It can happen to the best of us. In the blink of an eye, your chief landscaping sidekick can experience a little setback. Frequent lawn mower maintenance practices help prevent problems, plus it lengthens the life of your equipment. But even with adequate love and care, normal wear and tear from hours of mowing the lawn can increase the chances of running into problems from time to time.
Firstly, always check in with the operator’s manual before starting any maintenance work on your equipment.
The following are some of the most common types of mowing interruptions and what you can do about them.
The Starter Rope is Hard to Pull or Seems Stuck
A distinctive cause for this problem is that the engine flywheel brake (the bar you hold down on the handle that stops the engine when released) is engaged. Remember to move the bar down all the way to the handle before you pull.
This may happen also if your mower’s blade is dragging in the grass or is congested with grass clippings. Move your mower to a solid surface. With you lawn mower powered off and the spark plug wire disconnected, clean the underside of the mower of the excess clippings, then continue in a safe mowing position, and give it another pull.
Your Mower Will Not Start
Many homeowners experience this frustration for one obvious reason: the gas tank is empty. So be sure that you are filled up before beginning. Old gas may also cause issues in starting. If you filled to remove last season’s gas from your mower, drain your tank and fill with fresh gas.
Other causes may include:
- Dirty or disconnected spark plug in your mower: Check it, clean debris, reconnect and tighten.
- Dirty air filter: Clean or replace the filter
- Fuel not reaching the engine:Lightly know the side of the carburettor to aid the flow of gas. If this does not work, you may need to purchase a new fuel filter.
You Lose Power in the Middle of Mowing
Here is why this happens and what you can do about it:
- Dirty air filter in your mower: Clean or replace the air filter
- Cutting tall grass: Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower
- Dirty spark plug: Clean or change the plug
- Build-up of grass clippings & debris: Clean the underside of your lawn mower deck as mentioned above
- Dull, Bent or Loose Mower Blade: Sharpen or replace the blade.
Your Mower is Smoking
This may be a bit scary, but it is typically not that serious. If the oil chamber has too much oil, or if oil leaked onto the exhaust muffler, your lawn mower’s engine will smoke. It is just burning off while the mower’s engine is hot. If you notice light coloured smoke, coupled with mower running issues, it may be time for a serious look by an expert.
Sure, there are cases when special tools or skills would be needed to make a fix, or your attempts are not doing the trick. Then it is time to call the experts to get the job done right.
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