Lawn Mowers 101: Getting the Best from Your Mower

Published On: March 12, 20210 Comments on Lawn Mowers 101: Getting the Best from Your MowerTags: , Last Updated: February 8, 20245.2 min read

Whether it’s a simple push model or a beautiful ride-along, you want your mower to work well and last for as long as is possible. Regular and seasonal maintenance of your mower is incredibly important in achieving this. They don’t come with instructions for no reason! Likewise, ignoring or flouting the manufacturer’s guidance and general common sense could actually result in serious injury, as well as damage to the mower itself.

Lawn Mowers 101

Today we’re offering you some simple yet effective ways to maximize your mower’s life span and ensure it runs to the best of its ability.

Top Tips For Mower Care

Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines

If the user guide provided states you must use a certain kind of fuel or oil, you must follow this advice; failure to do so could make your mower hard or impossible to start. Where a manual indicates certain precautions and methods for disassembly, those should be followed to the letter… unless you want to be at risk of injury! Likewise, any other maintenance suggestions made should be adhered to. By adhering to these recommendations, you’ll lengthen the lifespan of your mower, as well as ensure that it performs well every single time you use it. Get a perfectly manicured lawn and keep it that way for as long as possible!

Monitor Your Oil Levels

If your mower uses oil, then you’re going to want to regularly check up on it. It should stay the same consistent color, and you shouldn’t be able to see any bits of dirt and other debris. Once contaminated, you’re going to need to change your oil and replace it, otherwise, you risk damage to the fragile internal mechanisms. It’s simple to do: just pull out that drain plug on the mower’s undercarriage and let the oil pour out until there’s nothing left. Those not lucky enough to have a designated drainage plug – we’re sorry! You’ll have to delicately tip your mower to the side and pour the oil out yourself manually. The manual provided with the mower you have should both indicate what method is appropriate for drainage, as well as the appropriate oil for this specific unit.

Regularly Drain The Fuel Tank

We’re not talking about emptying your lawn mower’s tank following every use, but at least after the season and before it goes into storage for winter. Congealed, jelly-like gasoline left for months is the primary culprit for failure to start once pulled out again. Either run the mower until the engine stops, having run out of fuel naturally, or drain it into a clean gas can and add some fuel stabilizer for use in the future. Otherwise, you should get some fresh fuel when it’s mowing time again next year.

Annually Swap Out Your Spark Plug

You have no excuse for avoiding this, because a spark plug costs next to nothing but has a giant impact on the quality of your mower’s, well, mowing! Using a socket or spark plug wrench, simply disconnect its wire, remove the old one and lube up the hole it leaves behind with some general garage oil. Once nice and slick, install your new plug, but don’t over tighten it. By doing this every year, your mower should start beautifully whenever you use it. 

Lawn Mowers 101 - mowing

Proper Blade Care

It might not spring to mind, but though it’s only cutting grass, the blades of your mower will dull over time, becoming less efficient. You’d be surprised what kind of impact hidden branches, pebbles and lumps of dirt can have over time. Those with experience should utilize a metal file to sharpen up those dulled blades themselves. However, if you’re not used to DIY shop work, seek a professional to do the tricky part for you at your local mower repair shop.

Clean Your Mower After Every Use

You don’t want to hear this, but making time to remove not just the large clumps, but every blade of grass in the undercarriage of your mower is in your best interest. And yes, we do mean after every mow, not just once it becomes too dirty to use. First things first, remove the spark plug as a safety precaution. Then, gently remove any dried on dirt and lawn foliage with a wire brush or putty knife; you could also carefully spray it down with a garden hose for a helping hand. Don’t just focus on the obvious spots  – be sure the wheels, chassis and chute are also getting the necessary amount of TLC to keep them in good condition. While you’re at it, you may as well take a look at all of those screws, bolts and nuts and ensure everything is nice and tight. Loose parts are a huge no-no!

Regularly Replace The Air Filter

As with your spark plug, allowing your mower’s filter to become clogged with grass, dirt or other debris spells big trouble for its performance. Not only will it burn through fuel way less efficiently than it normally would, but you’re also putting a huge amount of strain on the engine. The majority of mowers on the market have either a foam or paper filter, and these are super affordable to replace once the dirt and grime are too hard to clean out. Give it a glance every so often, dust it down where you can, and once it’s staying grimy no matter what you do, it’s time for a new one.

Which Mower Is Right For Me?

As we touched on right at the start, there are several kinds of mover available. If you’re looking to purchase a new mower for the first time, or just seeking an upgrade for a current model, you might be wondering which is best. Check out this handy article to have the distinctions between different types of lawnmowers explained. By assessing your lawn care needs and physical ability, then purchasing the right mower for you, you’re also guaranteeing you’ll do a better job at gardening!

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