Everyone wishes to have a beautiful and well-maintained lawn throughout the year. If you have invested in a powerful lawn mower, achieving this is no difficult task. While lawnmowers can be expensive, they are usually a one-time investment if maintained.
Directing your efforts towards keeping your lawn mower in excellent condition is pivotal to maintaining a healthy lawn. Therefore, to extend the lifestyle of your machine and prevent any unanticipated breakdowns, you must be aware of the various lawn mower maintenance practices you can use.
I have compiled essential lawn mower maintenance practices to help you ensure that your machine delivers outstanding results all year round!
Table of Contents
By following pre-use, post-use, and seasonal maintenance practices, such as checking oil levels, cleaning air filters, inspecting spark plugs, and tightening loose components, you can extend the lifespan of your machine. Additionally, routine part replacements, like changing mower blades and oil filters, are necessary to ensure optimal performance. Proper storage during the offseason is also essential. By dedicating time to lawn mower maintenance, you can enjoy outstanding results and a well-maintained lawn year-round.
1. Pre-Use Maintenance Properties
Pre-use lawn mower maintenance practices are the optimal way of identifying potential issues within your mower before they escalate. Following these practices regularly before every use will ensure your mower will function smoothly for many years.
Checking Oil Levels
One of the most vital factors that keep your mower running smoothly is your engine’s oil. You must research the recommended type of oils for your machine, as making the wrong choice can badly affect the mower’s lifespan. The ideal time to check your mower’s oil levels is when it is not in use, the engine is cold, and the machine is positioned on level ground.
In case the engine’s oil is low, the mower is bound not to run at total capacity, which may lead to possible engine failure. Therefore, it is a good idea to monitor your machine’s oil levels, inspect for any debris and change the oil if it is contaminated or old.
Checking The Air Filter
The air filter of a lawn mower is a component that prevents dirt and excess debris from entering an engine’s combustion chamber and damaging it. If you use your lawn mower regularly and live in a dusty area, you must not neglect the importance of this step. A clogged air filter can significantly impact the performance of your machine by restricting airflow, which can ultimately lead to increased fuel consumption and wear down your engine.
You must handle the air filter carefully, as damaging this component could lead to more prominent issues. If your mower’s air filter is slightly dirty, tapping it against a hard surface to remove any clogged-up dirt or debris will do the trick, or consider replacing the air filter if it is damaged.
Inspecting The Spark Plug
A clean spark plug helps ensure efficient fuel combustion, which allows a lawn mower to function smoothly. Inspecting the spark plug regularly is often overlooked. Damaged spark plugs can lead to numerous issues, such as engine damage and increased fuel consumption.
By regularly checking the spark plugs, you can identify potential issues before they escalate. Once you safely remove the spark plugs from your machine, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage. Indicators you should look for include excessive carbon buildup, oil fouling, and any signs of wear.
If you notice the spark plug is dirty, you may clean it with a wire brush or a cleaning tool. However, purchasing a brand-new spark plug is always wiser if it appears to be heavily damaged. If you install new spark plugs, you must keep them manageable, which may stop the lawn mower from starting.
Assessing The Condition Of Fuel
Before you decide to use your lawn mower, you must continually assess the condition of the fuel. The first step is to inspect whether the machine’s fuel has any signs of contamination, including dirt and debris. Water in the fuel can also lead to numerous issues, such as damage to the engine, and may cause problems when starting the machine.
Another aspect you should look out for when inspecting the condition of fuel is, its color. Fresh fuel often has a transparent or yellowish color. At the end of the day, if you encounter any issues with the fuel, you must refer back to the owner’s manual or contact a professional if needed.
2. Post-Use Maintenance Practices
While there is no denying that pre-use maintenance practices are important and help expand your mower’s lifespan, post-use care is just as necessary. After a long day of mowing your lawn, you must give your machine time to cool down and follow a proper post-use maintenance procedure to ensure it is kept in excellent condition.
Checking For And Tightening Any Loose Components
Once you have used your lawn mower, it is the ideal time to check for any loose or aging parts that may damage it. If a component is loose and falls off during use, it may cause irreparable damage to your lawn mower and even risk your safety.
Since a lawn mower is used regularly, constant movement can cause the screws and nuts to become loose. Therefore, thoroughly inspecting your mower’s components after every use is always a good idea.
Begin by examining the handlebars and cutting deck, ensuring all nuts and bolts securing the parts are in place. If they happen to be wobbly, make sure to tighten them before moving on.
Properly Storing The Lawn Mower
After using your lawn mower, you must store it properly. Most experts recommend storing lawnmowers indoors in a cool place, like a garage or a shed. Doing so helps prevent the machine from being exposed to dust, debris, and moisture. Clean the mower to Remove any dirt and grass before you put your lawn mower into storage.
This helps prevent corrosion. If the mower uses gasoline, use a fuel stabilizer to prevent it from getting stale. Once you do so, you should lubricate all moving parts and cover your mower with a blanket or plastic coating to provide an extra layer of protection.
