A little bit of service and preventative maintenance can ensure that your lawnmower, string trimmer and other implements are running efficiently and won't break down before you place them back into storage for the winter. Such machines are typically gasoline powered, so they should be serviced using the following simple steps:
- Remove the gasoline. Leftover gasoline from the previous year can become stale, choking the carburetor and causing rust.
- Disconnect the spark plug. This disables the engine, making it safer to perform service on the machine.
- Remove the blade. This step applies mainly to lawnmowers, though other equipment like edgers also have blades. While this piece is removed, sharpen it using a metal file.
- Drain the oil. This step doesn't apply to string trimmers and other handheld lawn machines, which typically have two-cycle engines and run on a mixture of gasoline and oil. Four-cycle engines, common on lawnmowers, will need to be drained of oil.
- Clean the equipment. Use a putty knife and wire brush to knock off accumulated grass and mud, then reattach the blade if you removed one earlier.
- Fill the oil tank. If you're servicing a four-cycle engine, refill the oil tank with fresh oil.
- Replace the air filter. This improves airflow to the engine, allowing it to run more smoothly.
- Replace the spark plug. Although your old spark plug may still work properly, installing a new one is a cheap and easy way to ensure optimal performance.