MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (March 27, 2018) – Five to ten minutes spent tuning up your mower in the spring can pay dividends down the road by keeping your mower running smoothly all season long. But new research from Briggs & Stratton Corporation indicates that only 30 percent of mower owners are performing regular maintenance.
A simple air filter and oil change, along with using fresh gas and fuel treatment, can help extend the life of a mower and ensure it starts when it is supposed to. But instead of staving off problems like difficult starting, rough running, poor performance and potentially costly repairs with regular maintenance, one-third of survey respondents said that they only perform these tasks if their mowers aren’t working correctly.
“A mower is an investment for homeowners and should be treated as such,” explained Carissa Gingras, director of marketing, global support at Briggs & Stratton. “Our research tells us that many people don’t know how to, or even that they are supposed to tune up a mower annually. Others perceive that the task will take a long time, when in fact it can be done in as little as five to ten minutes.”
The ten-minute tune up
The tune up on a gas-powered walk mower can be completed in three simple steps and, in most cases, will only take a few minutes. However, 90 percent of survey respondents reported that they thought a mower tune-up would take more than 15 minutes with 38 percent answering that they thought it would take more than 30 minutes.
Before you start your tune up, be sure to disconnect your spark plug wire and leave it disconnected for the entire tune up.
Step 1: Change the oil.
Briggs & Stratton engineer Paul Leech calls oil the “lifeblood of the engine,” so it’s critical you change the oil each season to ensure the oil coursing through your engine is clean and free of debris that harms the workings of the machine. Briggs & Stratton offers an oil removal kit to make this task simple and mess free.
Be sure to use an oil specially made for small engines on outdoor power equipment1. Always recycle old oil; many Briggs & Stratton dealers accept recycled oil.
You can skip an oil change altogether if you have a mower with Briggs & Stratton’s Just Check & AddTM feature, which is specially designed so you never need to change the oil for the life of the mower – simply add when needed.*
Step 2: Change or clean the air filter
These filters catch all kinds of dirt and debris, which can block air flow needed for your engine to run well. Typically, a walk mower engine has a paper or foam filter.
In either case, changing it is as easy as taking off the filter cover (you may need a screwdriver), removing the old filter and replacing it with a new one. There are some extra steps involved in preparing your new foam filter for use, so be sure to check your operator’s manual or the new filter box for instructions.
Step 3: Fresh gas
Gas can go stale in as little as 30 days, and stale gas will keep your mower engine from running at its best. For gas that sits in a mower (or a gas storage can) the easiest way to prevent degradation is to use a fuel treatment. Briggs & Stratton advises that you use fuel treatment every time you fill your red gas can.
Re-connect the spark plug wire and you’re ready to mow.
Three simple steps will help keep your mower working at peak performance, so you can take care of the work that you need to do, without wondering whether your mower will start or run smoothly.