Lawn Mower Repair 101
Are lawn mower problems ruining your landscape? Find out what issues could be plaguing your mower and how to fix them.
The lawn mower is the all-star of your lawn-care lineup. If it isn't working properly, the whole team loses. Instead of fighting an uphill battle with your lawn this season, get your mower in top shape to take on the ever-growing grass.
Common Lawn Mower Repairs
Once you're ready for yard work, a malfunctioning lawn mower can really put a damper on your motivation. Luckily, lawn mower repairs can get you back in action in no time. Here are some of the most common lawn mower problems you might face.
The Lawn Mower Won't Start
A non-starting lawn mower can be frustrating, but typically the causes are quick to fix. The first troubleshooting step is checking the fuel. When your mower won't start, make sure that the fuel is flowing properly to the engine. Fuel that sat through the winter could be clogging the carburetor. A handyman can inspect the mower to make sure that the fuel lines are not loose, kinked, or clogged, or see if a dirty filter is the culprit.
Much like a car, a battery that has been sitting too long in a lawn mower may not work. At the beginning of each season, make sure that the battery is properly charged and the battery cables are tightened and secured. If these fail, it may be time to have a new battery installed. If the gas tank is full and the battery is in good shape but the mower still won't work, a bad spark plug may be to blame. Whatever the issue could be, a handyman can get your mower back to working order in no time.
The Lawn Mower Loses Power
If you can get the lawn mower to start but can't get it to keep going, it may be losing power. A dirty air filter, bad spark plug, or grass buildup could be the cause of intermittent power. Another possibility for the power cutting out is that you're mowing grass that's too tall. Try raising the cutting height of your mower to get it clipping again. By raising the cutting height, you will also keep your grass healthier by not cutting it too short.
The Lawn Mower Overheats
Don't blame the summer sun for your overheated mower. Most overheated lawn mowers are caused by a buildup of grass and debris. If this is the case, you may need to take a break and clear out the lawn mower. Remember to exercise caution. Always make sure the lawn mower is turned completely off and avoid making contact with the blades when clearing out grass clippings, twigs, and other debris.
The Lawn Mower Cuts Unevenly
Does your grass look worse after you cut it? Over time the blades of your mower become dull, and hitting hard objects, like rocks, can leave nicks in the blade. A damaged lawn mower blade won't cut well and could even end up harming your yard. Luckily, dull blades can be fixed with sharpening. But because the large blades can be dangerous, it's best to consult a local handyman who provides blade sharpening services to help with this project.
Can I Repair a Lawn Mower Myself?
While it is possible to repair and service a lawn mower by yourself, in some instances finding a local handyman may be a better option. Typically, a handyman has all the tools necessary to complete the repair and the experience to do it quickly. In fact, when you figure what you could spend on tools, parts, and time, hiring a handyman is money well spent.
Repairing Versus Replacing Lawn Mowers
Many lawn mower problems can be easily fixed and rather inexpensive with the help of a professional handyman. But sometimes more serious issues will arise. For example, engine and transmission problems tend to be more expensive to repair. When lawn mower repairs become more extensive, a handyman can evaluate the situation and help you decide if lawn mower repair or replacement is your best option.
Buying A Used Lawn Mower
Time for a new lawn mower? If your old mower has called it quits but your budget restricts you from buying a brand-new model, a used lawn mower can be a good, lower cost choice. You can even score some great finds on used riding lawn mowers from top brands like Craftsman or John Deere. When buying a used lawn mower, you'll want to consider not only price and brand but the maintenance history as well.
Better Homes & Gardens Home Services Tip: Take your recently purchased used lawn mower in for a tune-up to make sure it runs as good as new!
Prolong Your Lawn Mower's Life With Maintenance
You may have noticed that many lawn mower problems result from the same issues. A good way to avoid these problems and to extend the life of your mower is performing regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will ensure that all parts of your lawn mower are in working order and ready to get the job done.
A tune-up from a local handyman at the beginning of spring can help keep your mower effectively cutting the grass year after year. Common tune-up tasks involve: changing the oil, cleaning out the undercarriage, replacing the air filter and spark plugs, and sharpening the blade. A handyman can also run a basic diagnostic test to make sure your mower isn't experiencing more serious issues like mechanical failures or a damaged carburetor that is beyond repair.
Off-Season Storage Tips
Before tucking the mower away for winter, you'll want to consider siphoning out the gas, cleaning out debris, and replacing any damaged parts. Taking these steps in the fall can help make sure your mower is problem-free in the spring. If you don't know where to start with storage preparations, let a handyman lead the way. In addition to knowing what maintenance is necessary, a handyman can give you tips on the best storage locations for your lawn mower.