It’s time for a lawn mower service!
November is the ideal time to get your petrol mower serviced, as grass growth is much slower during the winter months, reducing mowing frequency. In addition, you will have plenty of time on your hands (with no mowing to do!) to carry out a lawn mower service yourself. Find out how, with tips from Essex turf grower Paynes Turf.
Remove the fuel
If you have a petrol mower the first thing you should do when carrying out a service is to remove any leftover fuel in the tank. Unused fuel will deteriorate over time so it’s a good idea to drain the fuel from the mower to avoid any problems on start up in the spring. Of course, removing the fuel will also help to avoid spillages when you change the oil and clean the mower (the next two steps in a service). If, after removing the fuel there is a small amount remaining in the tank, run the mower until the fuel burns off.
Change the oil
The next job is to change the oil. Unlike a fuel tank, an oil tank should never leave be left empty. To change the oil in a petrol mower simply remove the oil drain plug, which is usually located underneath the engine, and the oil will drain out. If your oil tank doesn’t have a drain plug or you can’t locate it, carefully tip the oil out from the top of the tank. Replace with high quality oil straight away – contact the mower manufacturer beforehand to find out which oil should be used in your model or check the handbook if you have one.
Clean it up
Cleaning the mower is important as it will remove any dried-on grass and soil, which could otherwise harden up over the winter so much that it becomes almost impossible to remove. Get rid of stuck-on deposits with a plastic scraper and then clean the mower with water and a stiff brush. Tip! Be very careful not to tip the mower on its side to get to the underneath – fuel could flow into the air filter or the silencer which could make the mower difficult to start and may cause excessive smoking upon start up.
Sharpen the blades
In order for your mower to perform at its best, the blades will require sharpening. It is possible to do this yourself, but for the very best results always get the blades sharpened professionally, for safety’s sake.
Finally, give the mower a thorough check over, making sure that all nuts, bolts and screws are tight, and replace any that are damaged. Check the air filter to make sure it’s not blocked, then replace or clean as necessary; paper filters will need to be changed, however fabric filters can be rinsed and dried. When your mower is completely dry, store it in a dry place such as the shed or garage.