Just like your car needs regular maintenance, so does every small engine in your compound, including the lawnmower. When your lawnmower is not starting, it tells you something is wrong with the equipment. Whether it’s getting a professional tune-up or sharpening the blades, these maintenance tips will help your lawn mower run longer.
1. Read the manual
Reading the owner’s manual tells you how to take care of the equipment and the preventative maintenance you should carry out. The manual is the best guide for ensuring the mower is running all year round. In the absence of the manual, a lawn blog will come in handy. There are blogs with all the care and maintenance you need for your lawn. It is essential to consult the manual guide as it has specific instructions and precautions for your lawn mower’s model.
2. Clean the deck
Clean under the equipment after each mow. Start by tipping the mower with the air filter facing up to avoid liquids leaking into it. Brush out the grass with a broom, or remove it with a gloved hand if it is caked under the mower’s deck. After removing the grass, clean your lawnmower thoroughly with water, soap, and a wire brush.
3. Check and change the oil
It is advisable to check the oil level once or twice per season. If it is low, fill it up. You check the oil level in the mower the same way you for your car. Here are the steps followed when checking the oil level and color in your mower. You don’t need a professional to do so as the steps are straightforward.
- Twist the oil cap, mostly yellow, to unscrew it
- Pull the cap/dipstick out
- Wipe the dipstick with a dry cloth
- Put the dipstick back in and screw it all the way down
- Pull it out and check the oil color and level
For optimal operation, it should be between full and mid-level. If the oil level is near low or add, or below, add oil to your tank. Most lawn mowers have a textured section that shows where the oil level should be. Besides the oil level, you are also checking the oil color. It should be golden-brown and free of particles and sediments, as opposed to black and thick. If the oil is black, it means that is mucked up and should be changed.
4. Changing the oil
If you do not know how to change the oil, the owner’s manual will come in handy. It is important to note that different models have their oil drain plug in different locations, and some do not have a drain plug at all. In most mowers, the drain plug is either below and off to the side of the cap/dipstick, or under the deck.
If your mower does not have a plug, You will have to tip it over and let the oil drain into a container. Once the oil reservoir is empty, fill it back up. If you are not comfortable changing the oil, you can have it changed at your local hardware store at a reasonable price.
5. Replace the spark plug
Some professionals recommend replacing the spark plug yearly since it is a cheap and easy piece of maintenance. Besides the annual replacement, you should change the spark when the mower takes too long to start. You will require a special wrench to remove the plug and replace it. The wrench goes for less than $10. If you are comfortable with this task, you can take your mower to the local hardware, and they will do it for you.
6. Clean or replace the air filters
Dirty air filters combust the gasless efficiently, putting more strain on the engine. Most air filters are either foam, which is washable or paper, which is replaceable. Air filters are easy to locate on the mower. You will find the housing for the filters on the opposite side of the mower’s engine, from the oil dipstick.
You will know whether you have a paper filter because it will be made of paper, and a foam filter will be made of foam. Paper air filters are cheap and should be replaced yearly. It is easy to replace the filters during winter. Foam filters, on the other hand, should be cleaned once or twice per season.
The lawnmower is a great utility tool, and like every tool, it needs regular maintenance to remain functioning optimally. You can either tune-up the mower yourself, or have it done at the local hardware. Otherwise, you will have a broken lawnmower and an ugly lawn.