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  • Writer's pictureJanae Moss

Lawn Mowing Repair

Lawn mowers need repairs from time to time depending on the extent of damage suffered. Maintaining a lawn mower needs meticulous planning. Repairing lawn mowers can be time-consuming, and trying to repair one that frequently suffers damage can take up much time, which in a majority of circumstances can eat into the total mowing season.

Most frequently, when a mower fails to function properly, one would likely trace the problem by its symptoms. For example, if a spark plug needs to be replaced, one might speculate that the engine is failing to receive gas, or there could be snags in the carburetor. One of the key aspects related to lawn mowers is that maintenance is of greater importance than repair, and this holds the key to the smooth functioning of a mower.

The basic thing that needs to be remembered is that after mowing is complete, the engine and the blades should be painstakingly tidied. The mower as a rule should not be cleaned with water, but scraping the underside of the deck and making use of an air compressor to flush the air-filter, carburetor and the engine block and pulleys is quite an effective way of preserving the appearance and operation of the mower. If a problem is serious, one should contemplate whether investing money to fix the mower is a viable option. In case the trouble is related to the engine, one should check whether the engine is receiving the required fuel or verify whether it is operating correctly with the ignition.

Common Lawn Mower Repair Problems

While there is never a good time to need a lawn mower repair, there are times where you simply can't mow your yard because something has gone wrong. These pieces of equipment need regular care so that they can continue to operate properly. However, while there are some things you can do on your own, others will require the help of a professional.

By educating yourself now, you increase the chances that you may be able to perform your own lawn mower repair if an issue arises. This can save you a significant amount of money by not having to take it to the shop. It is very important, however, that you call a professional if you are not handy with tools or you have any reason whatsoever to feel that you would not be able to fix a problem on your own. This can be dangerous work, and could easily lead to an injury if you don't know exactly what you're doing. One of the most common problems is when your model fails to start. If this happens to you, replace the spark plug. You should easily be able to find one at your local hardware store. Make sure you check the model number first so that you know the type of spark plug you need to buy. If you have questions, a store employee should be able to help.

If the machine starts but it is sputtering, then you may have an issue with either the air filter or fuel. Check to see that there is enough gas in the tank. If there is, then you should replace the filter. Get an air compressor so that you can clean the filter on a regular basis.

Another common lawn mower repair occurs when the engine floods. If your machine regularly dies after you start it, and it does have enough fuel, then you should take out the old fuel and add fresh gas. Try to restart the engine a few times and call a professional if you still have the same problem. Again, while you may be able to perform some sort of lawn mower repair work on your own, don't hesitate to call a professional if you have any doubts whatsoever. The problem you are experiencing may simply be because there are certain parts that need to be replaced. Talk to two or three shops to make sure that you are confident the mechanic you choose will be able to take care of the issues that you experiencing. Also, check to see whatever type of warranty you may still have on your machine. Finally, if the lawn mower repair that you need is simply too extensive, you may want to give some thought to replacing it. That may wind up being your most cost effective solution.

Steps to Keeping Your Lawn Mower Running Smoothly

The first thing to consider when trying keeping your mower running in excellent condition is changing the oil regularly. This is really easy especially if you have push lawn mowers, because someone else can hold it still while you change the oil out. If you look on the underside of the mower deck, you will find an oil plug that is removable so that the old oil can be drained out. It's best to use a bucket to drain the oil so that you don't have to worry about cleaning up the mess on the ground. Although your mower may not need but about 1.5 quarts of oil, it's always best to use brand name oil. Oil build-up and rusting is a common reason for lawn mower repair.

Sharpen the mower blades

The next thing that you want to do is sharpen the mower blades. You do this by removing it with a crescent wrench from up under the deck. Some people prefer to sharpen their blades with a grinder while others who are less experienced prefer to take them to a professional to be sharpened. Either way, it can be done in just a few minutes, so if you want to do it yourself, you can actually look online for helpful tips. You can always find simple directions to sharpen them rather than spending money for someone else to do it.

Cleaning the small engine air filters

The next step in lawn mower repair and maintenance is to clean the small engine air filters. You can either use a vacuum hose to suck up the dirt or gasoline. It just depends on the type of filter that you have. In some cases you may not be able to clean the filters and if this happens, visit Wal-Mart, a hardware store or home depot to obtain a new one. The last step includes the cleaning of other lawnmower parts such as the spark plug. Locate the plug's tip and pour gasoline over it. Then, use an old toothbrush to thoroughly clean it out. If there is any buildup on the ignition, the gasoline will eliminate it.

A lawn mower part such as the spark plug will have to be replaced anyway if you've had it for longer than a year. Just the same as the air filter, you can obtain your new spark plug at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or any store that specializes in selling parts for lawn mowers. It's best to perform maintenance at the beginning of each mowing season. If you prioritize servicing your outdoor power equipment regularly, you can ensure optimum health when it comes to your lawn mower. Not only that, but you'll definitely notice a difference with every use.

If you are uncomfortable repairing your lawn mower yourself or have a complicated problem with your lawn mower, you should consult a professional who works on lawnmowers on a regular basis. You may find a professional by typing your cities name lawn mower repair into Google. Once you generate a list of people in your area who do Lawn Mower Repair, you should research the companies you find a bit to find out whether or not they are trustworthy and sufficiently knowledgeable to do the job. To do this, I often ask for the recommendations of my family, friends, and other people in the lawn mowing industry. Often times, personal recommendations are a great way to find a trustworthy business.

