1321 Hwy 15
Armstrong, IA 50514
(712) 864-3726
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How often should I change oil?
Non-filtered engine--25 Hours
Filtered engine--50 hours
Filtered OHV/OHC--100 hours
What oil should I use?
Kohler Command engines w/ hydraulic valve lifters should use 10w-30.
Most others recommend a good quality 30 weight detergent engine oil for warm weather use.
Kawasaki is no real particular. Kawasaki is OK with 30, 10W-30, 10W-40 and now has a 20W-50 for some heavy duty applications.
How often should I inspect or clean the air filter?
Every 25 hours. OIL foam filters. DO NOT oil paper filters.
Some foam pre-filters should not be oiled. Consult your manual.
Replace if damaged or extremely dirty.
How can I tell how many hours I have run my engine?
Time each use and record average. Multiply times number of uses--Or you can install an hourmeter.We can advise you on the right hourmeter for you. Run from $35-$65. Well worth it for accurate maintenance.
What should I do to store my engine?
Let the engine run out of fuel.
If you do not drain fuel, add stabilizer and run long enough to use fuel in carburetor.
Change oil after last use while still hot.
Put a teaspoon of oil in spark plug hole.
How can I make my engine last longer?
  1. Keep the engine clean. It can't cool if dirty.
  2. Change oil at recommended intervals. Don't wait until it is black.
  3. Inspect often and replace the air filter before it restricts air flow. Make sure no dirt is getting past it.
These three things will extend the life considerably. Most people do not perform these adequately, if at all! Do not wash paper air filters with gasoline or blow with compressed air. It is best to just replace them. An air filter is cheap. An engine or overhaul is not. Compressed air can make pin holes through which dirt can pass. Gasoline can change the structure of the paper so it looks clean but will not allow air to pass properly.
Is gasohol OK to use?
Yes. All engines are now built to run on a 10% ethanol alcohol mix. Problems can arise however if your fuel supplier has not monitored the alcohol level properly and the mix is much higher than it should be. This is probably rare but it does happen. If you suspect a problem, most dealers have test kits to check alcohol content.
It is highly recommended to use a stabilizer for ethanol mixes just as it is recommended for straight gasoline. They can all go bad.
My X!x# engine won't start!?
Most starting problems are fuel related. You may not think you have bad fuel but probably do. It is either out of season or stale or contains water. Drain the fuel and try fresh. It will probably work. Make sure you get all the gasoline out of the carburetor also.
How short can I mow?
It is recommended not to mow below 3 inches. This allows enough blade surface area for a healthy plant. If you mow too short it weakens the grass plant which allows weeds to become established and thins the stand because the grass is not vigorous. Many people believe that if they mow short they don't have to mow as often. RIGHT. Those people usually end up with all dandelions and crabgrass. They also buy lots of blades.(maybe I should advocate short mowing!) One final note. Never mow off more than 1/3 of the grass height. If you are mulching, no more than an inch.
You may request our brochure, "Mowing Tips" produced by the Grasshopper Company. It is full of great mowing suggestions.
My blades wear out so fast!?
Excessive blade wear is often a result of cutting too low. As cut height is lowered, blade wear curve becomes steeper. Blade wear can be a result of poor quality blades or mowing things other than grass, but most likely is due to cut height. If you live in sandy regions, blade wear is increased also. Hardened-cutting-edge blades are now being used by many OEM's. Check with your dealer to see if hardened-edge blades are available for your mower.
What type of blades should I use?
Here are some things to think about.
1) Low/med lift blades are less noisy and dusty in dry conditions. However they will not throw the grass as far.
2)High lift blades are better for lush, high volume conditions in early season or high rainfall areas. They will throw the grass farther but are noisier and take more power.
3) It is best not to use high lift blades when using a collection system with a vac or blower but are essential if you are bagging with a one or two blade mower deck without a vac.
Mulching! schmulching! Does it work?
Mulching can work, but it must be done correctly. Coining of bad words is often a result of mulchers who do it "my way". Here are the rules.

1. Cut 1" maximum

2. Cut during the driest part of the day.

3. Clean the mower afterwards.

It helps to have a mower that converts to side discharge or bagging for those times when the rain won't shut off or vacation gets in the way of your lawn mowing.We do not recommend dedicated mulchers.
How can I stop leaving strips?
Stripping can be caused by one or all of the following reasons.
  1. Worn out blades
  2. Rounded blades
  3. Dull or poorly sharpened blades
  4. Ground speed too fast.
  5. Mower deck full of grass
Remedies to these should be obvious.
My mower does not discharge well.
There are three causes for this. Either the blades are low lift blades used for dry conditions, the belt driving the blades is loose, or the mower is plugged with grass. Try higher lift blades but check the belt tension and clean the deck first.
Why should I buy from a dealer?
Most people don't ask this but I'm going to tell you anyway.
Buying a mower from your nearest handydiscountmart may seem like a good idea when you pay for it and it's new. It may not seem so good should you encounter any problems, which are more likely to happen when you buy from those sources. When you purchase from a dealer, you have a partner that you can go to for any problem. Whether it's parts, warranty, accessories, or just general "picking your brain" help, your dealer is always there to give you the service you expect. Iowa Lake Sales & Service is committed to customer satisfaction. If you have a problem, we have a problem. We will do everything within our power to make sure you have a pleasant experience while on your yard.

Iowa Lake Sales and Service


These questions cover engine and mower maintenance. For Questions related to our service department, i.e., shop rate, pickup/delivery, etc., click here for the Service Department FAQ.

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