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0 comments | Saturday, November 25, 2006

Garden Tiller Maintenance

If you've put off your annual garden tiller maintenance until now, you can still get the old tiller back into shape for breaking up some dirt early next Spring. I'll confess, I got a late start on this gardening chore this year. Plants needed planting. Brush needed clearing. And every other chore seemed so much more important than getting the garden tiller ready for winter storage. I used the tiller quite a bit this year and it's still running as good as when I first purchased it. Some simple maintenance procedures, listed below, will help keep your garden tiller in top shape.

Annual Maintenance for Garden Tillers

  • First, for safety sake, disconnect the spark plug when you are performing any maintenance on your tiller.

  • If it's broke, fix it. A broken bolt or support can seriously weaken and stress the whole garden tiller. If you don't get the broken tiller parts fixed quickly you may soon be buying more than the one part due to stress failures.

  • Replace any worn or broken belts, or chains, if so equipped. Also adjust any loose belts as they can cause needless wear on the gears and the tiller engine itself.

  • Change your tiller's spark plug at the very least once a year.

  • Oil should be changed as recommended by the tiller manufacturer.

  • You should be keeping the air filter and pre air filter clean during the season. Try to replace the tiller's main air filter at least once per year. Most tiller pre air filters can be reused until they cannot be serviced any longer.

  • If you haven't drained the fuel from your tiller and can't find the time, add some fuel stabilizer to keep the fuel from breaking down during the Winter. Make sure you run the engine for a short period, about 5 minutes, to distribute the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.

  • If you will be draining the garden tiller's fuel tank over Winter, drain as much fuel as possible, then start up the tiller and let it run until it totally runs out of fuel. Unscrew the bolt on the bottom of the carburetor bowl and remove the bowl. Clean out any dirt particles and spray the inside of the bowl with carb cleaner. Replace the bowl.

  • While you're at it, now would be a good time to replace the tiller's fuel filter and check any fuel hoses for cracks or leaks. Should you find any, replace the hoses that are damaged.

  • If you know where all of the grease fittings are on your tiller, get out the grease gun and fill these fittings until you start to see the new grease pushing out the old grease. If you don't know where all of the grease fittings are on your garden tiller, they should be noted in your tiller manual.

  • Check the blades of the tiller tines. If you have a lot of rocks in your soil, the blades may be pretty dull. The tiller tines are pretty easy to remove and sharpen on most garden tillers. If they need it, sharpen them, but wear a pair of leather gloves to prevent cutting yourself. If the tiller tines are bent, you really need to replace them.

  • If your garden tiller is dirty, give it a good wash. Rust may form from moisture trapped between dirt and the tiller surface. Carb cleaner can be sprayed around the engine area to remove oil and grime. Not really done for aesthetic purposes, but to help you more easily locate any leaks, should they develop.

These tiller maintenance tips are provided to help you extend the life of your garden tiller.

Gardening Tips


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