Regular lawn mower servicing is essential for the life of your lawn mower. Before the start of the season, proper servicing needs to be done depending on usage. Proper servicing may include; lawn mower inspection for cable adjustments (for electric mowers), blade sharpening or changing of oil.
You do not have to be a mechanic to do preventative maintenance or servicing to your mower, although it can be discouraging more so if you are not technically oriented, just take it easy and liaise with your mower manual for servicing. Petrol mowers require oil change, plug change and filter cleaning. The chassis can also be cleaned then attention given to rollers and chains (if present), wheels and oil controls. When servicing you will need; one or two spanners, liquid soap, spark plug spanner and spark plug not forgetting lawn mower oil.
SERVICING LAWN MOWERS
Regular servicing is important for improved performance and extended life. With the following tips on how to service your lawn mower, you will save yourself lot of money. All you need are basic tools; spanners, some liquid soap and oil.
Other than saving money, much time will also be saved as you only need approximately 30 minutes for the whole process.
Step 1; Clean or Change the Air Filters;
To clean or to replace the filters depends on the type your mower is using. When cleaning, start by simply removing the filter covers then use a high pressure air hose to blow out all the debris. Filter papers are replaced when they are too much clogged and dirty. If they are made of foam, wash them in a lot of water with liquid soap or detergent. Dry them and apply a little oil to them.
Replacing or cleaning air filters is inexpensive and will improve gas burning efficiency thereby improving the overall efficiency and performance of your mower.
Step 2; Changing Oil;
Oil changing is recommended at least once in every season or after approximately 25 hours of use. Dirt and impurities that collect in the oil during the cutting season might ruin your engine with time; a reason why changing it is recommended. Most mower manuals have simple procedures on how to replace stale oil. Provided Service kits make it easier by recommending the best oil for your mower engine.
To change the contaminated oil, the underneath drain plug should be removed to allow oil to completely drain. Return the plug and refill with the new-correct type of oil.
LAWN MOWER OIL
For best performance, lawn mower oil should have the following characteristics;
- Be of high quality
- Warrantedand certified
- Should not include additives
- Should be classified for service i.e.; SG, SH, SF, SJ
- Be of 18 Fl. oz. (.532 L)
Consequently ensure the oil is of the right viscosity and of right standard of measure.
Step 3; Changing the Spark Plug;
This is important for easy starting of your mower. When the spark plug is replaced every season, stalled-start frustrations are avoided. Simply remove the old spark plug and replace it with a new one
A gap is a little space at the plug end where the metal end bends at ninety degrees. Unlike before, most manufactures pre-set the gap and package new plugs thus making the whole process of replacing an old plug with a new one easier. It is also recommended to do a gap double check by using a cheap spark plug gap tool to determine the old plug condition before replacing it.
To replace/change the plug, the plug spark wire should be unhooked then the old plug removed with a spark plug wrench or a socket. The new plug is then installed but not over tightened. Over tightening may prevent the plug from starting.
LAWN MOWER SERVICE COSTS
Lawn mower servicing may cost up to £90 depending on the type of mower. The £90 is inclusive of material and labour. When you do it alone, you can spend approximately £15 savingaround 85%. Whenservicing, do not forget to constantly refer to the mower manual
Petrol lawn mower service costs
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Cylinder Mowers service costs
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Servicing ride on mowers and garden tractors can cost up to £180.00 depending on size while that of trimmers/Hedge Cutters is £50.00 (including Sharpening)
The above pricesare exclusive of VAT and are subject to change depending on the type of spares that may be utilised during the process.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SERVICE YOUR LAWN MOWER?
Complete servicing is recommended at the close of every mowing season or before the lawn starts growing in spring and planning is encouraged so as to have a smooth maintenance exercise. Light servicing i.e. changing of oil should be ensured after approximately 20-30 hours of use or when the oil turns too dark with the mower producing strange revs/rumbles.
LAWN MOWER REPAIRS
With protective clothing, glasses and gloves start bydisconnecting the spark plug. This is an important precautionary measure that ensures your mower does not start when the repair exercise is going on.
Then do a Pre Diagnosis. Pre diagnosis gives indicators on where faults are. Examine the condition of spark plugsfor essential clues. A spark plug with melted metal around the gap is a clear indication that oil should be changed. Consequently, a striped spark plug alerts you to buy a heli coli for patching the damage.
Check the Ignition System wiring and ensure there is no wear or grime that might lead to ignition problems. Testing the ignition can be done by holding one end of a spark plug to a grounded metal piece and observe whether it sparks when the engine is started. Be cautious so as to avoid a painful zap during this process.
Remove the flywheel and clean the carburettor ensuring no gun key varnish remains. Most carburettor jets are made of brass and can also be removed and cleaned by simply passing or running a thin piece of wire through them. This clears every clog, leaving all holes open.
If your mower had starting problems, check if the gas cap hole is blocked. This is done by running a thin gauge wire through the hole to unclog it. Also, check the gas tank filter and clean it with a light brush if only a trickle of gas is being emitted from the main line.
Sometimes the intake valve (injecting mixture of air into the combustion chamber) and the exhaust valve (emitting carbon monoxide after combustion) may clog due to accumulated junk around the shaft. Cleaning is therefore necessary. In case the valves are scratched (this leads to oil leak) or head chipped, new ones must be purchased.
Clean the spark arrestors with a wire brush to clear blockages and almost lastly remove the pistons checking whether the gaps in the rings are lining up even when the piston is pulled out of the engine.If not align them ensuring a 90 degree difference and screw everything back together
Do a final visual inspection replacing frayed wiring connections and tightening loose nuts and bolts before painting any rusted parts.