Outdoor power equipment maintenance 101

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Follow these care basics to maximize efficiency, avoid expensive repairs and extend the life of your outdoor power equipment.

Always follow the owner’s manual for maintenance instructions specific to your particular models, as procedures do vary.

Here are general instructions for how to care for your lawn mower, chainsaw, string trimmer and snowblower. Check out our website’s Repair Help for additional maintenance tips.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

  • Tune up the engine before every mowing season. A tune-up kit, packed with the essentials as recommended by the lawn mower manufacturer, makes this easy. Shop the Great Spring Tune-up Kit Sale.


  • Check for blade damage after every use. Replace if you find any dents or bends.
  • Sharpen or replace dull blades. Dull blades tear rather than cut grass.
  • Always have clean air and fuel filters in place.
  • Change the oil every 50 hours of use. Always use the oil recommended by the manufacturer of that model.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel to prevent carburetor damage.
  • Never adjust the trail shield or other parts set by the manufacturer.
  • Degrease periodically.
  • Prepare for winter storage.

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Chainsaw Maintenance Tips

  • Before and after every use, check the chainsaw for loose bolts and screws.
  • Replace the air filter every 100 hours of use or every three months.
  • Use the proper gas and oil mixture, following the owner’s manual instructions.
  • Replace the fuel filter if it’s damaged.
  • Lubricate the bar and chain

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String Trimmer Maintenance Tips

  • Tune up the engine before the start of the season. A tune-up kit makes this easy.
  • Replace the string with manufacturer-recommended string (a.k.a. trimmer line). Non-round-shaped string (such as star, cross and square-shaped) provides a much better cut.
  • Change the fuel filter once per season.
  • Clean or replace the spark arrestor at least once per season.

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Snowblower Maintenance Tips

  • Four-stroke engines: Replace oil every 50 hours of use.
  • Replace the fuel filter at least once per season.
  • Before  scraper blade and slide shoes for wear.
  • Lubricate bearings periodically.
  • Check the auger for wear and replace as needed. There should be no exposed metal.
  • Reduce ice and snow jams in the auger and on other parts that touch snow by spraying a lubricant like Snow Jet.

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