Wednesday, April 13, 2011
4 Tips for a Less-Stressful Lawn Mower Experience
Service your mower - or get it serviced - every spring.
A well-maintained lawn mower will work better, cut better, start when you want it to, and save you time, money, hassle, and stress. It's better to maintain it than fix it, and easier on your wallet as well. A mower that is maintained will last longer, too, so you won't have to pay up for a new one as soon.
Keep fuel stabilizer on hand to keep your gas from spoiling in the tank.
Gas has such a high percentage of ethanol in it that it "spoils" quickly. If you have a small yard, and don't run thru a tank of gas with every cut, you can end up with fuel that goes bad in your lawn mower. The result is this gunky type of varnish that builds up in your lawn mower's fuel system and will cause problems with how the machine runs. To avoid worrying about how fresh your fuel is, get in the habit of adding fuel stabilizer to your gas can every time you fill it up.
Keep a spare blade on hand.
It's better to cut with a sharp blade; it's not only more efficient, but it will give you a better looking lawn. A dull blade will tear, rather than slice, through the leaves of grass; torn grass will turn yellow or brown on the tips and look like it's dying. Save yourself some trouble by buying a spare blade and keeping it on hand; if you notice your lawn is looking ragged, you can switch out the blades and take the dull one in for a sharpening without having to stop and interrupt your yard work then and there.
If you hose off your mower after use, let it sit out in the sun to dry thoroughly.
It's great to have a shiny, clean mower, but if you simply hose it off and then stick it in a dark, cool garage, you can be creating a problem. Some mower decks, made of steel, will corrode if they're left sitting wet. Eventually the corrosion can cause the deck to crack, cutting your mower's life short. Avoid that problem by letting your mower dry thoroughly out in the sunshine before you put it away.
Image: Sean Hobson on Flickr.