How to Avoid the 10-Point Riding Mower Maintenance Checklist
All right, be honest. Did you do a thorough maintenance check on your riding lawn mower at the start of the season? Really?
That’s what we thought.
Look, you’re busy. By the time you got to that first mow it was already up to your ankles and you just wanted to get out there and start mowing. No judgment here.
You’re going to want to check on things before your next mow, though. Your riding lawn mower was a major investment, right? If you want it to last more than a few years you’ve got to put some time into maintenance, once a year at a bare minimum. Here’s a handy checklist:
- Change the oil. About every 50 hours you’ll want to rid the system of that dirty oil wearing down your engine from the inside. Yes, you might get your hands dirty. No snacking afterward unless you wash your hands, Ma’me or Mister.
- Change the air filter. An engine that can’t breathe overheats and dies an early death. Only a proper air filter will do; a stack of Kleenex is a definite no-no.
- Change the oil filter. It does about as much good to change the oil without ever changing the filter as it does to wash your dishes with toilet water. An improvement, but not ideal.
- Change the spark plug. It’s good if your mower can start. It’s best if it can start reliably, every time. Disconnect the wires, pull the plug and screw a new one in without overtightening.
- Sharpen and clean the blades. Next time you get your hair cut, ask your barber to use those plastic scissors kids use for craft projects, jammed up with paper and glue. That’s what your lawn feels like when you don’t keep the blades sharp and free of debris: ripped and torn at best, not cut clean.
- Drain the gas. One of the common reasons mowers don’t start is old gas. Residue can settle, enter the fuel line and choke the engine. This is especially important after it hasn’t been used in a while. (You know, like after you read this article because you really don’t want to do any of this.)
- Check the belts. If they’re looking frayed it’s time to replace the belts. They make your mower go. You REALLY don’t want your riding mower to turn into a giant push mower, do you?
- Clean the discharge chute. If you don’t want to bother, you’ll be doing a lot more of #5.
- Check the tires. Without proper inflation, we wish you good luck making those zero-turns on rims. If your lawn didn’t like the feel of a dull cut, it’s really going to hate this.
- Charge the battery (if applicable). If your battery starter is dead, you can pretty much forget about everything else. Unless you want remove the blade and just start chopping away by hand. Fun!
Are you exhausted yet? We’re not, because we have a whole maintenance team who does this stuff every day. They do it so you don’t have to!
Riding lawn mowers cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 (not including fuel, oil and maintenance costs). It’s only when you put in the time to maintain them that they last reliably over the years, so the true cost is in both dollars and time.
We challenge you to compare that cost to the value of a service plan with Clean Cut.
Go sharpen that blade and think it over. Then give us a call!
Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape
7415 W Jackson St
Muncie, IN 47304-9759