Dec 18

Lawn Mower Maintenance Guide

If you take good care of your lawn mower, it will serve its practical purpose for many years to come. Maintenance is not as tough a job as most people think and I will prove it to you. Use my instructions and tips for keeping your machine in good operating condition. You can rely on my advice as it is based on my professional experience as a gardener in California. But enough general, let us get to the point.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Guide

Basic Cleaning

You need to clean your lawn mower from grass clippings and debris after each use. This cleaning is basic ant takes a few minutes only. At the same time, it will save you a lot of hassle in the short term and in the long term as well.

What you need – You should wear gloves for removing caked grass and clumps of soil by hand. You should have a wick broom as well. It will brush effectively the entire surface of the deck and help you clean hard to reach spots. A damp rag will help you remove more stubborn mud sports and clean the machine to perfection.

What to do – Ensure that the blade will not start while you are working. Remove big chunks of caked grass and soil from under the deck by hand. Clean any attachments such as the discharge chute as well. Use the broom for cleaning under the deck and around it. Finally, take the damp rag and clean the inner and outer surface of the deck plus the blade.

Thorough Cleaning

You need to clean your lawn mower thoroughly at least once a year before you winterize it for the next mowing season. You can do it more often if necessary. For instance, if there is a heavy mowing activity during the spring, you can give the machine thorough cleaning in summer to ensure that it will work well until fall.

What you need – For giving your lawn mower overall cleaning, you will require gloves, a garden hose, a soft brush and soapy water.

What to do – Empty the fuel tank of the machine if it operates on gasoline and ensure that the blade will not get powered during the cleaning. Turn the unit on its side. Put the gloves on and remove any chunks of caked grass, mud lumps and leaves. Use the garden hose to spray water inside the deck. This will work to loosen dried debris. Then soak the brush in the soapy water and scrub the inside of the deck and the blade gently.

Blade Maintenance

Over time, the blade of the lawn mower will loose some of its sharpness. It is your task to inspect it and to sharpen it when necessary. It is best if you inspect it after every mowing season.

Inspection – Detach the blade from the machine and look at it carefully. If you notice any dents, curls, nicks and dings, then it is best to have it replaced. If it is in good condition, but seems dull then it needs sharpening.

Sharpening – Clamp the blade in a vise so that it stays firmly in place. Run a metal file along the cutting edge following the angle of the factory bevel. Bench grinder sharpening is required for very dull blades. I would recommend taking the blade to a professional if it comes to this.

Gas Engine Maintenance

If your lawn mower operates with an electric motor, then you do not have to do anything to maintain it. If it runs on a gasoline engine, you will have to get more work done. Here are the things to do.

Gas tank emptying – You should do this at the end of each mowing season. Add fuel stabilizer into the gas tank. Let the engine run for as long as necessary before the remaining gas has been used up. The tank must remain empty until the next season.

Oil change – If you want your lawn mower’s engine to work smoothly, you need to change the oil at least once a year or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. You need to drain the oil first after the gas tank has been emptied. It is best to have the blade removed as well. You need to use a pan for collecting the oil. Turn the machine on its side so that the carburetor and air filter face upwards. Remove the oil plug and tilt the machine so that the oil starts dropping into the pan. After the reservoir has been fully drained, you need to add new oil as per the instructions of the manufacturer.

Air filter care – Paper filters should be replaced annually or semi-annually. Plastic filters should be removed, washed and air dried. Coat the plastic filter with two tablespoons of mower oil before putting it back in place.

Spark plug replacement – Experts recommend that you should do this once every year when changing the oil and I agree with them. Choose an appropriate replacement plug and remove the old one with a wrench or pliers. Screw in the new plug and connect it to the spark wire.

In A Nutshell

Now you know how to provide lawn mower maintenance to have your little beast running happily.

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