It’s Time for Spring Mower Maintenance

 April 30, 2019
Spring mower maintenance is essential for a great mowing season

If spring rains have suddenly made your lawn into a mess, it’s tempting to break out the mower and get it cut. But before you mow for the first time, it’s important to perform spring mower maintenance and do a safety check. Skipping it could mean costly repairs and could cause damage to your lawn.

First, do a visual check for problems, including wear and rust on cables, belts and brakes. Tighten any loose screws and bolts, and be sure that baggers and other add-on accessories are properly attached.  Check that handles on walk-behinds, and ROPS and seats on riding and zero-turn mowers, are in good condition and securely attached.

Next, perform basic spring maintenance. Replace any fluids or fuels left unused from last fall. Gas and fuels that have sat for months can degrade in quality, which makes the mower harder to start. Oil should be replaced, too, since dirt and other contaminants in the oil can cause engine damage. You should also replace filters, as dirty or clogged filters can lead to longer mow times and sluggish performance.

Clean your mower, especially if you didn’t clean it in the fall. Get rid of dirt and clippings inside and out. Use forced air rather than water to do this. A clean cutting deck provides improved air flow and capacity, which means improved performance and results.

Check the mower blades. Replace any that are nicked or cracked, and sharpen dull blades. Then be sure blades are straight and properly balanced. Unbalanced blades will cause ragged, uneven cutting, and knocking or excess vibration can damage your mower deck. Learn more about proper mower blade maintenance.

Finally, check the wheels. Look for permanent flat spots on tires, or worn and cracked tires, and replace these. For mowers with inflatable tires, check pressure and inflate as necessary.

Maintenance requirements vary from mower to mower. While we do our best to design mowers that require little maintenance, the needs of an Exmark walk-behind mower are different than those of an Exmark zero-turn. If you have questions about maintenance or would prefer to have a professional look over your mower, reach out to a service professional at your local Exmark dealer.