For most people, maintaining lawn mowers or any other household equipment (e.g., air conditioner, pool) else is not the most exciting use of our hard-earned money or free time. However, developing an understanding of why we do this can help some.
First, it's important to understand that some of the things we do during a lawn mower maintenance help the mower itself, other things help keep your lawn healthy, and some things are for your comfort as the operator. Let's look at these:
Maintenance items for the lawn mower - There are only a few things that need to be done to keep your equipment running well. These things protect your investment in the machine by delaying or eliminating costly repairs and extend the life of your mower.
- Oil Change - Engines create a lot of heat. Without proper lubrication, your engine will slowly lose it's power and eventually not perform. In extreme situations, the engine will seize due to lack of lubrication.
- Air Filter Replacement - The air filter in your lawn mower protects the engine's air intake from ingesting dirt and debris. If dirt gets into your engine, it will reduce the oils ability to lubricate the engine. It also can "score" the walls of the cylinder, causing the engine to wear prematurely. A dirty filter is not able to catch the dirt and debris any longer and also reduces the mower's ability to take in enough air to perform well. For those that regularly mulch leaves, it's important to check your filter more often.
- Fuel Filter Replacement - If you look inside most gas cans, you'll probably spot a bunch of things that don't belong in there. Having a fuel filter that is working properly, keeps this stuff out of your carburetor. Replacing carburetors is a very common issue and is usually preventable with good fuel management practices and regular maintenance.
Lawn Mower Maintenance items for your lawn
- Blade Sharpening - Your lawn mower doesn't care if the blade is dull or sharp. It will work fine either way. However, having a sharp blade is imperative to having a healthy lawn. A sharp blade cuts the grass. A dull blade tears the tops of the grass off. This tearing leaves jagged edges that invite disease and fungus. These edges also turn brown, affecting the look of your lawn. You can tell if your blade needs to be sharpened by looking at your grass. For most lawns, your blade should actually be sharpened at least twice a year - more regularly than your lawn mower.
Lawn Mower Maintenance for you
- Self-propel cable adjustments - once common complaint we get about lawn mowers is that the self-propel "doesn't work as well as it used to". Yes, sometimes the gears in the transmission slowly wear, but more often the self-propel cable just needs to be adjusted. These cables stretch over time and sometimes get snagged on trees and items in the garage. Keeping these cables in adjustment can drastically affect how fast your lawn mower goes and how easy it is to get your grass cut.
- Wheel inspections & replacements - Just like the wheels of your car, the wheels of your lawn mower wear down. Like an out of adjustment cable, bald wheels affect your mower's ability to propel well. A well maintained lawn mower will last longer than the wheels will. Expect to replace the drive wheels twice in a machines life and the other wheels once.
There are several other things our technicians do as part of our Lawn Mower Maintenance Packages, but these are the most critical to keep your machine in good working order, your grass looking healthy, and you feeling comfortable. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us.