What is recommended for Seasonal Maintenance?

seasonal maintainence

1. Clean the Mower

- Inspect underneath the deck for buildup of grass and debris. This buildup can reduce mowing performance.
- Grass and debris on top of the deck can build up to the point that it interferes with the mower's belts and can also encourage rust.
- Grass and debris build up on or around the transmissions and engine can raise the operating temperature reducing the lifespan of the equipment.

2. Change the Oil

- At least once a year or every 50 hours of use.
- In an air cooled engine the oil serves as both a lubricant as well as a thermal carrier to cool the engine somewhat like water does in a water cooled engine.
- Changes in 2010 make automotive oils no longer suitable for most lawn mower engines. Almost all lawnmower engines can use engine oil with an API rating either SJ or SL and a weight of 10w30. It's always a good idea to check you owner's manual or consult your dealer / service center. More about Engine Oil Here.
- Also replace the oil filter if your engine has one.
- Be careful not to overfill engine oil.
- Always dispose of old engine oil responsibly.

3. Replace the Air Filter

- It is hard to put a timeframe on how often an air filter needs to be replaced because it varies with dusty conditions. It is usually dry summers when dust is blowing around that they get clogged up the fastest. One replacement per year is average.
- Filter media usually starts off white. When it is not white it is time to replace. - Do not blow out the filter with an air hose as this will make pinholes.
- Failing air filters can cause scored piston walls leading to engine failure, and also can lead to faster soiling of engine oil.

4. Sharpen or Replace the Blade(s)

- When a machine does not cut like it did when it was new, the most likely culprit is the blade(s). There is more to it than the blades being sharp. The blades also must be shaped right. 90% of the cutting is done in the last inch on each end of the blade and it is important to focus on that last inch when evaluating the need for blade replacement.
- The biggest wear factor on blades other than hitting rocks is dust. Dust sandblasts the blade dulling its edge and eating away its metal.
- Most decks that throw clippings to the right have blades that turns clockwise. Almost all blades that turn clockwise are attached with a bolt with a standard right

seasonal maintainence1

5. Grease

- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for servicing bearings and grease fittings.

6. Spark Plug

- Having a proper spark plug with the correct heat range and set to the specified gap is crucial to engine performance.
- Do not fall for universal plugs or plugs that claim to be better than the factory specified plug.
- The most common spark plug problem we see in our service shop is not failed spark plugs but the wrong spark plugs. If you don’t have the correct spark plug for replacement then your best bet is to leave the old one in place.

7. Hydro Service

- Machines that have serviceable hydraulic systems typically call for filters and hydraulic oil to be replaced every few hundred hours. Consult your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer of your machine recommends. Be sure to use the appropriate fluid.
Branson Tractor South offers:
- Parts and supplies for those who want to perform these services themselves.
- A full service maintenance department to perform these services for you.

Don't Forget to Maintain your Fuel 

Fuel left in your mower to get old can deteriorate and leave residue behind that clogs your carburetor reducing performance or preventing it from starting. Pouring the old fuel out after the fact and replacing it with new fuel does not undo the damage. We recommend StarTron fuel treatment to prevent this problem. Add the stabilizer in your gasoline can when you purchase the fuel while it is fresh, so the stabilizer can keep it fresh.

For a list of brands that we support see our Service & Repair page.