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Sunready Landscaping

Lawnmower Maintenance 

Summer is upon us Stouffville! And with summer, along with its beautiful weather we here in Stouffville are blessed to have, there are a whole new slew of outdoor chores! And one of those chores for Stouffville home owners is lawn mowing. And with lawn mowing comes lawn mowers. And with lawn mowers comes lawnmower maintenance.

Maintaining one’s lawnmower is essential for ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. Regular maintenance not only saves one money on costly repairs but also guarantees a well-manicured lawn. This comprehensive guide will cover everything one need to know about lawnmower maintenance, including the types of lawnmowers, essential tools, safety precautions, and detailed maintenance steps. And for those who don’t want to do it themselves, the professionals are here to help!

Types of Lawnmowers

Understanding the type of lawnmower one own is the first step in proper maintenance. Lawnmowers can be broadly categorized into three types:

1. Push Lawnmowers: These are manually operated and best for small lawns. They require physical effort to push, and maintenance mainly involves sharpening the blades and keeping the wheels in good condition.

2. Self-Propelled Lawnmowers: These mowers have a drive system that propels the mower forward, requiring less effort from the user. Maintenance includes engine care, belt inspection, and drive system lubrication.

3. Riding Lawnmowers: Suitable for large lawns, these mowers are like small tractors. They require more extensive maintenance, including engine upkeep, battery care, and regular inspection of the transmission and cutting deck.

 

Essential Tools for Lawnmower Maintenance

Before diving into maintenance tasks, ensure one have the following tools and materials:

– Spark plug wrench

– Air filter

– Oil filter and oil pan

– Fresh oil (check one’s mower’s manual for the recommended type)

– Replacement spark plug

– Screwdrivers and wrenches

– Clean rags

– Fuel stabilizer

– Lawn mower blade sharpener or file

– Safety gloves and goggles

 

Safety Precautions

Safety is paramount when performing maintenance on one’s lawnmower. Follow these precautions:

1. Disconnect the Spark Plug: Always disconnect the spark plug wire before performing any maintenance to prevent accidental starts.

2. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area: Ensure one are in a well-ventilated area, especially when dealing with fuel and oil.

3. Wear Protective Gear: Use safety gloves and goggles to protect oneself from sharp blades and debris.

4. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always refer to one’s mower’s manual for specific maintenance guidelines.

 

Regular Maintenance Tasks

1. Cleaning the Mower

Regularly cleaning one’s lawnmower prevents the build-up of grass clippings and debris that can hinder its performance.

1. Exterior Cleaning: Use a garden hose to wash off dirt and grass from the exterior. Avoid spraying water directly into the engine.

2. Deck Cleaning: Scrape off dried grass clippings and dirt from under the mower deck using a brush or putty knife. This prevents clogging and ensures a smooth cut.

 

2. Checking and Changing the Oil

Regular oil changes are crucial for the smooth operation of one’s mower’s engine.

1. Check Oil Level: Before each mowing session, check the oil level using the dipstick. Add oil if necessary.

2. Change the Oil: Change the oil after every 25-50 hours of use or at the beginning of the mowing season. To do this, run the engine for a few minutes to warm the oil, then drain it into an oil pan. Replace the oil filter if one’s mower has one, and refill with fresh oil.

3. Air Filter Maintenance

A clean air filter ensures one’s engine gets the proper air-fuel mixture.

1. Check the Air Filter: Inspect the air filter every 25 hours of use. Replace it if it’s dirty or damaged.

2. Replace the Air Filter: Remove the cover, take out the old filter, and insert a new one. Ensure it fits snugly and replace the cover.

 

4. Spark Plug Care

The spark plug is vital for engine ignition. Regular inspection and replacement are necessary.

1. Inspect the Spark Plug: Check the spark plug every 25 hours of use. Look for signs of wear or carbon build-up.

2. Replace the Spark Plug: If the plug is dirty or damaged, replace it. Use a spark plug wrench to remove the old plug, gap the new one according to one’s manual, and install it.

 

5. Blade Maintenance

Sharp blades are essential for a clean cut and the health of one’s lawn.

