If you don’t get someone else to mow your lawn for you, make sure you know how to look after your lawn mower, so your lawn mower to look after you (and your lawn).
Now, if you’re the type who buys a lawn mower and ‘sets and forgets’, here are our six best ways to maintain your lawn mower that might help keep your lawn mower in tip top shape. (Includes colourful lawn mowing infographic!)
1. Prevent gunk build up
Yes, it’s true, your lawnmower may still function even if you never clean it. But not indefinitely and not always to its highest capacity. Try keeping a broom near your mower so it’s easy to give it a quick brush off after each use. Before you take your garden gloves off, bend down and remove any stubborn grass on the wheels or machine body. Then mark on the calendar that it’ll need a good, soapy water clean at the start of both summer and winter, to keep it in tip-top shape.
2. Clean or replace the air filter
Just like you need to clean or replace your dishwasher or clothes dryer filter, you need to keep an eye on your lawn mower filter as well. All it takes is to, once or twice a year, replace or clean your lawnmower’s filter with warm, soapy water. Then after they are air dried, lightly coat them with two tablespoons of mower oil.
3. Replace the spark plug
For a regular-use mower, you should only need to replace your lawnmower spark plug once a year. (If you’re getting your mower serviced once a year, it’s a great time to ask for this to be part of the service.) If you want to do it yourself but don’t know how, check for instructions on YouTube and/or ask your local mower store to teach you. But don’t forget to write down the code on the existing plug before purchasing a new one.
4. Keep the blade sharp
Just like your kitchen knife that cuts better when it’s sharpened, a sharp lawnmower blade will cut better as well. Otherwise, dull mower blades tear the grass rather than cleanly slice it.
When we asked Peter Townsend – a mobile lawn mower repair expert – about the most common reasons he is called to repair lawnmowers, he said that one of the top four reasons was: bent or worn out mower blades. So if you want to avoid the cost of calling a lawnmower repairman like Peter, keep those mower blades shiny and sharp!
5. Empty the fuel tank
Rather than letting fuel sit in the lawnmower engine from one season to the next, it’s good practise to empty your mower’s fuel tank by letting the engine run until it’s out of steam completely. See the infographic below for more details on how to do this.
6. Get your lawnmower serviced
Peter Townsend said that from his experience, if you have a quality mower and it is serviced regularly, it can last up to 15 years! So, it does pay to invest in getting your lawnmower serviced regularly.
Peter added that whilst residential customers should get their mowers serviced once a year, lawn mowing contractors should get their mower serviced every 50 hours. This is because their livelihood depends on their lawnmower, so if their mower breaks down, it’s not just the cost to get it repaired, it’s also the cost of lost time (and mowing jobs forsaken) in taking the machine to and from a mower repair shop.
Lawn mowing infographic
This awesome lawn mowing infographic was created by American company PartSelect, who specialise in DIY and home repairs. They sell more than 2 million different repair parts – including lawn mower equipment parts (lawn mower, chainsaw, blower, lawn tractor and more) – so if you’re ever not sure where to get your lawnmower part from, try PartSelect!
Disclaimer: This article and infographic are intended as helpful guides only. Please consult your own lawn mower expert or lawn mower repair shop.