“Before you do anything, remove the spark plug so the mower doesn’t accidentally fire up while you’re working on it,” says Tom Shotzbarger, the president of the Lawn Care Association of Pennsylvania. Follow his tune-up drill’o make your mower start faster and run smoother,

1 Emptythefuet tank. Gasoline degrades as it ages, so drain any fuel left over from the pact season Replace the oil, too—microscopic contaminants can build up in the oil, mducing its viscosity and grind
-ig against the e”gine’s parts.

2 Lose the grime. L!e a degreaser on the engine housing to remove grin, which can contaminate the filters, fuel, and oil, Extreme Simple Green Motorsports Cleaner & Degreaser ( is an eco-friendly option.

3 Let it breathe.

:stall a new airflow. The engine eeds clean air‘.D% to burn fuel :st efficiently,ses Shotzbarger, :‘srge the spark L.g too. It can ‘_m or wear tz’*m also causTC e engine to ‘ir efficiently.

4 Clearthe deck. Pry any caked-on grass from the underside of the deck using a putty knife, “If there’s too much stuck on there, it will interfere with the cutting,” says Shotzbarger.

5 Give it an edge. If the blade is bent or dinged, buy a replacement for $15 to $20 at a hardware store, If it’s just dull, take it toe lawn and garden center to have it sharpened. You’ll pay about half the price of a new one.

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