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6 simple steps to keep your mower in top shape this season

It’s spring, and that means everyone’s favourite weekend activity is just around the corner – mowing the lawn! It doesn’t matter if you fuss over your lawn like an amateur green keeper or give it a quick once-over (and ignore the edges), a well tended mower will make the job quicker and easier. You’ll also get a better result.

Spring is the perfect time to give your mower its annual tune-up. Experts say this vital yet simple piece of maintenance will help ensure that your machine continues to perform at its best. Leading garden and lawn care company, Victa outlines how.

“It’s easy to tune up your lawn mower,” says Joe Camilleri, Victa’s technical services officer. “An annual tune-up will extend the life of your mower while reducing emissions by up to 50 per cent. This seasonal maintenance consists largely of cleaning and lubricating. Dirt on the inside is abrasive, while dirt on the outside traps heat. Both instances can increase wear and shorten the life of the mower.

“If you give them some routine maintenance, mowers are real workhorses. Just like you regularly service your car, you should give your mower some TLC. It’ll run better, last longer and burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly.”

Even if you have very little mechanical experience, tuning up your lawn mower is easy. Just follow these six steps.

 

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Step 1: Change the air filter 

Air filters routinely become clogged with oil and debris, so replacing it before each mowing season will help protect the mower’s engine and ensure it runs optimally. Think of it as allowing the engine to breathe properly.

 

Step 2: Change the oil 

Most contemporary mowers have four-stroke engines, so the oil needs to be replaced each year or after 25 hours of use. Victa recommends using the Briggs & Stratton Oil Removal Kit to remove the old oil. Only use four-stroke engine oil (refer to the engine manufacturer’s specifications), which can be bought from most hardware stores or specialist mower retailers. Oil is critical for lubricating and cooling the engine.

Remember: Don’t pour the used oil into the rubbish bin or down the drain. Check with your local council for your nearest waste disposal centre.

 

Step 3:  Grease mower parts 

This is to ensure ease of operation for your vital mower components, such as hinges, wheels and all other moveable parts.

 

Step 4: Replace the spark plug 

This is one of the easiest ways to guarantee easy mower starts. Because spark plugs are pre-gapped, all you need to do is remove the old spark plug and replace it with a new one. Aim to do this at the beginning of every mowing season.

 

Step 5: Change the mower blades 

Worn mower blades tear the grass instead of cutting it. When your blades become blunt, visit a specialist mower service centre and have the blades, bolts and nuts replaced.

 

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Step 6: Give your fuel a boost 

Fuel becomes stale in about 30 days, making your engine more difficult to start. Get into the habit of adding a fuel treatment and stabiliser, which will extend the life of your fuel and protect your engine.

 

Other recommendations 

Before starting any work on your mower, always refer to your operator’s manual. This will provide a complete outline of everything you need to know. To ensure product warranty, use only genuine Victa or Briggs & Stratton spare parts in your mower.

“When you use genuine parts you can be safe in the knowledge that the product is designed specifically for that purpose so it will work and fit the mower perfectly,” Joe says.

For peace of mind, all Victa and Briggs & Stratton products are backed and supported by a national network of dealers and the manufacturer.

 

If you would prefer to have a professional service your mower, check out www.victa.com.au to find your local Victa dealer.

Victa garden and lawn care equipment is available from leading outdoor power equipment specialists. Call 1800 356 632 or visit www.victa.com.au to find your local stockist.

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.