Most failures of power equipment are usually due to lack of maintenance by the owner. It is important to understand that small engines are stressed and their life depends on air and oil for cooling and protection.The basics for insuring long life and reliability from your equipment will be covered in this blog. 1) The most important and vital part of maintenance is changing the oil and checking it every time just before usage. I recently was speaking with a small engine mechanic that had a rear lot full of mowers, many that were only a few years old. He stated that around 60% were junked because the owners ran the mower with no oil in the crankcase, a terrible waste and a costly one too. 2) Check the spark plug each season for wear and proper gap. 3) Keep the air filter clean and replace it when dirty, especially in dusty conditions. 4) Damp grass will tend to compact and adhere to the underside of the mower deck. After the mower cools, use a water hose and spray the undercarriage to remove the compacted grass. Storing your mower with damp grass will accelerate rusting of the mower deck. Keep it clean and dry. 5) For a clean cutting, keep the blade or blades sharp and replace when worn. 6) At the beginning of each season lubricate moving parts and cables with a dry lubricant.( a dry lubricant will resist the attraction of dust and dirt. Be sure to lubricate the wheel bearings and or wheel shafts also. 7) Finally, prior to winter storage drain the gas and run the mower until all fuel is consumed and the mower stops running. If this is not an option, add a suitable fuel stabilizer in lieu of draining the gas tank. If you will follow these basic maintenance tips you will maximize the life of your power equipment while preventing repair costs related to poor maintenance.