Petrol lawn mowers can seem a little intimidating, but they’re actually so easy to work with. Here’s how to use a petrol lawn mower in seven simple steps:
Make Sure That Your Lawn Mower Has Been Assembled Correctly
Whether you’re using a new petrol lawn mower for the first time or you’ve just taken an old timer out of storage, make sure that all of its parts are in the right place. The handles should be sturdy and secure, the cables should be clipped out of the way, and the grass collection bag should be slotted into position.
Check Petrol and Oil Levels
Petrol used in a lawn mower shouldn’t be older than a month, or three months at the most. If you have old petrol in your machine, empty it out and refill with fresh. If you have recently filled your lawn mower with petrol, you should be able to remove the petrol cap and look inside to see how much is left.
In addition to petrol, a petrol lawn mower will also need oil to function. To check oil levels, unscrew the oil cap and remove it – there’ll be a dipstick attached to this that will tell you the recommended oil level. Top up the oil if necessary before replacing the cap tightly.
Some petrol lawn mowers come with a primer button. If yours does, now is the time to press it a couple of times – this sends fuel through the machine, enabling it to start. If your lawn mower doesn’t have a primer button, then chances are that it automatically draws fuel through.
Set Your Cutting Height
You’ll find levers near the wheels of your mower that allow you to set its cutting height. Some mowers can be set with just one lever, while others have four (one for each wheel). If you need to move your mower over rough ground to access your lawn, set it at the highest height for now to make it easier to push, before lowering it once you reach your lawn.
Turn Your Lawn Mower On
To turn your petrol lawn mower on, you’ll need to first pull back on the throttle. This is usually located near the handle. Then, if your lawn mower has a recoil start, give this cable a firm pull. As soon as the engine starts, gently guide the cable back to its holder, rather than dropping it and letting it spring back.
If your mower has a push button start feature, then simply give this button a press, instead of pulling on a cable.
Cut the Grass
With your lawn mower running, push your lawn mower over your grass – most people do this in straight lines. Once you reach the end of a line, tilt your lawn mower onto a back wheel and swivel it around 180 degrees. This should put you into the right position for starting your next line.
Empty the Grass Collection Bag
Some lawn mowers will have an indicator on their grass collection bag to tell you when it’s full. If yours doesn’t, then you’ll need to regularly check to see when your bag needs to be emptied. If your lawn mower starts to choke, then this is likely because the bag is full.
To empty your bag, release the throttle on your lawn mower and it’ll automatically turn off. Unhook the grass collection bag and carefully remove it – don’t be too rough or you’ll end up spilling the grass. Empty the bag onto a compost heap before inserting it back into your lawn mower.
You can then turn your petrol lawn mower back on and continue cutting.