Furthermore, once you find a professional that you want to take your lawn mower to, I strongly recommend getting a clear estimate for the price to complete the work before authorizing them to fix your machine. Often time's repairs can exceed the value of a lawn mower and it makes more sense, economically, and it makes more sense to dump an old lawn mower than it does to invest a $150 dollars into an old one.

The Dos and Don’ts All Homeowners Should Know

DO sharpen the blade.

This may seem like an obvious task to some, but others may use their lawn mower season after season without paying any attention to the blades. Not only should the blades be regularly inspected for warping, rusting, and other damage, but they also need to be sharpened about twice per season or every 25 hours of use to help extend the life of the blades and the mower.

Sharp blades don’t just help the mower cut the grass better, they also make clean cuts through the grass, which reduces the likelihood of the lawn developing a disease. Inspect the mower blade for dents or nicks, and take note if the grass height is uneven after cutting, the edges of the grass look brown, or if the grass blades are torn instead of sliced clean through. Each of these signs is a symptom of dull blades that need to be sharpened.

DO check the spark plugs every two months.

Spark plugs in a lawn mower serve the same purpose as they do in a car or truck. These little parts of the engine serve as an ignition source for the gasoline. When they start to fail, it becomes immediately obvious. It’s important to inspect the spark plugs about every 2 months during regular use. Signs that the spark plug on the mower may be failing include hard starts, poor engine performance, unreasonable fuel consumption, and a worn, cracked, or chipped physical appearance of the spark plug. If the engine is difficult to start up or it tends to die out immediately after the engine finally does start, then the issue may be the spark plug.

DO inspect the flywheel.

A flywheel is a part within the engine of the lawn mower that stores the momentum from the combustion process in order to keep the crankshaft turning between the power strokes of the engine. It also helps cool the engine by blowing air around the engine block. Without a functional flywheel, the engine could quickly become overheated or it may not even start.

Some signs that a flywheel is damaged or failing include the inability to start the engine, the engine constantly stalling, and a burning odor from the engine. It’s advised to inspect the flywheel at the beginning and end of every lawn maintenance season to check for cracks, broken fins, slight burrs, shearing, and crankshaft damage. Just make sure to disconnect the spark plug lead before opening the engine to check the flywheel.

DO change the air filter.

The air filter in the lawn mower is designed to protect the engine by trapping dust, dirt, and other debris, but the filter can only hold so much dirt and debris before it becomes dirty and clogged. Some lawn mowers have reusable air filters that can be removed and washed, but this is a rare feature. Generally, a lawn mower filter should be replaced about once every year to help maintain a healthy engine.

Symptoms of a dirty or clogged air filter include a dirty physical appearance, engine misfires, a reduction in the horsepower or power output of the engine, concerning engine noises, strong fuel smells, and in serious situations, flames or black smoke can be produced by the engine. If you detect any of these signs, stop mowing and go get a replacement air filter. They are inexpensive and relatively easy to replace if you follow the lawn mower manufacturer’s guidelines for air filter replacement.

DON’T choose a fuel with an octane rating lower than 87.

As with any gas-powered machine, the type of gas that is used can impact the grass-cutting ability of the mower and the longevity of the engine. Gas is rated based on the amount of filler that is included in the gasoline formula, so octane 91 gas, which is often referred to as premium, has less filler than octane 87 gas that is called regular. The minimum octane level that lawn mower gas should have is 87. This ensures that the gasoline meets the requirements for use in standard motor vehicles, reducing the chance that the engine will be damaged while burning the gas.

Some users may prefer to fill their lawn mowers with premium-grade gasoline, though this isn’t typically required. The best gas for your mower is the type that is suggested by the owner’s manual. However, switching to a premium grade gas during cooler weather, like early spring and late fall, is a good idea to help maintain the health of the engine.

DON’T neglect cleaning the deck.

It’s never a bad idea to clean the deck of a lawn mower. Some people say to clean the deck once a month, others insist that it be cleaned after each use. It’s helpful to check the underside of the mower after every use to remove any stuck-on grass, dirt, weeds, or other debris. While keeping the deck clean will reduce the chance that the lawn mower will begin to rust or corrode from the inside, this isn’t the only reason to clean it. As the deck of the lawn mower slowly fills with grass clippings, weeds, and dirt, the accumulation creates a barrier that prevents the grass from standing up straight while underneath the mower. This results in a poorly cut lawn and this build-up can even start to hinder the rotation of the blades, putting undue stress on the engine, blades, and component parts of the mower. So, after mowing the lawn, just take 5 minutes to flip the machine over and clean out the deck, saving the hassle of future lawn mower repairs.

DON’T neglect oil changes.

Similar to sharpening the lawn mower blades, changing the oil in the lawn mower is a task that can either be almost entirely ignored or regularly performed with strict adherence to a maintenance schedule, depending on the user. If you don’t know exactly how it benefits the lawn mower, then it may seem like changing the oil does a lot. However, without this lubrication on the moving parts of the mower, the engine begins to seize and break down prematurely. Many people think of oil as the lifeblood of the engine, so it makes sense that the engine cannot function without it.

Check the oil level with the lawn mower dipstick before each use and change the oil when it becomes murky. For regular maintenance throughout the year, it’s advised to change the oil about once every 25 hours of use or at least twice per mowing season to ensure that the lawn mower engine is properly lubricated with clean oil.

Truco Services, Inc.

4640 Commerce Drive

Murray, Utah 84107

(801) 466-8044

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