Tips to Prepare your Snow Blower for Winter

Tips to Prepare your Snow Blower for Winter

Whether you’re prepping your snow blower for another year of snow removal or getting your new machine ready for its first winter, these snow blower maintenance tips will help ensure you’re prepared for snow this winter.

Tip #1

Change the oil in your snow blower. This should also be done after the first five hours of use this winter and after every subsequent season.

Old oil can cause problems for your machine’s engine, making it hard to start. If there is old oil, dispose of it properly. There is an oil drain plug in the back of your snow blower. Use a wrench to remove the plug and drain the oil into a container.

Tip #2

Drain old fuel and replace with fresh fuel. Old fuel can cause problems for your blower’s engine, making it hard to start.

Also, consider adding a fuel stabilizer so your fuel stays fresh even if you don’t need to use your snow blower.

Tip #3

Install a new spark plug, if necessary. Check your spark plug at the start of each season.

Disconnect the spark plug lead from the spark plug. Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket wrench and remove debris from around the spark plug. Examine your spark plug and check for any damage. If there is damage, rust or corrosion on your snow blower’s spark plug, replace the spark plug.

Tip #4

Make sure all parts are moving smoothly. Make sure you tighten loose nuts and bolts. Your snow blower may vibrate during operation, causing nuts and bolts to loosen. Tighten those up to prevent them from falling off when your snow blower is in use.

Additionally, check to make sure belts and cables are in good condition. If you spot any damage, replace them. Any significant wear and tear call for a replacement to avoid the danger of a belt breaking during use.

After your snow blower is prepared for winter, start it up and let it run for a few minutes in a well-ventilated area to be certain everything works properly. Consider starting your machine every so often if it sits for an extended period.

Note: Not all snow blowers are the same. Different snow blowers utilize different types of fuel, oil and screws so consult your owner’s manual before repairing your equipment.

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How to Change the Spark Plug on Your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor

How to Change the Spark Plug on Your Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor

The spark plug on your Cub Cadet equipment should be replaced at least once a year of after 100 hours of use. Spark plugs provide an ignition source for your machine’s engine to power your Cub Cadet lawn tractor. When they go bad, mowing your lawn becomes a challenge. Change the spark plug on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor regularly to keep your mower up and running throughout the whole season.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

Before working on your Cub Cadet mower, follow these safety precautions:

  • Shut off the engine
  • Allow the engine to become cool to the touch
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting
  • To carry out this task, you’ll need these tools:
  • 5/8 deep well socket
  • Wrench
  • Extension

To change the spark plug on your Cub Cadet lawn tractor:

  • Locate the spark plug on the side of the engine.
  • Use your socket to loosen the spark plug. Loosen it and grab the spark plug on the end, and give it a couple more turns.
  • Install the new spark plug.
  • Replace the old spark plug with a manufacturer approved replacement part (refer to your Cub Cadet owner’s manual).
  • Hold the spark plug on the end and stick it into the proper hole on the tractor.
  • Turn the spark plug to the left to make sure that it is starting to thread in properly, but turn it to the right to tighten it.
  • Tighten the spark plug by hand. By doing this, you can tell if the threads are going in correctly and won’t strip the threads out of the head of the engine. Tighten as much as you can and then put your socket back on the spark plug to tighten it all the way down. Give it an extra snug turn.
  • If you are working with a twin-cylinder engine, repeat the same steps to change the spark plug on the other side of the machine. Once the spark plugs have been changed, reconnect the spark plug wire.

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Cub Cadet Engine Oil Maintenance

Of all the maintenance done to your Cub Cadet equipment, engine oil maintenance is the most important. Checking, changing and using the proper crankcase oil are extremely important to the life and performance of your machine. Failure to use the correct oil and keep it clean can affect engine life and reliability.

The most important scheduled oil change over the life of an engine is the first one. Most manufacturers recommend performing the oil change after the first 5-10 hours of use. This helps flush out small particles that accumulate naturally during the break-in period.

Refer to your Cub Cadet owner’s manuals for viscosity, grades and time intervals for oil changes. Different machines require different oil and it is important to pay special attention to those recommendations in small engines.

A small engine uses engine oil to help keep it cool in high temperatures, so pay attention to maintenance when operating in those conditions. Check the engine oil before each use, checking for both proper oil level and for color.

Be sure to use high-quality detergent oil that has the American Petroleum Institute (API) rating. When changing engine oil allow ample time for a complete drainage.

When engine oil is new, it has a golden amber color. Over time, heat and dirt particles cause the oil to darken. Combustion byproducts, contaminants, and oxidized lubricant build up to form sludge, which will cause the oil color to darken. Dark oil is a good indicator for an oil change.

Engine oil maintenance is not the only maintenance that keeps your Cub Cadet equipment in working condition.

Other important maintenance includes air filter maintenance, gasoline maintenance, and spark plug maintenance. If you want your Cub Cadet lawn mower, snow blower, and other outdoor power equipment to operate properly for years, stay on top of regular maintenance.

