Repair / Maintenance Tips
Not everyone knows the how-to of repairing their unit and we want to help! Below you can find links to Sears how-to repair for your Craftsman units! With videos, step by step repair guides and trouble shooting tips it will be easier for you to replace your own parts and maintain upkeep on your machine!
*We still recommend checking your manual to ensure the correct parts for your unit. These are simply basic guidelines to give you a better idea on how to repair your unit on your own. DR Mower Parts is in no way responsible for any incident that may occur following said guidelines.*
Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.
Riding Mowers & Lawn Tractors
Gas Walk Behind Mowers
Did you know a Craftsman unit that is properly taken care of can last you up to 35+ years? Just by keeping up on annual maintenance twice a year and by storing your unit properly! Check out below on how you can keep up on your machine and maintain a beautiful yard!
Maintenance should be done twice a year, the beginning of the season before it’s time for the first mow, and at the end of the season when you’re putting your mower away until next year. The end of season is an ideal time to do maintenance as there are steps you'll need to take if your mower will be unused for month at a time!
Annual Push Mower Maintenance Checklist -
- Change the oil
- Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel system, or remove all fuel from the mower if discontinuing mower use for more than 30 days
- Replace the spark plug
- Replace and clean the air filter
- Sharpen the lawn mower blades
- Balance the lawn mower blades
- Keep the mower clean
- Fog the engine
- Get familiar with the owner’s manual. The last thing you want to do is cause damage to your lawn mower, so make sure you understand how to care for it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *If you need a replacement copy of your manual please check our website or send us a message!*
- Disconnect or remove the spark plug. You’ll want to replace the spark plug annually to make sure your mower starts up easily, but taking it out at the beginning of maintenance is also a good idea for safety as it prevents the mower from being started accidentally.
- Drain the gasoline out if it’s the end of the season. Either run the mower’s engine until the remaining gas is all used up or drain it out, and begin with new gasoline in the spring. Old gas can keep your mower from starting.
- Clean the lawn mower. To aid in performance, clear out all the grass and any other debris that’s become caked on the undercarriage during the mowing season.
- Replace or top up the oil. Consult the owner’s manual to learn how to change lawn mower oil correctly and the proper type of oil for your lawn mower. Change the oil in your mower if it is old or contaminated; drain it out and replace it with new oil. *Make sure to dispose of the oil properly. Most towns have oil recycling centers available for free.*
- Clean or replace the air filter. A clean air filter helps your mower work at peak efficiency. Follow the owner’s manual for specific directions on installing a replacement air filter.
- Sharpen and balance the blades. Even if your lawn is relatively clear from branches, rocks, and foreign objects, the blades will wear down over time. This is one step that is generally better left to the lawn mower service professionals unless you’ve mastered the technique.
- Fog the engine. If your mower will be sitting idle during the winter, the lubricants in the engine can drain away over time, and then the water in the air can cause corrosion and damage to occur. Fogging oil can help prevent this from happening. Check your owner’s manual to see if your lawn mower needs engine fogging, and be careful to follow the directions exactly.
Push Mower Storage Tips -
- Remove the Battery It's a good idea to remove your lawn mower battery for the winter and store it in a cool, dry place. Be sure to store it away from gas cans, the water heater or furnace. Disconnect the battery cable from the battery, starting with the negative cable (it will have a minus sign).
- Clean your Mower Brush or hose off leaves, grass and mud from your mower. Always remove the spark plug before doing this or any other mower maintenance. Gently tip your walk behind mower on its side to spray the underbody. If debris is caught on the blade, use a stick or tool to remove it - never use your hands.
Lawn Maintenance Tips -
Annual Snow Blower Maintenance Checklist -
- Replace Spark Plug
- Check Tire Pressure
- Lubricate Bearings
- Inspect Scraper Blade, Skid Shoes, Sheer Pins, Belts, Paddles
- Regular Oil Changes
- Change the Spark Plug. Disconnect the plug from the lead, and remove it with a wrench. If there’s damage or deposits, replace it. If not, pop it back in – secure but not too tight.
- Inspect the Belts. Wear and tear? Cracks? If so, replace them. Snap a photo of the belts before you take them off so you’ll know exactly where they go.
