Spring lawn mower tuneup a wise investment

Investing 30 minutes on a spring tuneup for your lawn mower can pay dividends for years to come.

Those who don’t perform this important basic maintenance before the weather turns warmer often end up putting their equipment at risk, according to a news release.

The good news is that engine experts are making it easier than ever before to get your lawn mower ready for spring — from tuneup kits to oil evacuation kits, you can keep your lawn mower running smoothly.

An engine tuneup for your push mower takes only 30 minutes or less. Riding mower engines may require an oil filter or fuel filter, which could add five to 10 minutes to the job.

A tuneup for a push mower engine can reduce engine emissions by as much as 30 percent and involves just four easy steps:

• Changing the mower oil.

• Replacing the spark plug.

• Adding fuel preservative to the gasoline.

A basic push mower engine tuneup kit costs less than $12.99 and includes an air filter, spark plug, bottle of oil and a pouch of fuel treatment and stabilizer. A tractor tuneup kit costs less than $32.99 and includes the same as a push-mower kit with the addition of a fuel and/or oil filter.

Tuneup kits are available online and at authorized dealers and home-improvement stores.

Two options are available for oil evacuation kits — one that removes oil only and another that removes both oil and fuel.

These kits help eliminate the need for consumers to tip the mower to drain the oil during a tuneup, making it easier to change the oil and reducing the possibility of an oil spill in the garage or driveway.

The cost of oil evacuation kits range from $23 to $31 and are available at authorized dealers and home-improvement stores.

Certain gasoline blends should never be used in lawn mower engines and other small gas en­gines.

Fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol, like E15 or E85 gasoline, or gasoline containing other alcohol blends can damage small gas engines.