There are two key components to springtime lawn maintenance: Preparing the lawn itself and making sure that all power equipment goes through several procedures to ensure that off-season storage hasn’t resulted in any serious inefficiencies or maintenance concerns. Those homeowners who are new to getting their equipment ready each spring should be aware of a few key steps, each of which will assess the quality of several key parts and fluids needed most by the equipment.
Inspect and Disconnect the Spark Plug
The spark plug is instrumental in allowing the engine to turn on, which is exactly why it should be disconnected prior to conducting any maintenance. This is also a great time to give the spark plug a full inspection, looking for any damage or built-up dirt that might have an impact on the mower when it’s started for the first time. Though spark plugs should also be cleared prior to storage, it’s not unheard of for dust and dirt to accumulate while stowed away.
Next, Make Sure the Gasoline is Ready to Go
Some homeowners prefer to store their equipment with just a small amount of gasoline kept in the fuel tank, with a bit of stabilizer added to ensure that the fuel doesn’t go stale or promote rust. Others accidentally store their equipment with gasoline remaining in the tank. In both cases, it’s usually necessary to drain this fuel and replace it with fresh, new fuel that will perform better once the equipment turns on for the first time.
While old fuel can cause rust and run into problems with the lawn mower’s carburetor, fresh gasoline will run smoothly and allow the equipment to run efficiently from day one. Make sure to use only the fuel type recommended by the owner’s manual, with the proper octane level, ethanol or alcohol concentration, and status as either leaded or unleaded.
Drain the Engine Oil and Refill as Needed
Most power equipment manufacturers recommend an oil change prior to storage and another one when removing the equipment from storage during the springtime. This is to ensure that the engine won’t suffer damage because of stale oil, among other concerns. Go ahead and drain the engine’s oil into an approved disposal container, and then place new oil into the compartment until it reaches the “full” line on the dipstick. To ensure that the proper type of engine oil is used during this process, consult the owner’s manual when selecting oil for use.
Check the Air Filter and Clean or Replace It
Several things are instrumental when starting power equipment safely and efficiently: Oil levels, fuel levels, the spark plug, and the air filter. Over the winter months, dust and dirt can settle into the air filter and make it require cleaning prior to using the equipment for the first time. In some cases, the air filter may simply need to be replaced due to damage that it endured during the prior year’s spring and summer months. In both cases, this particular component is rather easy to replace and will provide a substantive improvement not only when starting the mower, but also when using it efficiently in the months ahead.
Give the Mower’s Blade a Thorough Inspection
The effort tot produce a professional-looking lawn throughout the spring and summer generally hinges on the quality and condition of the mower’s blade. When taking the equipment out of storage early in the spring, tip the mower over and give the blade a thorough inspection. The blade should be replaced if it shows signs of rust and corrosion, has been bent by debris during last summer’s mowing, or shows any other signs of excessive wear.
If the blade is in great structural condition, but shows signs of dull edges, homeowners should seek the assistance of a local service shop and have the blade sharpened. Remember, lawns look best when a straight and sharp blade gets the job done efficiently all summer long.
Thoroughly Clean the Equipment
With the air filter, spark plug, and blade fully inspected and ready to go, one thing remains to be done. The equipment must be cleaned so that any accumulated dust and dirt is removed. This will help to ensure that parts like the air filter last as long as possible, by removing residual grime that would otherwise find its way inside the air filter, around the spark plug, or even into the gas tank, causing maintenance headaches later on.
For the Parts Needed During Spring Equipment Maintenance, Head to CubParts.com
CubParts.com has an extensive inventory of OEM replacement parts for Cub Cadet power equipment models commonly used by today’s homeowners. With the ability to sort these parts by equipment model number, engine manufacturer, and specific part number, customers will find exactly what they need as quickly as possible.