(Family Features) You rely on your lawnmower to run all season long, and a little bit of time spent tuning your mower engine in spring can help keep it running at its peak performance.

A simple tune-up on a walk-behind mower can be done in 20 minutes or less and, if you do it yourself, is a cost-effective option. The key is having the right supplies on-hand. You may need a new air filter, spark plug, engine oil and fuel treatment. One simple way to take care of this task is with Briggs & Stratton’s all-in-one tune-up kit that has everything you need included.

You’ll also want to keep your operator’s manual handy. If you don’t know where yours is, many engine manufacturers make it easy to find the right one from the comfort of your own garage by visiting their websites.

There are four simple steps to keep your walk-behind mower humming:

  1. Change the oil. The easiest, most mess-free way to get rid of old oil is with an oil removal kit so that you won’t have to tip your mower over to drain the oil. As an added bonus, most local power equipment dealers make recycling your old oil easy. Simply drop it off in a closed container and they’ll take care of the rest.
  1. Replace the spark plug. Replacing the spark plug takes only minutes and helps ensure easy starts and smooth operation. Start by disconnecting the spark plug lead then clean the area around it. Remove the old spark plug with a socket wrench and install the new one, being careful to not over-tighten. Then simply re-attach the spark plug lead, checking the manual to make sure that the spark plug is gapped correctly.
  1. Clean or replace the air filter. Some types of air filters need cleaning, while others need replacing. Determine which type your mower uses and make sure to take care of it. A clean air filter helps keep dirt and debris out of your engine.
  1. Treat your fuel. Gas can go stale in as little as 30 days, which can clog and damage engine parts. Add a fuel treatment and stabilizer to keep gas fresh and protect your engine. Always use fresh fuel treated with a fuel stabilizer when filling your equipment’s fuel tank.

Find more tips for lawn mower maintenance, including common questions and solutions, at

briggsandstratton.com

, plus take a quiz to test your maintenance IQ at

quiz.youpowered.com

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