April 16, 2021
Spring out of hibernation!
Get ready for the smell of freshly cut grass, your lawn equipment is begging to hit the turf.
Whoa, but not too fast. Make sure your equipment is ready by performing pre-season maintenance.
TIP #1: FRESH FUEL
Did you know that gasoline can go bad in less than 30 days! Crazy. As the gas goes stale, it doesn’t burn correctly and will eventually gum the carburetor of the engine. Also, most fuel now has ethanol (E10) from the fuel station. The ethanol can cause corrosion and eat away at some fuel lines.
To combat stale fuel, buy only a two-week supply of gas, that will force you to go get fresh gas for your equipment. Always add a fuel stabilizer/additive, like Premium RV Gasoline Additive, to the fresh gas right away. Premium RV Gasoline Additive will help extend the shelf life of your fuel and decrease the effects of ethanol.
PRO TIP: Having trouble with a gummed-up carburetor, try Gasoline Extreme. The powerful cleaners in Gasoline Extreme will work to dissolve the built-up residue. It is also good to add to one tank of fuel each season to keep your fuel system clean.
TIP #2: OIL
Oil is the lifeblood of any engine. Oil cools and lubricates the metal internal parts of the engine. Improper lubrication can damage the internal engine parts and even cause your engine to seize up. This will lead to extensive repairs you definitely don’t want to pay for.
Change your oil at the beginning of the mowing season and add FR3 Friction Reducer for maximum efficiency. This will ensure your engine is properly lubricated when you turn the engine over. Some small engines have oil filters, check your engine manual for details and the type and weight of oil to use. The manual will also give you the service intervals for each maintenance item. Be sure to check the oil level each time before using your mower.
TIP #3: MOWER MAINTENANCE
No matter if you have a garden riding tractor, zero turn mower or push mower the same principles apply to mower maintenance. First let’s care of the engine, first by changing the oil and adding FR3 Friction Reducer. FR3 will lower the operating temperature and ensure long engine life. Clean or replace the air filter. Check the spark plug and replace it if required.
Now that the engine is running great turn your attention to the rest of the mower. Check the tires for proper inflation, the deck is level, also any pulley and spindles on the deck of the mower. Spring is also a great time to sharpen your blades. The blades must be sharp for an attractive, healthy yard. If you spot ripped edges and brown tips on the grass a few days after mowing, the blades are dull.
Finally take the mower out and test the basic operation, including lifting the deck, engaging the blades, steering and moving back and forth. Better to know in advance of an issue than when it is time to cut the lawn.
TIP #4: TRIMMER MAINTENANCE
Most handheld string trimmers are powered by 2-Cycle engines. These engines require a fuel/oil mixture, instead of straight gas like a 4-Cycle engine.
The biggest mistake a new trimmer owner can make is to use the wrong fuel/oil mixture. Refer to your equipment owner’s manual to find out what the proper fuel to oil ratio should be.
PRO TIP: If your trimmer is running rough place a small amount of FR3 in the fuel/oil mixture. It will help smooth out the operation of the trimmer.
Now to the trimmer shaft and head. If you see any cracks, bent components, or missing screws, replace them immediately before you start your trimmer again. You wouldn’t want the blades or trimmer head to fly off and hurt anything or anyone.
ENJOY THE SUMMER MOWING SEASON
Now that you have tackled the basics of spring equipment maintenance you can stay out of the shop this year and enjoy the glory of a well-maintained lawn. Who knows, you might actually want to mow the lawn now that your equipment is running its best.