How to Care for Old Lawn Mowers
An old lawn mower can still provide you with many years of reliable service provided you take the time to perform proper seasonal maintenance. A few simple tasks before the winter and in the spring can help to ensure that your old lawn mower still works as good as possible, saving you money on new parts or a new mower, as well as the stress of dealing with a lawn mower that no longer works as well as it used to.
Care and Maintenance Tips for Old Lawn Mowers
In the spring and fall, there are a few things you should do to get your old lawn mower ready for a steady mowing season or for winter storage.
1. Treat the Fuel System
First and foremost, you should treat the fuel system with a reliable fuel stabilizer & ethanol treatment. A fuel stabilizer will help keep the gas in your mower from going stale, as well as provide better protection for the engine.
There may be additional products that can be used to keep your old lawn mower in optimal condition, such as Fogging Oil, Starting Fuel and Carb & Choke Cleaner. Read your lawn mower care manual to see what products are recommended.
2. Check the Air Filter
If you haven’t already cleaned the air filter or checked to see if it needed replacement after last year’s mowing season, it’s time to do so now. A dirty paper filter should be replaced; a plastic foam filter can be cleaned, but should be replaced after a thorough wash no longer cleans it sufficiently.
3. Clean and Sharpen the Blades
Make sure the blades are clean of debris, and continue to clean them after each use. Additionally, sharpen them at regular intervals throughout the season and before winter storage to avoid a loss of cutting performance. It may be a good idea to have the blades sharpened as part of a mower tune-up at a mower repair shop or home improvement store.
4. Keep the Entire System Clean
A lot of debris can build up on the mower, and in and around the engine after each mow. When the gas tank is empty, turn the mower on its side so that you can clean the entire mower thoroughly.
5. Prepare Your Mower for Winter Storage
When mowing season is over, you should treat your fuel and fuel can with a fuel stabilizer to prevent damage to the fuel systems in all of your summer outdoor power equipment. The oil should also be drained; you can do this by turning the mower over and letting it drain into a container if there is no oil drain plug present on the mower. You can then examine your mower care manual to see what type of oil and how much should be used to put back into the reservoir for winter storage.
6. Change the Spark Plugs
Additional maintenance and care tips for old lawn mowers include changing the spark plugs once a year. This can be done at the same time you change the oil, which should also be done once a year. The spark plugs are inexpensive and easy to replace, and will help keep your lawn mower functioning properly.
Note: Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, it is recommended that you first disconnect the spark plugs to avoid any injury.