Introduction

Putting Your Lawn Mower to Bed
Photo: Kenneth Chen
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Gas-powered lawn mowers and trimmers take their share of abuse during the warm months, so some care at the end of the season—or at the start of spring—is vital to keeping their parts in good working condition. Replacing the oil, spark plugs, and air filters on mowers and applying a bit of elbow grease to grimy recesses, preferably before storing them for the winter, will ensure that they rev up with a pull of the cord next year.

Here, Audrey Meinking, owner of Mineola Bicycle, Fitness, and Mower in Mineola, New York, demonstrates the proper servicing on a push mower; the same process also works for other small gas-powered machines such as trimmers and snowblowers. "If you don't take an hour or two for maintenance or bring your machines to a pro for servicing," she says, "there's a big chance you'll be stuck watching the grass grow come spring."
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    Tools List

    • gloves
      Gloves
    • socket wrench
      Socket wrench
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • Wire brush
    • Nut screwdriver
      Nut screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Fuel stabilizer

    2. SAE-30 oil

    3. Pan
    for emptying old fluids

    4. Tarp
    to ensure quick clean-up after emptying old fluids

    5. Filter
    new paper or sponge filter to replace the old one

    6. Spark plug
    to replace old one, and guarantee a smooth start come next spring