Lawnmower Repairs: How You Can Extend The Life Of Your Mower

You might think that your lawnmower is just something you get out of the shed from time to time and which will – hopefully – work, no matter how much you take care of it. Like everything with moving parts though, things can and will go wrong, particularly if you don’t follow the advice of the manufacturer.

You will need to take your machine into the dealer for a service once a year to make sure that the warrantee remains valid. This is important because lawnmower repairs can be very expensive if a part fails and you’ve allowed your warrantee to lapse.

In the meantime, there are various small jobs you can do to make sure you’re getting the best cut possible, and that your machine continues to operate as it should. The frequency that you carry out these jobs will depend how much you use your machine. As you can image a lawnmower which cuts several acres of grass per week will need more frequent maintenance work than one which mows a very small back garden once a fortnight.

There are a number of areas you can look at to keep your machine working well. Before you get started with any DIY lawnmower repairs, make sure you check your user manual. Always disconnect any power, take out the spark plug, or remove batteries before working on your lawnmower for safety reasons.

Sometimes lawnmower repairs can be as simple as topping up the petrol.

Routine Jobs

  • Keep an eye on the grass itself. If it looks torn rather than cleanly cut then it’s time to sharpen your blades
  • Check that all leads are tightly fitted, as are any nuts and bolts
  • Change the oil around once a year or after 50 hours use – whichever comes first
  • Clean the air filter around three or four times a year and replace about once per year unless you’re working in particularly dusty conditions in which case you might need to replace more frequently
  • Clean the spark plug, and replace once a year to improve fuel economy and ensure a more reliable start
  • Take your lawnmower for a yearly service with a dealer near you to make sure that it’s in tip top condition

Common Problems (And How to Fix Them)

1. Your grass isn’t cutting evenly
As the blades are the part of the machine which physically cut the grass, it stands to reason that they will need to be in good working order if you want a good cut. They will become dull with use, and they can be damaged if they’re forced through particularly long grass, or you hit any hard objects like stones whilst mowing. You can minimise this damage by making sure you rake your lawn prior to every cut.

You will probably need to sharpen your blades once at the beginning of the season before your first cut of the year, and then again in the middle of the season. Finally, give them a thorough check when you prepare your gardening equipment for the winter months.

If there are any large dents in the blade which you’re unable to smooth out, you will need to replace your blades. Otherwise, you’ll simply need to knock the dents out and sharpen up the edges.

2. The starter rope seems to be stuck
If you keep pulling on a rope which isn’t doing a lot, you could well end up snapping it. Usually this is a sign of another issue, and not merely a problem with the rope.

An excessive amount of clippings clogging up the blades could be one cause. If this is the case, follow your manual’s instructions on how you should tip the mower, and then clear the underside using a stick.
Alternatively, it could be an engine issue.

3. The mower won’t start
This can be quite a common problem, but it’s also usually quite easily resolved. Sometimes it can be as simple as you need to top up the fuel tank, whilst in other cases leaving petrol in the machine for too long could be the cause of your problems. Make sure you drain your machine before storing for winter or add a fuel stabiliser to prevent the carburettor becoming clogged.

If you’re using a battery lawnmower, make sure you disconnect you battery when it’s not in use, and store inside during cooler weather to maximise its lifespan and help maintain charge.

When to call in the experts

Sometimes there will be a problem which you can’t work out, or simply don’t have the technical knowhow to fix. You might just not have the time to fiddle around and work out a problem. You might want to book in with a service dealer in order to get the job done properly and promptly.

On top of any interim lawnmower repairs which need to be carried out, make sure that you book your machine in for a routine service in the winter so you’re already for the first cut of spring. This will help to keep you mower in good working order and to pick up on anything which might cause problems further down the line.