1. Inspect the Blades: Check the blades for dullness or damage before each use.

2. Sharpen the Blades: Remove the blades using a wrench. Sharpen them with a blade sharpener or file, ensuring one maintain the original angle. Balance the blades before reinstalling them.

3. Replace the Blades: If the blades are severely damaged or worn, replace them with new ones.

 

6. Fuel System Care

Proper fuel maintenance ensures one’s mower runs efficiently and prevents engine problems.

1. Use Fresh Fuel: Always use fresh fuel and add a fuel stabilizer if one store the mower for long periods.

2. Check Fuel Lines: Inspect fuel lines for cracks or leaks. Replace any damaged lines to prevent fuel leaks and engine issues.

3. Drain Fuel: At the end of the mowing season, drain the fuel tank or run the mower until it’s out of fuel to prevent stale fuel from clogging the carburetor.

 

 

7. Battery Maintenance (for Riding Mowers)

For riding lawnmowers, battery care is essential for reliable starts.

1. Clean the Battery Terminals: Remove any corrosion from the battery terminals using a wire brush.

2. Check the Battery Charge: Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. Recharge or replace the battery if necessary.

3. Store Properly: During the off-season, remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Keep it charged periodically.

 

8. Belt Inspection (for Self-Propelled and Riding Mowers)

Belts drive the wheels and blades, so regular inspection is necessary.

1. Inspect Belts: Check for wear, cracks, or fraying. Replace any damaged belts to ensure proper operation.

2. Adjust Belt Tension: Refer to one’s mower’s manual for instructions on adjusting belt tension. Proper tension ensures efficient power transfer and prolongs belt life.

 

9. Lubrication

Lubricating moving parts reduces friction and wear, ensuring smooth operation.

1. Lubricate Pivot Points: Apply lubricant to pivot points, wheels, and any other moving parts. Use the type of lubricant recommended in one’s mower’s manual.

2. Grease Fittings: If one’s mower has grease fittings, use a grease gun to apply grease to these points regularly.

 

Seasonal Maintenance Tasks

1. Pre-Season Preparation

Before the mowing season begins, perform the following tasks:

1. Complete Inspection: Conduct a thorough inspection of the mower, checking all components and systems.

2. Tune-Up: Replace the spark plug, air filter, and change the oil. Sharpen the blades and inspect the belts.

3. Test Run: Start the mower and let it run for a few minutes to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

 

2. End-of-Season Storage

Proper storage at the end of the mowing season prevents damage and ensures a smooth start next season.

1. Clean the Mower: Thoroughly clean the mower, removing all dirt and grass clippings.

2. Drain Fuel: Drain the fuel tank or add a fuel stabilizer to prevent stale fuel.

3. Change Oil: Change the oil to remove any contaminants.

4. Store Indoors: Store the mower in a dry, sheltered area. Cover it to protect it from dust and moisture.

 

Troubleshooting Common Problems

1. Mower Won’t Start

 

1. Check Fuel: Ensure there is fresh fuel in the tank.

2. Inspect Spark Plug: Check the spark plug for damage or fouling. Replace if necessary.

3. Air Filter: Ensure the air filter is clean and not clogged.

 

2. Uneven Cutting

 

1. Blade Condition: Check if the blades are sharp and balanced.

2. Deck Leveling: Ensure the mower deck is level.

3. Tire Pressure: Check and adjust the tire pressure for even height.

 

3. Excessive Vibration

 

1. Blade Balance: Ensure the blades are balanced.

2. Loose Parts: Check for and tighten any loose bolts or components.

3. Damaged Blade: Inspect for bent or damaged blades and replace if necessary.

Regular lawnmower maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of one’s machine. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, one can keep one’s lawnmower in top condition, resulting in a beautifully manicured lawn and a reliable mower for years to come. Remember to always refer to one’s mower’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions. With proper care, one’s lawnmower will be a dependable tool in one’s gardening arsenal. And remember, the professionals are here to help!

The Sunready Landscaping team is ready to help you create extraordinary outcomes. Proudly serving the Greater Toronto Area from our home base in Stouffville since 2016.

Contact Sunready Landscaping for your free quote today. Call us at: 647-779-5798 or send us an inquiry via our contact form.

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