How to Care for Your Riding Mower
When you have a big yard full of lush grass, you need an efficient way to keep it well manicured year round. That’s where your riding mower comes into play. It’s the perfect equipment for cutting your grass without using up all your energy before the day even begins. So if you’re serious about maintaining your oasis, you have to be just as committed to maintaining your lawn mower. If you want to make sure this machine is perfectly prepped and ready for mowing season, follow these tips on how to care for your riding mower.
Every Time You Mow the Lawn…
There are some maintenance steps you should complete just before and after every mowing session. Just note that before you do any maintenance, you should put the parking brake on the riding mower, take the key out of the ignition, and disconnect the battery and any spark plugs to ensure you’re safe.
Now that you’ve done all that and it’s time to mow the lawn, you should first take a few minutes to inspect the equipment. Look for loose fasteners to tighten, or damaged parts you should replace. Check that deflectors and shields look good and that the tires are inflated.
Then check the gas and oil levels, just as you would in a car. Be prepared to top off these fluids if necessary, using products like STA-BIL 2-Cycle Oil. Just check the owner’s manual first if you’re not sure what oil to use in your mower. If everything is in good shape, you’re ready to ride around your lawn with a well-maintained mower, so reconnect the battery and spark plugs and start mowing!
Twice Per Season…
Some tips on how to care for your riding mower don’t have to be followed before and after every use. Doing them about twice per mowing season should be sufficient. For example, you’ll need to lubricate the spindles with grease every couple of months if you want to keep them spinning properly—and considering that the blades attach to the spindles, you do! Your mower’s manual should tell you what type of lubricant to use.
Next, make sure the blades aren’t broken or dull. This may require you to remove the deck on the mower so you can get a good look. Just be sure to wear thick gloves and double check that the battery is disconnected when you do this. If the blades look fine, move on to the air cleaner system. You might have to replace the air filter if it looks dirty.
Finally, you should change the oil in your riding mower about twice per season. Just as with your car, you want to make sure this piece of equipment always has clean oil if you want it to operate at its finest. If you’re not sure how to change the engine oil in a mower, your owner’s manual should have the information you need so you can learn how to care for your riding mower.
Before You Store Your Mower…
If it’s the end of mowing season and you’re about to store your mower for a few months, make sure you provide some end-of-season maintenance first. This will make it easier to get your lawn mower ready for the spring when you need it again.
First, take a look at the muffler to make sure it’s not loose or rusted. As you inspect this area, brush off any debris around the engine, and then replace the spark plugs. Now is also a good time to replace the fuel filter. Check the owner’s manual to find out if you need to drain the fuel out of the mower or if it’s recommended that you keep the tank full—and perhaps add a product like STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer to keep the fuel from deteriorating over time. Your mower’s manufacturer will know which option is right for your equipment.
Before you put your riding mower away for the season, don’t forget to lubricate it as needed. For example, you should take out each spark plug and squeeze a tiny bit of oil into each socket. Then consider disconnecting the battery for storage, as this is often recommended before you put the mower away for a few months. Your owner’s manual should guide you on what to do for your specific model.
Knowing how to care for your riding mower is important if you want to continue to provide the best care for your grass. So once you put these tips into action, you can start looking forward to getting a great looking lawn!