- Give the Paddles Their Due. The auger paddles are the hardest working parts on your snow blower, so check them often for wear and tear. If they don’t hit the ground anymore, replace them.
- Check the Shave Plate. This scrapes the snow off your driveway. If it’s worn on a single-stage snow blower, reverse it. For a two-stage snow blower, replace it.
- Flip the Skid Shoes. These are the adjustable pieces on a two-stage snow blower that let you set the height of your auger. Most are reversible. If yours look worn, flip the over and use the other side, making a note to replace them next year.
See if the Shear Pins are Damaged. Shear pins connect the auger to the gear case. Did you know they’re meant to break? It’s a safety feature – they’ll break if the auger and gear case are overloaded. Keep several extras in the garage. You don’t want to have them break with no replacements on hand.
- Change the Oil. Let the blower warm up to make the oil flow easier. Then turn it off, pull the drain plug and drain the oil into a container. Pop the plug back in and fill the machine up with oil.
- Use Fresh Gas with Stabilizer. Fill ‘er up with fresh gas (you did remember to empty it last season, right?) and make sure to include fuel stabilizer. It’ll keep the gas fresh longer and help prevent clogs.
Snow Blower Storage Tips -
- When storing your snow blower, fill your tank to the top with fresh, stabilized fuel. Filling the tank helps prevent moisture from condensing in your fuel tank, and stops rust and scale before it starts.
- Run your snow blower for five minutes so the stabilized fuel can circulate throughout the engine’s fuel system. Using fuel stabilizer eliminates the need to drain fuel prior to storage and ensures quick easy starts next season by preventing gum and varnish build-up.
- If your snow blower is equipped with a fuel shut-off, always switch off the fuel flow whenever you transport your machine. This will protect the carburetor from flooding and help prevent fuel spills.
- If necessary, perform an oil change.
- Carefully wash and hand-dry your snow blower at the end of the winter. Road salts can damage your snow blower the same way they corrode a car’s exterior.
Trimmer Maintenance Checklist & Storage Tips -
- Safety First. Before you perform any trimmer maintenance, be sure the power button is in the off position and the spark plug wire is disconnected. If you’re using a gas string trimmer, also make sure the gas tank is empty.
- Replace the Trimmer Line. Whether you’re using a gas or electric trimmer, replacing the line is an important part of string trimmer maintenance. You’ll need to do this regularly depending on how often you use your trimmer. Once the spool is brittle or depleted, the trimmer is less effective. Remove the disk, Dispose of any trimmer line, Re-string the disk.
- Clean the Parts. Once a season, give the exterior of your trimmer a good cleaning. Use a mix of water and dish detergent on the string trimmer head to clean off any grease, dirt and debris. Locate the air filter cover and remove it to make sure the air filter is clean. Replace it approximately every 90 days, based on wear and tear.
- Remove the Spark Plug. This should be done every three to four months, depending on use and level of dirt. Empty the fuel tank, take off the spark plug boot and remove the spark plug using a socket wrench. If the spark plug is brown, pour 1/4-ounce of engine oil into the cylinder. Pull the starting cord several times to distribute the oil. If the spark plug is black, it needs to be replaced. Thread the replacement spark plug into the cylinder head and secure it in place using a socket wrench.
- Empty the Fuel Tank and Chance the Oil. After you’ve used the trimmer for the last time in the season, empty its fuel tank. This must be done to keep the fuel lines and carburetor clear of fuel when not in use. For suggestions on proper fuel and waste practices, consult your local hazardous waste center. Check all screws and nuts, tightening as needed before storing your trimmer away.
With gas trimmers it’s important to check and add oil if the levels are low. Make sure to only add oil to the fill line. Overfilling the tank can damage the internal parts. You should also change the oil regularly.
- Let the engine run for a minute or two so the oil is slightly warm. This will make it easier to drain.
- Disconnect the spark plug to make sure it doesn’t accidentally turn on while you’re working on it.
- Unscrew the oil plug and carefully drain the oil into a container.
- Once the oil has fully drained, refill the reservoir using the oil type specified by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual. The amount of oil required should also be outlined in the instructions.
- Screw the oil plug back into place and reconnect the spark plug.