Keeping your mower in the best possible condition requires you to follow some very basic steps - certainly so if you have one of the cheap mowers that are available. Here is a checklist of the top 10 things you can do in order to keep your lawnmower functioning to its full potential.
1. Fuel: Make sure your lawnmower has plenty of petrol before you begin cutting your lawn. There's nothing worse than running out and leaving your garden half complete. When filling your lawnmower, always make sure the funnel you use is clean and dry so you don't put any unwanted nasties into your machine. Be careful how much petrol you put in your mower. You don't want to leave unused petrol in your fuel tank longer than 30 days.
2. Blades: Dull blades result in a poorly cut lawn. For safety purposes, you must remove blades from the machine when sharpening, but for best results we recommend you seek the assistance of a professional. It is important to ensure that blades are sharpened evenly, otherwise you could end up with an uneven cut that you may struggle to level out.
3. Cleaning: Dirt and grass build up can cause your lawnmower to become damaged or stop it from cutting as effectively as it should. To get the best of your mower you must clean in and around the blades as well as make sure any moving part is free from clogged dirt, debris or anything that could cause rust. When cleaning under the mower deck make sure that the spark wire has been disconnected from the spark plug for safety, and always make sure the machine is switched off and cannot be started when coming into contact with blades etc. You can use soap and water to clean away heavy grass and mud build up.
4. Spark Plugs: Consult your manual for guidelines about spark plug care. Many experts recommend that you change your spark plugs every 100-120 hours of operation, but this figure all depends on the size of your mower.
5. Air Filters: Dirty air filters can cause your engine to become damaged and can cause several faults when trying to run your mower. Once again, for guidelines about air filter care please consult your manual. Air filters are simple to replace and must be replaced regularly.
6. Engine Oil: Just like a car, engine oil must be drained and refilled at regular intervals. Your manual will tell you exactly the kind of engine oil your lawnmower requires. To ensure that your lawnmower has a longer lifespan it is important that you change your oil regularly and use the same type of oil each time you refill.
7. Belts: Ensure that your belts are regularly maintained. With the engine off, check that they are free from excess slack. It is quite common for belts to get tangled with mud, grass and debris. Ignoring this will cause your engine to become damaged. If your belts are becoming clogged, switch the engine off and remove the obstruction before continuing. Be careful not to burn yourself if your engine has been running for a long period of time.
8. Cleaning Engine: It is important to make sure any air vents are left uncovered. Make sure you regularly clean dirt and debris from the air screen and cylinder fins.
9. Storage: Lawnmowers are an expensive piece of kit that should be treated with respect. Ensuring that they stay dry and are stored in a safe place should be a key priority in terms of prolonging their lifespan.
10. Tyres, wheels, rollers: No matter what your mower uses, make sure that its tyres, wheels and rollers are well cared for otherwise you will encounter problems directing your mower.