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How to maintain your lawnmower

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How to maintain your lawnmower

You can prolong the performance and usage life of your lawnmower by keeping it well maintained. A lawnmower which has been looked after and well maintained can last years. Nobody wants to keep buying mowers year after year and wasting money when simple steps can prevent this.

Some machine maintenance is universal so it doesn’t matter what type of lawn mower you have. Electric, battery powered and petrol mowers all have cutting decks and cutting blades so the same care and attention is suitable for them all.

The first step can be taken directly after the lawnmower has been used and has finished mowing.

Keeping the underside of the mower deck clean and free from dirt and grass clippings is an important task. Petrol lawnmowers should never be tipped on their side, as the oil will seep out onto the filter causing problems with starting and running.

To work on the underneath of a mower pull the handles back towards you gradually until you can rest them on the ground. You will then be able to access the deck and blade easily. Loose grass clippings and dirt can be cleaned off with a brush by hand. For stubborn dirt areas use a hosepipe to wash off, without soaking the machine. If you clean the deck and blade after each use it will improve the performance of the lawnmower. If left uncleaned the grass and dirt will harden and build up in layers on the deck and blade. These layers will build up adding extra weight to the machine and dulling the cutting performance of the blade. Any damage to the blade is also more difficult to detect through layers of dirt. The top of the deck can then be brushed down or wiped off. Some petrol lawnmowers feature a deck wash port where you can attach a hosepipe to the deck for cleaning.


Keeping the grass collector clean will help it to perform efficiently. If you have a rigid collector you can wash or wipe it out. Fabric grass bags can be washed, but make sure it is dry before the next use. You could even vacuum it out to save time. As fabric can become clogged cleaning it will ensure the bag always has the maximum airflow.

If your lawnmower uses one remove the air filter for cleaning. If your filter has a paper element you can just blow it off or use an air hose. If the filter is made of foam you can wash it out.

Where the mower uses a battery always check that the power level is topped up. There’s nothing more annoying than going to mow the lawn and the battery is flat. Modern lithium-ion mower batteries can be left on a low charge so they are always ready for use. Charge and keep these batteries in a damp-free environment to prevent damage. It’s usually best to store the battery out of the machine as mowers are commonly kept in sheds and garages where it can be damp. The same advice applies for cordless or electric start lawnmower batteries.

Wipe down and lubricate cables. This can be done quite simply with a clean rag / cloth some light oil or WD40.

Last but not least, and recommended by Mowers Online, at least once a year have the cutter blade sharpened. It doesn’t need to be knife sharp but a dull blade edge will affect the cut and finish achieved on the lawn. If you are unable to take the blade off yourself local garden machinery outlets can usually offer this service as part of a sharpening at a low cost. At home you can also check the nuts and bolts. Don’t over tighten them but make sure they are secure and you’re not missing any. Loose parts can make the machine vibrate affecting its performance.


If you’re not going to be using the lawnmower regularly or are storing away over the winter months then the following is sound advice. Modern fuel has a high Ethanol content and does not keep fresh like it used to years ago. If you leave any fuel in the tank it will begin to go stale after approx. 4 weeks. As the fuel evaporates moisture will develop and turn to water. Funnily enough petrol engines won’t run on water so your mower won’t start. Sound familiar?  Fuel fit has been developed by engine manufacturers to keep petrol fresh for up to 3 years. A small amount added to fresh petrol then the fuel tank can eliminate these starting problems. Add the fuel fit before you store the mower and then whether you use it in a week, month or 3 months you shouldn’t experience starting issues. Fuel fit can be purchased nationally

If you follow these simple steps you can then store the mower away for next time in the knowledge that it will be clean and ready to use.

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Guest Wednesday, 03 March 2021