You’re ready for spring—but is your Lawn Mower?

The groundhog lied and the cold weather dragged on and on. It seemed winter would never end.

Then, when you weren’t looking, spring popped out like a crocus. And almost overnight, your yard went from brown to green. Time to cut the grass!

Before you yank that mower cord, here are a few tips to help you get your mower up to speed and running smoothly.

Use fresh fuel.
Most manufacturers recommend that your fuel is no more than 30 days old. Fresh fuel ignites more readily so it’s easier to start your engine. Old fuel can leave deposits that reduce engine life. Consult your owners manual for the kind of fuel that’s best for your machine.

Change the oil.
Start the season with clean oil. Drain the old oil and recycle it. (Many gas stations and auto parts stores will take it—call one nearest you). Refill the crank case with fresh oil in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Do not overfill—too much oil can be harmful to your engine.

Check the spark plug.
Make sure the plug is clean and the wire is attached. If you have any doubts about whether the plug is good, replace it.

Inspect the air filter.
It’s hard to start your engine and keep it running without a good flow of air through the filter. If it’s clogged with dirt and dust, clean the filter or replace it.

Charge the battery.
If your mower has a battery, check to see if it needs charging. As a rule, two charges a year—one each at the beginning and end of the mowing season—should be enough to keep your battery working for its expected life (typically 3 to 5 years). You’ll also get the best life from your battery by making sure it is fully charged for the off-season and storing it in a cool, dry place.

Check the blades.
Are they dull? If you are unsure, look at your grass after you mow. Do the grass ends look like they were cut? If they appear torn or shredded, time to sharpen or replace the blades.

Check the tires.
Are the treads worn? Check the treads on your tires to make sure you have the best traction. This is especially important if you are mowing inclines.

Do you see bulges or dry rot in your lawn mower tires? It's safest to change these tires right away, especially on your riding lawn mower. Find a replacement tire and learn how to change a lawn tractor tire.

Other problems.
If you encounter unusual mechanical issues, call your equipment’s dealer with your model and serial number in hand. If your machine is under warranty, you may need a proof of purchase as well.

Happy cutting, and stay safe!