Archive for the ‘Lawnmower Maintenance’ category

Washing your Lawn Mower with a Pressure Washer

April 16th, 2014

One way to get your lawn mower ready for spring is with a good wash. You may see grass, rust and dirt build-up before you get started; but cleaning your mower shouldn’t take a lot of time. When you make use of your garden hose with a pressure washer, you can get the job done in minutes. Just remember that there are parts built in a lawn mower that can be destroyed by a powerful jet of water. Let’s avoid that by washing your lawn mower the right way.

Remove Spark Plugs and Blades

Before we start cleaning, it’s important to remove two of the more sensitive pieces built into your lawn mower: spark plug and blades. There’s a right way to clean your spark plug, and power hosing isn’t it; so make sure you remove the spark lead. Next, remove the lawn mower blades. With plastic, You don’t have to worry about the plastic on your mower rusting, but your blades are another story. It’s not recommended to wash your lawn mower with a hose (particularly high pressure) unless you remove these two objects.

Steps for Hosing The Body of your Lawn Mower

  1. Prop your lawn mower up to spray under the deck. If your lawn mower hasn’t been washed in some time, first apply a cleaning solution. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then hose the deck until the solution is washed away.
  2. Take several steps away from the lawn mower and spray the tires. Lawn mower tires are too fragile for full pressure, so by taking three or more steps back, your tires won’t get punctured.
  3. When the deck and the tires are clean, set your lawn mower on the ground and wash the body. You don’t need to apply any cleaning solution. Just take the hose and do a quick wash until all of the grass clippings and minute debris is removed.

General Tips when Hosing a Lawn Mower

  • Be sure the engine is turned off and the lawn mower has cooled down.
  • Make sure the deck is able to fully dry to prevent rusting, and there are no wet grass clippings stuck underneath. Using lube can assist with drying, such as 3 in 1 Oil, ATF cleaner or WD40.
  • Store the mower in a dry place.

How to Replace your Lawn Mower Spark Plug

March 28th, 2014

To improve the performance of your lawn mower, remember that the tires aren’t the only part of your mower that need occasional replacing. One way to prepare your lawn mower for spring is to replace the spark plug. The spark plug creates the spark to start the engine. If you have difficulty starting your lawn mower, you may need a new one. If it isn’t in top condition, the lawn mower will fail to perform efficiently. But this little maintenance task is simple if you follow the step-by-step process below.

To Clean or Replace the Spark Plug

First, figure out if your spark plug really needs to be replaced, or if it just needs a good cleaning. If the spark plug is dirty or has a light rust, it needs to be cleaned. Spray it with break solution, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then use a wire brush to remove the loosened debris or rust.

If the spark plug is old or rusted beyond repair, it won’t be able to provide the spark to ignite the gasoline. That’s when you should replace it.

Steps to Replace a Lawn Mower Spark Plug

  1. With a spark socket, remove the spark plug wire and then remove the old plug.
  2. When the old spark plug is removed, clean the hole of any dirt or debris that has accumulated over time.
  3. Once the spark plug hole is cleaned out, twist the new plug in until the threads catch. With the socket, twist the new spark plug into the hole until it stops, then gently turn it another quarter turn.

Tips to Consider

You should use a spark socket that is specially designed for the body of spark plugs, because it won’t damage or break the casing. Before you purchase a new spark plug, check the dimensions of the spark plug hole and of the new spark plug to make sure it will fit. And when you twist in the new spark plug, be careful not to overturn and break the plug; or turn it too tightly so it’s impossible to remove when you have to replace it.

Steps to Prepare your Lawn Mower for Spring

March 21st, 2014

During the winter months, you probably prepped your lawn mower to keep it safe for the winter months. Now as the weather warms and the grass begins to grow, you want your lawn mower to work as well as it did last season. Here are a few steps to get it back in prime shape.

Clean the Lawn Mower

After months being tucked away in a shed, dirt and debris can start to accumulate. Clear away any leaves or other material caught in the blades. The only equipment you need for this job is a pair of protected hands. No water, metal or sharp equipment is necessary. Always check that the lawn mower can’t start as you’re cleaning it.

Do a Gas Check

If the gas has been sitting in the tank all winter, you may have difficulties starting it up, even if the tank is full. For winter preparation, it’s always best to hibernate your lawn mower with an empty tank so your gas doesn’t waste. Fill the tank with fresh gas before firing her up.

Check the Spark Plugs

The spark plug makes it possible for the engine to start. If the spark plugs on your lawn mower are dirty or rusted, then you should clean or replace them. You can clean them by first removing them from the lawn mower. Next, use a cleaner and let it soak for a few minutes. With a wire brush, clean the loosened residue.

If your spark plugs have rusted and it’s not possible to clean them, then you should replace them for optimal performance. Always replace with spark plugs that fit your lawn mower. You can figure this out by reading the model number on the old version.

Sharpen the Blades

If you feel that the blades are dull, you can remove the blades from the lawn mower and sharpen them yourself. If this is your first time, search Youtube for a huge selection of videos instructing you on how to sharpen lawn mower blades. If you don’t think you can sharpen them yourself, you can take it to a specialist at a hardware store and pay a small fee.

Change the Oil

You will need to change the oil on a riding lawn mower after removing it from storage. This step is also important for some push mowers. The engine should be warm before you do this; but you don’t want to run out of oil while you are running the mower. Look at the dipstick and if there is no oil registering, add the type and amount that’s recommended by the manufacturer.