If you’re cheap, like me you’ll want to prolong the life of your lawn mower as best you can. This might require a little bit of extra time and effort before, during, and right after the mowing season, but it just might mean you get an extra year or two out of your investment. So what are the 10 best ways you can prolong the life of your lawn mower?
10. Make friends with your local lawn mower shop and repair persons. Pay attention to what they do, what they suggest, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. They might be up for providing you some hints and tricks that may be specific to your mower, and it never hurts to learn something new.
9. Pay attention while you’re mowing. This should be pretty simple, and pretty standard. Unfortunately, it isn’t, or else it wouldn’t be on this list. Aside from safety hazards that can be caused by failing to pay attention, you can easily damage your mower and shorten its life. Running over rocks, banging it into objects, turning it over, causing it to fall off a lip or edge – these can all dent and damage the mower.
8. Clean your mower on a consistent basis. Grass gets everywhere, and dried grass is even worse – it turns into dusty particles that get everywhere. Use compressed air to blow out the engine compartment, scrape the dried grass off of the deck, clear the clumps from underneath the deck. Avoid storing our mower with any grass left on it – this can promote rust.
7. Check you oil every time you plan to use your mower. It takes 30 seconds. There’s no good reason not to. If you feel that 30 seconds is a waste of time, just think of how much time it will take to get your mower fixed when the engine locks up from lack of oil. 30 seconds doesn’t sound that long now, does it?
6. Always use the right replacement parts. Don’t think you can save money by bodging together repairs. In the end, a repair that is done poorly is generally no better than not doing the repair in the first place.
5. Read your owner’s manual. There are plenty of hints in there that are specific to the mower that you purchased. It doesn’t matter how many blogs or articles you read, we can’t cover every particular little oddity in every mower. Your owner’s manual, however, can and will cover every little niggle you’ll have to deal with.
4. Keep your blade sharp. Aside from being bad for your lawn, a dull blade will also need more effort to cut the grass, meaning your engine will have to run harder. Dull blades also cut poorly, so you may have to go back over areas to get a clean lawn, meaning your mower’s engine will have to run longer. An engine that has to run longer and harder will see its lifespan shorten greatly.
3. Don’t ignore symptoms. This may sound more like a warning about your health, but it goes the same for your mower. Address any symptoms of a problem as soon as possible. Lingering symptoms generally mean the problems are getting worse. The longer you let them go, the more expensive the repair will be – and the more likely it is that the life span of your mower will be drastically shortened.
2. Avoid high-ethanol fuels. We’ve talked about this numerous times before, in articles such as this, but it bears repeating. Ethanol will ruin your engine if you don’t keep up on it, and the engine is the most crucial and expensive component.
1. Lubricate. While checking and maintaining the oil will take care of the engine, that’s not the only place that needs lubrication. You mower deck, the brakes, the wheels – all of these may need a little help. Consult your owner’s manual, as each model can be particular, but all of them will require lubrication at some point. Not lubricating can cause your mower blades or wheels to lock up, or cause your brakes to stick on a riding mower. A fix could be expensive, or require a whole new mower.
So maintain your mower, keep it going strong for years to come. We often treat lawn mowers as disposable, since they have become relatively inexpensive, but this doesn’t need to happen. Simple maintenance can double the life of your mower, and you can use the money you’ll save towards a nice hammock for relaxing after a hard day in the yard.