Home And Garden: Caring For Your Lawn Mower

Keep your push, electric or gas powered lawnmower running with these easy ideas for maintenance, storage, and home repair.

Push, gas or electric? Whatever type of lawnmower you own, they all need regular maintenance. Some maintenance is unique to the particular mower style. Some maintenance covers all types.

First the common maintenance. You want to store all the mowers, whether it is between mowing or for the winter, in a dry place. Water and moisture will quickly rust the mower's metal parts. In order to get a good cut the mower blades should be sharpened every year. Most mowers come with instructions for this task. Or if you don't feel up to it you can take the blades to a professional. Whatever way you do it make certain the blade is securely fastened when you replace it. Not too many things are worse in life than flying lawnmower blades.

Another common maintenance item is to make certain the wheels are securely fastened. A wheel falling off can also lead to danger with a moving blade. For the electric and gas powered lawnmower you should also make certain that you clean the underside of the deck each time you use the mower. Grass tends to collect up there and can inhibit the blade or foster rust. If you live in a land where you put the mower away for the winter make certain to coat the blades with grease. This inhibits rust. The grease can be found at almost any big box or local hardware store.

Speaking of winter, gas powered lawn mowers should have all the gasoline and oil drained before winter storage. The cold weather and inactivity allows the gasoline, if left in, to crystallize. When spring rolls around and you try to fire up the mower, the crystallized gasoline makes it hard to start and run, plus it fouls up the fuel and carburetor system. If, for whatever reason, it is impossible to remove the gas and oil, some people pour a small bottle of fuel stabilizer in the gas tank. Come spring don't forget to put in new oil and gas. The spark plug should also be disconnected for winter storage. When spring does arrive this is a good time to reconnect the spark plug, or buy a new one. They are very cheap. You should also check all the cables for wear and tear; as well as the starter rope. Almost all of these are easy to repair or replace yourself. You might also want to check the air filter. It is usually on the side of the motor and easily clicks out for cleaning. Just run it under the hose. Speaking of hose, after you mow the lawn each time spray the mower deck to remove the grass. This helps keep the grass from getting into the engine or cable connections and messing everything up.

Electric powered mowers have a few unique maintenance tips. First, you want to always avoid getting any water on the motor housing, especially when the mower is plugged in to an outlet. It cannot only damage the electric motor; it may also give you a good shock. The only other maintenance item to look out for with electric powered mowers is the electrical cord itself. Regularly check the cord on the mower and the extension cord to the outlet. If any hole or nick is found in either cords replace them immediately. Remember you are dealing with electricity and you never want an exposed wire. Again, when done mowing clean the mower. Use a broom instead of a hose for the electric mower.

Push mowers are the traditional mowers. The only power comes from you as you push it across the lawn. It is essential that its blades be sharp in order to get a good cut. And because these blades are more exposed to weather than the blades on the other mowers it is very important that the blades are covered with grease for winter storage. These are very simple machines. Therefore, there is not much maintenance involved in a push mower.

Follow these tips and your mower will work well year after year.

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