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Tuning Up Your Lawn Mower for Spring

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

If it were only as simple as dragging your power mower out of the garage and firing it up as soon as your spring lawn grows high enough for trimming. While this may work fine for some homeowners, many others simply yank their arms out trying to get the motor running. A little prep work tuning up the machine before the first need to mow your grass can save your arm--and your peace of mind.

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If you're not mechanically inclined, you may want to take your mower to your local lawn service or garden store and ask for help. What you need to do most of all is install a new spark plug, change the oil, replace your air filter and, if necessary, the fuel filter. Some think the outlay for new mower parts is a drag, but why invite trouble?

Revving Up The Mower

It's a good idea to have a warm engine before doing the work, so add just enough gas to fire it up (which it hopefully will do), and run it long enough to heat up. When ready, prop up the mower and open the plug beneath the oil tank and drain it. Change the oil filter and clean and lube the gasket. It's a good idea when doing any of this work to disconnect the plug wire to prevent accidental startups.

The spark plug should come out easily with a socket wrench. If not, don't force it. You may need to call in a lawn-care expert or haul it to the mower shop. The new plug needs gapping. If you haven't saved the owner's manual, you may have to call a dealer for specs. The air filter should come right out of its housing with a turn of a screw. Pop in the new one and fire it all up. You're good to go.



About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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