It’s spring – time to get back into our lawncare routines as the lawn enters its growing phase. First thing to do is to ensure that your lawnmower is in perfect running order.
Here’s the Daleys Turf top lawn mower maintenance tips for spring so it doesn’t cost you more than it should and so that your lawn won’t suffer any ill-effects from a poorly maintained mower:
Since petrol-powered lawn mowers are still the most popular type across South East Queensland, we’ll focus on them. While petrol-powered mowers have a small internal combustion engine, it does still need the same regular care as the larger one that most probably powers your car.
Check the Spark Plug
A good spark plug is critical for your lawn mower to run correctly. If it’s dirty or coming loose then it will cause your mower to be difficult to start, run choppy, waste petrol and chew up your grass rather than cut it. A burned out spark plug means your not starting that thing at all.
In Spring, get access to the spark plug and remove it with a spark plug wrench or deep socket wrench. If you can see signs of dirt or corrosion, spray the plug with brake cleaner, leave it for a few minutes and then gently brush it clean with a wire brush. Once you have remove the dirt, buff with a soft cloth. Replace the clean spark plug.
If you find a white, oily substance on the spark plug you may have a fuel leak and you should seek professional advice.
Should your lawnmower still not start or run poorly, the spark plug may be bad – replace it checking first with your owner’s manual to ensure you buy the right one. With spark plugs being relatively inexpensive – some people choose to simply replace the spark plug annually to save time and effort.
Change the Oil
Just like cars, lawnmowers need oil changes and the beginning of spring is a great reminder to do this. To protect the engine, oil should be changed after 50 hours or use or at least once a year.
Again, refer to your owner’s manual for the correct type of oil for your mower. Disconnect the spark plug, drain the oil into a container, replace the oil filter if your mower has one, and refill with new oil. Don’t overfill it as this can damage your mower. Don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug.
Replace the Air Filter
The lawnmower’s air filter can become clogged and dirty putting additional strain on the engine and stopping it from operating efficiently. Changing your air filter every spring will help it to breathe more easily.
Disconnect the spark plug, remove the filter cover, clean the foam pre-filter, replace the air filter, replace the filter cover, reconnect the spark plug.
Sharpen the Blades
Your lawn mower can’t cut your lawn properly without sharp blades – makes sense, right? Disconnect the spark plug, use a wrench to remove the blade. Sharpen the blade or take it to a professional for sharpening if you’re not confident doing it yourself.
Clean the Deck
The deck or underside of your lawnmower can become clogged with debris and grass which can interfere with its ability to function and even lead to corrosion. It can also cause the spreading of weeds and diseases. You should aim to do this regularly, spring being a great time to do it. Disconnect the spark plug, empty the petrol tank, turn the mower on its side, spray the underside thoroughly with a garden hose, use a brush and soapy water to remove dirt and debris. Once dirt is removed, coat the underside with a thin layer of vegetable oil to prevent further debris and dirt from sticking to it.