The following is a guest post by Rodney Southern.
Tuning up a push mower is a task that can intimidate someone who hasn’t been exposed to it. Once you give it a try, you discover that it is rather easy. All that is really needed is a basic understanding of where things are located, and then it is a simple step by step process. Here is what you need to know to get your push lawn mower ready for the approaching spring and summer seasons.
Get the Engine Warm
This is required so that you are working with a lubed engine. Simply put enough gas in the engine to let it crank and run for a few minutes. Once you crank it, let the gas run out and the engine should be warm.
Disconnect the Spark Plug
The last thing you want is for dangerous blades to start spinning from an accidental start. Disconnecting the spark plug ensures your safety. Locate the spark plug on the side of the engine and disconnect the wire on the end of it. Do this with the engine off.
Drain the Oil
Clean the area around where you add the oil. Again, this is not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. Prop the lawn mower up on blocks so that you can get to the bottom of it. Under the lawn mower you will find a plug. Twist that plug and drain the oil from the engine. Make sure you put something under the mower to catch the oil as it drains.
Get the Right Type of Oil
Using the right oil is absolutely vital because you can ruin your engine if you use the wrong type. To be sure, consult the owner’s manual. If you don’t have one, ask at a local auto shop and they should be able to help you out. You can also go online and look up your model. Many mowers put the type of oil on the mower itself so check closely.
Fill Up the Oil and Change the Filter
Many lawn mowers have no filter, but if yours has one, change it now. Then fill the oil up to the marked line and replace the dipstick and top. Take the mower off the blocks and crank it up. Let the engine idle and observe the area around the engine to see if there are any leaks.
Change the Spark Plug
This simply means to take the old spark plug out with a socket wrench, clean the housing with a wire brush or toothbrush, and then put a new one in. Simply take the old one in to the store and they will get you the proper replacement.
Once you have done these things, your push mower is pretty much ready for the season. There are other things you can do like sharpen the blades, put on new wheels, or clean the exterior, but generally speaking you are good to go for the coming season!
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Rodney Southern is a long time content writer specializing in a wide array of niches both online and in print. His work has been featured on sites such as Yahoo.com, The Sporting News and numerous others over an eleven plus year career. He also runs his own website on diabetes called Dashing Diabetes. He was the National Call for Content Winner for 2008. Southern resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife, Julie, and identical twin daughters, Valerie and Brooke.