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Is your lawnmower a little overworked? If so, you're not alone. Whether you need to tackle rugged terrain or cut through thick grass, your lawnmower will be happier if it's well taken care of.
In this article, we'll share seven tips from the experts on how to get the most out of your lawnmower and make those summer weekends spent gardening more enjoyable!
Check your blades before you start cutting your lawn
One of the most important things you can do to maintain a lawnmower is to make sure its blades are sharp. Dull blades will only tear the grass, leaving a ragged looking cut or even brown spots.
If it's been a few years since you last checked them, now might be a good time to replace those blades! The last thing you want is for your lawnmower to stall in the middle of a hot summer day, all because of a faulty blade.
Clean out the grass and leaves from underneath your mower deck to prevent clogs
Another thing you can do to keep your lawn mower running smoothly is to make sure that the grass and leaves underneath it are cleaned out. The mower deck tends to accumulate debris, which, if left unchecked, will only clog up the works!
If you notice that your mower is struggling to cut grass, or isn't cutting as evenly as it used to be, take a look underneath the deck and pick out any stray leaves or blades of grass.
Change your oil and filter every season for better performance and less wear on engine components
Like any engine, the mower's engine needs clean oil and a working filter because it reduces friction, wears on components, and helps things run smoothly. If you've ever seen an old car or truck that hasn't been maintained properly over the years, you know what happens when metal is allowed to grind against metal until there are no more smooth surfaces left.
The same thing happens to your mower, even though the parts are much smaller and harder to see! The oil keeps things running smoothly by reducing friction while the filter catches debris that could cause damage or performance issues. Unfortunately, it's easy for homeowners who don't know any better to overlook this maintenance step because it doesn't seem like it's doing anything to make the mower run better.
But, without clean oil and a working filter, your engine will quickly wear out or even burn up! When that happens, you'll be spending more on repairs than if you had just changed your oil in the first place!
So before cutting the grass this fall (or spring!), take a few minutes to change your oil and filter. If you have a riding mower, it's best to take the time to do this while out on a flat surface free of rocks or other debris because draining the old oil from the crankcase will likely cause some spillage.
If you don't think about doing maintenance like this over a few years, you could end up spending hundreds or even thousands to get your mower back into working order. So do yourself and your wallet a favor by changing your oil in fall (or spring!), so it will be ready when you need it next time!
Remove any debris that's collected in the muffler to avoid a fire hazard
Another common issue with lawnmowers is the accumulation of debris in the muffler (the funnel-shaped thing sticking up behind your mower). If it's not cleaned out, a fire hazard could result.
Suppose you have a riding lawnmower with a grass catcher attached to it. In that case, this is especially important because when you empty the bag or attach and detach the hose from underneath the mower, there's a good chance that some debris will get blown into the air and land in your muffler. This could cause overheating or even an explosion!
If you do not have anything attached to the end of your lawnmower at all (for example, if it is just a push-style mower), this risk is significantly reduced. However, it's still a good idea to check and clear out any debris that may accumulate in the muffler area.
Replace worn belts, pulleys, or bearings with new ones as needed
If you have a riding mower, it's essential to check the belts and pulleys at least once per season. If they start making noise or any damage to them (such as cracks), you should replace them right away before they fail while you're still cutting your grass!
The same goes for bearings: if either the front or rear wheels are hard to turn, then it's time for an oil change in that bearing. Again, the easiest way to do this is by removing the nut on either side of the wheel and slipping off the tire so you can get at the bearings better.
If you have a push-style mower, there aren't any parts that need to be regularly replaced.
Check the oil level in your mower's engine regularly and change it if necessary.
Like any engine, a lawnmower engine needs oil to keep it lubricated and to run smoothly. Therefore, the oil level should be checked regularly, such as once a week or every time the gas is changed out during an annual tune-up.
If the engine has not been serviced in a long time and you suspect dirt and debris may be in the oil, drain some of it out before adding fresh to avoid contaminating your lawnmower's new oil with old gunk.
If you didn't notice any metal shavings or other foreign material in your old oil that would indicate damage has been done, then there's no need to change the oil at this time. Just be sure to recheck the oil level in a few weeks to determine if it needs to be changed.
Replace spark plugs every year or two, depending on how often you use your mower
Spark plugs can be expensive if you don't know how to replace them yourself. In most cases, a plug costs around $15, and it is easy enough for any homeowner who knows the basics of mechanics to do their spark plug replacement. You may have to buy some tools from an auto parts store to get the job done, but the savings of doing it yourself will quickly pay for those tools.
Remove old spark plug from the engine by unscrewing with an adjustable wrench or ratchet and socket Remove gap on new spark plug using the wire brush attachment on drill Make sure rubber boot surrounding electrical connections is not cracked or damaged Remove dirt from the metal part of spark plug using a soft brush re-gap new plug to 0.025 inches, and hand tighten until snug.
If you need help with your lawnmower maintenance, find a good mechanic in your area who can do the job for you.
Let's wrap it up
You can get the most out of your lawnmower by ensuring it is well maintained so that you have a smooth and efficient experience. We've provided you with some tips to help maintain your lawnmower, which will help extend its life for years to come.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Daniel Edulan Melana