Lawn Mower Maintenance

Filed in Do it yourself by on March 5, 2015

Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance

Clean oil is cheap insurance. A little maintenance goes a long way. The oil should be changed anywhere from 20 – 50 hours running time. Check your owner’s manual. A good rule of thumb is that when it starts to change color it’s time to change it.

Air filters can be paper or foam. Paper filters can be cleaned once or twice by tapping them lightly. Foam filters should be washed out with dish soap and water. Wring them out and let them dry. Re-oil with motor oil and squeeze out the excess.

Check your spark plugs. Spark plug insulator (the ceramic piece that sticks up in the center) should be white or tan. If it is black you should replace it. If it is gooey and black, you are probably using oil and the engine needs to be repaired.

Check your control cables and starter rope.  See if they are frayed. A broken brake cable will prevent the engine from running (this is the one that you have to hold the handle down to start the engine).The starter rope should not be frayed and should retract completely when you release the pull handle. Recoil starter repair is not difficult or expensive; however there is a powerful spring inside. Repair should only be attempted by a competent mechanic.

Check your blades. Blades can be worn out by sand. If a blade is bent, it will make the mower vibrate. This can cause serious damage to the mower and should be replaced. Do not attempt to straighten a bent blade IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND CAN BREAK THE NEXT TIME YOU START THE MOWER. A bent blade can also cause a bent crankshaft. This can be an expensive repair.

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