Long life from your mower begins with a little care
By Steve Cathey, Territory Manager, KIOTI Tractor
At this point in the year, you’ve most likely already dedicated quite a few hours to lawn care and landscaping work across your property. That means your mower has cut, chopped, and clipped its way through the lush spring grass and weeds—but there’s a long season ahead. Your machine still has to tackle a tougher summer terrain and fall cleanup in the coming months.
Even if you have a powerful, reliable zero-turn mower, maintaining your mower’s health is critical. You can optimize its year-round performance, but also extend the overall life of the machine.
Your mower is tough, but it needs seasonal care to run at its best.
Here’s a helpful half-dozen tips
To keep your machine running at peak performance for the remainder of the year, here are six key maintenance checks that you can start today:
- Freshen up the oil: One often overlooked aspect of mower maintenance is oil. Engine oil and filters should typically be replaced at least once every spring or summer, or every 50 hours of use—whichever comes first.
- Check your belts: There's no definite amount of time that a mower belt is supposed to last, but increased use shortens its lifespan. Simply put, more use equals more wear. Take a look under the hood to make sure your belts aren’t fraying or cracked, and head to your dealer if they’re in need of replacement.
- Be aware of your blades: It’s no surprise that a sharper blade will get your mowing done more efficiently and effectively. A sharp blade will cut the grass cleanly, allowing for healthier, greener grass, while a dull blade will rip and tear the grass apart. Take a few minutes this month to make sure your blades are both sharp and balanced.
- Keep the pressure on: Just like your car, you’ll want to keep tabs on your mower’s tire pressure. Uneven tire pressure can lead to an uneven cut. Over-inflated tires, meanwhile, may bounce the mower deck and cause a rough ride for you and an inconsistent cut on the lawn. Refer to the owner’s manual for your model’s desired tire pressure and check every few weeks.
- Grease up: Greasing allows critical parts of your mower to resist abrasion, provides corrosion protection, and adds waterproofing resistance. It’s a triple threat. Once again, open up your owner’s manual for the best advice on where and when to grease your mower and what type of grease you should use for maximum protection.
- Get some fresh air (filter): Having a properly functioning air filter is a gas-powered lawn mower's first line of defense against the dirt and debris kicked up during the mowing process. Try to clean the filter every season, or about every 300 operating hours. Quickly checking your air filter can drastically prolong the life of your engine.
By the book
If you’re ready to get outside and give your mower a tune-up, remember to consult your owner’s manual before performing any maintenance on the machine. Specific maintenance requirements can vary by make and model, so take care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you aren’t comfortable with a given task or have questions, reach out to your dealer for one-on-one assistance.
With these tips in your back pocket, your mower should be ready to tackle the rest of the season in stride, helping you reach your lawn care goals more safely.