Lawnmower Maintenance: The Essential Guide For New Homeowners
Lawnmowers are a necessary homeowner’s tool when it comes to keeping your yard looking neat and tidy.
But as new owners of an unruly yard quickly learn, lawnmowers require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
Neglecting basic maintenance tasks can lead to costly repairs down the line, so it’s important to stay on top of things.
In this article, we’ll cover all the essential maintenance tasks you need to keep your lawnmower in top shape.
Get To Know The Parts Of A Lawnmower
The various parts of a lawnmower and their functions can be confusing for a novice. But understanding the parts of a lawnmower can help you to better maintain and troubleshoot your mower.
By familiarizing yourself with the various lawnmower components and their functions, you can keep your mower running smoothly and your grass looking its best. So let’s take a quick look at the main components of a lawnmower and how they work together to keep your grass trimmed and healthy.
The engine is the heart of the lawnmower, providing the power needed to turn the blades and move the mower across the grass. Lawnmowers can have either gas-powered or electric engines. Gas-powered engines are typically more powerful and can be used for larger lawns, while electric engines are quieter, more environmentally friendly, and easier to maintain.
The blades are the most important part of the lawnmower, responsible for cutting the grass. Lawnmower blades are typically made of hardened steel and are mounted on the underside of the deck. The deck is the metal or plastic housing that surrounds the blades and helps to channel the grass clippings.
The deck is the metal or plastic housing that surrounds the blades and helps to channel the grass clippings. The deck is typically made of steel or aluminum and is designed to be durable and resistant to rust. Some lawnmowers have a deck that can be adjusted to different cutting heights, allowing you to customize the cut for different types of grass.
The wheel assembly consists of the wheels and the axles that connect them to the lawnmower. The wheels provide traction and allow the mower to move across the grass, while the axles provide stability and support. The wheel assembly is an important part of the lawnmower, as it helps to distribute the weight of the mower evenly and reduces wear and tear on the blades and engine.
The handle assembly consists of the handles and the control levers that allow you to operate the lawnmower. The handles provide a comfortable grip and allow you to steer the mower, while the control levers allow you to start the engine, engage the blades, and adjust the cutting height. Some lawnmowers also have additional features, such as a bagging system or mulching capability, that can be controlled via the handle assembly.
In addition to the main components, lawnmowers may also have other parts, such as a fuel tank, oil reservoir, and air filter. These parts help to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently and may require regular maintenance or replacement. Consult your owner’s manual for specific information on these parts and how to care for them.
Cleaning the Deck and Blades
The first step in maintaining your lawnmower is to clean the deck and blades.
Over time, grass clippings and debris can build up under the deck, leading to poor cutting performance and reduced fuel efficiency.
To clean the deck and blades, follow these steps:
- Remove any debris from the top of the deck and blades.
- Disconnect the spark plug wire so that the engine doesn’t start accidentally.
- Use a putty knife or scraper to loosen and remove any grass clippings or debris from under the deck.
- Use a wire brush to scrub the blades, and make sure that you give some attention to the underside of those blades.
- Wipe the deck and blades with a clean, dry cloth to remove any remaining dirt or debris.
Changing the Oil
Changing the oil is an important part of keeping your lawnmower running smoothly.
Over time, oil can become dirty and contaminated, reducing its ability to lubricate the engine and leading to increased wear and tear.
Most lawnmowers require an oil change every 25-50 hours of operation, or at least once per season.
To change the oil, follow these steps:
- Find the mower’s oil drain plug and oil filter. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where they are located on the machine.
- Place a pan or container under the oil drain plug to catch the old oil.
- Remove the oil drain plug and allow the old oil to drain completely.
- Remove the oil filter and replace it with a new one.
- Add new oil to the engine, following the oil capacity recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Checking and Replacing the Air Filter
Since the mower’s air filter is what does the heavy lifting when it comes to trapping dirt and debris before it enters the engine, it’s important that you keep it clean and in good condition.
To check the air filter, follow these steps:
- Locate the air filter cover on your lawnmower. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where it is.
- Remove the cover and inspect the air filter. If it’s dirty or damaged, it needs to be replaced.
- Replace the air filter with a new one, making sure it’s seated properly and the cover is tightened securely.
Sharpening the Blades
Sharp blades are essential for a clean, even cut and healthy lawn.
Over time, blades can become dull and damaged, leading to poor cutting performance and potentially even damaging your grass.
To sharpen the blades, follow these steps:
- Remove the blades from the lawnmower. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do this.
- To sharpen the blades, use a file or grinder. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper sharpening angle and technique.
- Balance the blades using a blade balancer or a piece of string. This helps to ensure an even cut and reduce vibrations.
- Reinstall the blades, making sure they’re tightened securely.
Lawnmower maintenance may seem like a daunting task, but by following these basic steps, you can keep your lawnmower running smoothly and extend its lifespan.
Remember to regularly clean the deck and blades, change the oil, check and replace the air filter, and sharpen the blades to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.
Regular maintenance will not only help your lawnmower run better, but it will also end up saving you some money by preventing some costly repairs.
So don’t put it off – start taking care of your lawnmower today!