Ideally, your petrol lawn mower should be serviced once a year. This maintenance will help to keep it running efficiently, while preventing any major problems. Taking it to be professionally serviced is one option, but doing this yourself is actually pretty easy, and could end up saving you quite a bit of money.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to service a petrol lawn mower:
Remove the Spark Plug
Always begin by removing the spark plug. This will save you from accidentally turning the engine on while you’re taking things apart, which would obviously be very dangerous.
Replace the Air Filter
The air filter is an important part of a petrol lawn mower and benefits from being changed once a year. They’re usually inexpensive and easily available.
While changing your air filter, don’t forget to also give its holder a wipe down to remove any dirt and debris.
If Necessary, Clean Your Carburettor
If your lawn mower has been running without any problems, then you can skip this step. However, if you’ve been having engine problems, such as trouble starting up or white smoke while running, then your carburettor will need to be serviced.
Simply unscrew your carburettor jets and give them a clean. Use a brush to clear out any debris that may be lodged inside.
Change the Oil
Your lawn mower would benefit from an annual oil change. To do this, you’ll need to use an oil extractor to draw the old oil out. Don’t be tempted to tip your mower upside down instead – this will only damage it.
Dispose of the old oil correctly and then pour in the right amount of fresh oil – use the dipstick to ensure that your oil is at the recommended level.
Lubricate Joints, Wheels, and the Lifting Mechanism
A little WD-40 can work wonders in keeping a petrol lawn mower running smoothly. To start with, give all control joints and cables a clean, before lubricating with WD-40. Do the same with your lawn mower’s lifting mechanism – this is what allows you to adjust its cutting height.
Tighten the Wheels
Once the wheels have been lubricated, use a screwdriver to tighten them. Now is also the time to check that they still have adequate tread. If any of the wheels are lacking, they may need to be replaced.
This is an area where you may require professional help, as the right tools are needed to sharpen lawn mower blades. A bench grinder is usually the preferred method – this ensures accuracy when it comes to the angle of the blade, and also helps to keep the blade evenly weighted.
Clean or Replace Your Spark Plug
You’re almost done, but before putting the spark plug back into your petrol lawn mower, give it a clean first. Alternatively, you could replace it with a new one. Although this doesn’t need to be done annually, a spark plug that’s functioning well will keep your engine at its best. Plus, they don’t cost much either.
A Final Once-Over
Before starting your lawn mower up, give it a final check to make sure that you’ve replaced all nuts, bolts, and screws. If you find that you’ve misplaced one while servicing your lawn mower, you’ll need to buy a replacement – don’t be tempted to start your mower if it’s missing any pieces.
As you can see, there may be quite a few steps involved in servicing a petrol lawn mower, but each one is relatively simple and should only take a few minutes. Once you know what you need to do, the process is quick, and it will give you a whole new appreciation for your machine.