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Spring is a great time to take stock of your mower’s maintenance needs and get them taken care of before the growing season. That way, you’ll be ready to roll when the growth of your lawn hits full stride. Not only does a properly maintained mower perform better, but it will also last longer and be more reliable over the course of its life.
Always consult your owner’s manual to determine what specific maintenance is necessary for your machine, but here are the top 6 maintenance items to take into account on your spring checklist for your lawn mower:
#1: Inspect the Mower Blades
For starters, tip your mower on its side to inspect the mower blades. It’s best to do this before you add fuel so you avoid spillage. When you tip the mower make sure that the air filter is up and the oil dipstick is down. This prevents oil from getting into the air filter area. If the blade is dull or nicked, get it sharpened and balanced or replace it with the correct genuine Toro replacement blade.
Your mower will cut faster and deliver a better quality of cut with sharp blades. Few parts affect cut quality and productivity as dramatically as sharp, balanced blades, and with practice, you can change a set of blades in less than ten minutes. It’s well worth the time and effort. One pro tip is to get an extra set of blades for your mower to swap in when your blades lose their edge. You’ll always have sharp, balanced blades ready to go, with no downtime required for sharpening. If you’re not comfortable changing the blades yourself, your nearest mower dealer will be happy to do it for you
#2: Fill Your Fuel Tank
Next, fill your fuel tank and make sure that the fuel you use is less than 30 days old. If the gas in your container is older, dispose of it properly then get fresh fuel and add Toro Premium Fuel Treatment to keep it in top shape. If you didn’t run your engine dry at the end of last season, it’s best to empty it now before you try to start the engine. Otherwise, you run a greater risk of clogging your fuel lines.
#3: Fresh Engine Oil & Air Filter
Start off the season with fresh oil and air filters for each of your mowers. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and changing it out is much less expensive than an oil breakdown-related engine issue.
#4: Spring Cleaning
Give your mower a good spring cleaning. Pay special attention to the grass clippings, dirt and debris that can get stuck under the mower deck and other hard-to-reach places. Mower blades are sharp so always wear gloves when you’re doing this chore.
#5: Check the Spark Plugs
Next, make sure the spark plug lead-in connector is clean, in good condition and attached securely to the top of the plug in a vertical position. The spark plug itself doesn’t usually need to be replaced but it is true that a new plug can sometimes make it a little easier to start your mower. If you don’t do the replacement correctly, there’s a chance you could damage the engine. If you do replace it, make sure to carefully follow the directions in the engine manual or your operators manual.
#6: Test the Recoil System
Check to see that the recoil rope is in good shape and retracting properly. If the rope looks frayed, have your Toro dealer replace it. If you have an electric starter, make sure the battery is fully charged. It’s a good idea to charge it for 24-48 hours or until the light in the charger turns green.
More Lawn Mower Tips
Visit Toro’s Help Center for more lawn mower tips and how-to videos to help you get the most out of your mowing season.