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A Beginner’s Guide To Lawn Mower Repair

gardener-repair-fix-lawn-mower-garden | A Beginner’s Guide To Lawn Mower Repair | Featured

Maintaining your lawnmower in perfect shape will help you achieve a healthy and good-looking yard. However, with its all-year-round job, this outdoor tool might eventually break down.

Find out how to take care of your hardy machine with this lawn mower repair guide.

RELATED: 5 Lawn and Garden Tips for First-Time Homeowners

Lawn Mower Repair | 10 Common Issues With Guide for Troubleshooting

1. Lawn Mower That Uses Too Much Fuel

man-fills-fuel-petrol-lawnmower-process | how to fix a lawn mower

If you notice that your lawnmower has a higher fuel consumption rate than usual, examine these items:

  • Mower blades: Take a look at the tips of your mower blades and check if they are dull. Replace the blades if they are torn and ragged. A new set of blades would mean you won't have to hit a higher RPM on your engine just to achieve a clean lawn cut.
  • Air filter: If your air filter is blocked, it might cause your lawnmower to consume excessive fuel. Replace it if necessary.
  • Engine compression: Correct the valve clearances if you have low compression pressure in your cylinders. Additionally, broken valve springs can affect your engine, so check them as well. You can also do a borescope inspection to determine the health of your cylinder.
  • Spark plug: Change your spark plug if it's faulty. Neglecting to check this item can result in incomplete combustion.
  • Carburetor: Inspect and adjust the float level on your carburetor. Once your engine is running, make sure that the choke plate is open to let your engine fully breathe. If it's in good condition, check the pilot screw which is responsible to adjust the fuel-air mixture.

2. Mower That Starts Smoking

smoking-petrol-lawn-mower | smoking lawn mower

Sooner or later, you'll see smoke rising from your machine especially if you're using your lawnmower regularly. Don't worry because this is a common problem and it doesn't mean that your engine will blow up. The smoke typically means that your oil is burning, which can be caused by a number of reasons.

In most cases, the smoke is caused by overflowing or leak in the oil chamber, so inspect this part to find out. In such a case, you have to turn off the engine and wait until it cools down before checking.

When storing your lawnmower, make sure that the engine is not tilted on its side, and the spark plug is positioned upwards. This will help avoid oil to leak from the crankcase. However, if there are no leaks, simply tighten the cap or replace it if the problem persists.

Additionally, you might be using an oil that's not suited to your engine. Check the oil grade and type, and replace it if you're using a different kind.

3. Lawn Mower That Cuts Unevenly

cutting-grass-lawn-mower-showing-before | lawn mower parts diagram

If your lawnmower cuts grass unevenly, it's usually caused by either of the following:

  • Damaged wheel: If the wheels of your lawnmower are positioned at the same height and your machine still cuts unevenly, one of your wheels might be broken. Change it with the same size as the wheel that's on the other side of your lawnmower.
  • Dull blade: Your mower's blade might be chipped, broken, or dull. An unbalanced or bent blade can cause your mower to vibrate too much, which results in the uneven cutting of grass. Sharpen it using a metallic file, or replace it if it's too worn.

4. Mower That Won't Shut Off

one-guy-portrait-cutting-garden-grass | how to fix a lawn mower

DIYers might spend time learning how to run lawnmowers properly. However, what if your mower decides to continue running when you want it to stop?

When this happens, you'll want to turn off the engine as soon as possible. If your lawnmower fuel is low, the safest option would be to just let it out of gas.

Otherwise, open the engine cover or hood, and use a stick to disconnect the spark plug wire from the terminal. Remember to use only a dry wooden stick to make sure that it won't conduct electricity while you're breaking an electrical process.

5. Overheating Lawn Mower

exploit-old-lawn-mower-cloud-exhaust | lawn mower

There are a couple of things that can contribute to mower overheating:

  • Engine oil: When your mower's oil is low, it causes unlubricated friction, which in turn can overheat the parts. Check your oil level regularly to avoid some serious damage to your engine.
  • Blocked parts: All the grass and debris from your mowing can block the cutting decks, cooling fins, and air cleaners. Clogged parts can prevent air from circulating and cause overheating. Stop your mower as soon as possible and turn off the engine to check any blockage.

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RELATED: How To Make A Macrame Lawn Chair | DIY Projects

6. Mower With Reduced Speed

tired-woman-making-short-break-while | lawn mower

If your mower is slowing down, check your drive belt as it might be damaged or dislocated. This part can be found in the motor casing, but if you're unsure of the location, you can always check and verify using the manual.

Be sure to examine the drive belt only when your engine is not running. If it looks perfectly fine, check its tightness and reattach it if loose. Otherwise, do the necessary replacement if there's way too much damage.

7. Lawn Mower That Cuts Poorly

caucasian-gardener-his-30s-checking-lawn | lawn mower repair parts

A yard with grass that's too wet can make your mower work harder than usual. This can cause the engine to function poorly. Therefore, be sure that the lawn is dry enough before mowing.

Raise the lawn mower deck above its standard height if you're about to cut grass that's too long. Additionally, move at a slow pace, and don't forget to remove any accumulated debris so your mower can perform at its full capacity.

8. Bouncy or Bumpy Lawn Mower

maintaining-proper-oil-level-on-lawn | how to fix a smoking lawn mower

Check the oil level if your mower is giving you a bumpy ride and bounces while mowing. Your oil may already be insufficient, so check it once in a while. Keep in mind to change it as well every now and then for a smooth ride and powerful performance.

9. Mower Vibrating Unusually

worn-out-lawn-mower-blade-shown | how to fix a smoking lawn mower

An excessively vibrating lawnmower sends a signal that the blade is out of balance. Examine the weight of the blade as it might be distributed unequally. You can test its balance by simply hanging it on the wall. You'll notice that the heavier side will drop lower than the other if the weight is uneven.

Another cause for an extremely vibrating mower is a bent crankshaft. Your machine might have bumped into a tree stump or rocks which caused the damage. Stop the engine right away and have your equipment checked by a professional as it can cause accidents and injuries.

10. Lawn Mower That Won't Start

senior-man-hand-starting-orange-mower | repair or replace lawn mower

Check the following items if your lawnmower won't run:

  • Air filter: Dirt, dust, and debris might have built up in your air filter which restricts air circulation in your mower. Clean your filter more often or replace it if damaged.
  • Spark plug: Push back the wire onto your spark plug if you notice that it's unattached. Additionally, the spark plug itself might be loose, so gently tighten it clockwise using a wrench. Replace it if it's already old or if the debris can't be brushed away anymore.
  • Gas tank: An empty gas tank should be the first thing that comes into your mind when your lawnmower won't start. Inspect the tank for any leaks, and replace if necessary.
  • Battery: Due to age, batteries might possess signs of damage and lose their capacity to hold a charge. Since mowers depend on them to work, you should start looking for a replacement.

Learn how to get the best stripes on your grass in this video by Hayter Mowers:

Over time, your lawn mower can develop problems and not function properly. Learn how to maintain this equipment in good condition. Use this lawn mower repair guide in identifying the issues and doing the necessary remedies.

What other lawn mower repair ideas do you have in mind? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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  1. Scott by J D lawn mower, 42″ deck and new blades but it fine with out the bagger and as soon as I install the bagger and try to p[ick up pine straw or even grass it clogs up. it seems like it does this at the connection
    at the tube commong out of the deck. I checked out the pick up system and everything is clean and there
    is nothing ion the tube’s to stop it from clogging up.
    THank you for your time
    Andy Soucy

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