enough from the outside that animals or inclement weather and extreme temperatures can’t damage your investment.
When you do store your mower, you should take care to remove any unused gasoline from the tank. Old gas sitting for a season can clog or damage the engine and cause further problems to arise.
Caring for your mower before the mowing season starts
Basic pre-season mower maintenance is straightforward. You want to make sure everything works before you actually try to use it to prevent further, possibly irreparable damage.
Here are four easy-to-remember steps for ensuring a working mower:
- Change out the spark plug.
- Replace the oil/gas.
- Sharpen/replace the blade.
- Clean out the undercarriage.
The key to maintenance—the entire point of it—is to protect your investments. By establishing routines of regular maintenance and proper off-season care, you can improve the longevity of your mower.