Whether you have an old lawnmower or a have just bought a brand new one, proper care and maintenance is a good habit to get into. While you might find that there are little quirks and nuances between difference mowers, in general the care process will be more or less the same for all lawnmowers. In fact, since the first lawnmower was designed by Edwin Budding in 1830, there has been little change to the basic design.
From general maintenance to lawnmower storage, this guide will talk you through the basics of keeping your lawnmower in good working order for as long as possible. Many machines will have years of life in them when treated properly, while neglect or a lack of knowledge could mean you have to replace machines much more frequently.
Essentially then, taking care of your lawnmower could save you money, the hassle of shopping for a new mower, and the frustration when you machine simply doesn’t work.
There are a number of ways you can coax some extra hours from any machine but in essence it’s all about knowing how to treat it. When you buy a new lawnmower (or any garden machinery for that matter), it will come with a selection of paperwork. All the paperwork included is there for a reason, so look through it. The user manual is one of the most important things to check through as this will teach you about your specific machine, which oil it should be using, how it needs to be stored and more.
Some machines might be registered by the dealer on purpose, but if you’ve been provided with the registration documents to be completed, it’s a good idea to do this straight away. Guarantees and warranties will depend on the specific mower, but as a rule of thumb they will all have a manufacturer’s guarantee of at least a year. This means if there is anything mechanically wrong with the machine you can have the necessary repairs carried out at no cost within that period.
While many of these issues will be manifest from the off, at Lawnmowers Direct we carry out checks on all our petrol lawnmowers before we send them out for delivery. This means that they are definitely working when they leave us, and any glaring faults will be picked up instantly, reducing the hassle of receiving a faulty machine.
Before you put your lawnmower away after use, or tuck it up in the shed for the winter, you should clean it. This is hugely important because a build up of grass can cause running problems as well as giving rust a chance to take hold. Make sure you disconnect the power or the spark plug before getting started, and then use a wooden or plastic spatula to remove residue from the cutting deck. A brush and water can be used to give the machine a once over, and a hose can sometimes help to loosen caked on dirt. Avoid using a pressure washer or any other power jet of water though, as this can cause damage.
If you’re just looking at general lawnmower storage (that is, in between cuts during the spring, summer or autumn), you can put it away now. Check oil levels around once a month, as well as air filters and spark plugs, and replace when necessary. Blades should be checked around every 25 hours of service and replaced as soon as you notice notches or cracks.
In the winter you should store petrol lawnmowers without fuel. After the last cut of the year simply leave your machine to idle and once the fuel runs out it will stop by itself. Top up the oil levels and cover before storing somewhere dry and dust free. If your lawnmower has a starter battery this will also need to be somewhere without frost.