It’s mid July which means we’re half way through summer (and of course in the second half we have the added challenge of keeping children entertained, as well as keeping on top of all the other jobs we have on our lists!). One such task that it would seriously pay you to do is a mid summer maintenance check for your lawn mower, after all it’s likely to have had a fair thrashing by now thanks to the glorious weather we’ve had.
Whilst we don’t recommend a full overhaul like you would do before the first mow of the year, there are still a few simple steps you can employ to make sure your mower keeps running smoothly. With any luck you can then concentrate on keeping the kids amused rather than scrambling around at the weekend looking for spare parts.
First things first, it’s worth giving your mowing a good clean. Whilst you should clear grass from the blade and underside of the deck after every mow, at this point in the year you should be a bit more thorough. Remember that the build up of soggy rotting grass can make the deck and other components rust in time, so this exercise will greatly increase the life of your lawn mower. You can use water or air to clean your mower (if you have a leaf blower or compressor), but make sure you don’t put it back in the shed wet, that won’t do anything to prevent corrosion.
2) Change the Air Filter (petrol mowers only)
Check the air filter, if it looks dirty then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change it, or at the very least give it a clean. Remember that a clean air filter equates to better engine performance which reduces wear and tear, in turn increasing the life of the engine. Clean your air filter with warm soapy water, being sure to remove any large debris that may have accumulated. Of course if the filter is made of paper then you’ll have no choice but to replace it.
3) Tighten up any loose Nuts and Bolts
For safety’s sake and to make sure your mower keeps on ticking over as intended, you should take this opportunity to make sure that all components that could have been worked loose by vibrations are properly tightened. All that’s needed here is a careful visual inspection, going round all the parts of the mower from the handlebars to the blade, looking for loose nuts and bolts. If you find any grab a suitable wrench or spanner and tighten up accordingly.
4) Check the Blade
As the most important part of the whole lawn mowing process, the blade should be the focus of your maintenance regime. Remove the blade and check that it is still sharp (being very careful with fingers!), also check for chips that could be reducing performance. Whether you choose to sharpen the blade yourself, or have it done by a proffesional, this will ensure that the second half of your summer is problem free… in terms of lawn mowing that is, you’ll still have to keep the kids amused!