March is National Mower Tune-up Month

Regular lawnmower tune-ups can pay big dividends in improved air quality and better equipment performance. In fact, a well-tuned mower helps protect the environment by reducing mower emissions up to 50 percent, according to research conducted by Briggs & Stratton.

To help consumers realize these benefits and to encourage them to tune up their mowers, Briggs & Stratton, in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, is launching National Mower Tune-up Month in March 2002.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, Mower Tune-up Month is an example of common sense conservation where everyone can play a role in protecting the environment. By cutting down on emissions and using energy more efficiently, mower owners can help stretch limited resources, cut down on air pollution, slow global warming and protect wildlife habitat.

Well-tuned mowers burn less gasoline and generate less pollution. By performing a simple tune-up on their mowing equipment, mower-owners who don’t perform any maintenance can reduce emission levels up to 50 percent.

Reduced emissions represent just one benefit of a regular tune-up. Here are a few more:

Conserves natural resources. A tune-up reduces fuel consumption up to 30 percent by maintaining the appropriate air/fuel mixture in the engine.

Extends mower life and saves consumers money. Regular tune-ups keep equipment running in tip-top shape, thus extending the life of the engine and the mower. This reduces repair costs and minimizes the likelihood of prematurely replacing individual parts of even the entire engine. It is also a great way for consumers to protect the warranty coverage, and ultimately, their entire investment.

Restores horsepower up to 7.5 percent. A well-tuned engine runs at full strength to get the job done quickly and easily.

March is an ideal time to perform a tune-up to make certain the mower starts easily and reliably for that all-important first mowing in spring., and to ensure maximum performance throughout the season.

In order to perform a tune-up, you have two options: do it yourself or take it to a service dealer. For the do-it-yourselfer, Briggs & Stratton offers an easy-to-use maintenance kit, complete with all the elements essential for reducing emissions, reducing fuel consumption, extending equipment life and improving startability. Elements include:

Air filter. Changing the air filter prevents clogging. A clogged air filter reduces the air/fuel ratio, resulting in higher fuel consumption. The lower air/fuel ratio also leads to excess or unburned gasoline, resulting in the release of extra hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons form ground level ozone, a major component of smog.

Oil. Changing the oil keeps the engine properly lubricated and ensures clean oil is continuously distributed to critical engine components, reducing friction. Less friction results in less wear and tear on engine components. In addition, replacing broken down oil helps maintain proper oil viscosity, improving the oil’s performance characteristics and extending engine life.

Spark plug. An eroded or fouled spark plug provides an inconsistent spark. Replacing the spark plug in spring ensures a consistent spark, making starting more reliable and improving fuel economy over time.

Fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizer improves starting by preventing idle gasoline from degrading to the point where it is no longer combustible.

For more information on National Mower Tune-up Month, visit The site provides helpful tips on selecting the right maintenance kit, locating retailers and dealers who sell kits and simple, how-to instructions for performing a tune-up.

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