A lawn mower is a big investment, and as such, you may want to get one that will last longer. The average lifespan of a lawn mower is affected by several factors, including usage, size, and the manufacturer. For example, if the mower is used routinely to cut long and thick grass, the mower is expected to work harder than usual, and this can shorten its lifespan.
However, with proper care and maintenance, you can make your lawnmower last longer and exceed the average life expectancy. The average life expectancy of a lawn mower is ten years, but if it is not maintained correctly, the life expectancy could be reduced with a half. And it doesn’t mean that you’ll need to buy a new mower just because it has reached its expected lifespan. A properly maintained mower can still run past its life span, and sometimes you only need to change some parts to give it extra life.
Six tips to make your lawn mower last longer
1.Give your Mower a good Cleaning
Debris accumulation can interfere with the operation of your mower. That said, you’ll need to give your mower a good cleaning before use and after every use, especially during the season. You can use an air compressor to blow out grass clippings, dirt, and debris. You’ll also need to disable and clean the linkage and carburetor, especially if you left untreated fuel in the tank over the winter months. However, this may require some expert experience.
Also, grass clippings can get stacked in the undercarriage, and this can clog your mower discharge channel. Keep the underside as clean as you can by scraping the dirt and grass clippings with a wire brush or use a hose to spray the debris away. Also, once in a while, you can use a knife to scrape off old clumps of grass. Always disconnect the spark plug before you clean the undercarriage.
When it comes to storage, store your lawn mower in a dry, well-ventilated place without any water leakage. You can also place a plastic covering under the deck to prevent any moisture from reaching the base.
2. Change the Oil
Clean oil keeps your mower from failing prematurely and overheating. Changing oil regularly, usually, every three months, will greatly improve the life of the engine. As such, you should change the oil at the beginning of the cutting season and more often if you will be operating the mower in dusty areas. Also, you should check the oil level before every use and refill as needed. You can run your mower for a few minutes to stir up sediments before you drain the old oil.
To change the oil, check for the drain plug underneath the mower, remove it and let the oil drain completely. If your mower doesn’t have a drain plug, tilt the mower careful to allow the oil to drain through the fill hole. Refill your oil to the full mark. Check your manual for the correct method and oil type to use.
3. Replace your fuel
Old fuel is one of the reasons that may make your mower malfunction. Ensure to drain the old fuel at the end of the mowing season before you store your machine for any length of time, and always fresh fuel in the next cutting season. Removing gasoline before storing your machine will help to prevent rust and carburetor issues.
However, you can also choose to leave the fuel to sit in storage, but you will need to add a fuel stabilizer. The stabilizer helps to preserve the fuel and ensuring that it will not deteriorate and degrade essential components. Also, consider installing a fuel filter if your mower doesn’t have one.
Most fuels, especially gasoline, are highly flammable. Ensure to work in a well-ventilated area/ outdoors and away from flames and sparks. Wipe up spills and store the old fuel in approved containers for disposal.
4. Replace the Air Filter
The air filter is one of the most critical components of a mower, and as such, it is important to replace it regularly to ensure optimal performance. A dirty or clogged air filter burns gas less efficiently, and this puts more stress on your mower. Also, it can choke your engine, causing it to lose power or run inadequately. If you are working in a dry and dusty area, consider replacing the air a couple of times during the mowing season.
Changing an air filter is relatively inexpensive, and lawn mower experts recommend that you replace your air filter annually. You can check your specific manual on how often you need to do this.
Most mowers have either a foam or paper air filter that can be accessed easily. If you have a paper filter, consider replacing it with a new one when it begins to get plugged with debris. You can test by running a flashlight through the filter. If you can’t see the light through it, then it is time to get a new one. For the foam filters, you can wash them with water a laundry detergent and allow them to dry. Apply engine oil before reinstalling. But it is always a good idea to buy a new one.
5. Change the Spark Plug
If the spark plug is faulty, it can make the engine fail to start. A new spark plug will make a great improvement in the way the engine starts and run. And just like the air filter, a spark plug is so cheap it is also easy to change. Change the spark plugs every year to ensure that your mower will start smoothly and operate efficiently. Use a wrench to remove the spark plug wire to unhook the old plug. Place the new plug, but be more careful not to over tighten it as this can also prevent your mower from starting.
6. Sharpen and Balance the Blades
Mower blades can become dull, especially if you scalp the ground often or when exposed to large branches, rocks, and other hard objects. A dull blade not only slows your mowing speed but also puts more pressure on the mower, thus shortening its lifespan. A sharp blade will cut grass cleanly, and make your mower work like a new one.
You’ll need to sharpen and balance your blades several times during the cutting season, and once or twice if you only mow occasionally. You can either use a metal file or a bench grinder to keep your blade sharp for the best cut. Ensure to follow safety precautions and also avoid overheating as this can ruin your blade.
You can also take your blades for sharpening in a repair shop where you can also get a mower tune-up. A professional tune-up will ensure that your mower is at the top of the game for an extended period. Another way of making your lawn mower last is by keeping an eye on the tires. Make sure that the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, as indicated on the sidewalls of your tires.
Mowing can be a great or frustrating experience depending on the condition of your lawn mower. And just like any other machine, your mower needs regular maintenance to keep it in good condition and to run smoothly for years. It is important to check your manual for the best time to care for your lawn mower as different models will have different maintenance schedules.