A lawnmower is one of the hardest working pieces of lawn equipment that most homeowners own. Depending on your locale and grass type, it can be used as frequently as once a week during your growing season. To insure that your mower is working efficiently, it is critical to keep its blade sharp and other parts in tip-top shape. Regular maintenance will prevent the need for most repairs. Popular Mechanics Magazine points out that a mere $20 investment in minor parts over the course of year will keep a $300 mower operational for more than 15 years.
Mower Repair Cost
The cost to repair major lawnmower parts varies as widely as the makes and models available. When considering whether it’s more financially feasible to repair it or replace it, look at the age of the lawnmower and review its maintenance. Test engineer Tom Mutchler says expect to get anywhere from eight to 10 years from a mower.
Before the beginning of each cutting season, check the status of your mower’s blade. Make sure it is sharp and ready for the season, or else it will produce torn grass rather than cut grass. Dull blades are also bad for lawns because torn greens are more susceptible to disease. Use a metal file, motorized grinder or sharpening stone to sharpen the blade. A grinder attachment in a drill also provides an excellent way to easily sharpen mower blades. For safety precautions, always remove the spark plug before removing a mower’s blade to prevent accidentally starting the machine.
Minor Mower Parts
The three small parts to routinely replace on a lawnmower are the oil, spark plug and air filter. Home improvement expert Danny Lipford recommends changing the oil and spark plug at the beginning of each new cutting season. A simple cleaning of the air filter will keep it in good condition. For accordion-style filters, blow out dirt and debris with a high-pressure air hose, or wash foam-style filters with soapy water.
The engine is the largest part of a lawnmower that, without proper maintenance, is subject to repair. Over time, dirt and impurities build up in the lawnmower’s oil and will damage a mower, which is why it is critical to regularly change it. Expert Danny Lipford also recommends checking the fuel filter and replacing, if necessary. Clogged fuel filters restrict the amount of gasoline delivered to the engine. Additionally, avoid using ethanol-based gasoline in lawnmowers, which tends to gum the carburetor.
A number of parts work together to allow a gas-powered engine to work. Failure of any of these parts results in faulty or declining engine performance and require repair. These parts include the fuel tank, which stores and mixes fuel that will be used by the carburetor; the fuel pump, which delivers the fuel to the carburetor; and the ignition, which delivers a spark that starts the engine.