Is It Time for a Lawn Tractor Tune-Up?

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    Every piece of machinery needs a little attention from time to time. One way to give that attention is through performing a periodic tune-up. While different types of machinery will require varying levels of tune-up care, the basic premise is the same and a tune-up is necessary to keep everything in good, working order.

    For lawn tractors, and mowers, blades will need occasional sharpening. Continued use can dull your blades, causing damage to them and making them less effective over time. Be sure to wear gloves for protection when removing and handling blades as well as securing them in place with a wooden block or another type of object that will prevent them from spinning while your hands are in a sensitive position. While you are working at the base of your tractor, check out the wheels and tires. Is everything as it should be? Are your tires low or do they have punctures? Add air and patch holes as needed to get a smoother ride and more even cut.

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    Check, clean, or replace your filters, both air and gas in nature. Air filters keep constant air flow through the carburetor which is necessary for the good function of your lawn tractor. You want to make sure your filters are clear of debris such as loose grass so that air flow is uninhibited. When it comes to your gas filter, changing it as recommended by the manufacturer can help you avoid problems caused by sediment deposits, especially on diesel machines. It is a good idea to replace any hoses relating to your fuel filter at the same time as hoses can clog and dry rot, sometimes even breaking off in pieces that can get stuck in and damage vital parts of your machinery.

    Change your oil as often as necessary according to the manufacturer. Be sure to catch oil in a pan and dispose of it properly to avoid contamination of your yard and the environment. Changing the oil filter at the same time as the oil is advised so you do not have clean oil passing through a dirty oil filter. Dispose of the filter in the same manner as your old oil. While you have oil and thus lubrication on your mind, grease any components that need greasing.

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    Belts, like everything else on your lawn tractor, as subject to wear and tear in addition to dry rot. Rather than risk working with a defective belt and having it break while you are immersed in work, keep a running check on the health of your belts, replacing them as needed. While you are poking around in the engine area, check engine seals and covers. Ensure that there are no leaks or frayed wires. Lastly, replace your spark plugs (if it is time per manufacturer recommendations) and check the battery. All of these items being up to snuff will keep your machine moving and your grass cut.

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    Taking care of your lawn tractor ensures it will in turn take care of you. In the long run, proper maintenance costs less than attending to damage and repairs, so it is in your best interests to keep everything ship shape. If you are unable to do the necessary maintenance yourself, find a local machine shop that is willing to help. With proper care done in a timely manner as advised by your owner\'s manual, you are sure to get a long life out of your machinery and excellent performance to boot.

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