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Fuel Tips for Cub Cadet Snow Blowers

Fuel Tips for Snow Blowers

Your Cub Cadet snow blower’s fuel system is designed to withstand years of use. However, if you are not mindful of the fuel in your machine and allow it to go bad this can cause starting or running problems and damage to the fuel system. Read more as our experts explain how to avoid fuel-related problems in your Cub Cadet snow blower.

Fuel Recommendation #1 – Store fuel properly

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage. This will help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Close the vent, if equipped, when not in use and store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight.

If it takes longer than 30 days to use the fuel in the container, add a fuel stabilizer when you fill the container.

Fuel Recommendation #2 – Do not use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol is corrosive and attracts water, which can cause starting or running problems and damage to your Cub Cadet snow blower’s fuel system. Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Read your Cub Cadet snow blower owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Fuel Recommendation #3 – Remove fuel for summer storage

When winter comes to an end, drain the fuel out of your Cub Cadet snow blower. After draining, there may still be fuel in the fuel line and carburetor, so start your blower and allow it to run until no fuel is left in the machine.

This is an important step for off season storage because if old fuel is left in your snow blower it will deteriorate and cause problems for your machine. Your blower may not start or run properly and, in some cases, there will be damage to the fuel system.

Fuel Recommendation #4 –Add fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container

If you use your Cub Cadet snow blower infrequently during the winter, add fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container. Untreated gas left in your snow blower can deteriorate quickly, causing problems for your machine and the fuel system. Ensuring that the fuel in your Cub Cadet snow blower is stabilized minimizes the chances of deterioration and damage.

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When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Blade

To achieve a great cut and a healthy lawn, it is essential to regularly sharpen or replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. While many people only need to sharpen their lawn mower blades once every couple of months, people who mow more than once a week will need to increase maintenance to once each month. The exact timing depends on workload, but if you’re not sure how often to perform blade maintenance, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you stay on schedule.

With the following tricks, you can develop a trained eye and keep your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade up to par all season.

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade is sharp, your grass should be cut at the same height every time with just one pass of the mower. If you find yourself making multiple passes to compensate for missed patches of grass, a dull blade may be the culprit.

Another way to tell if your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade needs sharpening is by closely inspecting the grass. If you notice that the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, it may be time to switch out your blade. Torn tips may also decrease grass health, causing grass to lose its lush, green color to an unhealthy shade of brown.

Lastly—and perhaps most obviously—you can inspect the blade itself. While your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade can usually be salvaged with routine sharpening, it is important to look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear grass rather than delivering the clean cut that’s important for your lawn.

Also pay attention to the thickness of your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Over time, sand, dirt, and other yard debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you notice this, replace the blade immediately to avoid breakage during mowing, which can cause pieces of metal to fly apart and possibly injure you or other bystanders.

Overall, paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help greatly in determining when to sharpen or your replace your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade. Remember the signs, perform maintenance regularly, and your Cub Cadet lawn mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

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5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

Using the correct fuel in your outdoor power equipment is very important. If you do not use the proper fuel or change it in the proper time, your machine will suffer. Read on to learn what our experts have to say about fuel and how it affects your outdoor power equipment.

1 – Only purchase the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can. As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

2 – Purchase gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane. Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your outdoor power equipment.

3 – Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues.

4 – Use gasoline without any ethanol

Ethanol-free gas will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

5 – Use fuel stabilizer

When stabilizer is added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. These stabilizers also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding a stabilizer to your fuel the day the it is purchased to help it stay fresh longer.

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How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

How to Install a Mulch Kit on a Cub Cadet Tractor

A mulch kit is a way to convert your Cub Cadet tractor into a mulcher. When you change the tractor’s standard blades to mulching blades, the mulch kit recycles the lawn clippings as you mow and spreads them back onto your lawn. This returns nutrients back into the soil, keeping your grass healthy. Here’s how to install a mulch kit on your Cub Cadet tractor.

Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions, recommended maintenance and safety instructions.

Before performing any maintenance on your machine, engage the parking brake on a flat, level surface and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

To install a mulch kit on a Cub Cadet tractor, begin by removing the mower deck. Set the deck height to its lowest setting. Pull the right idler pulley to release tension on the deck belt, and then ease the deck belt off the engine pulley.

Use pliers to remove the cotter pin from the front deck lift rod and slide the rod out of the hanger bracket. Remove the hairpin clip securing the right side of the deck to the hanger bracket supporting the cutting deck and release it from the hanger bracket by moving the deck outward and off the hanger rod making sure the deck doesn’t fall. Repeat this step on the left side and slide the deck out from underneath the tractor.

Once the mower deck is off, flip it over to access its underside to prepare to remove the old mower blades. Note: always wear heavy duty gloves when handling blades.

Use a block of wood and wedge it between the blade and the frame of the mower deck. Make sure it’s good and steady because you’ll be applying force. Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade with a wrench. Use a gloved hand to keep the blade from turning while removing the nut. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this blade removal step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

Once the old blades are removed, you can replace them with the new blades included in the mulch kit. Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure each blade with the side marked “bottom” or with the part number on it is facing the ground when the mower is in the operating position.

Use your gloved hand to hold the blade in place while tightening the holding nut with your wrench. Repeat this step to install the mulching blade on the other side of the deck as well.

