When you bring your tractor, mower, or other piece of machinery into a licensed equipment provider, you will get a full tune-up that leaves your machine in stellar condition. However, there are a host of maintenance tasks you can take care of on your own over the course of the season that keep your machine in tip-top shape – and they are easier than you might think. In between trips to the mechanic for major service, give these DIY tips a try.
Change the Oil
Your mower or tractor needs fresh oil to perform at its best. At a minimum of annually, but considerably more often if in regular use, change the oil in your machine. Removing black and debris-filled oil will ensure your mower is running properly, saving you time and money down the road on repairs.
Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Dirt, dust, and debris can clog the engine of your mower – that’s where the air filter comes in. Replaceable filters are easily exchanged after a trip to the local hardware store, and reusable plastic foam filters should be washed regularly with soap and water.
Maintain the Blades
Keep a close eye on the blade of your machine. To take a look, disconnect the spark plugs, empty the fuel tank, and carefully tip your mower on its side. You should be able to disconnect the blade with a simple socket wrench.
If the blade has serious dents or cracks, it needs to be replaced – contact your equipment provider to get a new blade. If the blade is dull, you can sharpen it with a file or grindstone to meaningfully improve its effectiveness and longevity.
Monitor the Fuel
Gasoline can go stale in as little as a month, which can wreak havoc on your machine. If there was fuel left in the tank over the winter, drain it before operating the machine and replenish it with fresh fuel.
To make sure your fuel doesn’t go stale, you can use a fuel stabilizer to keep your tank well mixed and keep your machine running smoothly. Most mower tune-up kits come with a sample of fuel stabilizer – your local store should be able to offer guidance as well.
Swap Out the Spark Plugs
Spark plugs should be replaced every season. Be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire first, then remove the plug itself with a wrench or pliers. An easy way to get the right replacement is to bring the old plug with you to the equipment provider and get more of the same model.
Clean It Regularly
All machines work better when they are properly cleaned. A biweekly or monthly cleaning of your mower can make an enormous difference to its lifespan and performance.
Simply tip the mower over, remove major debris with a pair of work gloves, and use a garden hose to clean off the blade and wheels. Soap is a bonus for a deeper clean.
Leaving your equipment outside through the winter or leaving unused fuel in the tank for months are surefire ways to cause damage to your machine. Winterizing your equipment is easier than you might think – simply drain the tank or run the machine until its fuel tank is empty, treat the tank with a stabilizer, and add a non-oxy ethanol-free gasoline to the tank if you choose. Then, choose a dry place to store it. Make sure to keep the equipment away from furnaces and water heaters, and you’re all set.
Minnesota Equipment – Your Local Equipment Professionals
With locations in Rogers, Savage, Isanti, and Ham Lake, the equipment dealers and experts at Minnesota Equipment stand ready to help you acquire the right gear for your project – and put it to use. With best-in-class equipment inventory and helpful, qualified professionals to help answer your inquiries, we can help you tackle any project. Visit us at our website to connect with a professional near you.