Time to Prep for Spring Lawn Maintenance

U.S. & World

Business is picking up at lawn mower service centers all across the country.

Kenny Harnach runs one in Charlotte.

“The earlier the better,” Harnach says, in reference to tuneups.

Don’t wait until you need it, and don’t try to crank it until you know what’s inside.

“Because if I have to start it to service it, I want to make sure there’s enough oil in it,” Harnach says.

There should also be enough clean fuel that hasn’t sat in the tank since last fall.

“The reason for that is the fuel in there may be stale and trying to start it up will circulate it through the gas lines and through all the starting parts and make it much harder to deal with,” says Paul Hope, with Consumer Reports.

Hope just wrote about getting yard gear ready for spring and summer use.

He and Harnach say draining the old gas might be necessary, especially if it has too much ethanol in it.

“Ethanol is really hard on engines of outdoor power equipment,” Hope says.

“Ethanol is an alcohol,” Harnach says. “It dries up all the rubber products inside the motor.”

Make sure the gas you’re buying has 10-percent of less ethanol in it, or search out a gas station that sells ethanol-free gasoline.

Harnach and Hope also both recommend using a small engine fuel stabilizer. 

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