Of all the maintenance that is done to lawn equipment, changing the engine oil is generally the most important. The importance of checking, changing and using the proper crankcase oil cannot be overemphasized. Failure to use the correct oil and keep it clean can dramatically affect engine life and reliability.
The most important scheduled oil change over the life of an engine is the first one. Most manufacturers recommend performing the oil change after the first 5-10 hours of use. This helps flush out small particles that accumulate naturally during the break-in period. Flushing out those sediments will help get the engine off to a good start.
Refer to your owner’s manuals for viscosity, grades and time intervals for oil changes. Different equipment requires different types of oil and it is important to pay special attention to those recommendations in small engines.
Regardless of the type of oil, be sure to use high-quality detergent oil that has the American Petroleum Institute (API) rating. When changing engine oil allow ample time for a complete drainage. Oil in a lawn mower or small engine breaks down faster under tough conditions, such as wet grass, heavy dust and high temperatures.
A small engine uses engine oil to help keep it cool in high temperatures, so be sure to pay extra special attention to maintenance when operating in those conditions. Check the engine oil before each cut, checking for both proper oil level and for color.
When engine oil is new, it has a golden amber color. Gradually, heat and dirt particles along with agitated air cause the oil to darken. Combustion by products, contaminants and oxidized lubricant build up overtime to form sludge, which will cause the oil color to darken. Dark oil is a good indication that an oil change is overdue. A small engine with clean oil and at the proper level will run cooler and use less fuel.
Engine oil maintenance is not the only maintenance that keeps lawn mowers in working condition.
Other important maintenance includes:
- Gasoline maintenance – Lawn mower gasoline does expire. Once gasoline is pumped at your local gas station you have about thirty to sixty days before it goes bad. Once your gasoline has reached its expiration date it will start to have an adverse effect on your equipment.
- Mower maintenance – It is estimated that over two-thirds of all lawn mowers do not receive the recommended maintenance. Whether you are a commercial landscaper or a residential user, basic lawn mower and engine maintenance is essential.
- Spark plug maintenance – If your lawn mower, snow blower, or other outdoor power equipment won’t start, a damaged spark plug may be the problem. Worn or dirty spark plugs can also cause issues for your machine.
- Blade maintenance – It is imperative to regularly sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade. Paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help in determining when to sharpen or replace your blade.
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Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.
Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.
39050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
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