Uncle Bobs Tips

How To Fix Lawn Mowers

How To Fix Lawn Mowers

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The season is ripe for hotdog barbeques and batting practice. Baseball is in full swing, the sky is calm, and the pool is clear. You get out your push mower, your easy speed, your Snapper, or for the big leaguers, your riding mower or tractor, and get ready for that freshly cut grass smell to permeate the air. You turn the ignition, but nothing happens. Looks like it's time for a few repairs. (A quick note on the advantages of an efficient running machine: Grass that is cut with broken or worn out equipment will leave your lawn vulnerable to harmful sunrays, diseases, and other dangers that are especially rampant throughout the summer months. It is well worth your time, effort, and money to ensure that your mower is in top working condition. After all, your goal is a quality well-manicured lawn, not a quick fix haircut. That you can obtain with a weed wacker, and you didn't have to spend all that money on a lawn mower! For simple blade sharpening instructions, go here.)

Though most machines come complete with an owner's manual written in English on how to fix lawn mowers, few actually read like they are written in your mother tongue. The instructions given are often, convoluted and confusing. Even more often, the exact problem you are experiencing will not be found on the trouble-shooting list provided. Now you can always call in the company that sold you the mower. Certainly they know how to fix lawn mowers. Oh yes, they know how, and they will charge you an arm and a leg for their expertise knowledge and services.

Another option is for you to call in your neighbor, Tom, who claims to know how to fix lawn mowers. This can be one of two problems. Either Tom does not really know a thing about lawn mowers except a few terms he picked up from reading a newspaper advertisement. In which case, employing Tom's help will only serve to increase your lawn mower difficulties and headache pressure, as well. The other scenario is that Tom really does know how to fix lawn mowers. In fact, he makes sure the whole neighborhood is aware of this fact. He has his prize lawn mower engine displayed on the wall of his garage, and shows it to anyone unfortunate enough to have been in the kitchen when his wife needed an egg or sugar or some other baking supply that you can 'just go over there and borrow'. If this is the case, then Tom is the last guy you want looking at your machine because you (and the rest of the neighborhood) will never hear the end of the heroic tale.

One final choice is still available for you. Below, I've listed a few standard and easily applied tips. If you cannot make use of any of these, try the sites I've provided as well. I found them to be informative, clear, and helpful. It's hard to diagnose a situation without seeing the actual problem in front of you. For this reason, you may have difficulty finding an answer to fit your specific dilemma. If all else fails, you may have to call someone in to do the job. Your local repair shop is usually just as capable and much cheaper than the professionals, so try your luck with them first.

Lawn mower problems can usually be sorted into a few areas. There are engine troubles, carburetor problems, belt issues, and starter malfunctions (be it pull rope, key turn, or clutch difficulty). Engine trouble is broken down further into fuel or ignition-related problems. You will have to determine which is the problem area based on the symptoms your mower is exhibiting. But first, an important word for the sake of safety.

Safety tips:

Always work in well-ventilated areas, gas is highly flammable and easily ignites.

Wear protective gloves whenever working with mower blades.

Be sure to remove spark plugs before attempting any servicing. There are countless accidents reported because someone tried to apply a quick job to his mower without removing the spark plug. Many will also suggest to empty the gas tank, but others will argue that this causes safety issues of their own. Taking out the spark, and wedging a 2x4 between the mower deck and the blade will eliminate the majority of your safety hazards.

Now try these preliminary guidelines.

Fixing tips:

This may sound silly, but check and make sure you are using the right kind of fuel or oil for you machine. The wrong blend or type of gasoline can wreak havoc on a machine, or cause it to malfunction completely.

Again, this is so simple, but is often overlooked. Old gas leftover from season to season will often impede the smooth running of a mower. Better to use a new supply each season. (You can use leftover gas in your car if you don't want to discard it.)

To identify the source of the problem, you may have to first go through several seemingly unnecessary steps. In the long run, though, it helps to go through the initial investigation. You would really feel foolish if you spent hundreds of dollars replacing the motor when all it needed was a simple oil change!

If you have a rubber burning smell, or there is no traction, check the belt. Is it dull, torn, or broken? Change it!

Place the mower on a raised surface so you can get under it. Remove the spark plug, and pull the starter cord. If no spark or a dull yellow one shoots across the plug gap, it is time to get a new spark plug.

Check that all your fuel valves and pipes are open and clear. Check for holes, even small nicks. An obstruction will, obviously cause problems for you and your mower.

http://www.howtomendit.com. This site definitely doesn't have all the answer, but it is a neat place to pick up some quick ideas to try. Anyone with a question can post, and regular people (like you and me!) offer advice and tips that they've tried or have helped them with similar or the same problems.

http://www.kichline.com/chuck/fixit/mowers/default.htm. Here's another helpful site. Again, nothing too professional, but I've found that, often, the less glitter the more effective a webpage is. Chuck gives some good answers to common and not so common problems with mowers. Check it out for yourself.

http://www.m-and-d.com/. Here is one final site that has a lot of answers and suggestions for you to employ. This is definitely the most informative site I've found yet.

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