Knowing the basics of how to fix a lawnmower can save you a lot of time, money and angst. There are, after all, few things more frustrating than mowing three-quarters of your hard then having your mower spit the dummy on you. Fortunately, many of the problems that occur in these circumstances are fairly straightforward to fix. Listed below are a few common problems, and possible ways to fix them:
Hitting a hard object while mowing
For safety reasons, you first need to remove the spark-plug. Then turn the mower over, so the blade and crankshaft can be inspected for damage. The crankshaft may be bent, in which case you need to purchase a new one – straightening the old one may result in cracking, breakage and more damage to your mower. If the crankshaft is undamaged, you will more than likely need to replace the blade with one that is balanced, straight and undamaged.
Another possible consequence of hitting a hard object while mowing is a broken flywheel key. The mower may not start at all or, conversely, may jerk back and start very hard. The ‘good’ thing about a broken flywheel key is that it’s made of soft metal, and actually supposed to sheer off to prevent further damage. You can check or replace the flywheel key by removing the starter pulley (located on top of the flywheel) and pulling the flywheel back if necessary.
Mower won’t start?
If your mower worked fine, was not used for an extended period (eg through winter) and now will not start, the problem could be as simple as the gas going bad. Believe it or not, gasoline has a half-life of only a few months. You can test this by splashing a small amount of gas into the carb (if it’s reachable!) and seeing if it pops, in which case the gas is fine.
If your mower starts running progressively worse before refusing to start altogether, a plugged air filter may be the probleHow to Fix Lawn Mowersm. A simple solution is to remove the foam, clean it with hot water and dishwashing detergent before putting just a little motor oil on it, wringing it out then reassembling the filter. If the filter needs cleaning, chances are the spark plug will too. Most mower manuals stipulate that under no circumstances should a spark plug be cleaned by sandblasting it, but many DIY exponents claim there is no better method of doing so. If you don’t have the expertise or equipment to clean your sparkplug, the best idea is to replace it.
A smokey mower can be caused by anything from a worn-out engine, to a plugged air filter, to the mower being tipped on its’ side. In most cases, the end result is oil in the muffler. To clean the muffler, remove it, spray it with carb cleaner then wash it with hot water and dishwashing detergent.
Knowing how to fix a lawn mower is often a case of being able to tell the difference between a serious problem and a trivial one, and once you have this know-how you can really save a lot of money and inconvenience by handling the simple stuff yourself.