Lawn Mower Maintenance

22 January 2012 Maintenance
cottage lawnmower

Lawn mowers keep the cottage property looking great. Proper maintenance will ensure they are reliable and long lasting.

Lawn mower Safety Guide

Whether you have a basic push mower or a fancy lawn tractor, it is important to operate the cabin lawn mower in a safe and efficient manner. Always do an inspection of the area before starting to cut the grass. Toys, sticks, tools, rocks and tree stumps will damage the blade.

Set the wheels at a high level.
You are less likely to hit a low lying obstacle like a forgotten screwdriver or an unsuspecting toad.  Longer grass also resists the sun better in dry weather.

Wear safety gear.
Steel toe safety boots, safety glasses, and long pants are a must every time you cut the grass.

Go slowly.
It saves fuel and gives the critters a chance to get out of the way.

Take breaks.
Fatigue results in a loss of concentration and causes accidents.

Drink lots of water.
Dehydration is a big risk on hot days. Heat stroke will ruin your weekend at the cabin.

Lawn mower Maintenance Guide

Check the oil level.
Running out of oil will destroy your lawn mower engine. Make sure the oil is full before every use.

Cleaning the lawn mower.
Disconnect the spark plug wire. Lift the mower and clean away any grass buildup underneath. Remove the air filter and clean out any material that may be blocking the air flow. Remember to reconnect the spark plug wire after you are finnished.

Inspect and sharpen the blade regularly.
A sharp blade improves the efficiency of the lawn mower and saves you time and fuel. Remember to disconnect the spark plug wire before you turn over the lawn mower to check the blade.

Keep a spare blade and an extra shear pin handy.
Even with careful inspection of the lawn before beginning to cut the grass, you will inevitably hit a tree stump, stone or tree branch and break the shear pin or damage the blade. Having a spare on site allows you to make a quick repair and get the job done.

Check all the nuts, bolts, and screws – especially on the wheels and the handle.
Lawn mowers continually rattle and shake. The vibrations will loosen all fasteners. If you lose a bolt while cutting the grass you probably won’t find it.

Store the lawn mower in a dry location.
If the lawn mower is left out in the rain the water will work its way into the fuel system. when this happens you will have to spend some time draining the full tank and and fuel filter. Prolonged exposure to moisture will cause the lawn mower parts to rust out quickly. If kept dry and properly maintained, the lawn mower should last a very long time.

Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Advice

Lawn Mower Won’t Start
Follow these steps in order. Try to start the lawn mower again before moving to the next item on the list.

  • Check the control lever. It must be in the start position.
  • Check the fuel. It may be empty or very low.
  • Remove the spark plug, dry it off, and clean the contact point with a bit of sandpaper. Reinstall the plug.
  • Replace the spark plug with a new one.

Lawn Mower Will Start But Quits Quickly
This can be both good and bad. The good thing is that you are getting a spark. The bad part is that the problem is likely with the fuel system.

  • Check the fuel level. It may be empty.
  • Check the air filter. Make sure it isn’t blocked or dirty.
  • Check for water in the fuel tank / fuel filter. If the lawn mower has been left out in the rain there may be water in the fuel or fuel filter.
  • Drain the fuel filter. Usually a screw has to be loosened to let out the fuel.
  • Drain / siphon the fuel out of the fuel tank.
  • Add fresh fuel.

Lawn Mower Fuel Tank Lawn Mower Air Filter Lawn Mower Fuel Filter

Lawn Mower, Lawn Tractor, Push Mower for the Cabin

The size of the cabin lawn and its profile will ultimately determine the type of lawn mower you need.

You can click on each picture below to get more information about the mower.

A standard 21-inch gas push mower will do a nice job for an average sized property.
The one below is a no-frills choice that won’t break the bank and is light enough that you can use it on a property that has some slope.

Here’s a cordless lawn mower that is battery operated. It’s a great option if you aren’t a big fan of using gas and oil and can get the grass cut in less than an hour.

Treat yourself to a lawn tractor when the property is large, especially if you want to spend more time fishing and less time mowing.
This one is a good size for a large cottage property.

Go for a classic push mower if you want some exercise. It is great for the environment, requires less maintenance and produces almost no noise.
This one is very popular and is an economical choice as well as being environmentally friendly.

Check out the Chainsaw Maintenance page.

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