A good lawn mower is not cheap and is considered a household investment. So, when you purchase a new mower, whether it’s a battery powered model or a petrol mower, the goal is for it to last many years down the road. Proper maintenance and storage of your mower will help to keep it like new year after year.
Know Your Machine
The best way to care for your mower is to know everything you can about it. Information can be found in the user’s manual. Tips on how to do the following can all be found in the manual:
- How to clean it
- Check fluid levels
- What types of fluids should be used (proper oil weight, etc)
- How to make repairs and troubleshoot
- Annual maintenance requirements(Changing spark plugs etc)
Clean Your Machine After Every Use
Cleaning your lawn mower is the single best thing you can do to keep your lawn mower running for years. If any grass or debris is left to build up on or in your mower, it could cause some small components to seize up. Dust and dirt can get into the motor which can inhibit proper performance. If grass gets stuck in the wheels, they won’t turn correctly, and an axle can become bent or broken.
All of these issues can easily be avoided by cleaning your mower after every use.
Give Your Mower an Annual Tune Up
By taking the steps to annually tune up your mower, you can avoid costly repairs down the road.
- Air Filter: clean the air filter and vents, and change the filter if it is dirty
- Oil Filter: Oil filters in mowers are often small, but important. They help keep debris that may end up in the oil out of the engine.
- Spark Plugs: Without a good spark, your mower won’t start. It is the heartbeat of the machine. Change the spark plugs every year and avoid getting them wet when cleaning your mower.
- Oil: Change the oil every year. Also make sure that the oil levels are adequate prior to starting the mower.
- Petrol: Drain the fuel out of your mower at the end of each season to prevent it going bad and clogging intake lines.
- Sharpen the Blades: A dull mower blade will not cut the grass properly and it can add to grass build-up on the underside of the mower. Be sure to check the blades frequently during the mowing season to ensure that the blades are still sharp.
- Wheels: Check that your wheels are properly inflated or, if plastic, aren’t damaged. Rocks and tree vines can damage a wheel easily. They can also force your wheels out of alignment. Be sure to check the wheels for damage and ensure they are straight.
Use a Small Engine Professional
Don’t be stubborn if you can’t get your mower running and try doing it yourself. Sometimes it’s more time and cost effective to have a small engine professional work on your mower to return it to peak performance.
Overtime, lines and tubing tend to get a break and get dry rot. Sometimes they need to be replaced or, at a minimum, be flushed out. When this happens, unless you are a mechanic, hire a professional. Most lawn mower repair men can get your mower up and running again for under $100. They typically know the issues that come with mowers and can troubleshoot them in minutes, rather than hours if you need to go step-by-step through the owner’s manual. It’s a worthwhile investment to keep your mower in working order for many years.
Keep Your Machine Tight
Nuts and bolts tend to loosen from the vibrations that mowers create. Be sure that all of the hardware on your mower is tight and intact before starting it up. Should something fall off during use, because you failed to check that everything was tight, the odds of finding it again in the grass is unlikely.
Store Your Lawn Mower Properly
Storing your mower outside is not a good idea to maintain its good “health.” Keep your mower in a shed or garage. This will keep it protected from the elements to avoid rust and debri that can harm it.
Also, try to make sure the mice and other vermin don’t get into your lawn mowers housing. Mice like to make nests in small, dark places. Try to ensure that your lawn mower is not their first choice.
By making sure your mower is clean after each use, you will reduce the chances of a mouse making a home out of it.
If you use your mower in wet grass and don’t clean it properly, areas that got dinged and dented from rocks can quickly begin to rust.
Should rust start to appear on the mower, use a wire brush to remove as much as possible and paint the metal with a rust-proof primer and paint. If you like a project, you can use bondo and other repair products, however, with proper cleaning, much of these issues can be avoided.
Keeping your lawn mower running for years should not be a problem with proper care and maintenance. Much like your car, some annual care can go a long way toward helping your lawnmower to last a long long time. Your lawn mower is an expensive investment after all and without it your lawn is going to look terrible.
Prepare your mower for the winter
Watch this great video!