Tuning and troubleshooting your lawn mower

Tuning and troubleshooting your lawn mower

Your mower is the workhorse of your garden tool arsenal. Make sure you tune it at least once a year, more often if you use it frequently. A tuned engine lasts longer, increases fuel economy by up to a third, reduces repair costs and decreases emissions by up to half. Here’s what you can do to tune your mower:

  • First, you’ll need to change the oil. Run your mower’s engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil so it’ll drain better. Then, stop the engine, remove the drain plug and empty the old oil. Once the old oil has drained out, put the drain plug back into place and fill the mower with new oil.
  • Next, take a look at the air filter. A dirty air filter will disrupt the fuel/air ratio in your mower. This means that your mower will burn more fuel and emit exhaust fumes that are extremely noxious. If your mower has a paper filter, simply remove and replace the filter (making sure that the new filter’s pleats face out). If your mower has a sponge filter, wash it clean with gasoline or kerosene and then put it back into your mower.
  • The other thing you’ll want to do when tuning up your mower is remove the old spark plug. Use a spark-plug wrench or deep socket for this job. Once the old spark plug’s out, remove any carbon that might’ve built up between the insulator nose and the outer shell. To install your new spark plug, hand-turn it until the threads catch. Then ratchet the new plug down until it stops. And, to finish it off, give it another quarter turn. Tightening your spark plug any more than this could break your plug or make removing it very difficult.

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