Tractor Maintenance Suggestions

Suggestions for Maintaining Your Riding Lawn Equipment:

Along with regular servicing of your mower, there are a few things that should be checked regularly during the season.

Oil and Other Fluids:

The oil level in the engine should be checked and topped off as necessary before every use. All engines will consume a certain amount of oil while running. Most Lawn Tractor and Zero Turn Mower engines hold very little oil (generally less than two quarts.) Therefore it is important to monitor the level and check for leaks on a regular basis.

The fluid levels in the hydraulic system and transmission as well as the coolant levels of a liquid cooled unit should be checked regularly as well.


Air Filter:

Plugged or otherwise damaged air filters are the most common cause of internal engine damage. They should be checked at least once per month (more when mowing in dry or dusty conditions.) A plugged air filter not only robs power from the engine, it can allow dust and debris to enter the cylinder etc. The restriction caused by a plugged air filter can also cause the engine to suck oil from the crank-case causing the engine to use oil and possibly run low during use.



Blades should also be inspected regularly. Damaged or extremely rounded cutting edges cause the engine to work harder and greatly decrease cut quality. Worn lift sections at the back of the blade will decrease discharge and mulching efficiency which will also affect cut quality and engine loads.


Debris Build-up:

While inspecting the blades, the under-side of the deck should be checked and cleaned of debris. Lush damp grass, such as early spring growth, causes debris to build up rather rapidly under the deck. This is often the cause of cut quality complaints. It will also have an effect on the rate at which blade wear occurs.

The top of the deck should also be cleaned off regularly. Grass clippings and other debris will build up, especially under the belt guards. This can lead to premature belt wear and damage. It can also affect bearing life in pulleys and tensioners.

Another area to watch is around the engine shroud and cooling fins. If these get too restricted or plugged with debris it will cause the engine to run hot possibly leading to premature wear and/or engine failure. It is a good idea to blow off the engine periodically. This is especially true in the fall or other dry periods when the grass clippings and leaves are lighter and tend to build up more.

On Liquid Cooled Engines the radiator fins should be cleaned and the anti-freeze level checked and topped off if necessary.