I refurbish a handful of tractors and snow blowers as a hobby and labor of love.  This site reflects the equipment I've completed and the ethical approach I take in selling these machines.  I also perform service and repairs on tractor-mowers, riding mowers, zero-turns, lawnmowers, and snow blowers.

This Library of Articles enables the homeowner to shop for, care for, and improve the ownership experience. 

Article 26: Keeping Your Tractor in Top-Top Shape

Here are some valuable tips on keeping your tractor in tip-top shape:

  1. After each use, clean off any debris from the top of the mowing deck.  Lower the deck to its lowest position.  Then use a blower, brush, and/or your hands to remove any cuttings, leaves, or dirt from the deck surfaces and under the pulley shields.  This will keep the mowing deck from accumulating layers of packed debris, which retain moisture.  Such debris will cause the deck's paint to peel and the underlying surface to rust.  Most decks rust out from the top.
  2. At the end of the season, and as needed, especially if you decide to mulch, scrape off dried and fresh cuttings from the underside of the deck with a putty knife.
  3. Please make sure you use fresh fuel (regular is fine) from a reputable gas station, such as Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Texaco, etc., to ensure there is no moisture and there are no contaminants in the gas.
  4. Mix in a gas stabilizer (Stabil, Seafoam, or other) in the container (never in the fuel tank) within a week of buying gas.  Mix it exactly as directed, no more, no less.  This will keep the fuel fresh for up to 90 days and keep the ethanol in the gas from attracting moisture and harming the carburetor.
  5. After each use, turn off the fuel shutoff (if so equipped) by turning the red knob 1/4 turn to the right.
  6. To prepare for the off-season, try to leave as little gas as possible in the fuel tank, then turn off the fuel shutoff valve, and run the remaining fuel out of the fuel line.  When it will no longer start even with the choke on, there is no gas left.  This will leave the carburetor empty so that it stays clean.
  7. Discard any gas remaining in your container by adding it to your car's gas tank, which your car will happily accept.  Get fresh gas in spring, add stabilizer, and fill the tractor fuel tank.  If you left little gas in the tank over the winter months, the resulting mixture should run fine.  Another option is to drain all the fuel out of the tank and the follow the same procedure (outlined in item 6) to run the fuel out of the carburetor.


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