Spring hits and you’re ready to tackle the fresh growth that comes with the beginning of a new season. You give the rope a tug and the mower spits, sputters and runs rough. Even worse, the engine won’t start. The preventive maintenance that an annual tune up provides may save you from this unfortunate dilemma.
A proper small engine or lawn mower tune up typically addresses the following:
Replacing the spark plug: This important engine part ensures a clean and efficient burn of fuel that powers the mower. Fuel, oil and carbon can all cause fouling. Once a plug is fouled, it will not provide proper voltage to the cylinder. This can cause the engine to run rough or not run at all.
Changing the air cleaner/filter: Proper air flow is vital to an efficient running engine. A clogged air filter will lead to poor performance, and in some cases, cause damage to the carburetor which is a more costly part to repair.
Changing the oil: Fresh oil is a golden amber color. Gradually, engine use will cause the oil to darken, indicating the loss of of proper viscosity which lessens the oil’s ability to protect engine components. Manufacturers recommend changing the oil in your small engine after every 25 hours of operation.
Sharpening the blades: Blades will dull and lose ability to cut grass properly. This can result in unneeded strain on the engine and damage to the grass. A sharp blade is important to the health and beauty of your lawn and your mower performance.
Lubricating wheels and grease fittings: Dust and debris can cause wheel binding. This can can lead to transmission failure in self propel mowers leading to a costly repair. Other moving parts on the mower that need grease will last longer and work better with proper lubrication.
Adjusting cables and engine speed are also typical in a professionally done tuneup.
Although tune ups may not always resolve an existing “not starting” issue, a professional tune up is economical preventive maintenance that will extend the life of your unit and help prevent costly repairs down the road. Many reputable small engine repair shops offer annual tune up specials designed to save you money while helping you maintain the health and longevity of your equipment. It is always a good idea to research the local repair facilities in your area to ensure you choose a shop staffed by knowledgeable, factory trained technicians.