Like any other machineries, lawn mowers can deteriorate over time. The average life expectancy of your mower varies on many factors; the manufacturer, frequency in usage, and proper maintenance are some of the things to consider.
Most manufacturers provide an expected estimation of service life in mowers, but a lawn mower that is provided with proper care and maintenance can exceed its estimated life expectancy and last longer.
How to make your mower last longer?
Read on to find out.
Frequency in Usage
Some mowers are measured to last depending on the number of hours it is used. Most mowing equipments in the market have an expected 200 hours of usage; meanwhile, expensive and high end mowers have at least 500 hours of usage expected from them. Depending on how you handle and operate your mower, you can actually extend its service life.
Like any other equipment, over usage can easily worn your mower out. Make sure to take proper care of frequently used mowers by taking note of the following tips:
- Don’t leave your mower out exposed under the harsh rays of the sun or rain.
- Clean up yard before mowing. Eliminate pebbles, rocks, sticks, or other debris that might damage your mower.
- Avoid routinely cutting thick and long grass. Maintaining your lawn can also greatly affect your mower’s performance. Do not wait for the grass to become too thick or long before mowing for it usually makes your mower work harder than normal; this can shorten its life span.
Proper Maintenance and Care
Having an old mower doesn’t always mean it can no longer perform well. If maintained and taken care of properly, your mower can outlast its expected life expectancy.
To extend your mower’s life, make sure to routinely check the following:
- Change the mower’s oil from time to time.
- Clean the air and fuel filter. If your mower doesn’t have a fuel filter, consider installing one. This can substantially upgrade your mower’s performance and service life.
- Inspect components like the blade, deck, and belt for any wear and tear. Some components may need repairing and replacing. Routinely checking its parts and replacing them can give your mower a considerably longer life.
- Clean accumulated debris from the underside of your mower’s deck. A clogged deck can cause your mower to cut unevenly. You can also lubricate the underside of the deck to prevent grass and debris from piling up again.
- Consider keeping your mower’s battery in a battery maintainer when kept in storage for the winter season.
- If you notice that your grass looks beat up or gnawed at by rats after mowing, it’s time to sharpen the blades of your mower. But if the blades are already worn out, they will need replacing.
- Clean, tighten, and lubricate components and parts that need it. Lubricating your mower can help prevent rusting issues, but make sure to follow lubricating instructions from the manual.
- When keeping your mower in storage for a period of time, make sure to remove gasoline and fuel to prevent any issues or rusting from the carburetor. To do this, you can let the mower’s engine run until it runs out of gas.
Aside from regularly cleaning your mower, having to maintain it includes repairing it. Below is a guide on how to repair and maintain some components of your mower:
Over time, it is unavoidable to develop issues with your mower’s deck. Aside from the blades, this is the second component that needs to be heavily maintained. If your mower is starting to cut unevenly, your deck is one of the first parts to inspect. It can suffer from a range of concerns such as misalignment, maladjustment, and grass or debris clogging. Luckily, it only requires a quick fix usually. Always make sure the deck is levelled, and clean the underside of your deck to prevent debris build-up.
Dull or worn out blades will rip, tear, and beat your grass instead of giving it a clean cut. To avoid this, regularly check the condition of your blades. Worn out blades will need replacing, but dull blades will only require sharpening.
To guide you in sharpening the blades of your mower, watch this video.
What to remember when sharpening your blades?
- Remove the spark plug before doing any work on your mower to prevent any accidents.
- Make sure that the carburetor, air filter, and fuel filter are facing up to prevent oil, fuel, and gas from leaking all throughout the mower and onto your workspace.
- When removing the blade, make sure to clump it properly. It’s usually held by a single nut so clamping the blade will secure it while you loosen the nut.
- Sharpen the blade by filing it in a downward motion.
- After filing, hang the blade to check if it’s levelled; hanging it onto a nail will do the trick. If it tends to dip into one side, it means that side is heavier and the blade is not balanced. File the heavier side and check the balance repeatedly until it doesn’t dip in either sides.
It is also important to check on the belt in your mower. If the belt squeals loudly, check for obstructions or damages around the belt. Worn out or damaged belt will need replacing. For a slightly worn out belt, you can apply a very thin layer of dishwashing liquid.
And in the event that the V-belt is slipping or coming off while using the mower, clear away debris and grass that is obstructing it and adjust the drive-belt tension.
REMEMBER: Stay safe!
Before inspecting or doing any repairs on your mower, make sure to take necessary safety precautions first. Below is a list of safety measures to follow before doing any troubleshooting on your mower:
- Use protective gear like leather work gloves to protect yourself from any injuries.
- Your workspace should be flat. You can work on your mower in the garage or on your driveway; just make sure the surface is flat.
- Turn off your mower’s engine, and make sure to remove the key from the ignition. Remove the spark plug as well. Do not, at any cost, work on a powered mower.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lawn Mower Maintenance
Q: What kind of maintenance does a manual-reel lawn mower require?
A: A manual-reel lawn mower does not require too much maintaining. It only requires regular cleaning and lubricating. You should also sharpen the mowing blades from time to time.
Q: What kind of maintenance does a gas mower require?
A: Gas mowers are the type of mowers that need heavy maintenance. Aside from cleaning, lubricating, and sharpening, it will require routine tune ups and oil changes. It is also a good idea to drain fuel from your gas lawn mower before keeping it in storage to prevent carburetor issues.
Q: What kind of maintenance does an electric mower require?
A: Electric mowers, unlike gas mowers, require little maintaining. Like manual-reel mowers, it will only need regular cleaning, lubricating, and sharpening.
Q: Which type of mower can cost more when repaired?
A: Electric mowers are usually more expensive to repair, but it really depends on what your lawn mower is. For obvious reasons, a gas riding mower will cost more to repair than an electric best self-propelled lawn mower. But generally, electric mowers of any kind have a pricier repair cost compared to their gas counterparts.
Q: Which type of mower has a pricier maintenance cost?
A: Despite its affordable initial price, gas mowers gradually become expensive as time passes by because of its maintenance. Routine tune ups and oil changes may have a considerable price range, but it does weigh on your bank over time.
Q: Which type of lawn mower has expensive components or parts?
A: Electric lawn mowers have pricy components and parts. This is one of the reasons why repair cost for electric mowers are high as well. Aside from that, electric mower parts are a little hard to find compared to gas mowers.
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