To install the mulch plug on your Cub Cadet tractor, lift the discharge chute up. Place the mulch plug into the deck discharge chute by fitting the bolt on the rear side of the mulch plug into the hole in the deck.  Move the mulch plug into place, then pull and stretch the retaining plug on the mulch plug over the deck wheel bracket and hook it under the bottom of the bracket.

Slide the deck back under the tractor and reattach the deck. You are now ready to use your Cub Cadet tractor as a mulcher.

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How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

How to Change a Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower Blade

Sharpening or changing your lawn mower blade is imperative to a well-manicured lawn. A lawn mower with a dull blade will cut the grass unevenly and the tips of grass blades will be torn instead of cleanly-sliced. Periodically inspect your lawn and lawn mower to determine if a new blade is needed. As a rule of thumb, sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade at least once a year. Refer to this guide when it’s time to change your .

Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

Before changing the wheels on your lawn mower, please abide by these safety precautions:

  • Shut off the engine
  • Allow the engine to become cool to the touch
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting

First, turn the mower on its side to access the blade. Make sure the air filter and carburetor side is facing up. Mower blades are sharp so make sure you always wear gloves for protection. Secure the lawn mower blade using a blade removal tool or place a block of wood between the blade and the frame of the mower to support the blade when you apply pressure to remove it.

Remove the blade retaining bolt and then remove the blade. Depending on wear and tear, either sharpen the blade or replace it with a new one. Secure the new or sharpened blade with the blade removal tool or block of wood. Then tighten the blade retaining bolt to the torque indicated in your owner’s manual.

The side of the blade that says “Bottom,” or shows the part number should face the ground when the mower is in operating position. Once the blade is secured on your lawn mower, turn the lawn mower right side up and reconnect the spark plug. Start your lawn mower and listen for noises or vibration.

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How to Level a Riding Lawn Mower Deck

How to Level a Riding Lawn Mower Deck

If you’ve ever noticed that your riding lawn mower is not cutting your grass evenly, there’s a chance the mower deck is not completely leveled. The mower’s blades are attached to the deck so if the lawn mower deck is uneven, the blades cutting the grass are uneven, giving your lawn an uneven cut. Follow our experts’ instructions to level your riding lawn mower deck in no time.

Before starting the job, park your riding lawn mower on a hard, flat surface, shut the engine off, and set the parking brake. If the parking brake is not on, your machine can roll back, injuring you or others.  Lastly, remove the ignition key to prevent accidental starting.

Note: wear heavy leather gloves when working with or near mower blades.

Cub Cadet Zero Turn Mowers

To adjust the lawn mower deck from front to rear, place the deck lift lever in one of the middle height positions.  Rotate the blade closest to the discharge chute, making it parallel to the lawn mower.

From there, measure the distance from the front of the blade tip to the ground, and then measure the distance from the rear of the blade tip to the ground.

Loosen the hex lock nut on the end of the front deck hanger rod, and raise or lower the front of the mower deck if necessary. If there is an additional jam nut keeping the lock nut in place, loosen that nut prior to adjusting the lawn mower deck and retighten it after you make the adjustment.

To adjust the lawn mower deck from side to side, rotate the blade closest to the discharge chute, making it perpendicular to the lawn mower. Measure the distance from the right side of the right-hand blade tip to the ground, then measure the distance from the left side of the left-hand blade tip to the ground.

Loosen the hex bolt that secures the adjustment gear on the left deck hanger bracket. From there, raise or lower the left side of the deck by turning the adjustment gear.

Your riding lawn mower deck is properly leveled when both blade tip measurements taken earlier are equal.

Retighten the hex bolt once the proper mower deck adjustment is complete.

Cub Cadet Tractors

To adjust your Cub Cadet Tractor deck from front to rear, place the deck lift lever in one of the middle height positions.  Rotate the blade closest to the discharge chute, making it parallel to the lawn mower. From there, measure the distance from the front of the blade tip to the ground, and then measure the distance from the rear of the blade tip to the ground.

Loosen the hex lock nut on the end of the front deck hanger rod to raise or lower the front of the lawn mower deck. If there is an additional jam nut holding the lock nut in place, loosen the jam nut before adjusting the deck and retighten it after you make the adjustment.

To adjust your Cub Cadet Tractor deck from side to side, rotate the blade closest to the discharge chute, making it perpendicular to the lawn mower. Then measure the distance from the right side of the right-hand blade tip to the ground, and the distance from the left side of the left-hand blade tip to the ground.

Loosen the jam that secures the adjustment nut on the rod under the rear fenders inside of each wheel. Raise or lower the sides of the tractor deck by turning the adjustment nuts. The deck is leveled when the blade tip measurements taken earlier are equal.

Retighten the jam nuts once the proper lawn mower deck adjustment is complete.

A level riding lawn mower deck is essential for a quality cut. When mowing, always be mindful of hitting things in your yard like rocks or pipes. These hard objects can cause a lopsided mower deck, altering the way the blades cut. With a level riding lawn mower deck you’ll notice a more even cut of your lawn each time you cut the grass.

 

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