Guest Author - Maureen L Staccato
Itís just about time to pull the old mower out of the garage or shed, prime or choke it, cross your fingers and pull the starter handle. If you are lucky, it may start in 2 or 3 pulls, and if you arenít, you just may be in for one frustrating afternoon. The first start of the season is sometimes a lottery, but if you follow some simple rules and steps, it can cut back on the frustration and add a more reliable mower.
As soon as you pull the mower out of storage and before you do anything else, take out the spark plug and put in a new one. Any hardware store or department store has them, and for the couple of bucks and 5 minutes of time it takes to change, itís a no brainer. By doing this one effortless action, you have just improved your odds for a good start. I suggest you bring your old spark plug with you to ensure you purchase the correct one. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get home and realize you need to go back out to the hardware store.
Why? Because after sitting in a garage all year with changes in weather and humidity, any build up on the tip of an old spark plug soaks up moisture and gets less and less conductive for a good spark. And I can assure you that after a years worth of mowing, there will be some slight carbon deposit, unburned fuel or gunk build-up on any tip. This is typical and common.
Make sure you add fresh gas to the tank, and be sure to put a cap full of carb cleaner in their too. 8 oz bottles of carb cleaner are sold anywhere that spark plugs are, and all you need is a cap full every spring, which means 8 ounces is about 20 years worth in one bottle.
With a little spray lube, move the throttle back and forth and spray the mechanism where it meets the engine. Also, spray into the throttle handle and along the cable leading down to the motor. I generally do this once a month, and if you do, your throttle and cable will never stick or wear out. I will generally spray a little lube on the wheel height adjusters, because even if they are set at the perfect height, there may come a time when you actually will need to move them, and try adjusting the height when those things are corroded and crusty.
I always give the wheel axles a squirt too, because that just makes the mower a little easier to push, and easier to me always means better. Now then, primed, choked and ready, slowly pull the rope 2 times, just to set in motion the suction from the piston, open the valve and allow the fuel mixture to begin to circulate. This also gets a little crank oil onto the bearings which make the engine start easier and last longer.
Using these tips when starting your mower for the first time of the year, is the best way I know of to have it start effortlessly all season long! The main objective is to properly get your mower ready for the season and to maintain it during the mowing season.