The general advice is that you should have you lawnmower serviced around once a year, but there are instances (particularly when your machines are doing a lot of work) that you might need additional tune ups throughout the season.
Think about your lawnmower in the same way you would think about your car. Would you leave your car until something went badly wrong to have it looked at? Most people will take their vehicle to a garage as soon as something seems wrong to prevent a major expense later.
When it comes to lawnmowers though, more people will wait until their machines have completely failed rather than fixing a minor problem when it first occurs. This might be because they use the lawnmower less frequently, and don’t necessary notice when something feels different. Regular lawnmower servicing will pick up on any minor issues, as well as keep your warrantee valid, which means you’re more likely to seek professional help when something seems a bit off.
An estimate and a quotation are not the same thing. A quoted price is (or should be) what you will end up paying, while an estimate will vary depending on the work which needs doing and the parts required. Sometimes if you have an inexpensive mower which requires major work, you’ll find it is actually cheaper to replace than to pay for the necessary cost of parts and labour.
When you have a car serviced, or you take it in for repair, you might tell the garage how long a problem has been going on for, where a sound is coming from, or how that’s affecting the drive for you. Unless you’re a mechanic, you’re unlikely to try and diagnose the problem. The more information you can give will usually help the mechanic working on your car to figure out what has gone wrong, but if you telling them what you think the problem is and what you want repaired, they might not uncover the real issue.
The Haynes Lawnmower Manual gives a really good example of how this can apply in the world of lawnmowers:
Machine owner: ‘Can you fix the recoil on my petrol mower? The rope’s snapped.’
Service dealer: ‘Certainly, Sir, no problem.’
The book goes on to explain how, while this seems to be a relatively simple repair job, key information has been left out of the customers description of the problem – and the dealer has failed to ask the right questions as well. More often than not, if a recoil rope snaps it’s because it is being pulled very hard or too much, which is usually because the engine is difficult to start. The machine owner didn’t tell the dealer that they’d had trouble starting their machine, and the dealer didn’t ask.
So it’s not always just a case of popping along to you dealer for lawnmower servicing. If you’re not careful about what you tell them you could prevent the problem from actually being fixed. Don’t try and self diagnose your machine. Tell the engineer the problem you’re having and let them find the solution on your behalf.
Refer to your manual for advice about servicing, or contact your dealer who should be able to advise you. If you’re based in Norfolk or Suffolk, visit our Bartram Mowers showrooms for excellent service at low prices.