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How To Make Your Riding Lawnmower a One-Time Purchase

Updated on May 22, 2011

1996 Riding Lawnmower

anidae | Source

Caring For Your Riding Lawnmower

Do you think you are mechanically inclined? Are you the one to mow the lawn or even fix the simple things that can go wrong around the house? Many people aren't comfortable doing either of these things but are forced to when they lose a spouse who did these jobs to divorce or death. Or they are forced to take the over the job when their spouse becomes disabled unexpectedly.

Their finances may be cut so that they cannot hire someone and, as long as they are physically able, they may decide they can learn to do some of these jobs out of necessity.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to learn about these things before disaster strikes? If you do not know about lawn care or lawnmower care, enlist your spouse to show you the necessary steps to take.

It is a good idea to dedicate a tablet to each project like maintaining your lawnmower so that it will last years. Some people who purchased a riding mower in 1986 or before and have faithfully maintained them are still mowing with the same mower today.Others are still using their mowers that were purchased in 1996.

Hopefully, you or your spouse has the instruction manual for the mower and the separate instructions for the cutting deck. With your instruction manual in hand, inspect your mower and locate each control and all of the indicators with your spouse as guide.

Before you use your riding mower each year, change your oil. Your instruction book will tell you what weight and type of oil to use. And it will tell you how much you need to buy to replace the old oil. There are warnings against overfilling the crankcase as this can damage the crankcase or engine may overheat and cause damage to the crankcase. Checking your oil before mowing each time and adding a little oil when necessary will keep the oil level from getting below the “low” mark as this will damage your crankcase, too. Also buy the recommended oil filter for your brand mower and replace it once a year.

Some mowers have a transmission, so you will need to check the transmission oil and using the dipstick as your guide, add to the full mark. Do not let the transmission oil get below the “add” mark. If the transmission oil is below the “add” mark or above the “full” mark, you can damage the transmission case. Refer to the lubrication table for information about the oil capacity and the proper type of oil to pour into the transmission case.

Usually riding mowers do not have an air cleaner assembly, but if your mower has one make sure you clean the debris away from the cover and check your air filter after each mowing. The air cleaner filter paper element may need to be replaced every 100 hours or less of mowing depending on how dusty or dirty the conditions are when you mow. Read your instruction manual about how to care for the foam precleaner that fits over the paper element in the air cleaner assembly. Taking care of the air cleaner assembly and replacing parts when indicated will prolong the life of the engine in your riding mower.

Check the belts on your mower and also belts on the mower deck for fraying and replace if they look dry-rotted or frayed.

Also check your spark plugs; some mowers do have two spark plugs like the ones with a transmission. You may need to clean or replace your spark plugs but it was overheard that one person who still has his 1986 lawnmower, has the original spark plug in the mower.

Using your instruction manual as your guide, you may have to lubricate certain points on your mower and/or cutting deck. There are grease fittings that need lubricating every 30 hours of mowing or 3 times a year. It is indicated in the Cub Cadet manual that you must lubricate all foot and lift control pivot points every 10 hours or once a month.

Your instruction manuals are invaluable to owning a riding lawn mower for many years. It really takes so little time to properly clean and maintain your lawnmower when you form a proper habit of service.


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    • anidae profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Adams 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Thanks for visiting RTalloni. I appreciate your comments and I am glad to help.

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Great reminder and tips for the upcoming seasons. Thanks!


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