Keep your push mower, riding mower, reel mower, weed trimmer or edger maintained and clean with these tips.
“Like your home and car, your lawn equipment should be held near and dear to your heart.”
Some people laugh when I say this, but contrary to popular belief lawn equipment is not made to be set out at the curb when a problem occurs. Actually many of these problems are very fixable. Better yet, many of these problems can be avoided. With proper maintenance most lawn equipment will last a lifetime.
The extra measures you take at the end of and during each season will help keep your lawn mower, weed trimmer, edger and other such yard tools operational and safe for many, many years.
Another point I would like to stress is that repairs become costly when lawn equipment is abused and neglected. It’s kind of like the snowball effect.
Lawn equipment maintenance checklist
The following list of maintenance procedures and tips can be performed by the average do-it-yourselfer with a little mechanical know-how.
WARNING: Before working on your equipment or performing any of these procedures, do so safely by removing the spark plug wire and securing it in a location away from the spark plug. The spark from these wires can jump if left near the spark plug causing the engine to start and possibly causing severe bodily damage. Keep in mind there are components on your equipment that are sharp, hot, or may cause shock.
• You should always check the oil level prior to each use. Do not overfill.• An oil change should be performed every other season. Do not overfill.• Inspect the air filter and spark plug each season, and replaced if needed.• Replace the gas filter each season. • Conduct a complete inspection to locate and retighten lose bolts and screws. • Inspect wheels and tires for wear before each use. Inflate or replace if needed. • Check the cutting blade or blades each season, and if necessary sharpen or replace them.• Inspect the belts each season for wear. Replace if needed.• If applicable, grease the grease fittings each season, not less than every other season.
Other lawn equipment care tips
Prior to mowing always clear the area of any debris that may damage your lawn mower. Avoid running over large branches, roots and rocks. General rule, “If it’s not grass, avoid mowing over it.”
Keep your equipment clean. After each use clear it of all debris, and wipe it down with a damp cloth before putting it away. A light detergent may be used for stubborn areas. Use a scraper and hose to remove caked grass clipping from under the deck of a lawn mower. When completed let it set in the sun to dry before putting it away.
Gummed up carburetors, one of the biggest problems I come across, are caused by ethanol in the gas. Your best defense against this is to simply run your equipment dry, leaving no fuel in the system, at the end of each season before storage.
If possible, store your equipment in a garage or shed to protect it from the elements. If this is not possible, use a tarp to cover your equipment.
Remember to always wear gloves and safety glasses when working on your equipment.
Lawn equipment varies from machine, to machine. You should always refer to your user manual for the information on your specific piece of equipment that you will need to perform the above maintenance steps.
If you feel uncomfortable with any of this, rather than risking damage to your machine or injury to yourself call a lawn care professional.
About this Angie's List Contributor: John's Mobile Lawnmower Service & Repair has been servicing Atlantic County, N.J. since 2012.
As of Dec. 2, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.