Prepping Your Mower (and other small motors) for Spring

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about some of the jobs that will mean. In some parts of North America, March may already mean lawn mowing. But for us in Canada and the northern U.S. hauling out the mower for spring is a bit of a ritual.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sure your mower is ready to run at peak efficiency for the whole summer season. Prepping your mower for spring isn’t a hefty task, but skipping it can lead to snags, breakdowns, and rough cuts. This quick routine (which can apply to all of your small motor equipment, by the way…except for the blade of course) will get you through the spring startup in great shape.

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire.
  2. Flip the mower over, and remove the blade.
  3. Take the blade in for sharpening, or use a grinder to carefully sharpen it yourself.
  4. Before replacing the blade, take the time to scrape out any old grass that’s caked on underneath the mower deck.
  5. Replace the blade (make sure the sharp edge is facing the right way!).
  6. Remove the spark plug and check for corrosion. You may want to either clean it, or replace it if necessary.
  7. Drain the oil and replace it with new oil.
  8. Remove the engine cover and clean out any grass or leaf debris.
  9. This is a good time to clean the deck and wheels as well.
  10. It’s also a good time to inspect the belts and replace them if necessary.
  11. Most newer 2-stroke motors use regular (unmixed) gas; if you have an older mower that needs mixed gas, you should stock up on engine oil for mixing
  12. Give the moving parts a little lube treatment. Sometimes all they need is a little WD-40, but a if there are any bearings that need greasing this is a good time to tackle that too.
  13. Replace the cover and reconnect the spark plug.
  14. Gas it up and fire it up.

Note: If you’re using an electric mower, you obviously don’t need all of these steps. But for sure get that blade sharpened and the deck cleaned. If you can check the belts, that will help too, as well as checking electrical connections for wear and corrosion.


Image: nuttakit /