Note: This post is for those who just want a few tips and tricks for keeping their lawnmower well maintained. If you have any serious issues and the below steps do not work, we’d recommend you give us a call or drop your mower into us here at Douglas Forest & Garden. We have a dedicated in-house service for lawnmower repair.
Do Your Own Lawnmower Service in 7 Simple Steps
1. Read the manual
Not to be pedantic, but it’s always worth glancing over the manual that comes with your mower. Every lawnmower is different and some of them have their own quirks, so the first step before tinkering is always to check the manual to ensure you’re doing the right thing for your make and model.
2. Drain the petrol
If it’s the start of the summer and you have a bit of petrol from last year, drain it. Believe it or not, petrol spoils after a few months. It’s a common reason for lawnmowers to have issues. Before you spend twenty minutes straining yourself pulling the chord, drain the lawnmower and replace it with fresh petrol.
3. Check your lawnmower’s oil
If it’s very dark or contains floating debris, drain the oil and replace it with the appropriate oil. In most models, to change the oil you need to remove a drain plug beneath the lawnmower. Make sure that you drain it completely. If the lawnmower doesn’t have a drain plug, check your manual to be sure, but in most cases, you need to tilt the mower on its side and drain it through the ‘fill hole’.
4. Clean the lawnmower’s undercarriage
With our wet Irish weather, grass can quickly cake into the undercarriage. The caked grass blocks the blade and clogs the discharge chute. You will need to turn the mower on its side to access the undercarriage. Before doing this it’s often best to ensure the petrol tank is empty as this can leak.
As a safety precaution, always ensure the lawnmower is completely switched off, and remove or disconnect the spark plug before working. Use a wire brush to scrape grass clippings and dirt from the undercarriage and spray the remaining debris away with a hose.
5. Change the sparkplug
Sparkplugs are inexpensive and easy to replace. If your lawnmower isn’t starting after a few tries and you have tried the above steps first, it might be time to change your sparkplug.
In most models, to do this you unhook the sparkplug wire and take out the old plug with a socket or monkey wrench. Make sure not to overtighten the new sparkplug or the lawnmower won’t start.
6. Sharpen the lawnmower’s blades
Branches, stones and other objects take their toll on a lawnmower’s blades, which become dull after a few uses. A dull blade tears grass rather than cutting it cleanly. You can sharpen the blades with a vice and metal file but we do not recommend this for the inexperienced.
7. Get it serviced professionally
If all else fails, getting a professional lawnmower service ensures that it’s in top working order for the summer. Our lawnmower service will do all of the above steps, plus check and service the lawnmower’s air filter, engine, and examine for faults.