A dying lawnmower is like a beat up car. Once it starts to go, we stop worrying about putting money into it and drive it into the ground. However, unlike a car, performing maintenance on our mowers isn’t as financially detrimental and is so easy, anyone can do it (maybe not children, but you get the idea.) Here’s some simple service tips, to keep your mower in tip top shape.
Drain the gas
Any mower technician will tell you that the main reason why your mower won’t start is because you are using the same gas from your previous mow. Why? Old petrol is a lot thicker than fresh petrol. You can mix it with a stabiliser, but it’s much easier just to replace it with new gas. So, to avoid any extra damage on the motor, at the end of your mowing session, let it run out completely and put a fresh batch in the next time you decide to cut the lawns. Tip: We found that http://www.stihl.com.au/ has some great product to help you change the gas safely.
Keep the undercarriage clean
The undercarriage of the mower is the part just above where the blades sit. As you can imagine, it can get very dirty under there. A build-up of grass, debris and dirt will become very hard to remove if left too long, so once you’ve finished mowing, give it a clean. To remove the build-up in the undercarriage, simply rinse it with your garden hose or use a putty knife for the harder to move grime. Tip: Don’t mow when the grass is wet as it tends to clump and stick to the blades.
Change the spark plug
Ideally, you should be keeping the spark plug clean to ensure longevity, but there comes a time when eventually you will have to change it. While it sounds like something for a professional, it is actually very straightforward. Just pull off the spark plug wire and remove the plug with a wrench. Then turn in the new plug by hand until the thread catches. From here, ratchet it down until it stops. Be careful not to turn it too hard as the plug can easily break from overturning.
Service the filters
A filter keep the dust and particles from entering your mower. When it starts to get clogged, it adds stress to the engine and burns the gas less efficiently. The filter is inexpensive to replace and should be done annually to ensure optimal performance.
Sharpen the blades
Cutting your lawn with a blunt edge will leave it susceptible disease and fungal growth but if you regularly sharpen the blades, you will encourage a greener, healthier and more vigorous lawn. Improve the edges by firstly removing the blade and removing any rust with steel wool. Then run a file down the sculpting edge making sure you follow the same angle already on the blade. If it is too badly damaged, you might be better off taking it in to a professional.
Got any more handy maintenance tips? Tell us in the comments below.