Many homeowners can't survive the summer without one thing: their lawn mower. To make sure it works well until winter, it's important to keep it in good condition.
Thanks to heavy doses of both sun and showers, grass has been growing like crazy, meaning your mower is working overtime,
and there's no time for breakdowns.
Andy LeVahn with LeVahn Brothers Hardware Hank in Maple Grove has some tips to make sure your mower runs smoothly.
First, check your air filter.
"It gets grass and all sorts of different stuff in there," says Andy. "If it's plugged up, the engine won't run."
The fix is easy. Clean it or buy a new one for less than $10.
Next, make sure your spark plug is in good shape, and always use new, clean gasoline.
LeVahn says old gas "varnishes" the inside of the engine. "It gets all plugged up. Gas doesn't run smooth through the engine. It won't run. It won't start," he says.
LeVahn says if you aren't going to be using the gas for a while, add a gas treatment to keep it from going bad.
Finally, have your mower blades sharpened at least twice a summer.
"If your blade is dull or it's got lots of nicks in it, it's actually just kind of hacking as opposed to cutting through the grass," LeVahn says. "Since the grass is stressed because of that, it can introduce disease."
Taking a few, cheap, precautionary steps now could keep you from making lengthy, expensive repairs later this summer.
Renee Banot, reporting
July 17, 2012