Lawn mowers will have problems and require repairs, regardless of their type or model. These problems often boil down to common symptoms and solutions. Doing regular maintenance can help eliminate most common lawn mower problems. You should also keep an eye out for telltale signs that a problem is about to happen.
Maintain your mower regularly to reduce the number and frequency of repairs. Clean movable parts after each use. Debris, grass and dirt can build up on blades, the engine, decks and other visible parts of the mower. Brush off loose dirt and grass after use. Inspect the oil, carburetor, filters and blades regularly for grime and damage. Drain fluids at the end of each season and replace with fresh fluids at the start of the season.
Look for the basic problems that all lawn mowers experience, such as engine trouble stemming from bad electrical connections, bad fuel, airflow problems or shaking. Common problems not related to engines include cutting, turning, gears and chassis problems. Examine the mower for damage and wear to help pinpoint the affected parts. Examine each part when you disassemble the mower. Cracks, holes, missing pieces and buildup of debris are the most common issues related to repairs. Cleaning the affected part may solve the problem. Clean parts also make it easier to see damage or wear, especially for the air filter, carburetor screen, fuel line or tank and spark plugs.
Signs to Watch For
Uneven mowing is a sign of potential chassis problems. Smoke and soot are a sign of potential fuel and engine trouble. Sputtering, a fast running engine, revving, sudden stalling and backfires are signs of either air flow or electrical problems.
Use gas to clean most engine parts, such as carburetors, gas tanks, filters and spark plugs. If the part has fractures, holes or other damage, replace the part. Adjust cables, wires, nuts and bolts according to manufacturer's specifications. These items can become too loose or tight over time. Replace these items if they're rusted or damaged.
Prevent future problems by using the right amount of clean fluids at the beginning of each season. Charge the battery before the first use of the season. Start each season with a fresh spark plug and air filter to eliminate potential starting problems.