August 4, 1999 | By: Cheddi Acham

How is a lawnmower like a car?

Both respond to tender loving care. If you take of care them, they'll take care of you. Regular maintenance will keep a lawnmower running efficiently, while making mowing tasks easier and safer.

"Keeping your lawnmower in tune takes little time and effort. And it pays dividends when you get ready to use the mower," said Larry Piercy, Extension agriculture safety and health specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Piercy gave these lawnmower maintenance tips:

Change the oil at least once per season, or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Take the old oil to be recycled.

Clean or replace filters and sharpen the mower blade. A sharp blade cuts clean and leaves the lawn with an excellent appearance.

Regularly check the spark plug. It usually requires cleaning, re-gapping or replacement for every 40 hours of use.

When you've finished mowing for the season, remove gasoline from the lawnmower and change the oil.

While mowing the lawn, it is easy to forget about safety measures, according to Piercy.

He gave these safety reminders:

Remember to never pull the mower toward you when it is running.

When using a push mower, cut across the slope so the mower won't run back on you. If using a riding mower, cut up and down the slope to avoid tipping over.

Never allow another person to ride with you on a riding mower; a fall could result in a serious injury. Always turn off a riding mower and wait for the blades to stop spinning before dismounting the mower.

Be sure the guard is always over the grass discharge. Also keep children and pets away from the discharge because they might be injured by flying objects.

"Remember to treat your lawnmower with TLC by giving it regular maintenance and following all safety precautions. This will help keep you, your lawnmower and your lawn looking their best," Piercy said.



Writer: Cheddi Acham (606) 257-4590

Sources: Larry Piercy (606) 257-3000, Ext. 107

Doug Overhults (270) 365-7541, Ext. 211