You’ve been thinking about your snow blower. You know the winter months are quickly approaching, but you haven’t even put away your leaf blower yet! However, you’re aware that if you wait until the first snowfall you’re going to have to scramble to get your snow blower cleaned up, serviced and ready to do its job. And it’s not much different when winter turns to spring and lawn mower repair comes to mind. You know that you must replace that blade before the grass starts to grow.
Each season brings with it a new set of tools and machines for yard care and maintenance around the home. As many have found out the hard way, if we procrastinate in regard to lawn equipment maintenance, tool repair and the servicing of our machines, we may end up reluctantly on our neighbor’s doorstep borrowing a tool or two.
Of course, we’re somewhat ashamed by this, knowing that it could’ve been avoided if we had only carved out a few minutes to clean, oil and service our equipment so that it’s ready to go when needed. It’s a frustrating feeling when we pull the starter cord on our lawn mower, leaf blower or snow thrower for the first time after about a year, only to find that nothing happens.
Stay Ahead of the Game
You’ve probably been working with tools and yard equipment long enough to know what it takes to keep this equipment in good working order. But a little refresher course never hurts. Let’s briefly go over a few things to pay attention to when servicing and preparing your yard equipment for another season. Always keep the owner’s manual around for each piece of equipment to use as a maintenance reference guide if needed.
Snow Blower: Change the oil. This goes for every piece of equipment run by a gas engine. Also, check the tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Take a look at the spark plug to make sure it is not worn or dirty. If you do see signs of wear, replace it. Check the belts for wear and tear, replacing them if they don’t look like they’ll last another season. Also look at the blades and auger to make sure they are sharp and turning evenly.
Lawn Mower: The same basic engine maintenance procedures apply in regard to changing the oil and checking the spark plug and all other connections. Also, look at your blade to see if it needs sharpening or replacing. If it is dull and nicked up, you’ll probably want to replace it. After draining the engine for the oil change, drain the rest of the fuel from the fuel tank, either by running the engine or carefully slipping off the fuel line. Proceed to turn the mower on its side to scrape the underside free of caked grass and debris. You may want to remove the blade for this.
Leaf Blower: If your leaf blower is electric, check the cord for any damage. Take a damp cloth and clean the blower tube. Many of these tubes can be removed for cleaning. If your leaf blower is gas-powered, the same general rules apply as with any small engine; change the oil, check the spark plug and check all connections.
Miscellaneous: When it comes to power tool repair, whether it’s a screwdriver, a drill or a saw, each item has its own unique set of characteristics. But they also have things in common, such as a power source. Whether the tool is run by electricity or is battery-operated, always check the power source and cords for damage and corrosion. When storing, remove batteries or wrap up cords evenly.
Remember rule number one when it comes to servicing your seasonal equipment: Stay one season ahead!