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Give your mower some TLC before shedding it for winter

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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Well that's it for another year's mowing. Time to give the lawnmower a break and put it away until the spring.

But how you store your lawnmower and all your garden machinery will directly affect the longevity and performance of your machine.

Use this time when you are less busy in the garden to clean your machinery.

Keeping them clean will not only keep them looking newer and save you from making a mess of the shed; it is also one of the best ways to maintain its performance.

With lawnmowers it is important to check for a build up of debris and dead grass.

With the machine turned off, clean any grass off the underside of the cutting deck with a soft brush and a spatula that will prevent restricting the blade movement.

Look around any intakes and the exhaust for grass as once dried this could be a potential fire hazard when you come to use the machine next. Some newer petrol machines also have a deck-cleaning mount for your hosepipe.

Remember, if tilting a petrol machine to tilt the machine so the spark plug points upwards to prevent oil leaking.

With electric machines, check around and under any covers and cases for any grass build up.

If you have a petrol mower you are not going to be using for a period of time, it is vital you make sure there is no fuel left in the machine when putting it into storage.

Standard petrol breaks down over a period of about 30 days and is not as combustible.

This is the main cause of a machine failing to start in the new season. Drain the tank or leave the machine running until it stops if you are unable to.

Premium fuels are available from good machinery retailers that do not break down for a number of years and can be left in the machine.

With all machines, make sure they have the correct oil level and are lubricated correctly as per the manufacturers' recommendations.

Never pressure wash any machines as you may force water into places it shouldn't be and risk causing damage.

Make sure the likes of blades and chains are in a good condition and sharp. Replace or take them to your nearest dealer to be sharpened and balanced ready for next season.

Last thing to do is to check and tighten all nuts and bolts and the general condition of the machine. If you notice any problems, then speak to your local dealer.

Always store petrol machines on a level surface and keep everything covered and away from dust.

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