Lawn Mower Repair and Maintenance – Keep Your Lawn Mower Working Properly

Lawn mower repair will be a fact of life for you if you use a gas powered mower. Small gasoline engines require a lot of maintenance and they will need repairs at some point, it’s just a matter of time. That’s one of the main drawbacks to gas powered mowers versus electric lawnmowers, gas mowers require a lot more maintenance and there are a lot more parts that could potentially break down and give you problems.

One of the first steps in lawn mower repair will be troubleshooting any problems that you have. For example, if your lawn mower won’t start you will need to figure out why it’s not starting and it’s always best to start by checking the simplest possibilities. Is their fuel in the tank? If so, has the fuel been sitting in the tank for a long time? If you are pulling your mower out of the garage for the first time after a long winter and the mower won’t start you may need to drain and replace the fuel. If your mower has fresh fuel but it still won’t start there may be an ignition problem or you may need new spark plugs. If you do need to replace your spark plugs take one of them with you to the hardware store so you can make sure you are replacing them with the right part.

Sometimes you will be able to get your mower started but it’s just not running properly. If the mower is running rough and sounds like it might be choking it might be time to replace the fuel filter. Over time dirt and debris can clog up the filter and your mower will not run as smoothly as it should. Replacing the filter is an easy job and will get your mower running properly again.

Sometimes lawn mower repair is best left to the professionals. If you have attempted to troubleshoot potential problems but you still can’t figure out exactly what the problem is you will need to take your mower in to a professional to get it fixed. It is important to get an estimate before any work is actually done. Sometimes it might be more cost effective to just purchase a new lawn mower rather than paying a lot of money to repair an old one.

You may have heard your doctor say that prevention is the best medicine and the same is true when it comes to taking care of your lawn mower. If you properly maintain your mower you can avoid a lot of problems and costly repairs in the future. The owner’s manual that came with your lawn mower should have plenty of tips for properly maintaining it. You want to make sure that there is always plenty of oil and that all of the moving parts are lubricated. After mowing your lawn you should clean the mower and remove any grass clippings because if moist yard clippings are left their it could cause corrosion and create problems in the future. It’s also important to keep the blades sharp and sharpening blades is a job that you may choose to do yourself or you may want to hire a professional.

Check your owner’s manual for any additional maintenance tips. Proper maintenance is the most important thing you can do to keep your mower operating properly. If there are some simple repairs that need to be done you might be able to tackle those yourself and if you do you need to hire a professional to do the repairs just make sure that the repairs are not going to cost more than the mower is worth.


Basic Autumn Maintenance


For Regular Operation:
All Power Equipment
  • Refer to the maintenance section of your owner’s manual for proper instructions.
  • Dress properly for the job, wearing substantial shoes, long pants and close-fitting clothes (no loose jewelry, unrestrained hair or anything that could get caught in a moving part).
  • Clear the working area before you start by picking up anything that could be thrown by the equipment or would block the equipment’s operation. Then clear the area of people and pets. Watch out for young children.
  • Never remove or tamper with safety devices and labels — they’re designed to protect you.
  • Handle gas carefully. Fill up before you start, while the engine is cold. Don’t spill when you fill and no smoking when gasoline is being used.
  • Regularly check that engine oil is “Full.”
  • Regularly check all nuts, bolts, belts and screws for tightness.
  • Check that engine cooling fins are clean with every operation.
Hand-Held Leaf Blowers & Edger/Trimmers
  • Use a high-quality engine oil specifically for two-cycle, hand-held equipment (if applicable). Fuel stabilizers can help fuel maintain a high octane level for longer periods, giving easier starting and cooler engine performance.
  • Make sure all intake vents are clear.
  • Before using, carefully balance and adjust the equipment for operator comfort and safety.
Lawn Tractors
  • Disengage power to attachments when leaving operator’s seat, when transporting or when tractor/rider is in storage.
  • Check blades for sharpness and make sure cutting deck is cleaned of old clippings and debris.
  • Regularly check that air filter is clean.
  • Regularly check that tires are properly inflated.
  • Always remove dirt, grass, and debris from engine cooling fins, engine covers, and air intake screens.
Log Splitters
  • Carefully position equipment on stable, even ground.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated and all components operate correctly before starting.
  • Check that pressure hoses are tight and not leaking.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions for operating and standing at a safe distance.
Walk-Behind Blower Vacs
  • Check wheels, intake vents, and other components to make sure they are free from debris and in working order.
  • Empty bag and make sure vacuum is unobstructed.
  • Disengage power before switching attachments.
  • Fill collection bag only to recommended levels and replace with care.
Walk-Behind Rotary Tillers
  • Check all working components to see if they are operating properly.
  • Check that nuts and bolts are tight.
  • Select forward or reverse (for dual-direction models) and carefully align handles, controls, operating height, and operator position before starting.
  • Always disconnect spark plug wire before cleaning grinder/shredder, making repairs, or conducting routine inspections.
  • Check oil every two hours of operation to ensure it is at “Full” level.
  • Apply lubricant several times a season to the clutch lever, wheels and axle spacer, and the belt tension adjustment bolt (see operator’s manual).
  • Ensure correct tension of the belt (see operator’s manual).
  • Check cutting blades often and rotate/replace as necessary (see operator’s manual).
Chain Saws
  • In cold regions, use winter-grade bar oils which pour and flow more easily.
Lawn Mowers
  • Regularly check belts/chain drives for wear and tightness.
  • Check that pull cords are not frayed and are in working condition.
  • Make sure throttle control is properly adjusted.
  • Check blades for sharpness and make sure cutting deck is cleaned of old clippings and debris.
For Repairs:
All Power Equipment·  Refer to the repairs section of your owner’s manual for proper instructions.

·  If you have any questions or are not comfortable repairing your own equipment, please contact your nearest outdoor power equipment servicing retailer.

·  Before any repair, be sure to turn off the unit and disconnect the spark plug wire.

·  Keep hands and feet away from moving parts. Never work on equipment while it is running.

For End Of Season Storage:
All Power Equipment
  • Run or drain gas tank completely dry of all fuel (or add conditioner) outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Disconnect spark plug wire.
  • Remove spark plug, put a small amount of oil directly into cylinder, turn engine over with the pull start a few times, reinstall spark plug.
  • Clean all dirt and debris from engine and machine.
  • Store equipment in a dry, ventilated area.
  • Store fuel can in a dry, ventilated area and never near a pilot light, stove, or heat source of any kind.
  • If equipment features folding handles, fold them for more compact storage.
Hand-Held Leaf Blowers & Edger/Trimmers
  • Disconnect power, then thoroughly clean outer surfaces and clear all intake and exhaust vents.
  • Empty vents, ducts, vacuum tubes and other attachments of any debris.
  • Hang or store according to manufacturer’s directions.
Walk-Behind Blower Vacs
  • Disconnect power before cleaning outside surfaces of vacuum and attachments.
  • Clear debris or dirt from any intake or exhaust vents.
  • Empty and clean vacuum bag of any debris.
  • Hang or store according to manufacturer’s directions.
Walk-Behind Rotary Tillers
  • Disconnect power. Thoroughly clean outside surfaces of tiller, including tines and tires.
  • Hang or store according to manufacturer’s directions.
Log Splitters
  • Disconnect power. Clean and check all components, including hitch and tires.
  • Store according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Clean dirt and debris from engine and shredder housing.
  • Remove battery and recharge before winter storage.
Chain Saws
  • For prolonged storage, run the saw dry and empty the fuel tank, or fill it completely and add a fuel stabilizer. A half-full tank can attract condensation, adding harmful water to the fuel mixture.