How to assess your lawn equipment, get ready for the spring and achieve maximum results

(BPT) - Spring season marks the beginning of the lawn care regimen and many of us have big plans and strategies ready to make this season of lawn care our best yet.

Now we just have to make sure our tools are ready to carry out our vision.

After a long winter of dormancy, power tools like blowers, trimmers and lawn mowers require some early season maintenance to perform at their best throughout the summer. This maintenance includes checking the equipment for any wear and tear issues and cleaning off dirt and grime, but you may want to consider a few extra steps.

Before you start up your power tools for the season, apply these prep steps:

* Lubricate immediately. This first tip is really for mowers. Before using your mower this season, make sure the machine is greased and lubricated at all major function points. This is also a great time to check the tire pressure — adjusting as needed — and to make sure the deck is level and ready to go.

* Check and change the oil. Checking the oil in your mower utilizes a dip stick just like the oil gauge in your car, but in the spring you should probably plan to change your mower’s oil as well, as oil can deteriorate. This can be done by turning the mower so the spark plug side is facing up, opening the oil plug with a socket wrench and letting the oil spill into an oil-safe container. Recycle this oil and, before adding new oil, be sure you’re adding the right blend. The owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil your mower needs.

* Replace air filters. Air filters get clogged quickly in yard equipment because of all the dust, grass clippings and debris they collect. That’s why it’s a good idea to replace the filters in your tools at the start of the year. The air filter will be located behind a panel, near the engine, and this panel can be removed with a screwdriver, allowing you access to the air filter to make the replacement. Once again, before throwing your filter away, be sure you have the proper model to replace it.

* Drain and replace stale fuel. Like your engine’s oil, fuel that remained dormant all winter grows stale and can lead to sediment buildup. If you didn’t burn off the last of your fuel last season, drain the fuel now with a hand siphon before adding new fuel. Remember that fuel will be found not only in the fuel tank, but it may also be found in the carburetor and fuel lines.

* Fuel concerns for blowers. If a blower is part of your spring lawn care plans, addressing oil and fuel concerns in this piece of equipment changes slightly from what was listed above. To check the oil and fuel levels in your blower, choke the engine a few times first. This ensures all the fuel is out of the system. From there you can proceed with your adjustments knowing all the oil and fuel in the blower is accounted for.

* Check the deflectors. If you’re planning to get your trimmer ready for spring, you first need to clear off any dirt and grime accumulated while in storage and then make sure your deflectors are intact. The deflectors provide protection from flying debris, so it’s important to make sure they aren’t cracked or bent.

* Be sure the blades are ready. The blades beneath the deck of your mower are integral to your lawn care routine but as you place them in the thick of every project, they collect a fair amount of debris during the season. Thus, before starting your new lawn care regimen, be sure to check underneath the deck and scrape any existing debris free from the space. This is also a great time to be sure the blades are sharp and that everything is in good working condition.

Finding additional information

If you have a question about one of your tools that was not addressed in this guide or you’re unsure of your ability to fix on your own, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Husqvarna’s dealer locator tool can help you find a list of experts in your area who can walk you through everything you need to do to get your tools ready for spring, so you can enjoy your best lawn care season yet.

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