The importance of mower maintenance and 11 things you can do yourself
18 Sep 2017
Ride on lawn mowers are a hard working piece of outdoor power equipment; they get a lot of use and can take a beating. Like any piece of machinery, lack of maintenance can lower its performance and shorten its lifespan so here are a few easy things you can do to keep it in top condition.
1. Read the manual
While this can be particularly contrary to every Kiwi male’s ethos, it’s worth every minute! This is the best guide for how to maintain your mower and many common problems can be avoided by simply following the manufacturer’s advice.
2. Empty the fuel tank
Old fuel is one of the main suspects when a mower won’t start so it’s good practice to drain the petrol at the end of peak mowing season before it spends most of winter in the shed. Top it up with fresh gas in Spring.
3. Check the oil
Monitor oil levels and look for any signs of debris in the tank. Change it if it is old or contaminated. Generally, oil should be changed in a brand new machine after 10-15 hours, and every 50 hours (or annually) thereafter.
4. Check the air filter
A clogged air filter can make the engine work overtime and burn out so inspect the air filter and make sure it is clean (if your mower has one, of course). Be sure not to do damage to this vital part as you can cause more harm to the engine if you’re not careful. Don’t use compressed air, full stop, as this can cause unwanted microscopic debris to make its way inside. Remember the key goal is to remove surplus debris, not make your old air filter into a new one by over-cleaning. Air filters are generally cheap and worth replacing regularly anyway.
5. Change the spark plug
Change the spark plug every year to ensure it’s always easy to start. When you install the new one, be sure not to over tighten it or it could stop the mower from starting.
6. Clean the underneath
Clean the undercarriage of your lawnmower after every mow, and once a month give it a thorough scrape to get rid of grass clippings and debris that has become lodged in there. This will make a huge difference in the long run by minimising corrosion, and removing unwanted hindrance to airflow under the deck.
7. Keep the blades sharp
Sharpen the blades to prevent ripping the grass rather than cutting it. Sharp blades also cut long and/or wet grass much better as well.
8. Store it indoors – not out in the elements
Properly store your mower in a shed. Don’t leave it out, even overnight, as this can cause premature wear and corrosion. If it got really wet during use, give it a quick dry before storing it away.
9. Keep the tyres pumped right
Watch the tyre pressure as this sets your deck; if it’s uneven the cut won’t be level.
10. Grease it
Most sizeable mowers have at least 10 grease fittings that need to be greased. Not doing this will mean metal parts rub together causing extreme wear. However – it’s very important to consult the manual around recommended greasing intervals – as over-greasing can do as much damage as under-greasing.
11. Get it serviced by a professional
Regular servicing is important, and while we have great faith in the quality of our mowers, wear and tear is unavoidable and from time to time repairs may be needed. For those who have purchased a mower through OMC, you’ll find we keep downtime to a minimum.
The OMC advantage
With our local workshop support, we offer the best backup service in Canterbury. We also give you priority treatment over non-OMC customers so there’s hardly any waiting to get your mower back. That includes access to our fully stocked spare parts department, and service advice from our very knowledgeable technicians. We don’t sell these to the general public; they have to wait while we order them in. For OMC customers, they’re there when you need it.
Your first mower service is free and we also do free pick up and delivery for all service work to ride-on mowers during the warranty period. Plus, if it breaks down and for whatever reason we don’t have the job completed within 48 hours, we’ll give you a free loan machine to get you through.
For more information on why you should choose OMC, download this free document for all you need to know. We’re confident our offering is one of the very best around so if you’re ready to talk about buying a new mower for your property, get in touch and we’ll tee up a free demo.