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Hey, man up and maintain your lawn

mower. It's easy. While your at it, get your kid out from behind the tablet and into the yard. Hands-on, baby. Here's a few things we do.

Step 1: New Season, New Spark Plug

If your lawn mower is coughing and sputtering, this is a good place to get it to not do that. Take a deep socket and remove the existing plug. Bring it with you to the hardware store or home center. Depending on where you go, you might have to Rosetta Stone your old spark plug model # with a new spark plug model #. Check the book there or ask the guy. Might as well bring in all your plugs and replace them at the same time---string trimmer, blower, etc.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Blades Are Sharp

Sharp blades work better than dull ones on every lawn mower in the universe. Before wrenching off the blade, pull the spark plug wire off. Let's just say I heard a story once about a guy who didn't. He spun the blade, the motor compressed once and, well, Hiya lefty...Anyway, I like to sharpen on a sanding station (mine's a Ryobi). Match up the bevel of the lawn mower blade to the belt, then sharpen. Wear eye protection.

Step 3: ​Get the Gunk.

The friction of built-up grass on the blade an under the mower deck makes the mower work harder, do less and frustrate you more. It's like the mountain of processed food in your colon. Get rid of it and life is better. Our go-to tool for this is one of our always-go-to tools, our Hyde multi-tool. Get one and you'll use it every project, and not just on the lawn mower. Promise.

Step 4: ​Check Wheel Height.

Cutting too low not only torches the grass and is begging weeds to grow, it pointlessly strains the mower too. Raise it to 3-inches---you're not cutting a green for the Master's---and let sharp blades do good work.

An extra note: If you leave your lawn mower leaned over for too long during maintenance, you may flood the air filter with gas. So don't leave it up-ended any longer than you have to. If you do flood the filter, either dry it out for a day or so or get a new one.

Step 5: Watch This Video

Check out all the steps to maintain your mower in this video.

<p>I&rsquo;ve been using one<br>for 5 years and I like it &ndash; except now the blades really need sharpening, and I<br>don&rsquo;t know how, and neither does anyone else. The guy in the hardware store<br>looked at me like I was crazy when I asked.</p>
<p>http://www.wikihow.com/Sharpen-Lawn-Mower-Blades</p><p>After 5 years your carburetor probably should be cleaned or replaced. YouTube has excellent videos that will guide you through the process. You'll need to know your engine model.</p>
<p>Replace the air filter.</p><p>Check the oil and fill or replace as required.</p>
<p>Another good tip: after changing the oil and cleaning the underside of the deck, wipe a thin layer of used motor oil on the underside of the deck. It'll help prevent rust and grass won't stick as easily. </p>
<p>Love that. Great call Dustin--</p>

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Bio: MyFixitUpLife is a husband-and-wife’s home improvement obsessed lifestyle. Mark and Theresa are constantly fixing something up.
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