Lawn mower repair is a multistep process of elimination. Most repair issues are solved by examination, cleaning or adjustment. Maintaining a new lawn mower correctly eliminates most mower repairs.
Signs of Trouble
Identifying the signs of trouble early can eliminate many costly repairs later. Signs of trouble include uneven mowing, loud or oscillating engine noises, vibrations and moisture on the engine. Different mower problems may have similar symptoms; determining the repair involves a process of elimination.
Cleaning the parts of the lawn mower is the first step to repairing it. Particles, debris and grass build up on the various parts of the mower and engine. This includes mower decks, blades, carburetors and visible parts of the engine. All of these parts can accumulate dirt and debris. Brus off loose debris and wash the mower and parts to visually inspect parts for damage.
Start by looking for obvious problems, such as damage or missing parts. If you're disassembling the lawn mower or engine, examine the parts individually. Check for cracks, holes or missing pieces. Replace damaged parts rather than repairing them. Sometimes, cleaning the part may be enough to solve the problem. For example, cleaning the carburetor screen, air filter, fuel line, gas tank or spark plug.
Adjusting the tightness or torque of individual parts may solve the problem. Connections between various parts may not be complete or lack sufficient force to complete the transfer of power, fuel or chemical reaction. Examples of parts that may need adjusting are the tension cables between the throttle and the engine governor or the pull cord to start a gas mower. Spark plugs, wires and blades can become loose and require adjustment.
Preventative and scheduled maintenance eliminates many potential problems. Changing the fuel and oil at the start of the season eliminates most clogs, debris buildup and corrosion. Adjusting the cables, tension springs, wheels, blade and bolts holding everything together eliminates possible vibrations. Yearly cleaning or replacement of the carburetor, spark plug and air filter eliminates potential misfiring or stalling problems.