Most urban homeowners own a lawn mower and use them one a week to mow their lawns which are usually not very large in urban areas. Lawns in rural areas or estate sized lots may have large lawns and may use riding lawn mowers instead. Regardless of how often you cut your lawn and how big your lawn is, the engines and the cutting surfaces should be maintained on a regular basis. Failure to look after these machines usually ends up with repair costs and / or needing to purchase a new lawn mower. Poor lawn maintenance, especially a dull lawn mower blade can cause your lawn to have a clipped torn look to it.
A new lawn mower can cost over $200 and the more expensive ones can cost well over a thousand dollars. Either way most of us do not have money to throw around and who wants to buy a new lawn mower every couple of years.
There are basic things that need to be done to ensure that your lawn mower will last 10 or even 20 years. Mine is going on 23 years and the only thing I have replaced on it is the spark plug! So what is the secret.
Lawn Mower Maintenance – Change the Oil
A bottle of engine oil, an adjustable wrench, an oil reservoir all of which might cost you $20! And the ability to change the oil in the engine at least once per year. Once you have the tools, the oil only costs $4 or $5 per year. You can take the lawn mower in to have the oil changed but you will probably pay something in the neighborhood of $50 to $75, which will include an oil change and also sharpening of the blade, and checking the status of the spark plug and also the spark plug gap. I would rather do it myself and save the $75.00!
Change the oil regularly, at least once a year and check the oil level prior to starting the engine each time. Your lawn mower will last many years with this basic level of maintenance and save you hundreds of dollars!
One word of caution. Always disconnect the spark plug wire if you plan to do any work on the engine to avoid any possibility of accidents. Follow the guidelines in the manual and make sure that the oil drain plug is securely tightened to avoid any possibility of oil leakage. Finally dispose of your old oil properly by taking it into an oil disposal facility.
Other Basic Things to Do
A variety of things could cause additional expenses when it comes to your lawn mower. You can avoid these with simple activities and prolong the life of the deck and the wheels. We have talked about the engine and changing the oil, however there are other things that can and should be done.
For example, use gasoline freshener. There are many trade names, however basically they are additives that will keep the gasoline fresh. They help to avoid gumming up of some of the smaller parts in the carburetor. Especially over the winter when your lawn mower is not used.
Check the air intake and try to keep the air filter clean. This ensures maximum air intake, clean burning of the gasoline and smooth running of the engine.
After every time you use the lawn mower, clean off the deck and the underside of the deck. Build up of grass clippings on the deck and the underside can cause the metal of your lawn mower deck to deteriorate. This will take several years. Most consumers may not even notice it until it is too late. Keeping it clean will avoid buildup of grass clippings. More importantly eliminate the acid that eats into the metal of the lawn mower deck.
Change the oil on a regularly basis and keep the air filter clean. Use gasoline freshener and keep the metal housing clean and free of grass clippings. Perform all of the maintenance yourself following the guidelines in the manual. If you are unsure about something you can always talk to your local small engine mechanic to get some advice. Most will be glad to help you provided that you purchase the needed parts from his or her shop!