Also Read: Best Electric Lawn Mowers for Your Garden
3. Seasonal Maintenance Practices
Lawnmowers need thorough maintenance twice a year. There is no denying that each season puts forth a new set of issues. Therefore, it is best to conduct sufficient research before each season begins.
From inspecting and assessing the condition of the components of your mower to adjusting settings depending on the current time of the year, the importance of seasonal lawn mower maintenance practices should be considered.
Preparing Your Lawn Mower For Spring
Your lawn mower may be used more frequently as the weather gets warmer. I recommend starting by checking the oil levels of your machine and changing it if it has any noticeable debris or looks black.
Once you assess the condition of the oil, you should check the air filter, the spark plug, and the mower’s blades before spring starts. If you see any dents or if the edge looks bent, it is best to replace it. Once you have inspected the lawn mower in and out, clean the machine’s top and bottom – and you should be good to go!
Cleaning the deck of a lawn mower is an essential part of preparing your lawn mower for spring, here’s a detailed guide on How To Clean A Riding Lawn Mower Deck? Separate Methods for With or Without Washing Port
Winterizing Your Lawn Mower
While it tends to be tempting to store the device in your garage simply, it is crucial to undergo the winterizing process, or it will only cause more prominent issues in the future.
Before the winter season begins, a mower needs to be emptied of fuel. Unused gas in the machine can get stale, eventually opening up the path for rust to seep in. Thankfully, draining the gas tank is not a challenging task. Begin by adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank and run the mower to distribute it throughout.
You should then turn your mower off and allow the engine to cool. Restart the machine and run it until the fuel lines are empty. Disconnect and replace the spark plugs, change the air filter, remove the blades, and safely store your mower in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area. Make sure you follow the owner’s manual for proper storage procedures!
Want a more detailed guide on winterizing the lawn mower? Here is a detailed guide on How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower in 10 Easy Steps?
4. Routine Part Replacements
Specific components may wear out as you use your lawn mower throughout the years. This may cause your mower’s efficiency to drop, affecting your lawn’s quality.
Replacing Mower Blades
Mower blades are one of the most critical components when cutting grass. If a mower has dull blades, the motor begins to require an additional amount of power to turn the edges causing the blades to cut grass unevenly.
Related Post: Do I Need to Change the Lawnmower Blades?
If your yard has fast-growing grass that needs to be mowed frequently, sharpening the blades regularly must be a part of your routine. Invest in a new set of blades if you notice that the edges of your mower blades are bent. You must refer to the owner’s manual and ensure you purchase the correct set of blades to avoid encountering any issues.
Changing The Oil And Oil Filter
The mowing parts within a lawn mower undergo friction which produces heat, causing parts of the mower to break down. Therefore, you must lubricate these parts with oil and make sure you fill the right amount of oil. Too much oil can be just as harmful as too little oil!
If you like your engine to run smoothly, clean oil is necessary! You can ensure that the machine is not exposed to contaminated oil by regularly changing the oil filter of your lawn mower. By periodically replacing these vital engine components, you can ensure that your mower is well-lubricated round-the-clock and that your engine runs smoothly for a long time.
Ensuring that you dedicate time towards regular maintenance of your mower can help improve the efficiency of your motor and extend its lifespan. Before you begin mowing your lawn, you must check the oil levels, and the air filter, inspect the spark plugs, and assess the condition of the fuel.
If you happen to notice an issue before you start the machine, you should fix them immediately to avoid larger problems in the future. Once you finish mowing your lawn and are ready to call it a day, you must thoroughly check whether all the components of the machine are tightly screwed. If any components are wobbly, make sure you tighten them and store your machine in a dry and well-ventilated area.
How Can I Safely Clean The Underside Of My Lawn Mower?
Cleaning the underside of your lawn mower is crucial to knowing how to maintain a lawn mower perfectly. Doing so helps ensure that your machine performs better and helps maintain a beautiful lawn throughout the year. Before you clean the underside of your device, ensure that it is turned off. Check whether the spark plugs are disconnected, and use a brush to remove any dirt, debris, or stuck grass. It is advised to avoid using water directly as that may cause rust. You may use compressed air to remove any stuck grass.
What Tools Do I Need To Perform Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance At Home?
Thankfully, essential lawn mower maintenance practices can be performed easily with a few standard tools at home. These tools include screwdrivers, a spark plug socket, a scraper, and a wrench. At times, you may require specific tools to maintain your lawn mower. Referring to the owner manual to determine the necessary tools is best.
How Should I Store My Lawn Mower To Ensure Its Longevity?
Once you are done mowing your lawn, you must store it in a ventilated, clean and dry area. Covering the mower with a blanket or a transparent sheet is recommended to avoid any dirt or debris from accumulating.
What Type Of Oil Is Best For My Lawn Mower?
Typically, 5W30 synthetic oil and Vanguard 15W30 synthetic oil are used in lawnmowers. However, the type of oil you should use for your machine depends on your model. I recommend referring to the owner’s manual to determine the recommended type of oil and the viscosity required.