Lawn Mower Maintenance

Lawn mower maintenance is an important part of owning a lawn mower. No matter which type of lawn mower one owns, it will eventually require maintenance or repair. The maintenance needs will vary, depending on the type, age and style of the machine.

One of the most important maintenance issues for every lawn mower is to keep the blades free from debris such as leaves, clippings, mud, etc. It is especially important that any wet debris be removed immediately to avoid rust and dulling of the blades. If left unattended, wet debris will interfere with the motion of the blades, causing the thing to be less or altogether inefficient, which will in time damage the engine.

If your mower is a manual reel push mower, maintaining it could be as simple as keeping the mower clean and the blades sharpened. If you have a lawn mower with an engine, it is important to make sure that the oil is checked on a regular basis and changed if necessary. Just like a car engine, the engines need to be cared for regularly.

If you have an electric mower, hover mower, robotic mower or really with any type, it needs to be kept clean and free of debris as well as checked at least once a year. Most manufacturers offer free check-ups twice a year.

Some people prefer to replace their mowers every few years to avoid the hassle of maintenance. Others enjoy working on their mowers themselves and prefer to figure out any maintenance issues they encounter. There are numerous “how to” books which, combined with the owner’s manual, can assist in explaining how to maintain and repair these special machinery if you are mechanically inclined.

Most importantly, if you are unsure about proper mower maintenance, contact a lawn care or repair professional to maintain optimal use for your mower.

Most of us do (or schedule) routine maintenance all the time. We may change the air filter on the furnace before the chill of winter sets in. Or, we call the chimney sweep to make sure the fireplace will work safely and effectively before lighting it up. Imagine if we never changed the oil on our cars. Routine maintenance is just good sense. It helps everything run well and last longer. However, some of us have been neglecting our routine lawn mower maintenance. Performing a few simple tasks at the beginning of each mowing season will help your mower last longer and work more effectively.

Throughout the year as you mow your lawn, dirt and debris can dull the mower blades and get into the machine’s oil. As you start your routine lawn mower maintenance, the first step is to change the oil. That’s right, every year the oil should be changed before the start of the season. The particles of dirt and debris can shorten the life of your mower’s motor, so clean oil is a must for keeping your mower in tip-top shape. Simply drain out the old oil. Replace the oil with quality engine oil, usually SAE 30. Your owner’s manual will state the proper oil for your particular mower.

Second, clean out or change the air filter on your mower. If you are doing routine lawn mower maintenance each year, you can probably simply clean the existing air filter and place it back in the machine. Brushing or blowing out the paper accordion is usually very effective. Wash the foam type air filters with water and detergent, rinse thoroughly, let air dry, and then add a little oil to it before you put it back in. While you are performing these first two steps, it is a good idea to check the state of your spark plugs and replace if necessary.

The final step in yearly routine lawn mower maintenance is to sharpen your mower blades. This is the most involved of the three steps, but it has a big impact on your lawn. As blades get dull, they begin to tear the grass rather than cut it cleanly. The grass can be become diseased, ruining a beautiful lawn. Remove the blades one at a time from the deck, sharpen, and replace. The safest way to do maintenance on a riding mower is with a locking mower jack designed to lift and hold the weight of your machine.

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