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Fixing your lawn mower in 3 easy steps

The Robins have arrived here in East central Iowa, warmer weather can't be to far behind, hopefully! Witnessed an older gentleman driving his John Deere riding mower today. So folks, it's time to get your lawn mowers out for another season.

It won't be long before Twitter and Facebook will be filled with complaints and gripes from all over about someones' mower not starting or doesn't run like it did before.There are 3 easy steps that you can try before heading to your local mower repair shop or even purchasing a new mower.

Problem: My (insert your own word) mower won't start! Check to see if gasoline was left in the tank over the winter. Oxidizing fuel is usually the problem. Empty out the old fuel and add fresh. Change the spark plug and air filter every year, if you have a riding mower make sure you change the fuel filter to help making the mower start and run better.

Problem: Uneven mowing with clumps. Make sure you have the blade sharpened 3 times a season. Wash the undercarriage after each use so that the air flow won't be compromised. Another idea is to make sure the wheels are set for the same height. If you have a riding mower make sure that the deck is level.

Problem: Your mower needs a push. If you have a self-propelled mower check the belt that transfers power from the motor to the wheels. If it is broken, cracked, slipping or has any other damage then replace it. Make sure that the drive system is fully engaged.

If your mower shot then check out Consumer Reports" for the latest information about mowers. Consumer Reports rate Honda and Toro high.

One rule of thumb: if it costs 50 percent or more to fix your mower then it may be worth replacing. Most experts say that 6 years is a good lifetime for lawn mowers.

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