Whether you own a Spartan Mower or another XYZ brand of mower, I’m hoping this article will help you minimize those dreaded breakdowns. We all know all to well, breakdowns never come at convenient times. Lets be honest, is there ever a good time for a breakdown? AT Fixits O.P.E we understand how frustrating it is when its time to mow and your zero turn has decided to take a vacation. You, like us, just want things to work when they are supposed to work. So whether you are needing help with Spartan Zero Turn Mower Maintenance or help with another manufacture, this article will be useful.
Preventative Zero Turn Maintenance Is The Key!
In years past I managed a truck rental fleet that included over 20 million dollars in equipment. At the end of the month what determined if we were profitable or not was how much money we spent on breakdowns. It’s no different than lawnmowers, trimmers, generators, golf carts, UTV’s, well… just about everything under the sun that has any type of mechanical ability. So whether you’re a business that runs equipment or a home owner, downtime has a price. For homeowners, its time that is lost let alone the expense of the repair or having to hire out a company to mow while your zero turn is down. Fixing things prior to it actually breaking is key. It never failed, those month’s we were upside down in expense all pointed back to lack of preventative maintenance.
Our friends over at Willis Lawn Services knows all to well how important preventative maintenance is to the success of their business. So much so that they have decided to hire a personal mechanic just to take care of their equipment. They’ve figured out that properly maintaining your equipment results in better profit margins and happier customers and we couldn’t agree more. I’d say that’s a WIN! WIN!
Keep Your Mower Deck Clean
There are many benefits to keeping your Zero Turn clean. Lets start with the deck. Grass build up is extremely damaging to the components. The more heat on the bearings inside your spindles the quicker they will fail. Grass build up acts as a insulation that keeps heat in just like the insulation in the walls of your home. The more heat the shorter life of your deck. After each mow be sure to remove the spindle covers and blow out with air if available. If not remove the debris with your hands and a small broom.
Keep Engine Bay Clean
Keeping the engine area clean is important for a few reasons. One reason is that if you have a lot of grass build up around the engine, oil leaks can go unnoticed for a long time and could and does cause major damage to the engine. Grass build up around the engine also restricts air flow used to cool the engine which can cause all sorts of failures.
If you’re like a lot of Zero Turn owners you’re not just mowing a well maintained pristine lawn. Lots of times we use these machines to mow large acreages and in some cases in areas where a brush hog would be the ideal candidate instead of a mower. Never the less some of the heavier, higher quality mowers such as a Spartan Mower can get the job done regardless. But this usually means mowing high grass with unknown debris and foreign objects swirling around like a frog in a blender. I know “frog in a blender” old joke my mom used to tell me…don’t ask. Anyway, its important especially after mowing an unknown area to to check under your deck for things like in the picture that get wrapped around your spindles. These unwanted objects can damage your spindles really quick.
While your under there be sure to remove any built up grass and mud as they both hold moisture which is “heats” evil twin brother. Both heat and moisture is not your mowers friend.
Things To Do Throughout The cutting Season With Your Zero Turn Maintenance
- Check oil and transmission oil levels each time you mow and be sure to look for any leaks.
- Clean your air filter often. I’ll say it again, clean your air filter often! Dirty air filter’s cause your engine to run rich which causes fouled plugs and can cause your valves to eventually not seat correctly.
- Keep your battery cables clean and the battery on a trickle charger if the unit isn’t ran frequently.
- Keep your blades nice and sharp. If you sharpen them yourself be sure you know how to keep them balanced. A unbalanced blade will cause excessive wear and tear on your spindle bearings.
- Be sure to check tire pressure, especially if you notice your cut is not level anymore. More times than not if a customer has this issue with cut level it is due to improperly inflated tires. I won’t go into tire pressures as everyone seems to have their own opinion. I will say this though, be sure the front tires are the same as each other and the rear tires are the same as each other. Front and rear may be different and that’s ok. We usually run 10 psi in both front and rear. Some run lower psi for comfort reason however with the Spartan Zero Turn’s sweet ride, comfort isn’t an issue.
- Possibly change oil and filter if you mow a lot otherwise you’ll change the oil on the annual noted below.
Things To Do to Your Zero Turn Annually ie “Annual Service”
If you use us to perform your zero turn maintenance and annual services your in good hands. Along with maintaining Spartan Mower Zero turns for our Spartan family, we offer this service to all makes and models. We do an extensive service along with a full front to back inspection on every component on the mower. Along with many other things we service the engine, level the deck, sharpen the blades, grease any zerks, check the charging system, load test the battery, plugs, air filters, and fuel filter. As part of the inspection we are looking for things that are starting to fail and recommend other repairs prior to them actually failing.
So if you’re a DIY guy or gal and do the annual your self you’ll need to follow the same. Below is a partial punch list for you to follow in case you want to do it yourself.
Zero Turn Maintenance
- Change oil and filter
- Clean or replace air filter
- Check plugs and replace if needed
- Change out fuel filter
- grease any zerks
- Sharpen your blades
- Inspect your belts for cracks or excessive wear
- Check for engine oil leaks
- Check for transmission leaks
- Clean and lube your cables
- Check your charging system
- Load test your battery
- Don’t use ethanol!!!
- Don’t use ethanol!!!! Sorry that needed to be said 2 times.
- Adjust your control arms and be sure your pumps aren’t whining when you engage the parking brake,
- Adjust your belt tensioners as belts wear down
- Did I mention to not use ethanol? If not Don’t use ethanol!
- Check valve lash and adjust accordingly
- Clean and test your unit and before you store it away it might be a good idea to remove the negative battery cable.
As always, we are willing to answer any questions you have so don’t hesitate to give us a ring.
If this list kinda gives you a headache just by reading it, just call us to schedule a service. I hope this was helpful! Just remember if you catch yourself a little over your head, don’t forget you can always call Fixits!
You break It, We Fixit!